Congratulations to Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Barack Obama, who announced May 16th that he divested all funds from his personal portfolio of investments in Sudan. Senator Obama joins Kansas Senator and Republican Candidate for President Sam Brownback, who divested his own personal portfolio earlier this year.

The Darfur region of Sudan has been in conflict since July of 2003 after rebel forces attacked government forces. In retaliation, the government launched a campaign resulting in the systematic killings of over 400,000 civilians and the displacement of 2.5 million more to refugee camps inside Sudan and in neighboring Chad. The international community has done little to alleviate this crisis, which has been labeled genocide by President G.W. Bush. Historically, governments unresponsive to diplomatic and social pressures have bowed to economic pressure (South Africa). Sudan is an oil rich country, producing up to 500,000 barrels of oil per day, generating nearly 2 billion dollars in revenue per year for the Sudanese government. It is estimated that up to 80% of this money funds the Sudanese military, which perpetuates the genocide. Targeted Divestment only advocates withdrawing investments from those companies, which provide direct funding to the Sudanese government and have minimal, if any, impact on the underprivileged civilian population. To date, 12 states have passed and 15 states have legislation pending to divest state funds from companies that support the government of Sudan. A campaign has been initiated in New Hampshire with a goal of passing legislation in 2008. Please encourage other political candidates to follow Senator Obama and Brownback’s lead on this vital issue. Consider personally divesting from Sudan. For a free portfolio screening tool go to

Contact your state representatives to encourage them to pass legislation in New Hampshire on divestment. To join the local campaign spearheading NH divestment, contact Sue Fitzgerald at or Helen Crowe at

Put simply, we have a choice in the matter. We can ignore that genocide is occurring in Darfur and read about the continued rape and killings in the history books of our grandchildren. Or, we can choose action.

Sue Fitzgerald and Helen Crowe Exeter NH Citizens for Divestment

I am writing you in support of HB 802. I am concerned about the vocal minority opposed to the passage of this primary seat belt law. It is evident that the most effective way of reducing injuries and saving lives is by increasing seat belt usage. The State of New Hampshire has the lowest usage rate in the country so we have the most to gain from this law. Since the most effective way to increase seat belt usage is by enacting a primary seat belt law, I strongly encourage you to vote for HB 802.

Please consider the following prior to your Senate vote: NH has the lowest observed seat belt use rate of any of the 50 states; National Usage Rate 81% NH Usage Rate 63%; 82% of NH AAA Members support this Bill (320,000 NH members AAA PA Survey 2006); 70% of NH Fatalities were not wearing a seat belt (NH Highway Safety 2005); Average Hospital Costs are 55% higher for unrestrained occupants (NHTSA); Car Crashes Cost NH over $1 Billion Annually/ $820 Per Resident; It is estimated that NH could expect an increase of 14.6 percentage points in seat belt use following passage of a primary seat belt law. (NHTSA); This increase would prevent an estimated 10 fatalities, 213 serious injuries, and save $48.6 million in economic costs annually in New Hampshire; $ 3.7 Million in one-time NHTSA funding when a qualifying primary seat belt law is enacted and enforced. NH could also qualify for new annual incentive funding.

Robert Clements, Danville

As many Americans may have noticed, Democratic presidential contender Sen. Chris Dodd is flooding the airwaves with his message to take charge of the war in Iraq now. He wants to set a firm deadline for withdrawal while still providing funding to the troops, but leaves the important decisions, such as how to withdraw, to the Generals on the battleground -those who know best the situation we are facing and the consequences we incur as a result.

I agree wholeheartedly with Sen. Dodd. I would like to see Congress and President Bush immediately start taking the steps necessary to end the war in Iraq as soon as possible. I hope politicians from both parties realize that while they may be making concessions to reach an agreement, they are robbing most Americans of what we truly want‹an end to this mess we call a war.

Sherri Basso Vice-Chair Seacoast Young Democrats Hampton

Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is the driving force behind the Repeal of Parental Notification. Their mission statement is “To provide, promote, and protect access to reproductive health care and sexuality education, so that all people can make voluntary choices about their reproductive and sexual health.”

Their own stated purpose does

not include protecting children,

and they don’t want to notify parents when they are giving abortions or birth control. Planned Parenthood is protecting its income. Studies show that when parental involvement

laws are in place, minor abortions

go down by 16%.

We need to protect our children. There is now evidence showing that using oral contraceptives before

your first pregnancy greatly increases

the risk of breast cancer.

The Repeal of Parental Notification goes to the Senate on Tues., May 29. Do you want to be informed if an abortionist is performing an abortion on your minor child? Please call your senator at 271-2111 and ask him or her to vote against House Bill 184. Call Governor Lynch at 271-2121 and ask him to veto this bill if it makes it to his desk. And please pray that Almighty God will watch over our State and help us protect the liberty He so graciously gives us.

Julie Laughner, Raymond

I am shocked by the fervor with which a handful of people across the state continue to argue that opposing the Iraq war means undermining our troops. I simply do not understand their position. America’s sons and daughters are in the midst of a civil war. Not only are our troops understaffed, under equipped, and overextended, but the war is also being poorly managed by our President and his political cronies. How can it be un-American to raise our voices on behalf of our troops? On the contrary, to sit in silence is to give our implicit consent and that is un-patriotic!

Elisa Bolton, Rye

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