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Tonight, I sent a letter to the editor of the Union Leader denouncing their decision to exclude a same-sex marriage announcement from publication.

It is reprehensible that the Union Leader would exclude legal marriage in New Hampshire from publication because of their right-wing agenda. Legitimate minds can disagree over policy but once the law is settled, the paper should put aside differences and allow all couples to have equal access to their publication. Greg Gould and Aurelio Tine will become legally married this weekend and they should have the same opportunities as everyone in New Hampshire to have their marriage publicized and recognized.

As a former Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte should understand the importance of respecting equality for every New Hampshire citizen. Tonight, I'm calling on her to denounce the Union Leader and stand on the side of equal rights - and the law.

The full text of my letter is below the fold.

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Viewing the killing of a police officer as a political opportunity is beneath contempt.

That’s what a GOP insider had to say about Kelly Ayotte’s politicization of a murdered police officer.

Ayotte likes to say she’s a prosecutor, not a politician. But, as we learned this week, that’s just not the case. Kelly Ayotte is a politician through and through and her own emails prove it. In fact, it looks like that some major decisions she made as Attorney General--including her prosecution of the murderer of Manchester Police Officer Michael Briggs--were made with an eye toward a future Kelly Ayotte political campaign.

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Yesterday, I stood with environmental leaders in New Hampshire to talk about my dedication to a national renewable energy standard. I challenged my global-warming denying opponent, Kelly Ayotte, to take a position on the issue. She responded that she would look at the proposal.

It's puzzling. Why would someone who doesn't think global warming exists think that we need to enact a proposal aimed at reducing carbon emissions? Why would someone who supports things like drilling off the coast of New Hampshire all of a sudden try to convince us she'd be supportive of renewable energy efforts in the US Senate?

In her competitive primary, we watched Ms. Ayotte move to the far-right wing of her party. Now, with the general election less than a month away, she's trying to have it both ways. She's hoping New Hampshire won't notice that big oil and coal companies continue to fill her campaign coffers as she talks about drilling off the coast of New Hampshire.

The bottom line is that Kelly Ayotte has as many doubts about global warming as I have about her ability to stand up to her special interest donors in the oil and coal industry.

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Yesterday, we learned that another oil rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico. Thankfully, nobody was hurt and no oil has leaked into the Gulf as a result of the explosion.

But this most recent explosion happened less than five months after the tragic explosion at BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which killed 11 workers, dumped 4.9 billion barrels of oil into our waters and wreaked havoc on the local economies of Gulf communities.

The most dangerous thing these spills have in common is this: there were warnings that disaster might occur. Just like BP, Mariner Energy, who owns the oil rig that exploded yesterday, was cited for two safety violations in the past six months alone.

It’s clear now, more than ever, that we need to rethink America’s energy strategy.  We need to rethink the way we power our economy.

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For the last few weeks, Republicans down in Washington have been talking about an extreme proposal to repeal or rewrite the 14th Amendment and deny American citizens the rights guaranteed by our Constitution. It didn’t take long for the extreme ideas coming out of Washington to make their way up to the Granite State.

Yesterday, former attorney general-turned Sarah Palin protégé Kelly Ayotte told New Hampshire voters that she supports proposals to rewrite the 14th Amendment of our Constitution. I wish I could tell you that I was surprised to hear about it, but this is just the latest example of Ms. Ayotte catering to the right-wing of the Republican Party in an effort to score a few political points.

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Kelly Ayotte and the Washington special interests behind her campaign are getting nervous. They’re seeing the same things we are: my campaign is surging in the polls and the Sarah Palin endorsement is backfiring.

So what do they do? Launch an attack ad full of facts and figures so misleading I have a feeling they were taken straight off Glenn Beck’s chalkboard. They’re attacking me for standing up to the special interests and big oil companies and supporting efforts to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and address climate change.

The special interest group funding the ad, American Action, is headed by Washington insider Fred Malek, a top backer of the Ayotte-Palin team. He's a life-long K-Street Republican from Washington who wants to tell Granite Staters how to vote.

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I’ve spent a lot of time on this blog talking about how we need to end business as usual in Washington. Earlier this week, we got another disheartening reminder of what business as usual has become. Rather than stand up for the voices of the people who define and deliver democracy in this country, the Republicans in Washington resorted to political obstructionism and caved to the special interests, once again. They successfully filibustered the DISCLOSE Act, which is a crucial first step in undoing the damage inflicted by the Citizens United Supreme Court case. It would have allowed us to start closing the door on corporations trying to buy our elections.

You know what? I wasn’t surprised by their filibuster. I was expecting it. I’m sure you were too.

But I think everyone here can agree – it is one sorry state of affairs that leads us to expect special interest-funded obstructionism from our public servants.  

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Wed Jul 21, 2010 at 01:09 PM PDT

Weak Knees

by Congressman Paul Hodes

As I was reading about the Shirley Sherrod issue today, there was one thing that really struck me.

I’m sick and tired of Democrats getting weak knees every time the right-wing media flexes their muscles.

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[The following is a post from Valerie Martin, my campaign manager]

First our mortgages and now our retirement accounts – is there anything Kelly Ayotte won’t hand over to Wall Street?

Over the weekend, Ayotte said we should keep "all ideas on the table" when it comes to reforming Social Security.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t too surprising. Ayotte’s campaign has been supported and orchestrated by Republican politicians in Washington – those very same Republicans, from John Cornyn to Mitch McConnell, who have been advocating disastrous ideas for Social security for years.

Ayotte and her supporters want to raise the retirement age and slash benefits. They want to privatize Social Security and put the value of our hard-earned retirement accounts at the whim of Wall Street.

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The ruling in Massachusetts yesterday was a huge win for those of us committed to overturning DOMA and ensuring universal marriage equality.

As a US Senator I will always stand up for DOMA’s repeal. I will fight tirelessly for universal marriage equality because I believe it is a simple matter of fulfilling the promise this country was founded on – the promise of equal rights and equal opportunities for every citizen.

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Kathy Sullivan had a great post on this over at Blue Hampshire, but I wanted to take a second and talk about Kelly Ayotte's statement this morning that taking drilling in New England "off the table" would be a "huge mistake."

It was unbelievable, especially as millions of gallons of oil continue to pollute Gulf waters and coastlines

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[The following is a post from Valerie Martin, my campaign manager]

On Saturday, Laura Clawson posed an interesting question to Kos readers, one that is definitely worth answering.  So, is Ayotte with Palin on abortion?

You betcha.

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