Candidates Forum Statement
State Representative Candidate Bob Perry
State Representative Candidates Forum
Thursday, November 1, 2018
Bow Lake Grange Hall, Strafford, NH
Ellen and I are of an older generation. I see many in this room of a similar generation. We are the generation who benefited from a sound social and economic safety net, now in jeopardy, that was provided by the progressive movements of the 1930s, with Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s signing of the Social Security Act on August 14, 1935; and of the 1960s, with Lyndon Johnson’s implementation of the Great Society, law that continues to administer our insurance program and its guaranteed benefits for the elderly, no matter the state of the economy. Opponents of these programs slander these benefits, calling them “entitlements.” These same kinds of programs and many others have led Finland to become the happiest country in the world this year. The United States of America is not even in the Top 10.
Be aware – the federal budget bill that transferred more than a trillion dollars of tax breaks to the wealthy a year ago contains a provision requiring deep cuts to Medicare to pay for those tax breaks to the wealthy. It is current law. Senator Mitch McConnell publicly made that announcement two weeks ago on the floor of the U.S. Senate. Healthcare is the number one issue of concern among Americans. Especially popular is the provision in ObamaCare requiring insurance companies to insure the 60 percent of us with pre-existing conditions. Mitch McConnell promises that if Republicans continue to control our government, he will present a bill to his caucus to repeal ObamaCare in its entirety – with no alternative health insurance plan offered. We will go back to the bad old days when it was the responsibility of employees of insurance companies to deny coverage, and for which they were
And expect Social Security to be privatized in the next two years, creating opportunities for managers of the program to skim 15 or 20 percent or more from our contributions. Legislative accomplishments in a Democratic majority, 2007/2010 (the
first and last time the modern Democratic party has held the majority).
SB 539, related to cost of an adequate education. Democrats complied with all four prongs of the NH Supreme Court’s ruling, and for the first time since the legislature reneged on its promise to adequately fund public education in the 1980s, the lawsuits and the court’s oversight ended.
SB 36: eliminated problematic straight-ticket voting, even though Democrats knew elimination would put them to disadvantage in a heavily Republican state.
HB 285: established an electronic voting machine advisory committee on which I served, resulting in the minimizing of known machine vulnerabilities to manipulation by domestic or foreign actors.
On Minimum Wage:
HB 514: Raised the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 in 2007; then to $7.25 in 2008. The state’s minimum wage was repealed by a veto-proof Republican majority in 2011. The state remains without a minimum wage law, the most vulnerable NH workers now buoyed only by the federal minimum wage of $7.25. A living wage exceeds $20/hour.
HB 790: Since 2007, young adults have been covered under their parents’ health insurance policies through age 25. I assume many in attendance tonight have benefited, either as parents or young adults.
SB 42: Also, since 2007, smoking has been prohibited in restaurants, cocktail lounges and certain enclosed public places, supported by 79 percent of NH voters. We take smoke-free air for granted now.
I note here that among other things forgotten, it wasn’t until the 1980s in the NH court system, my employer for 30 years, that smoking was banned in our court system, and women were allowed to wear slacks. Prior thereto, it was dresses, only.
Ellen and I discovered during this campaign season that only 2 out of 100 people know their state representatives by name, and do not know how they vote. I have taken the last 5 minutes of your time to correct that. I hope you have found it worthwhile.
I hope to earn your vote Tuesday, November 6, 2018. If elected, I will sponsor or co-sponsor legislation that protects our fundamental right to vote and makes access to the ballot box less onerous; legislation that creates an independent redistricting commission to end legalized election fraud through gerrymandering of geopolitical districts; legislation that creates a system of checks and balances against our electronic voting machines in the age of foreign interference; legislation that fairly and equitably funds our public school system, and vote in support of legislation that enhances the alternative energy industry.