Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.


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Ask your average American about Florida, and you'll hear something like this: It's hot, it has Disney World, and lots of old people live there.

And since the weather and Mickey Mouse don't make good attack ads, both presidential campaigns are trying to scare the bejeezus out of Florida's senior population over Medicare.

The bipartisan committee of 11 house members will examining what House Speaker Bill O’Brien called the “numerous allegations” made against the commission.

According to O’Brien, the list includes improperly hiring a lobbyist, oppressing state officials, mis-allocating $100,000 in wine, and engaging in bootlegging activities.

O’Brien says the committee will determine if there is mismanagement, waste or illegal activities taking place at the liquor commission.

In an interview with WMUR-TV, Republican Frank Szabo says if elected Hillsborough County Sheriff he'd arrest anyone who performs an abortion for any other purpose than saving the life of the mother.

The professional firefighters are one of several public sector unions to back Jackie Cilley in the democratic primary. At a firehouse in Manchester, Cilley said the state needs to do better by public employees, and to do that, she says, will require more than simply winning the concern office.

"I would ask you to support those who are running for rational policies and common sense in our statehouse because we have a state to take back and take forward."

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Speaking at an outdoor rally that drew close to 3000 people, Mitt Romney said the first victim of an Obama campaign has been the truth. The former Massachusetts governor added that he has made a promise not to increase taxes, and that he will stick to it.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

Speaking in the sweltering gymnasium of Windham High School, Mr. Obama told a crowd of 2300 that the policies of Mitt Romney and Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan would benefit the rich and hurt the middle class. Mr. Obama argued that under the budget supported by Ryan, Romney would pay less than 1 percent of his income in taxes. The President also said Romney’s plans would raise taxes on middle class families by $2000 a year.   

Rudy Giuliani came to NH campaign for GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith. But the former NY mayor also took aim at Vice President Joe Biden. In particular Biden’s recent comment to an audience in Virginia that Romney would “unchain Wall street and put y’all back in chains.”

“He’s making this absurd, almost obscene comment, that these people, half of whom are African-American are going to be back in chains if Romeny and Ryan are elected. Well, this is not right.”

NEA-NH Endorses Hassan

Aug 8, 2012
Josh Rogers, NHPR

NEA-NH president Scott McGilvary says after lengthy meetings with Maggie Hassan, and her democratic rival Jackie Cilley, the choice for NEA-NH's executive board was clear.

"It became very apparent that there was one candidate that can stand up for public education and bring us forward and that Maggie Hassan is our candidate."  

Hassan, for her part  says improving public education at all levels is a top priority. She called it a thrill to win the NEA’s backing.   

That New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is even being considered as Mitt Romney's running mate is somewhat remarkable. After all, New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, and Ayotte has been a U.S. senator — her first elected office — for less than two years.

But if any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot.

Republican Mitt Romney skipped politics during a stop at a Bow lumberyard. The Presidential hopeful's stop at Coastal Forest Products opened with a prayer and the candidate spoke for less than 4 minutes standing in front of an American flag. Romney asked citizens across the country to focus on loving each other, and to think of those affected by what Romney called a few moments of evil.

"There will be justice for those responsible but that will be a matter for another day. Today is a moment to grieve and remember and reach out and help."

New Hampshire’s Commissioner of employment security has resigned amid allegations that she hired her daughter for a part time job and then had her fired so she could collect unemployment benefits.

Commissioner Tara Reardon’s resignation letter to the Governor says she is “stepping down to pursue other opportunities.”  In a separate statement to the press, she claims disgruntled employees “distorted the truth and fabricated a story.” Governor Lynch, for his part says the allegations facing Reardon are serious ones and that he is disappointed.

House Speaker William O’Brien barred reporters from the Concord Monitor from a state house press conference he called to discuss welfare abuse.

As reporters from about a half-dozen news outfits were welcomed to Speaker O’Brien’s office, reporters from the capital city’s only newspaper were blocked at the door by O’Brien spokesperson Shannon Bettencourt.

"Annmarie, Matt; not my rules. You know the issue."

"Why can’t we come in?"

House Speaker Bill O’Brien was joined at a news conference by Jackie Whiton. She was fired from a Peterborough convenience store after blocking a customer's attempt to use welfare benefits to buy cigarettes. O’Brien hailed Whiton and said the state needs to take greater steps to ensure that welfare benefits don’t go towards cigarettes, alcohol or possibly certain foods; O’Brien mentioned lobster.

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.

There was something for almost everybody in Wolfeboro's Independence Day parade: a local brass band, bonnet-wearing Daughters of the American Revolution, a Zumba instructor shimmying across the bed of a pickup truck, and even a Jimmy Durante impersonator, complete with prosthetic nose.

Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.

A new report finds that CEOs at New Hampshire's nonprofit hospitals saw their pay increase by an average of 18 percent from 2006 to 2009. 

The report CEO pay varies widely. An the low end, Colebrook’s  Upper Connecticut Valley Hospital pays its CEO 150,000. At the high end, the leader of the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester pulled down about a million dollars in 2009.  The salary report was commissioned by Attorney General Michael Delaney. He says while the report found hospital CEO pay here is on par for the region,

The bill would allow a range of identifications --including student IDs -- in this years elections. But after that only government issued identification would be permitted.

The first days of summer will be hot throughout the northeast, with temperatures into the 90s.

The equatorial heat is expected to continue until Friday. 

Mike Kistner of the national weather service says the highest temperatures of the year are expected from the middle atlantic states all the way to Maine.

"You get a nice ridge of high pressure in place where we get that nice southerly component, bringing us up that warm tropical air. It’s really not that out of the ordinary for this time of year."

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Republican Mitt Romney was in New Hampshire today, kicking off a five day bus tour that will take him through six battleground states. Romney spoke in Stratham, the same town where he kicked off his second presidential bid nearly a year ago.

NHPR's Josh Rogers was with the Romney campaign. He tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the event.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Republican Mitt Romney began a bus tour of six battleground states today in New Hampshire. The tour marks a new phase for Romney’s campaign.

3 of the 4 leading hopefuls for Governor have filed their candidacies.  All say they plan to be more assertive than Governor John Lynch.

By any measure, Governor Lynch has been one of the most popular governors in N.H. history. But most of his potential successors say it’s crucial to take a different approach governing. Republican Ovide Lamontagne was perhaps the most complementary for Lynch, noting that Lynch made efforts to be bipartisan. But Lamontage also indicated voters can expect a firmer approach if they elect him.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

New Hampshire will join 48 other states in monitoring prescription drugs under a new law signed by Governor John Lynch.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Enacting any constitutional amendment is tough. It requires a three-fifths vote by both House and Senate, and two-thirds support from voters at the polls.  Add to this the fact this amendment deals with school funding and that lawmakers have killed 80-odd  Claremont-inspired amendments over the past 14 years, and the guardedness of even the boldest of lawmakers is understandable.


Passing a voter identification law has been a priority for Republicans in Concord, but the House and Senate differed on how tough to make its requirements. The Senate supported accepting college IDs, for instance. The Senate also wanted to allow people to vote without identification if local election officials knew who they were. The House meanwhile favored allowing only government-issued IDs. It also favored  to force voter without IDs to have their picture taken before getting a ballot.

In the end, both sides got some of what they wanted.

Politics usually take a break over Memorial Day weekend, but not this year in New Hampshire. State House Majority Leader DJ Bettencourt abruptly resigned after admitting he had falsified documents for a law school internship.

NHPR’s Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest on the Bettencourt story, the potential political fallout for House Speaker William O'Brien, and the newly named majority leader, Rep. Pete Silva of Nashua.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Update:  The New Hampshire Legal Rights Foundation announced Tuesday that it has severed its relationship with former Rep. D.J. Bettencourt.  The foundation had recently named Bettencourt as executive director.


Jim Bassett is well-known and well-liked in the New Hampshire Bar. But his nomination drew criticism from some conservatives. They didn’t like that Bassett supported the Brady gun law on as a GOP congressional candidate in 1994. They also don’t like that Bassett said he accepted the Claremont education funding rulings as precedent during his confirmation hearing. Most councilors dismissed these concerns, and prior to the confirmation vote, District 2’s Dan St. Hillare predicted  Bassett would be a great addition to the court.

New Hampshire House lawmakers try and fail to revive a bill to ban late-term abortions.

The house first passed a ban on abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy in March. But that bill was quickly pushed aside by the senate. House lawmakers revived the proposal Thursday, tacking it on to bill related to health screening tests for newborns. Yet the narrowness  of the margin – it was adopted by just 4 votes -- prompted a quick change of heart. Lawmakers like Jennifer Coffey, a republican from Andover, told colleagues the abortion language put the newborn testing proposal at risk.

The flurry of activity continues at the New Hampshire statehouse. NHPR's Josh Rogers tells All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about the latest, including a Senate vote on a constitutional amendment to ban personal income taxes, a proposal to track prescription drugs and several House bills related to abortion.

It's the time of year when the statehouse gets hectic - and, occasionally, foul-tempered.

NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson about some of the many bills that lawmakers are taking up this week, and a spat on the House floor between Speaker William O'Brien and Manchester Republican Steve Vaillancourt.