Here Comes Trouble: Stories from My Life

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Carl Gibson

Spokesman and organizer for US Uncut

August 7th, 2012 4:40 PM

A Victim of Teapublican Policies

Jack Cochrane's Story

Even a "yes" from someone in the Party of "No" means no. Tea Party Republicans have made it clear their agenda isn't to help America, but obstruct all progress during the Obama presidency and blame the tough economy on their political opponents. One victim of Teapublican policies is Jack Cochrane of Barrington, New Hampshire.

Jack Cochrane lost his job in 2008. Since then, he's applied unsuccessfully for hundreds of others, and says he's heard 36,000 NOs from employers. Jack is 60, so while he's a few years shy of retirement age, he's also unemployed in a job market where he's competing with people half his age for jobs that don't even pay enough to cover the mortgage, the lights, the plumbing, groceries, phone or the car loan, let alone healthcare. Jack heard 36,000 NOs, but all he needed to hear was just one yes from one company.

Jack is a chemical operator with a 28-year-old daughter. She lived in a crowded apartment but wanted a chance to get out an make it on her own, so Jack let her move in with him in Barrington, New Hampshire. After Jack lost his job and started sending out resumes en masse, he began worrying about whether or not he would still be able to afford his home and provide for his daughter, who was also looking for work with unsuccessful results.

Jack's daughter could see Jack's worry on his face when he came home day after day empty-handed, with nothing but more NOs to show for his efforts. Finally, Jack decided to approach his Congressman, Rep. Frank Guinta, at an August 2011 town hall. He went in with a purpose - to explain his dire situation, and see if the Congressman could help him find a job before he lost his home.

During a town hall in the left-leaning town of Greenland, New Hampshire, in the left-leaning Seacoast region, Congressman Guinta took plenty of hits from an audience angry with his inaction on creating jobs, along with his votes on repealing health insurance for 30 million Americans, and his support of a budget that gutted all retirement security and earned pensions for seniors, in order to give the richest 1% of Americans a $265,000 tax cut. Jack waited patiently with his hand up for over 20 minutes. Finally, Congressman Guinta called on him.

After Jack shared his story, Rep. Guinta, with the Associated Press cameras focused on him, assured Jack that he would "personally help" him find a job. He offered his cell number, home address, and even offered to pick up Jack at his home and go job-hunting with him. Jack was pleased. He gave his resume and contact information to Guinta's staff, who assured him the Congressman would be in touch shortly. He went home to his daughter, telling her how excited he was that Congressman Guinta would personally make sure that he would get a job. Jack told his daughter everything would be okay.

As the weeks went by, Jack noticed that his regular letters and calls to Congressman Guinta's office went unanswered. The only response he got from Guinta was a staffer telling him about upcoming job fairs. Jack went to one such job fair, only to find that the employers there had closed up shop two hours early, and the only employer left was a part-time temp hiring agency that took his resume and told him to wait for a call, which never came.

Eventually, Jack broke down and told his daughter they were going to lose their home, and that their family unit would have to separate, and that she was going to have to go her own way. Jack calls the memory of that conversation "one of the worst of my days." And he admits that he cried when he told his daughter they couldn't live in the same home anymore.

Jack wasn't asking for a handout, or free money, or something for nothing, as many of Jack's political opponents often accuse people in his situation of doing. Jack wanted work. And he wanted work that would allow him to live in dignity, keep his bills paid, and keep enough food on the table to where he and his daughter didn't have to make one box of macaroni and cheese stretch for three days. Like Jack says, "I'm not saying everyone should get to be Bill Gates. But people need to be able to pay their bills."

America is full of stories like Jack's. And sadly, America is also full of Congressmen like Rep. Frank Guinta, who promise their constituents help but only give a cold shoulder. Congressmen who promise American jobs and economic security, but only vote for repealing their healthcare and cutting millions of public sector jobs so their wealthy campaign contributors can live even cushier lives.

Jack is right. America needs to not be in misery anymore, and if people like Frank Guinta can't do it while in office, we need new members of Congress who will.

Watch Jack's story in the below video, share it with everyone you know, and vote out every Tea Party Congressman like Frank Guinta on November 6.

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