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tv   Campaign 2020 New Hampshire Governors Debate  CSPAN  October 20, 2020 10:57am-11:56am EDT

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thank you for joining us for the atlanta press club debate series. have a great day. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible >> this afternoon, the house ways and means oversight healthittee talks about insurance provided by the affordable care act, what's that live or listen on c-span on the free c-span radio app. >> next, a debate between the candidates for new hampshire governor. income fund republican chris sununu seeking a third term, faces dan feltes. this was hosted by wmur tv. your tv. >> this is a wmu our commitment 2020 special in partnership with the new hampshire institute of politics. the granite state debate.
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tonight, the candidates for governor. >> good evening and thank you for joining us for tonight's governors debate. i am political director adam sexton. we will hear from the candidates for the corner office about their plans for new hampshire and their records so far. the debate is happening live but as usual, inc.'s will look different. studio,lists are in the jennifer vann and john to stay so. the candidates are in a different studio, separated by several feet as part of covid-19 precautions good we look forward to a robust debate. let's look at the candidate backgrounds. governor who's planning and management faced a life or death tested this year. governor sununu: there were tough decisions we had to make. for: known for pushing progressive reforms. >> i've been pushing for
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families every step of the way. adam: they have two different approaches be it republican governor chris sununu has spearheaded much of the state response to covid-19 and move forward on another of this year's issues, police reform, using an executive order to implement a first round of changes. governor sununu: we are not a crisis point but i don't want to wait for a crisis. >> new hampshire does democracy better than any other state. feltes worked on expand health care coverage. he says he will not lose focus on solutions that help working-class families. selected candidates considered most newsworthy to participate in the debate. candidates get one minute to answer questions and 32nd
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rebuttals a lot of the moderator discretion. we think both candidates. our opening question is about the covid-19 pandemic and it goes to you first, senator feltes. thanksgiving is a little more than five-week the way and it is fair to say that a sense of connection is more important to people and it has been. the reality is we are seeing cases of covid every day and rising numbers across the country. how do you lead granite stators through the end of the year as they no doubt want to be together with loved ones but fear that could put them in others at risk? sen. feltes: families are sacrificing and struggling. hundreds of lost loved ones, tens of thousands of lost jobs, thousands more their homes, cases are going up right now in schools shutting down. obamacare, the health care system we rely on, is in jeopardy right now. working families don't know what the next week will ring, let alone the next day, let alone working-class families. -- especially working-class families. be here, i didto
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not come from a family of politicians like the governor. my dad worked in a furniture factory for 35 years. day in and day out for 45 years. my mom, a part-time job while raising four kids. i worked for working-class family serving as a legal aid attorney, delivering results for working families and that is what i will do as governor of the state of new hampshire. adam: governor, same question. thanksgiving is a time for gatherings and families. this has been a trying time. the last six or seven months has been amazing here in the state of new hampshire and it has its challenges but that's one of the reasons why i'm always saying thank you. i think the people of the state have done a phenomenal job wearing masks, maintaining social distancing making sacrifices. it's one of the reasons we have some of the lowest covid numbers in the country. we have said since may that we knew the numbers would be rising
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this fall and sure enough, on firstly, we see it across the country. not rising here as fast as the rest of the country but we knew those spikes would come. we have to ask folks to stay vigilant, to stay smart about what they do, just because you are with uncle bob and aunt mary, it doesn't mean the virus cares. safe,se settings, be maintain distances, wear your mask with folks not in your immediate family, and if we do that, if we keep it up, there's no reason we can't be successful through the winter. adam: the first panel question istaso.rom john dest john: we have up to 100 cases in the last week. you said should have expected as children go back to school and less timeaters spend outside, the cases would rise, but what should have a new -- happen now?
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state department's like the dmv scaling back, private gatherings 10 people or fewer? is it time to reverse the opening of the state? gov. sununu: when we first entered the pandemic in march, there was no playbook. we had very little resources, no testing, ppe, we did not have so many of the capabilities we were able to build as a team, putting us in a much more adventitious position today. -- advantageous position today. we wrote the playbook working with the division of public health, working with businesses to open in a smart and safe way and have a successful summer. as was mentioned, we have always known the numbers would go up, universities and schools are coming back, it is adding colder and we are all staying a little more inside, but it doesn't mean we have to go back to where we were in march. there are still some restrictions we could put in place down the road, we could still play those hands, but we are far away from where we were.
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we had maybe over a dozen folks in hospital beds. manage theng to overburden on the health care system. we've done a great job and there's no reason we can't keep up our success. john: same question. sen. feltes: the most opponent thing is a health care system, without a doubt. for years as a legal aid lawyer, i have battled health insurance industries to get access to health care for granite stators and working families, and i did the same thing in the senate, delivering prescription drug relief, medicaid expansion, expanding health care access. that's what we've got to be focused on right now. to the was taking it health insurance industry, chris sununu was taking corporate contributions from the industry. supportsld trump, he the repeal of obamacare and has worked to restrict access to safe, legal abortion and just like donald trump, he would have you believe that everything is fine. donald trump gives himself in a
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plus and chris sununu gives himself the gold standard and everything is not fine. we have to lift up working people and fight to stabilize and strengthen our health care system. gov. sununu: obviously we are not fine. folks in the state have done a great job. my opponent likes to vote my name and the idea that we are against health care but at the end of the debt, i'm one of the few republican governors in the country actually fighting to keep the affordable care act in the u.s. supreme court today. new hampshire is on the lawsuit today funny to keep the affordable care act, only one of four or five republican governors. it is happening today and i know that dan likes to make a political statement that sounds nice, but the facts are the facts. sen. feltes: governor, these are your own words, when you ran for governor in the first time in 2016, you ran on appeal -- repealing obamacare. you asked why you supported donald trump, you said because
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he would finally end horrible programs like obamacare. you voted in 2012 to turn down the obamacare health care exchange and in 2017, you cheerled replacing obamacare without a replacement. and senatoreen mccain turn that down. you cannot rewrite history on the debate stage. gov. sununu: then why is the state of new hampshire -- why did i empower the attorney general to fight that? sen. feltes: you support the process moving forward on judge barrett, who has a long history of opposing obama care, and you support trump in the justices who will overrule obamacare and you have a long history against obamacare, it is documented. i don't understand how you can stand here tonight and say otherwise. we have to protect obamacare and strengthen it for working class
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folks. if obamacare is repealed, it will fall to the states, and you need to trust that you have a governor who fights for health care. i have fought for health care every step of the weight and will do the same as governor. adam: we are going to go on to our next question from jennifer. good evening, gentlemen. let's move onto masks. nashua is among the communities that passed a mask mandate. in spite of that, the city has seen a sharp rise in covid cases in early october. senator feltes, you've pushed for a statewide mandate. if it hasn't worked in nashua, why push for one throughout the state? sen. feltes: we need to listen to the medical experts. they have recommended masks. the commonsense public mask requirement makes good sense, we are the only state in new england without it. donald trump and chris sununu have not listened to medical experts on masks. donald trump has been clear -- donald trump, let's be clear,
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has been a complete failure on covid and has worked to be the divider in chief of our country. we have folks in the state of new hampshire, including the governor, he is a top enabler of donald trump, he calls himself in his own words, a trump guy through and through. those are chris sununu's words. i cast my vote for joe biden and roud to do so. governor sununu, when you cast your vote for donald trump, will you be proud to do that? jennifer: on the mask issue, governor, basically mask mandates theoretically will take the politics out of it. if the rule is to wear one, people don't have to make a judgment about wearing one. with the issue being so politicized, do you think it's an error not to institute a mask mandate? gov. sununu: there is nothing political about wearing a mask.
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again, those communities that wanted to institute a mask mandate, specifically in the southern tier, we are supportive of it. numbers are different in the southern tier. 60% of the cities and towns in our state do not have any covid whatsoever. so to understand the socioeconomic dynamics in the state are different and how the virus spreads is different. we are very supportive of those communities, specifically in the south, that have been strongly impacted and want a mask mandate. but to say we will blanket a mask mandate and everything will be better, that is not a solution. we can always play that card as the number start to rise, if we want to institute a mask mandate statewide, it is possible but not necessary at this point. masks are just one part of the puzzle. it is maintaining social distancing, basic hygiene, washing your hands, keeping distances when you can, staying remote when you can. all of these pieces need to be put in place and the citizens of new hampshire did a great job
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with. adam: next question from john. john: governor sununu, the vast majority of pandemic deaths in new hampshire have occurred in long-term care facilities. is it fair to say you and the public health team should have moved more quickly to deal with that? and why is it that despite significant lockdowns and tight rules, the deaths continue to come at long-term care facilities? gov. sununu: let's look at the real data. understand, let's one death is too many. but in terms of the number of fatalities we have had at long-term care compared to the beds in a population, we are one of the lowest numbers on the east coast. the lowest in new england. we had about 20 outbreaks, back down to a handful of outbreaks. we have very few fatalities in the general community. the ratio of fatalities in long-term care was higher
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because we had so little transmission that resulted in a fatal rate. i think commissioner shiva binette has done a phenomenal job. her background was running long-term care facilities. i think she and the department of health did a great job identifying the issue. we are one of the most aggressive states with testing and ppe. all of those tools and resources and that is why the numbers have dropped precipitously in long-term care. john: senator feltes, you allege the governor reacted too slowly to the pandemic, but as cases of covid-19 were beginning to build in new hampshire, as senate majority leader you pushed to convene the legislature for two long days. as to why the senate needed to be in session while much else was closing, you said, "i think the executive branch and the legislature have taken a different perspective so far, but we're going to continue to monitor the situation." how do your words and actions then square with your criticism now? sen. feltes: we suspended
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activity roughly when everyone else did. on nursing homes, let's be clear, societies are judged by the way they treat the most vulnerable. homesen, folks in nursing and long-term care facilities. it took a month and a to get a inf contract to do testing some facilities, of the workers. the contract went to a corporate campaign donor of chris sununu. we have to move forward on this. we are ranked at the new york times as the worst covid situation in long-term care, and we have legislation to support long-term care with ppe and testing and financial support , and to do an independent audit of what happened in long-term care. chris sununu vetoed it, bipartisan legislation to do an independent audit. now we have outbreaks across new hampshire. lastly, we need to make sure we
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protect and strengthen obama care because if we don't, our assisted living facilities will be in worse conditions. adam: governor, go ahead. gov. sununu: to be fair, senator feltes brought a bill june 30, months after the pandemic started. they went home. the legislature threw up their hands and went home. my team took action very aggressively in new hampshire, which is what we have one of the lowest fatality rates in long-term care on the east coast. sen. feltes: that's not true. gov. sununu: it is true. weeks we had press conferences talking about we were going through, looking at what we happened, looking at airflow and how the dynamics of the virus was moving through facilities. we took aggressive action which is why 20 outbreaks became two quickly. sen. feltes: and we have more outbreaks now because there was not the kind of analysis and independent review to determine what to do moving forward. if that bill had been signed, our nursing homes and assisted living facilities would have
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been stood up. now we have health care facilities in the red and lakes general hospital filed region bankruptcy today. the cares act relief fund the unilateral control over, could've stabilize a health care system and dinning, could have stabilized assisted living facilities and didn't, and gave a bunch of money to corporations. i want to ask everyone at home, $1.25 billion chris sununu gave out, how much did you and your family get of that? i bet you did not get any. gov. sununu: let's be fair about the $1.25 billion. we are the only state in the country that put over half that money to businesses, employees, self-employed, nonprofits. we put more out in relief efforts than any other state in the country. more than sort of new york, california. it was an amazing opportunity for individuals. when it came to the legislature's attempt at the
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money, they tried to slow it in court and with government bureaucracy. i was cutting deals on the phone for ppe and testing on a moments notice in the early days and we did a phenomenal job. we were one of the best dates in the country ringing and ppe because we had flexibility with cares act money. everything we have done is 100% transparent. you can go to the website to see where the dollars have gone. transparency is the foundation of public trust which is why i have been constantly out there, whether it is press conferences or taking messages right here on wmur at a moments notice. it's one thing to say we are in it together but it's another thing to do it. we knew early on we would be transparent through the whole process. there is nothing behind closed doors. we just moved very quickly and we were not going to let bureaucracy hold up the opportunity in the middle of a pandemic. sen. feltes: everyone believes in transparency but this has not been transparent. vetoing legislation to do an independent audit of what went wrong is the epitome of not being transparent.
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and giving big contracts to corporate campaign donors. giving out cares act money. over 200 corporations got $350,000 of the cares act money. small businesses got very little. and i bet if you are sitting at home, you did not get any of it. gov. sununu: only small businesses got those dollars, only small businesses could qualify. sen. feltes: businesses of $20 billion a year in annual revenue. gov. sununu: that is a small business. that is a fraction of how the government defines small business. those hundreds of thousands of dollars have shaved jobs -- saved jobs and businesses. we have less business closures this year than last year because they could pay their bills and employees. stand up their businesses through the toughest of times. sen. feltes: that's not what i'm hearing. gov. sununu: the economy is strong here in new hampshire. sen. feltes: one half of new
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hampshire's children live and working poor households now. 20,000 people are detached from the labor market because of lack of access to childcare. and we are going to stand up ourselves on the back? we have to move forward and work together. strengthen and protect obamacare. work for people on the ground. adam: we have to move on, 15 seconds. gov. sununu: democrats put a bill of cares act money to go to childcare. i put in 25 million in the beginning and we put in another $10 million last week, i put in more dollars to childcare and they wanted to do and we did a faster with better results. adam: we have to move on. jennifer: governor, several polls show the public giving you high marks for handling this crisis, but there are parents who wish you had given clearer guidelines, and taken specific action on school reopening plans. you cite local control as the primary reason for your
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approach, but isn't a pandemic the time when stronger leadership is needed at a statewide level? gov. sununu: we provided the strongest leadership the country saw, which is why we had such success getting our numbers down. with having such strength in our economy. we had the best schools in the country and we do it because we allowed locals to have the final say on what happens in the classroom. we provided over 40 pages of guidance, the division of public health and dr. chan worked with teachers and parents to create that guidance. the number one request of stakeholders was flexibility because what happens in a third grade classroom in colebrook is different from manchester high school. the result is 85% of our schools are open in some fashion. we have no outbreaks. it is a huge success. plan,dan deltes's hospitalization going up 10%, every school would close.
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today, every school would be closed. that is not leadership. the governor should not be making one-size-fits-all dictation for everyone in the state. our plan worked and i am proud of it. jennifer: senator feltes, you spearheaded efforts to reject $46 million in federal aid for public charter schools in new hampshire. would that money have helped right now as the education system tries to adapt to the pandemic? sen. feltes: the biggest thing facing our schools without question is the lack of reopening public health standards. with five or six weeks to go before schools were going to reopen and people were expecting the governor to lay forth some public health standards. he punted it to the local level just like trump did to the local level with schools. you don't leave schools and families and educators on their own. i have two amazing daughters.
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they are going to go to public schools. we have got to be looking out for our kids. they are the future and deserve a foundation for success. is as strong as the granite under our soil. we need a real school opening plan and it does not exist now. you know what, people are told on the local level what to do. they are not things you can make up on the fly. we need real leadership. when it came time to make a public school reopening plan and make tough calls, chris sununu ducked. we need leadership. gov. sununu: $46 million is ltes hasmoney and dan fe led the charge and rejected the money. he did not let the money come to the state. he rejected it. do you know how much classrooms we could have built and how much opportunity people could have had? it was shameful and we were shocked.
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why would you reject $46 million for public charter school expansion? i tell you what when the , republicans win back the house and senate, we will draw the money down and provide the opportunity for families. sen. feltes: i do not view this as partisan. we have to lift up our families and children in public schools. we secured the biggest public school education in history, $140 million in the last budget, finally doing full day kindergarten like any other grade. chris sununu had it tied to kino . we need to protect it and move forward. chris sununu says he wants to go backwards to 2019 which means million of public school education money out of the budget and raising property taxes. gov. sununu: i am the only governor in history to fund kindergarten in this state. [crosstalk] adam: we have to stay on the topic. jennifer: let's talk about hockey and youth sports during covid.
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governor, last week you made the decision to shut down ice rinks across the state to all skating and hockey, which mainly affects children. why did you step in and take that action, but have not stepped in when it comes to school sports, or other local sports programs that may be experiencing cases? gov. sununu: we took a very difficult decision last week when we said we have to take a two-week pause on hockey, we had almost 150 cases, 20 different teams. it was not a popular decision and i think every decision we have made through the crisis has been difficult and we know we will upset folks. at the end of the day, you have to throw politics aside and do what is right. we think by taking the two weeks, we can get folks tested. in other youth sports, we are not seeing the outbreaks as we are in hockey. if we were, we could take steps with them. one of the benefits of new hampshire is we are strategic about how we do it, whether it is guidance for restaurants or retail, we do not have a
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one-size-fits-all. we are careful and it takes extra work, but working with dr. chan, the division of public health, we thought this was the appropriate steps to take so that we can hopefully save the hockey season and come back in a couple of weeks and be fresh and move on with her guidance. feltes, whatator metrics would you use to determine if youth sports should continue, and do you think more than just hockey should be shut down right now? sen. feltes: you have to listen to the medical experts and this is a health care decision. when it came time to make decisions about hockey, decisions were made, youth sports, decisions were made. when it came time to make decisions about schools, no public health standards were put in place by chris sununu. punted it to the local level just like trump punted it to the local level. this is a health care issue because say schools equal safe communities. it's not just a matter of local control. is not like the virus changes forms and concord or manchester.
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public health standards need to be implemented. trump has failed by any measure on covid and chris sununu continues to support trump. in his own words, he calls himself a trump guy through and through. she reports him after all of this, charlottesville, after trump called service members who died serving our country losers and suckers. i am voting for joe biden, i did vote for joe biden, chris sununu is voting for trump. you still have not answered the question. are you proud to vote for trump? gov. sununu: he just wants to avoid the entire question. every time dan is trying to take a shot at a lack of guidance, he is taking a shot at dr. chan in the division of public health because they are creating -- we don't do this in a vacuum, they are putting forth the guidelines and working with us as a team, working with scientists and stakeholders and finding the middle ground to see what will work. we have been cautious in the state which is why numbers are low. i am incredibly proud of the team.
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it is not a unilateral decision the governor makes, it is an incredible team and that is what we stand together as a team and why the gun is documents have been so successful. sen. feltes: you talk about teams and safe government. my dad worked in a furniture factory and he told me the way to judge a manager is by what their employees say. the state employees association support my campaign. state troopers, the troopers association, state employees, support my campaign. troopers on the front lines. the people who work underneath governor chris sununu do not want to see a third term. we've got to look out for employees and state employees on the front lines. adam: next question from john. john: this morning as mentioned, lakes region general healthcare announced they are filing for chapter 11 bankruptcy. this comes as the new hampshire hospital association says that between march and july, the state's hospitals have already lost $575 million and project a total of $700 million in losses by the end of the year.
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it has already resulted in furloughs at some hospitals. governor, you have authorized $100 million in emergency funding from the cares act to support healthcare providers through the end of this year. how much more are you prepared to put forth in public dollars, state dollars if necessary, and how would the state afford that? gov. sununu: we made a commitment early on that no one shut their doors. and they are not. lakes region was having trouble pre-pandemic and we are working with them. in a restructuring process. today's news is no surprise and it is good news because concord is a tremendous health care center and they will work with lakes region. they will work with them in the merger process. early on, lakes region was one of the first groups we put money to to make sure the doors stayed open and they could go through restructuring, and we provided dollars to physicians and hospitals, $100 million. plus more. we have always said no one will shut doors through the pandemic.
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in federal government came with aid and they will come in with more as well. i think the hospitals are down about 5% to their cost. in the red about 5%, but that is manageable. we will be there for them, orther it is the hospital your dentist, they have been working on the merger for quite some time and i think it's a great opportunity to strengthen the system and allow federal and state dollars to back it up when it needs to. sen. feltes: we got to look out for health-care workers, they are on the frontlines of the crisis and doing whatever it takes to keep us safe and healthy. you know, they deserved more than modest frontline pay. and realrve real ppe support to make sure hospitals like lakes region do not go under and file chapter 11. it will devastate the region. they already had layoffs and furloughs. a lot of hospitals have had furloughs. chris sununu had an opportunity
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to stabilize the health care system and chose not to with the $1.25 billion he had control over. our health care workers on the ground ought to be treated with respect. our health care system needs to be stabilized as we move forward. obamacare will have a supreme court argument and it is at risk with judge barrett being confirmed. chris sununu opposes obamacare and has supported the repeal time and time again. we need to strengthen obamacare, strengthen our health care system, and move forward, lifting up the stories of working men and women on the front lines. gov. sununu: we put over $100 million toward ensure no one shut their doors and it works. we give $75 million to frontline health care workers to provide the stipends to give them extra resources as they were on the front lines, putting everything they had at risk. time away from families. we pay them $75 million, plus the $100 million from the state plus the $300 million from the federal government. we have one of the most stable health care systems in the
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pandemic. sen. feltes: that is not true. adam: we want to make as much progress as we can and we are going to move on to the lightning round. senator, what would be the backdrop of your official governor's portrait? sen. feltes: great question. probably my backyard, where i spent a lot of time with my children. gov. sununu: something outside. the mountains. i spent a lot of time in the mountains. adam: governor sununu, is a defensive for new hampshire high schools to use indigenous people for imagery for the mascot? gov. sununu: it can become a yap you'd -- it can be, yeah. i think a lot of people are looking to change that, and that is their choice. i think a lot of changes are being made and that is progress. sen. feltes: i agree with governor sununu. adam: senator, do you support bill gardner as secretary of state if he decides to seek
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another term? sen. feltes: i have great respect for him. he help protect the first in the nation primary. unfortunately he has gone behind some partisan legislation that restricts the right to vote. voter suppression legislation that governor sununu signed that landed governor sununu in the voter suppression hall of fame. gov. sununu: i think bill gardner is a democrat. i don't think he has a partisan bone in his body. he does a phenomenal job for new hampshire. adam: it's halloween, do you have a favorite scary movie? sen. feltes: -- gov. sununu: i don't like scary movies. charlie brown. that is what we watch every year. sen. feltes: "halloween."
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adam: should new hampshire change its status as a liquor control state? sen. feltes: i think keeping that status makes sense and you can build off of it, including potentially exploring -- and i support the legalization of regional marijuana. gov. sununu: the team at liquor to a great job. we have the lowest prices around. great accessibility. it is a great product. adam: let's go back to the panel. john: gentlemen, the black lives matter movement in new hampshire has called on the next governor to address disproportionate racial incarceration at the state prison. senator, you have signed on to this proposal. tell us how many inmates you plan to release and how you're going to do it. sen. feltes: first of all, those marching for change, and granite staters of color deserve to know that they have a governor that acknowledges that systemic racism exists.
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chris sununu has denied that systemic racism exists, just like trump. and continues to support donald trump, despite his violent, racist rhetoric targeting black americans. he calls himself a trump guy through and through. we need to move beyond that. we need to move beyond that politics and address systemic racism. systemic racism does not mean everyone in the system is racist. it means policies and practices have a disproportionate impact negative on communities of color. so absolutely we need to look at the census, look at low level nonviolent offenders and make sure that it is appropriate and make sure we do it in a commonsense way, including the office of racial equity in the governor's office, which is something i propose doing, to look at the practices.
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i think we need to look what at the census are and we need to stand up the office of racial equity. vermont has this, new hampshire hasn't under the current governor. and we need to make sure this is not just a moment, but a movement for change. we need to work together. i am proud to have the support of law enforcement and those marching for change. they are not mutually exclusive. we have to bring people together, to lift each other up, not tear people down. to deal with the issues facing our state. john: governor sununu, you've declined to sign on to this reform effort, but the racial makeup of the inmates at the state prison is not reflective of society at large. you've said that systemic racism does not exist in new hampshire, so why is it that more black and brown people are behind bars? gov. sununu: when it comes to the issues of race and how the state has handled it, frankly i cannot be more proud. transparent,open, and we have listened to the message.
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when the first black lives matter protest was going to happen in manchester, i picked up the phone and said we support you and the message and we will work with police. the result is not just talk, it is allowing the law enforcement accountability commission to come together. who is on that commission? the aclu, black lives matter, state police, local law standardst, police and training, prosecutors. everyone coming together. it was not just this contentious back-and-forth. bringing all of them together, and the result was over 40 different recommendations they all could agree on to take real, substantial change forward. it was not just a moment in time. this is the first step of many. i was the only governor to create the commission on diversity and inclusion. when i became governor we did not even have a civil rights unit. i created that. by taking action to move the ball forward, these recommendations are coming, and we will get them done and take the next step in the next. it has to be achievable and
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smart with everyone. john: michael addison was convicted in 2006 of the murder of manchester police officer michael briggs, and sentenced to death. he is new hampshire's only deathrow inmate. senator, during the primary debate, you said you would support commuting addison's death sentence, but later corrected that, saying as governor you would block any move to do that. tonight, will you definitively answer that question? would you commute his sentence, or allow him to be executed? sen. feltes: i have been consistent in supporting the commutation process moving forward, but i do not support a commutation petition right now. and also in addition to that, i do not think this is something that should be politicized. chris sununu has politicized this. i do not think we should be politicizing the murder of a cop, and we need to move forward together. that kind of divisive language, that kind of divisiveness period
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is not what we need now. we need to work together. whether it is subtle or overt, caught on tape or not, each and every day, black americans face actions that rob them of the american dream and their lives and we have to move forward working with law enforcement. and you cannot stand up here and honestly say you are a leader of racial justice and still support donald trump. i asked that over and over again. governor, are you proud to vote for donald trump? john: governor sununu, you have said very clearly you would not commute addison's sentence. gov. sununu: of course not. john: but new hampshire doesn't have a death chamber. so, to put it bluntly, how would he be put to death, and how would you justify to taxpayers the millions of dollars it would cost to build a chamber that would be used once, since the death penalty has been abolished in the state? gov. sununu: sure. let me just understand the senator's position. he said he has been consistent and would not commute the sentence but at some point needs
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to commute his sentence. that's the most inconsistent thing i've ever heard. i have stood with the family, and i got to tell you, when you can look in their eyes and say we are not going to commute the sentence of a cop killer absolutely unequivocably, i understand the senator had one position in the primary and now another, that is politics. that is the definition of politics. i have been consistent 100% all the way through. we would never do that. the people of manchester, the citizens of the state would not do that. when it came to getting rid of capital punishment, dan sent the bill to my desk and i vetoed it. because i think in those instances, i think capital punishment is appropriate, and they overturned the veto. but it was dan's bill. so to talk out of one side and the other side depending on what part of the election you are in, that is not me. i have been consistent for years. dan is the one who needs to explain the answer. sen. feltes: i have been consistent. during the primary i said a
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commutation process should go forward and i have been very clear if there was a petition i would not support it now because there will be court processes down the road. what we should focus on is not necessarily hypothetical petitions right now and focus what is going on in people's lives are now. we got people out of work. we got people struggling. we have hospitals filing chapter 11 bankruptcy. and we got a governor and a president who are working to repeal obamacare, which is critical for our health care system. more and more of those hospitals and health care providers are going to go belly up. and that is going to affect all of us. we got to lift each other up. we got to work for health care stability. john: the logistics, the cost of building a death chamber? gov. sununu: i do not know how that would go. we can manage the cost. we can always find a process. you should not follow through on the law and justice because there is a cost.
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i do not know the exact logistics. we are not near that point. but you are not going to let cost to get in the way of justice. adam: the next question from the panel now. oh, my bad. the next question comes from video. it's about gun control. a student at saint anselm college. >> hello. my name is trevor mcaden, and i'm a college student from rollinsford, new hampshire. candidates, as you both know, new hampshire has some of the lowest crime rates in the country. do you believe that additional gun control legislation is needed, and if so, what do you propose? gov. sununu: i have been very consistent. we do have one of the lowest crime rates. we are one of the safest states in the country. we have very responsible firearm citizenry as well as legislation. it is pretty darn good. we have a nice balance in the state. we respect the ability of individuals to own firearms under the second amendment. and again, the state has a great record of being responsible with
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legislation. sen. feltes: i think common sense gun safety measures should go forward. we passed four common sense measures including universal background checks, emergency risk protection orders, and making sure there is a common sense waiting period. and look, i am a gun owner myself. i believe in universal background checks. i believe in talking about consistence, that you ought to be consistent in what you say and do. a couple elections ago, chris sununu said he supports universal background checks, but then he vetoed it. he had an opportunity to sign it and then he vetoed it. he said he supports a number of clean energy legislation and then he vetoed it. he had 79 vetoes, 69 of which had bipartisan support. the major barrier to bipartisan progress in the state is chris sununu. we got to work together. i have a much different approach. the best ideas come from the ground up, not the top down. we got to work together in a bipartisan way in common sense
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initiatives and universal background checks will be something i would sign if they risk my desk. gov. sununu: on the firearm legislation, all of those started out as potentially common sense bills that became abusive quickly and basically became gun confiscation bills. i know what it said on the top of the paper but in each one of those instances, you were stickley going overboard with the gun confiscation. sen. feltes: they were not gun confiscation, with respect to the governor. for families that drop the kids off at school every day, they ought to have the peace of mind that the kids will be going to school in a safe environment. and it just makes good, common sense. when you talk about gun free school zones, when chris sununu vetoed it, he said people have a constitutional right to carry arms in the school. that is not the constitution. we got to look out for families and public safety in our communities. these bills were supported by
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many members of law enforcement. gov. sununu: again, i know it sounds nice that we would put up a sign in schools and guns are not allowed here, but that sign is not going to turn a madman around that would do harm to children. that will not make a difference. what is going to make the difference is getting to the core of these issues. we have to get to the issues of mental health and the issues that surround what drives a lot of these tragic events across the country, whether it is implementing social and emotional programs, implementing a suicide prevention program we're making sure teachers have mental health training. we have amazing record of success. a disastrous mental health system, making it into something we can be proud of and build off of. adam: let's move on. senator feltes, you've criticized the governor as a "trump guy through and through"" his own words, but today you were endorsed by the most pro-trump police union in the region, the new england police benevolent association. you said you were proud to accept that endorsement. according to a report from business insider, the nepba's executive director has posted on social media calling
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congresswoman alexandria ocasio-cortez a "bar fly stripper," referred to vice presidential nominee kamala harris as a "racist pig," and said former first lady michelle obama perpetuates racism because "her people" kill each other on the streets in chicago. assuming you reject these comments, how can you accept the endorsement? sen. feltes: i have been very clear and i was clear when i was notified of the endorsement, that those comments are unacceptable and i encourage the police association to encourage that person to resign. but let's be clear. those do not reflect the comments of all our men and women in blue. they don't. and in order to move forward in our country, in our state, in our nation, in this divisive time, you have to have an open door and work with everyone and condemn comments like i just did. and to be strong on it.
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and be strong in standing up to people who exact divisiveness on our country. and literally, chris sununu no continues to call him sigh a trump guy through and through -- chris sununu calls himself a trump guy through and through and still will not answer if he supports and is proud to vote for trump. we have to be blunt like i just was and being blunt about president trump's comments. which chris sununu has not. adam: but you accept the endorsement? sen. feltes: if this organization endorsed to me, then yes. gov. sununu: let me be clear. the police enforcement supports me. the police association endorses me. that represents the rank and file in the community. i am very proud to have that. gov. sununu: -- . lost governor, you have their endorsement. why are law enforcement groups now rejecting your candidacy? is it an indicator that you've moved beyond the balance you say
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you want to strike between letting police do their jobs, and holding them accountable. gov. sununu: look, i understand the unions we have to deal with at the state level are upset. when we offered them a raise, they wanted more. we were in discussions when the pandemic hit, and obviously when the pandemic hit and we were going to give raises to state employees when people were losing their jobs and we were in an economic crisis across the state. we can come back and work on those contracts next year. at the end of the day it is about keeping our communities safe. it is about having leadership that says we are going to stand behind law enforcement 100% the time because they are working with communities, working with folks, whether it is on racial issues, policing issues. we are rebuilding our training programs and they are very much a part of that. all the stakeholders had a say in that. that is exactly why we stand behind law enforcement a new
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hampshire because they do it right, and they are putting themselves on the line each day and i am proud to have their endorsement. jennifer: just last week, the new hampshire chapter of the national alliance on mental illness said 27 children and 41 adults were housed in emergency rooms for indefinite stays as they waited for inpatient psychiatric beds. while this problem went away for a short time earlier this year, it has plagued the state for nearly a decade. senator feltes, as senate majority leader, you co-sponsored a bill that the governor signed to allocate millions of dollars to rectify this issue. why didn't that solve the problem? sen. feltes: because governor sununu failed to implement it. he just went out for an rfp for a proposal. it took almost a year to do it. had he acted quickly, those 27 kids would not be in waiting rooms.
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for necessary and needed mental health treatment. look, when you go to the emergency room with a sprained ankle or a heart problem, you get treatment right away. here, mental health treatment, it does not happen right away. that isn't right. we have people sitting in emergency rooms in non-therapeutic settings waiting for mental health treatment, including kids. and this was easily preventable if governor sununu stood up the bill you just talked about. and he didn't do it. he just went out for an rfp last week. and the situation is only getting worse in the pandemic. our behavioral health crisis is getting worse. we need to look out for those in need. our families and our children in need. that is what i will do as governor on day one. jennifer: governor, the state is back to where it was last year in terms of people in emergency rooms. why is that happening? gov. sununu: again, i am incredibly proud when the commissioner came in and was working at the hospital we have
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d this crisis a couple years ago and we got that number to zero. nobody was waiting in emergency rooms earlier this year. -- new programs stood up, pieces of all of that legislation are moving forward. obviously putting a contract out in may and june was not going to be a viable because nobody was there to pick up the contract. so at the end of the day, we have built more beds in the community than before. we are moving kids out of new hampshire hospital into a facility that is built custom for them. we are building more beds out of philbrick with 18 more beds there. earlier this year that number was zero. the pandemic has thrown a wrench with that does not mean we give
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up. we have the tools and expertise. the level of expertise is phenomenal and there's no reason as we work through this pandemic we cannot get back to a very successful model. adam: we want to get in a couple more topics here. jennifer: this next question is for both of you. when we talk about climate change and ways to combat it on a state level, we know both candidates have touted some programs they have pushed for. we also know that each of you have been critical of the other party for derailing some of your party's ideas. so is there anything that you can agree on tonight, right now, that would send a message to granite staters that you're serious about doing what you can to reduce the effects of climate change? governor, let's begin with you on that. gov. sununu: let's talk about where we agree. i have been one of the biggest proponents for offshore wind. i think that is is a huge proponent of getting energy to the right place. making sure we are not offshore drilling for oil and gas. it is a big part of what we need to do here new hampshire. i flew down to washington and we later put it into legislation. there is a smart way to do solar which has great environmental
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benefits for us all but my plan was to make sure we were not building these massive solar rays. let's put the solar panels on those who have to pay subsidies, low income housing, mobile home parks, long-term care facilities. let them be the first to get the economic benefit because there is a cost to all of this. there is a balance and a solution to all of it. it is not just saying yes to everything and letting giant solar development companies take all the money. sen. feltes: we have to combat the climate crisis. take responsibility in new hampshire. in doing so you can promote good jobs and clean energy. that is in part how we get out of this mess in a way that works for working people and working families. and clean energy reduces rates. we talked about what we can agree on, we did agree on a couple things, including the governor signed my bill to enable communities to do community aggregation. lock solar savings for communities. but he also vetoed 14 pieces of clean energy legislation, solar, clean energy, net metering.
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three net metering bills. all had bipartisan support. threethis is not a democrat problem or a republican problem. quite frankly, the failure to move forward is a chris sununu problem. he denies climate change exists. gov. sununu: that's not true. sen. feltes: you said the jury was out on climate change. gov. sununu: that is not true. sen. feltes: you said that. and you vetoed all this legislation. we got to move forward with these jobs of tomorrow right here in new hampshire. gov. sununu: let me be clear. humans have contributed to climate change. what is most important is the action. these net metering bills, over the next 10 years, over $1 billion is what it would cost. everyone has to pay. fixed income. low income. every time he turned on the light you would have had to pay under the bills.
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so we redesigned it and do it in a smarter way and make sure those hardest hit by subsidies are the first ones to get the economic benefit. it is a slight change but it means not putting big dollars into the pockets of these giant solar companies. sen. feltes: here's the reality. our bills are going up in new hampshire because of regional transmission costs going up. and regional transmission costs in new after go up -- in new hampshire go up based on peak demand relative to other state. we are not shaving it through energy efficiency and net teetering so the rates go up. the rates have gone up because of chris sununu's vetoes. gov. sununu: massachusetts went up 16%. hours have gone up 9%. we are controlling costs. adam: we have to go to closing statements. gov. sununu: thank you very much. for those watching at home, i respectfully ask for your vote. more than that, i respectfully ask for you to vote. there is no more important role in our democracy than that of
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citizen. we need you. we need everyone working together to build a more economy, to lift one another up and not tear each other down. we are in this together. make no mistake. we have to protect health care and protect choice. i support obamacare and strengthening it. i am pro-choice. chris sununu is not. we have to move forward on the jobs in new hampshire. look, i cannot promise that i will be a perfect governor. but what i can promise is that each and every day, i walk into that office, i am going to look out for working people and working families every step of the way. adam: governor, one minute. gov. sununu: even in his closing statement, his campaign is about the negative, his campaign is about the lies. of course i am a pro-choice governor. i have been for quite a while. when it comes to what is important is what happens in 2021.
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it is about building a great team and having real management experience to get through these very challenging times. you cannot sue your way through a crisis. you need management experience and building great teams. and we have gotten so much done for the state with success. when we had action money at the state level, we turned it back to cities and towns to lower property taxes. we said no to income tax. we said no to the gas tax. when it comes to balancing the budget, and it will be a challenge to be sure, we can do it without raising a single tax. the last thing you should be doing in a crisis is taking money out of people's pockets. i want to earn people's vote but everyone needs to be held to their results. our results are phenomenal. we have become a gold standard. and we have the people of this state to thank for that. i cannot thank you enough. we have a long way to go and we hope to earn your vote in november. adam: thank you both and thank you to the panelists for asking all those great questions. and thanks to you, the viewer,
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for joining us for tonight's debate. if you missed any part of this, you can find it again on our digital platforms. join us again tomorrow evening for the u.s. senate debate. we'll see you then. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2020] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is >> this afternoon, the house ways and means subcommittee holds a hearing on the affordable care act. watch it live at noon eastern on c-span, online at or listen live on the free c-span radio app. we are joined from capitol hill by senator mike ron, republican from indiana. he introduced judge amy coney barrett at the start of her confirmation hearings. we appreciate it. do you have a sense of the current timetable of confirmation should it


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