Campaign Finance

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Federal Election Commission reports released today shed more light on the finances of district congressman Frank Guinta. 

NHPR

Federal investigators relied in part on statements from relatives of Congressman Frank Guinta to conclude that he used illegal donations to fund his 2010 campaign, according to recently released reports.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC

City officials in Nashua want to change campaign finance rules after two mayoral hopefuls established exploratory committees. The city holds its mayoral primary in four months.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is not running for re-election and two potential and four declared candidates, Michael Broderick, Douglas Carroll, David Deane, and James Donchess, are beginning to court voters. 

The two prospective candidates - Alderman-at-Large Daniel Moriarty and Nashua Chamber President Chris Williams - have launched exploratory committees with active social media sites.

A fundraising pitch from Gov. Maggie Hassan's campaign to the chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment is among the documents released in last year's Sony hack that are now posted on Wikileaks.

The emails show Hassan's campaign asked Michael Lynton, the Sony executive, for a $7,000 campaign donation and a $10,000 donation to the state Democratic party in 2014. An assistant for Lynton responded that Lynton would donate the $7,000 to Hassan, but skip the party donation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Florida US Senator Marco Rubio is in New Hampshire today. It’s part of a two day visit that’s largely seen as an early campaign trip of sorts by a political figure hoping to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Rubio has made a number of moves ahead of an expected presidential bid – he’s hired staff in New Hampshire, and he’s also used his political action committee to donate money to state and local officials and candidates, in this state and others that hold early primaries and caucuses.

This week saw the fifth anniversary of the Supreme Court’s "Citizens United" decision. And with the anniversary of “Granny D” day (1/25/12) tomorrow, it seems an appropriate time to take stock.

NHPR Staff

For the second straight year, a group of activists are marching across the Granite State to raise awareness for their goal of getting money out of politics.

Members of the New Hampshire Rebellion have covered more 300 miles over the past ten days, with marches starting in Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene and Dixville Notch.

Those four marches are set to converge in front of the Statehouse in Concord later today, marking the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Sara Plourde

Spending on the New Hampshire Senate race cracked the $46 million mark this week to become the most expensive election campaign in Granite State history.

And to the surprise of no one, outside groups have far outspent the candidates: party organizations, political action committees, super PACS and other non-candidate groups have poured $28.7 million into the race, one of a handful of closely watched contests that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

It’s a week to the election, and New Hampshire campaigns are focused on getting their voters to the polls. And this year, there are some powerful new players on the field.

On a crystalline fall day, two orange tee-shirted canvassers for a group called NextGen Climate Change wander the breezy backstreets of Portsmouth.

“I know exactly where we are,” says worker Andrea Harkness.

Here’s a statement about campaign advertising that may surprise you even if you’ve seen the influx of ads on TV and online video sites: “Candidates, parties and groups ran at least 10,300 TV ads in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race.”

That statement comes from a project called “Who’s Buying the Senate?”

Money In Politics: N.H.'s 2014 Races

Sep 24, 2014
Martin Stelbrink / NHPR

New Hampshire politicians get their funding from the usual array of sources – from PACs, SuperPACS, and campaign contributions, to the national party, and their own pockets. We’re sitting down with three experts who have watched this year’s New Hampshire campaigns, including issues like dark money, outside spending, and special interests.

GUESTS:

AP Photo

Former ambassador John Bolton's Political Action Committee, or PAC, is endorsing and contributing money to two more candidates in New Hampshire, Republican House hopefuls Frank Guinta and Marilinda Garcia. 

Bolton was President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. His political action committee is backing about two dozen candidates for federal office, including Guinta and Garcia, who won their primaries on Tuesday. 

Chris Jensen/Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance rules are once again front and center in the New Hampshire governor’s race, with the top candidates on the receiving end of accusations that they accepted illegal donations.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party was first out of the gate Tuesday, asking Attorney General Joe Foster to investigate Republican candidate Walt Havenstein for “multiple violations,” including allegedly taking money from political action committees that failed to register with the state.

Thanks to nearly $1.5 million from his own pocket, Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein is keeping pace in the race for campaign money with Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan.

According to reports filed today with the Secretary of State, Havenstein reports a campaign war chest of $1,989,876. That includes $1,474,000 in personal loans and another $17,000 from other family members.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3X2eDCmPRY / Mayday

  A political action committee on a mission to overhaul  how campaigns are financed is putting its weight behind first district Democratic Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter. Porter  is  one of 8 candidates to be endorsed by Mayday, which expects to spent $13 million dollars this campaign season.

Mayday is the brainchild of Harvard Law professor and political activist, Lawrence Lessig.  He says Mayday has one goal: to reduce the influence of money in politics.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan’s campaign has been ordered to return $24,000 in contributions that came in the day after she filed for  re-election.

Attorney General Joe Foster issued a ruling Friday on the complaint filed last month by the New Hampshire Republican Party.

Foster says the Friends of Maggie Hassan political action committee accepted a $25,000 contribution from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers political action committee on June 13.

The attack ads with the cartoon sheep began airing in May, followed by the negative mailers.

Paid for by a conservative nonprofit called Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, they targeted Republican state senators who supported Medicaid expansion and a four-cent hike in the state gas tax. According to a spokesman, it was just the beginning of the group’s efforts to “fight” for a more fiscally conservative senate.

Update:  Thursday afternoon an attorney for the Hassan campaign asked New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster to expedite a review of the Republican party’s allegations.

New Hampshire Republicans have accused Gov. Maggie Hassan of accepting illegal campaign contributions from organized labor and have asked the Attorney General to investigate. At issue is a total of $45,000 in donations to the governor’s re-election campaign from three labor unions.

As expected, Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and Republican candidate Scott Brown have shown they will have very little trouble raising money in their race for the U.S. Senate.

Shaheen's campaign announced Monday she raised more than $2.8 million for her re-election campaign between April 1 and June 30 of this year, more than double the amount she collected from supporters in the previous two quarters combined.

Sara Plourde

 The New Hampshire arm of Americans for Prosperity continues to pound away at Democrats over the Affordable Care Act.

The conservative non-profit's latest volley is a new television ad attacking New Hampshire’s 2nd District Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster for her support of so-called Obamacare.

Update: The New Hampshire Republican State Committee has submitted a complaint to the Federal Election Commission, alleging the Shaheen campaign "engaged in coordinated political advocacy communications that amount to illegal contributions." 

Republicans are claiming the campaign of New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen broke federal election law by helping to craft a television ad paid for by a Democratic super PAC.

The latest television ad attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., for her support of the Affordable Care Act features a statistic on premium increases in New Hampshire that's been widely disputed.

The 30-second spot, paid for by Americans for Prosperity, focuses primarily on the so-called narrow network of providers in New Hampshire, which excludes 10 of the state’s 26 hospitals.

N.H. Viewpoints On SCOTUS Campaign Finance Decision

Apr 8, 2014
Sandra Mars / Flickr/CC

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court came down on a decision that will change the way we fund elections.  In a 5-4 vote, the court removed a cap on how many candidates or committees a person can support per election cycle.  Although the amount is still restricted to $2600 per candidate, an individual can now gift that amount to as many politicians as he or she wants. Opponents of the ruling worry the decision may suppress ordinary voices: “where enough money calls the tune,” said Justice William Breyer, “the general public will not be heard.” But supporters like Chief Justice Roberts say that this case follows first amendment rights. “Integration and access are not corruption,” said Roberts, “they embody a central feature of democracy that constituents support candidates who share their beliefs and interests.

GUESTS:

CALLOUT:

  • John Greabe - director of the Rudman Center at UNH Law School. He teaches constitutional law, civil procedure, federal courts and jurisdiction.

NHPR Staff

As the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a major campaign finance ruling Wednesday, a New Hampshire House committee heard testimony on a bill that would no longer allow some political groups to spend money on state elections without disclosing it to voters. 

The proposal, which cleared the Senate by a 19-4 vote February 6, would require any organization that spends more than $5,000 on so-called electioneering to filed detailed reports with the Secretary of State's office.

Sara Plourde

As Scott Brown crisscrosses New Hampshire on what his senate exploratory committee is calling a listening tour, he’s repeatedly said it’s “premature” to talk about how he’ll wage any future campaign to unseat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

On one point, though, Brown has already been crystal clear: He doesn’t want this race to be bound by a so-called people’s pledge, an idea Brown himself devised in 2012 to limit spending by outside groups during his race against Elizabeth Warren.

Flickr - Images of Money

Voters at town meetings across New Hampshire approved resolutions urging state lawmakers to join a nationwide effort to overturn Citizens United, the U.S. Supreme Court decision that struck down limits on political spending by corporations, labor unions and special interest groups.

As of Wednesday afternoon, 28 towns had approved petition warrants supporting campaign finance reform, including Exeter, Amherst, Salem, Deerfield, Hudson, Rindge and Windham.

New Hampshire's campaign-finance regulations are a jumble of contradictions, a fact that people who study the issue never fail to point out.

A year ago, a consortium of good-government types awarded the Granite State a "D" for political financing, citing how easy it is for donors to get around the dollar limits on contributions.

Last week, a campaign-finance watchdog group weighed in, and once again New Hampshire found itself at the bottom of the class.

After an election that saw unprecedented amounts of money spent – the call for limits has come up again, whether on dollar amounts…or more disclosure, so voters will know who’s funding what.  But these efforts, including one recently in New Hampshire, often bump into a variety of concerns.  We’ll look at the state of campaign finance in the Granite State.

Guests:

Early on, predictions were that this twenty-ten U.S. Supreme Court decision would lead outside groups to play an outsized role in our elections, by allowing unlimited political spending.  But now, some question how big an impact Citizens United really had.  We’ll look at this debate in New Hampshire. 

Guests

Hassan's Win Powered By $11 Million In Outside Spending

Nov 16, 2012
Paul Filippov

By the time her victory over Ovide Lamontagne in the 2012 governor's race was in the books, Maggie Hassan had raised more than $1.9 million in contributions from some 7,550 individual donors.

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