Seacoast Democrats, Republicans debate issues ahead of Nov. 8 election: Letters

Note to readers:

Deadline for submitting letters related to the Nov. 8 election is Nov. 1. Please keep letters to 300 words or less. Thank you.

Republicans have told us they will cut Social Security and Medicare

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

There’s a lot of noise about this upcoming election, much of it intended to be distracting, in much the same way pickpockets distract you while they are lifting your wallet. So I’m going to cut to the chase. What can we expect if Republicans take over Congress, and what can we expect if Democrats retain control? Everything I write is based on what politicians on both sides have said. Let’s start with the Republicans.

If they take over the Senate or House of Representatives, or both, they will cut or eliminate Social Security and Medicare. I’m not making this up. Sen. Rick Scott’s plan would turn both programs into discretionary spending, to be voted on every five years. If there are enough Republicans, they could vote to discontinue them. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy has said he wants to cut benefits. Neither one is willing to raise taxes on the ultra-wealthy in order to shore up these critical programs.

If you are 65 or older and you vote for a Republican, you are voting to reduce or eliminate your Social Security and Medicare benefits, which you paid for out of your wages. But if keeping trans kids from playing sports is more important to you than getting your Social Security check every month, then go ahead and vote for Republicans.

If Democrats in Congress try to block their plan, Republicans have promised to refuse to raise the debt ceiling, thereby causing the United States to default on its debts. It’s impossible to overstate the financial damage this would cause. Basically, it will be like dropping a nuclear bomb on the world economy. I’ll explain more in my next letter.

Jim Mastro


Portsmouth residents vote in their local election at Portsmouth Middle School on November 2, 2021.
Portsmouth residents vote in their local election at Portsmouth Middle School on November 2, 2021.

NH Republicans have stood up for working families

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

As Election Day approaches, voters are faced with a critical choice in choosing the direction of our state and our nation. Failed Democrat leadership has led to high energy costs and inflation, but principled conservative leadership has invigorated the New Hampshire economy and stood up for working families.

While my opponent will vote in lockstep with her party, raising taxes and restricting freedoms, I will continue to work towards common sense solutions for New Hampshire.

I am proud of my record of delivering results in the Senate. As a husband and father of four children educated in New Hampshire's public schools, I understand the critical importance of education. I support empowering parents and supporting our teachers through local control and ensuring parents voices are respected and heard. I have voted in support of several initiatives to combat the drug crisis, without increasing taxes for New Hampshire citizens. I am proud to have sponsored legislation that expanded property tax deductions for veterans, and I have worked to improve access to health care for veterans and seniors.

I voted to send $500 million in tax revenue back to our cities and towns to aid in property tax relief and support investments in our community infrastructure. With inflation rising and energy prices surging, I’m working to ensure all cost-effective energy options are on the table to help struggling families across our state.

New Hampshire is the best place to live, work, and raise a family, I am running for re-election to the Senate because I want it to continue to be for your children and mine. We have accomplished a lot, but there is still work to be done, so on Nov. 8, I am asking for your support.

Sen. Bill Gannon


I’m glad I voted for Chris Pappas and all Democrats

Oct. 24 − To the Editor:

I just voted via absentee ballot for all Democrats.  Why?  Let’s take Chris Pappas and Karoline Leavitt for example. I watch TV.  In the many political ads these days Karoline Leavitt talks about herself as coming from around here (New Hampshire) from a “small business” family.  Well, Chris Pappas is also from a small business family. He grew up in Manchester from the family that owns the Puritan restaurant, and now he runs it.  Also, he’s co-chair of the Small Business Caucus in Congress.

I looked at Leavitt and Chris’s Wikipedia page and campaign websites.  Chris supported  the Inflation Reduction Act and the American Rescue Plan.  The Inflation Reduction Act requires that corporations who would pay a tax rate in excess of 15% to pay their fair share of taxes. Citizens like me received funds from the American Rescue Plan which is meant to help most of us recover economically and for some of us, physically, from the COVID pandemic.  This isn’t wild pro-tax behavior as Leavitt’s ads suggest.  She worked for Trump, is worth about $1 million, is endorsed by far-right Congress members, Ted Cruz and Elise Stefanik, opposes some common sense gun laws, and focuses primarily on inflation.  It seems that Karoline Leavitt’s campaign is based mostly on the fact that she worked for Trump and is only 25 years old.  For me, that's a pretty slim resume for someone who wants to be elected to the U.S. Congress.

I’m glad I voted for Chris Pappas and all Democrats. They will listen to my concerns, and they supported legislation that is helping all of us!

Judy Ullman


IRS will not be knocking on your door

Oct. 18 − To the Editor:

GOP outrage and fear based on lies. A recent letter was full of Fox News curated information. I will address only one.  The IRS is hiring 87,000 new employees. True. The IRS still has 8 million 2021 tax returns yet to be processed. They are able to answer about 11% of incoming calls.  The agency as a downsized 17% since 2010. Approximately 50,000 IRS agents and workers are retiring. And with the new focus on those earning more then $400,000, large businesses and corporate entities more agents are need to audit and pursue businesses that are getting a free ride and paying low or no taxes. So, an army of taxes auditors will not be breaking down your door!

Steve Little


Facts show Democrats have delivered results for American citizens

Oct. 25 − To the Editor

As this important midterm election nears, I think it’s important to speak to the accomplishments of the Democratic administration and Representatives.  What follows are some of these accomplishments, facts that can be verified.

We have added 10 million jobs and seen unemployment drop to a 50-year low.

The country added 700,00 manufacturing jobs and American companies are once more building manufacturing facilities in American cities.  This reverses a former trend.

We are rebuilding roads, bridges, airports and ports which have long been neglected.

The American Rescue plan saved countless businesses in our communities during Covid.  Not a single Republican voted for this act but many are now taking credit for it.

We have actually reduced the deficit by $1.4 trillion.  This was the largest ever decline in the federal deficit.

By contrast, the deficit climbed every year of the former Republican administration.

It is interesting to note that Republican presidents since Reagan have exploded deficits while Democrats have brought deficits down.  Check the numbers.

So when they tell you Democrats aren’t good with the economy, you now have proof that this is not true.

And perhaps the most important of all - we have strengthened the rule of law and the constitution and worked to strengthen the middle class.

Yes we are experiencing inflation world wide - every country is dealing with it due to many factors.  But we have weathered inflation before and we will again.

I hope you will consider these facts as you educate yourself for the upcoming elections.

Linda Cunningham


Vote Democratic to affirm our elections and reverse voter suppression

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

Casting our vote – expressing our voice – is a privilege and responsibility.  Our neighbors volunteer at the polls with dedication and integrity, ensuring we can vote with ease and confidence.  It’s a cornerstone of community life across America. The system isn’t failproof, but we can be proud of and depend on this fundamental evidence of democracy at work.

So why are many Republicans denying the validated results and legitimacy of the 2020 election?  Of the 62 lawsuits challenging Biden’s decisive win, 61 failed - and the great majority of state or federal courts rejected every claim of fraud and corruption.  Why would anyone believe Trump’s self-serving fantasy?

And why are Republicans around the country suppressing voting?  By late 2021, Republicans had enacted 33 laws in 19 states to make it harder to vote. From forbidding election officials to assist voters, to limiting voting hours and locations, to criminalizing offering water to voters in long lines, to restricting or eliminating mail-in voting, to forbidding someone to return a ballot for another who is disabled or without transportation. Why would anyone obstruct voting?

Devoted volunteers who have supported easy, fair, and safe elections are being slandered and threatened. Many reluctantly resign, and while other well-meaning citizens are stepping forward, so too are partisan vigilantes and “poll police,” looking for any excuse to undermine the process. Expect more contested results when someone won’t accept defeat. What’s going on?

Too many Republicans are flagrantly trying to hold onto - or claw back - power at whatever cost. For them winning is worth destroying trust, goodwill, and our democratic fabric.  This is shameful and dangerous.

We can all influence the future for our town, city, state, country, and for our world on Nov. 8.  Vote Democratic to affirm our elections and reverse voter suppression.

Susan Varn


It is illegal to remove or deface campaign signs

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

The removal and or destruction of political signage is against the law, RSA 664:17, and shall be subject to a civil penalty not to exceed $1,000.

Some person or persons defaced a retired Brig. Gen. Don Bolduc sign in front of Market Basket on Route 1 in Portsmouth.  Bolduc, a Republican, is running for U.S. Senate.

Signs owned by Karoline Leavitt (a Republican running for District 1 representative) and Bolduc were knocked down and crushed on Route 1 near the corner of Route 27 in Hampton.

Other persons are illegally taking down signs belonging to Bolduc, Leavitt, and Lou Gargiulo (a Republican running for District 24 state Senate seat). These signs are also on public property at the intersection of Winnacunnet and Mill Roads in Hampton.

All of the signs belong to and were paid for by Republican candidates and their supporters and are on public property.  When contacted, town officials and the police have said that no town officials/employees have removed the signs.

Obviously, whoever is defacing and/or removing these signs is ignorant of RSA 664:17, which covers placement of political signs on public property.

Senate, congressional, and state Senate races are important to the future of our state and nation.  Supporters, PACS, and some candidates themselves are spreading mistruths about positions held by their opponents. Some are removing and or defacing their opponents signs.

Be aware that defacing and or removing signs of candidates you may not like is against the law.  Please stop.

Dolores Souto Messner


Vote Peggy Balboni for state rep, a champion for education

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

The purpose of this letter is to show support for Peggy Balboni in her candidacy for the NH House of Representatives.

Quality of education is one of the most important issues facing New Hampshire as well as the Nation. Peggy Balboni is ideally suited to help generate meaningful and effective legislation for improving quality of education in New Hampshire for all levels - kindergarten through university. She is smart, well-educated, of the highest level of personal integrity, a great listener, and follows through to get the job done. These traits and her accomplishments are personally well known by me through her work on the Rye Budget Committee and the Rye School Board. She researches issues thoroughly and applies excellent judgment in coming to her decisions on any issue.

She will do the same for State-level issues as she has done at the local level here in Rye.

Paul Goldman

Retired Rye Budget Committee chairman

Chris Pappas is focused on the people of NH, not politics

Oct. 25 − To the Editor:

As a former mayor, I have always paid attention to politics, but the last several years have been difficult to watch. It seems as if the country is being torn apart; our two political parties are moving further and further apart, with little room for compromise. That said, I can find some solace in voting for Congressman Chris Pappas, who has remained above the fray in these political battles.

Pappas is focused on exactly what he was elected to do – represent the people of New Hampshire and deliver results for his district. He helped pass bipartisan legislation to expand Veterans’ access to vital healthcare services; secured over $1.5 billion to the Granite State to reinforce and strengthen our infrastructure; and stood up to big pharma by helping to pass legislation that lowers prescription drug costs for families across New Hampshire.

Pappas has proven that he can deliver for the people of New Hampshire – and that’s why he has earned my endorsement.

TJ “ Ted” Connors


This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Seacoast Democrats, Republicans debate issues ahead of Nov. 8: Letters