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Jeb Bradley updates Sandwich-area voters on state, national issues

April 07, 2010
SANDWICH — Local Republicans received insight on the goings on in Concord and Washington from Sen. Jeb Bradley.

Bradley spoke at a recent gathering of residents on Monday in an event organized by the Sandwich Republicans.

Event facilitator Joanne Haight said the Sandwich Republicans meet informally. Haight said the group wanted an update on events in Concord and contacted Bradley about speaking with their group.

"There's a lot going on and we wanted to be informed and we're finding we're not always getting information from our local officials," Haight said.

Haight said Bradley has been in Sandwich many times to meet with residents and discuss issues.

The meeting was open to the public. Bradley stood in front of the group and answered questions, giving his insight and opinion on issues in Concord and Washington.

The recently passed healthcare legislation was a major topic of discussion with many attendees strongly opposed to many of the changes made.

Bradley said he supports many points of insurance reform, such as prohibiting the refusal of coverage for pre-existing conditions and keeping children on a parent's plan for longer.

Overall Bradley spoke against the law.

"I think it's un-American to say you have to purchase health insurance or pay a fine," Bradley said. "There's a huge expansion of government power in this."

Bradley said he proposed legislation that would make New Hampshire residents exempt from the requirement and associated penalties, though the bill is currently on the table.

The new legislation, he said, will add 32 million more people onto the healthcare system and potentially create back-ups longer waits for treatment and services.

Bradley said people should be able to purchase health insurance across state lines and purchasing insurance should be like purchasing car insurance with different companies competing for customers.

Additionally, he strongly disagrees with statements that the measure will reduce the deficit, saying it will cost much more in the long term and could eventually lead to rationing and much more expensive services.

"I think you need to use every possible public display of wanting it to be changed," Bradley said, from writing letters to attending rallies. "Doing it in the American way of participatory democracy."

He encouraged residents of Sandwich and Carroll County to organize their own Tea Party rally.

Bradley also addressed the state budget and spoke against added taxes such as the increased Rooms and Meals Tax, the added tax on campgrounds, the LLC tax, and other of what he said were 38 tax increases proposed in the budget.

Bradley said the LLC tax creates a climate that does not bring in more business and means less money for small business owners in an economy where the unemployment rate has risen.

"I think we've hurt our business climate pretty profoundly," Bradley said. "The most important thing New Hampshire can do now is get people back to work."

On the issue of school funding, Bradley said the best way to address the matter is to pass a constitutional amendment to give the state and legislature the authority to make decisions on where taxpayer dollars should go.

He also said that the Current Use system has had many benefits, including preserving open space and limiting development and associated increased municipal costs of an increased population.

Bradley spoke against gambling, saying it is an unstable source of revenue as people have less dispensable income. Additionally he said it carries "social costs" that could hurt the family-friendly tourism environment.

Bradley also encouraged local Republicans to run for office. He said one does not get into the position for money or career advancement, though he gains much satisfaction from his time as a volunteer.

"Serving in the New Hampshire Legislature is worth every minute and every effort that you have to put in it," Bradley said.

Haight said Bradley's presentation was overall informative.

"I thing he brought us up to date, gave us some solutions and really a call to action," Haight said.

Martin Lord Osman
Varney Smith
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