Concord, N.H. - In his first year as Governor, Chris Sununu has made it plainly clear what his priorities are: Instead of looking out for New Hampshire working families, Sununu has been a sort of Corporate Chris Kringle for his friends, family, donors & corporate special interests. The rest of New Hampshire is getting coal. Sununu's corporate favoritism isn't just bad for the state and the country, it is bound to haunt him on the campaign trail, where he will have to defend many of the wildly unpopular measures he has stood behind just as they start to take effect. As we reflect on the year that was, here's how Governor Chris Sununu has separated naughty from nice.
Chris's Nice List Corporate donors Chris Sununu's gifts for donors and corporate special interests this year could barely fit under the tree. Sununu's state budget gave over a $100 million in tax cuts targeted to the wealthiest 3% of New Hampshire corporations, shortchanging crucial state programs. His corporate donors thought he was done, but in September, Sununu became the #1 cheerleader for a Republican tax bill that will increase taxes on hundreds of thousands of Granite Staters while giving $5.6 billion in tax breaks to those earning $1 million and up. That includes the Trump family alone benefitting to the tune of $1 billion. The bill is projected to raise the national deficit by $1.4 trillion. Donald Trump Corporate Chris Kringle has been giving generous gifts to Trump since October of 2016, when then-candidate Sununu stood by Trump in the midst of the Access Hollywood tape and 13 sexual assault accusers. Sununu's greatest gift to Trump is his legislative support, not just for the destructive Republican tax bill, but his constant support and praise for Trumpcare bills that promised to take insurance away from up to 32 million Americans. Sununu always has Trump's back, whether it's defending the president on his response to Charlottesville, his un-American Muslim Ban or his voter fraud lie, which Trump used to justify a popular vote victory (which didn't happen). Climate Deniers Big Oil is breathing a sigh of relief this year, as Governor Sununu rolls out an entirely new (read: bad) approach to New Hampshire's environment. Sununu backed Trump's decision to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accords. With the United States' withdrawal, we are now the only country in the world who refuses to be part of this global agreement. Sununu said it's "not my job" to understand the economic impact of climate change, an issue he clearly doesn't quite understand, as he went on NHPR to tell the world that he's unsure carbon emissions are the driving factor. The governor refused to join the U.S. Climate Alliance to enforce Paris Climate Accord standards in New Hampshire just like he had rejected clean energy measures during his time in the Executive Council. To top it all off, he had to withdraw his Department of Environmental Services pick due to lack of experience & disapproval from the Republican-controlled Executive Council.
Chris's Naughty List College Students In order to pay for his $100 million corporate tax cut, Sununu decided not to freeze tuition this year, increasing costs for college students who are already paying too much. University System of New Hampshire Chancellor Todd Leach expressed “deep disappointment” in the governor’s decision not to freeze tuition for college students. As if increasing tuition costs wasn't enough coal for college students, Sununu signed voter disenfranchisement law SB 3, a law built on the voter fraud lie Sununu told before he got elected. The bill would slow down voting lines, increase the burden of proof, force registrants to conduct a verifiable act, and subject them to investigation for simply not understanding the complicated law. These restrictions are intimidating and serve the Republican interest of narrowing New Hampshire's voting pool. Internet users Governor Sununu decided to thumb his nose at New Hampshire internet users when, on Monday, he came out in support of ending Net Neutrality rules. The FCC voted last week to repeal the rules that were designed to maintain a free and fair internet by preventing big internet service providers from selectively favoring certain websites, slowing down others, blocking access, and increasing consumer costs. Only 1 in 5 Republicans stand with Sununu's anti-Net Neutrality position. Why did Sununu take this unpopular stance? His big brother John E. Sununu sat on the Time Warner Cable board of Directors from 2009-2016, served as co-chair of the anti-Net Neutrality lobbying organization Broadband for America, where he made over $1.3 million in just the three years we know about, and the Sununu family business, formerly owned & run by Chris Sununu, deals primarily with "Telecommunications" interests. To make matters worse, Sununu's handpicked Attorney General refuses to join 18 other Attorneys General to sue the FCC for this decision. Internet providers have already signaled that they plan to increase customer costs. New Hampshire businesses Sununu pledged to meet with 100 out-of-state businesses in his first 100 days. While Sununu claims he did this, he refused to name a single one, and the only business he can claim credit for recruiting is one that is run by a member of his administration. While Sununu was purportedly meeting with out-of-state businesses, he neglected to meet with New Hampshire businesses that are crucial for us to retain. Under Sununu, NASCAR announced that they were moving a Cup Series out of the state, taking $200 million in revenue and 90,000 patrons with it. Liberty Mutual twice downsized in New Hampshire, once in March to the tune of 190 jobs and again this month to the tune of 620 jobs. 810 families are without jobs this month and Sununu has still yet to even publicly comment or tell New Hampshire what he is planning to do about it. Sununu also dismissed the idea of rail between Manchester and Boston, calling it a boondoggle, only to propose it from Boston to Londonderry as part of a proposal for Amazon HQ2. While Sununu ignored New Hampshire businesses asking for rail, he keeps proving more interested in wealthy out-of-state corporations than the companies right here in the Granite State. We're giving Sununu a big lump of coal This year, Corporate Chris Sununu deserves a lump of coal for putting himself, his family, his donors, and corporate special interests ahead of New Hampshire working families.