Governor Van Ostern: What could've been vs. The mess we're in
Concord, N.H. - Today, Colin Van Ostern announced he wouldn't be running for governor in 2018. With just 2% more of the vote in one of the closest gubernatorial election in New Hampshire history, these are among the things we're missing without electing a Governor Van Ostern in 2016:
Van Ostern, a champion of minimum wage increases, would have given New Hampshire the raise it deserves, but instead, Sununu accepted a $22,000 raise for himself on Day 1.
Van Ostern would have vetoed voter suppression bill SB3 rather than embarrassingly signing it with no fanfare like Sununu. He would've protected New Hampshire voting rights rather than spreading voter fraud lies in partnership with Trump.
Van Ostern would have invested in workforce development and job training, unlike Governor Sununu who dedicated zero dollars to either one in his first term budget.
Van Ostern would have advocated intensely for a conversion therapy ban, transgender rights, and an end to child marriage. Governor Sununu remained completely silent on all three issues for his entire first year while his Republican colleagues voted down each bill.
A Governor Van Ostern would have joined the U.S. Climate Alliance to enforce the Paris Climate Accord in New Hampshire and protect our environment. Sununu refused and supported President Trump's decision to withdraw the United States from the Accord, making us the only country in the world left out of the agreement. Sununu has denied climate change as governor.
Van Ostern would have supported fully funded full day kindergarten without Republicans tying the bill's funding to the unstable revenue source of Keno. While Sununu folded to each and every Republican concession, Democrats would have simply done the right thing.
A Van Ostern administration would not have used the Republican Party and his own donors as a bench for his agency appointments. Sununu has appointed mostly partisan political operatives and unqualified donor friends to run the state, and it shows.
Van Ostern would have pushed back against the worse tendencies in the Trump administration, being an advocate for New Hampshire instead of an advocate for himself. Sununu has defended Trump's Charlottesville statements, backed the Muslim Ban, Trumpcare, and the crooked GOP Tax Scam while excusing Trump's inaction on the opioid crisis, New Hampshire's most urgent problem.
Van Ostern would have chosen to invest in students by freezing tuition at USNH colleges and community colleges. Sununu flat funded those institutions, making tuition rise and leaving students with an even higher mountain of debt.
Van Ostern would have invested in rail from Boston to Manchester, listening to the hundreds of businesses who have been asking for it for years. Perhaps New Hampshire would have made the top 20 list. Sununu's proposal failed to make the top 20, and ever since, he has bailed on his support for rail. Sununu originally called it a "boondoogle" and "bad leadership" before proposing it himself, a little too late.
Thankfully, New Hampshire has the opportunity to replace Sununu with a governor who will do the hard work to put the Granite State back on track. With 81% of voters undecided on who they plan to vote for governor in a Blue Wave year, New Hampshire Democrats are increasingly confident we will succeed in November and take back State House majorities.