Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Texas Senator Ted Cruz took a stroll through downtown Concord during his trip to New Hampshire this Friday. 

Cruz first made a stop at the Republican Majority Caucus where he met State Rep. Bill O’Brien and Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith  – both have already decided to get behind Cruz in the GOP presidential race.

Cruz then made his way down Main Street greeting local residents.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan says a lot of work needs to be done to get the two-year state budget in place by June 30 because, as she sees it, the math in the Senate Finance plan just doesn't add up. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

Former U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter says she is ready to win back the seat she lost to Republican Frank Guinta now that the Federal Election Commission has found that he accepted illegal campaign donations from his parents.

The case involves $355,000 that Guinta reported lending himself in 2010. He ran ads calling Shea-Porter a liar and denied the money came from his parents, but the FEC said recently it did.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Former New York Governor George Pataki announced his bid for president this morning at a rally in Exeter. The Exeter town hall was sweltering and packed with perhaps as many New Yorkers as Granite Staters.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

George Pataki served as governor of New York from 1995 to 2006. A Republican, he also spent a decade in the New York State Legislature and served as mayor of the town of Peekskill, N.Y. Prior to entering politics, Pataki worked as a lawyer.

Pataki flirted with previous runs for the presidency in 2008 and 2012, and has pitched himself as a moderate Republican with a track record of winning elections in left-leaning New York.

Pataki declared his candidacy for the 2016 Republican nomination for president on May 28th, 2015. 

Further reading/viewing:

The Senate Finance Committee on Thursday approved along party lines its $11.3 billion state spending plan. The 2-year budget now heads to the Senate floor next Thursday.

The Senate proposal is a $99 million increase over the House budget but $66 million less than what the Governor proposed.

The plan increases funding cut in the House version for social services including substance abuse treatment, elderly care and developmental services.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is in New Hampshire for the first time since kicking off his presidential campaign Tuesday in Burlington. And despite the heat, dozens of people came out to show their support.

New Hampshire voters packed the small space of the New England College campus in Concord – waving Bernie Sanders signs in an attempt to stay cool while they waited for the Senator to arrive.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

One day after Planet Fitness announced it was going public, the New Hampshire-based gym tells legislators it might not be able to afford to stay in the state.

Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley introduced a measure Wednesday hoping to keep the company here, by exempting businesses from being taxed on the share they sell to a corporate partner once they go public.

Currently 200 corporate jobs would be lost if the company moved headquarters. The company, which began in Dover in 1992, has more than 950 locations nationwide.

NHPR

Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania Republican, served in the U.S. Senate from 1995 to 2007. Prior to that, he was elected to two terms in the U.S. House.

Known as a strong social conservative, Santorum finished the 2012 GOP Presidential Primary as runner-up to Mitt Romney.

Santorum announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on May 27th, 2015. 

Further reading/viewing:

Kelly Ayotte in Portsmouth
Cheryl Senter / NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte continues to call for 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta to resign.

In an interview with NHPR's Morning Edition, Ayotte said if Guinta stays in office, the attention will continue to be on the Federal Election Commission's finding that he accepted more than $300,000 in illegal campaign donations from his parents in 2010. 

AP

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders is back in New Hampshire for the eleventh time this year.

That is after the Democratic presidential candidate officially kicked off his campaign Tuesday in Burlington, Vt. with free ice cream and live music.

Sanders is scheduled to host a town hall meeting Wednesday afternoon in Concord followed by visits in Epping and Portsmouth.

The registered Independent says his top priorities are reining in Wall Street banks, reducing college debt and increasing the minimum wage.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

The Senate Finance Committee is finalizing its version of the budget this week.

So far the Senate budget plan spends roughly $65 million dollars less than what the Governor proposed but $93 million more than what passed in the House last month.

That is after the Ways and Means Committee estimated $118 million more revenue over the next biennium than what the House had to work with.

The current plan restores funding cut in the House version including money for developmental disability services, elderly care and substance abuse treatment.

New Hampshire Senate budget writers have voted along party lines to cut business taxes starting in 2017. 

Currently the state’s Business Profit Tax (BPT) stands at 8.5 % and the Business Enterprise Tax (BET) at .75 %. Together the two taxes make up the largest source of state revenues.

Under this measure those would drop every year until 2019 when the BPT would be 7.9 % and the BET would be .675 %. These cuts were originally intended to take effect starting in 2016.

Senate budget writers have rejected a $250,000 annual boost in funding for Crotched Mountain,  a rehab center in Greenfield, N.H.

The Governor included the funding in her budget. Currently, 40 people are being treated at Crotched Mountain. 

Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester told her colleagues Tuesday the state’s Health and Human Commissioner did not support the additional funding, adding that it would be cheaper for the state if residents accessed these services elsewhere.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Former technology executive Carly Fiorina is returning to New Hampshire as she campaigns for the Republican presidential nomination.

Fiorina, the former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard Co., is speaking at the President's Circle Leadership Forum at Rivier University on Tuesday. Following that event in Nashua, she'll head to a luncheon hosted by the Derry GOP and a house party in Bedford.

This week Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and businesswoman Carly Fiorina are all planning to return to the Granite State.

On Tuesday morning Fiorina, who was the former Hewlett-Packard CEO, will be in Nashua for a leadership forum at Rivier University. Fiorina is the only woman in the GOP race.

Sanders,  is returning to New Hampshire for the 11th time this year. Sanders will be headlining a town meeting in Concord Wednesday afternoon – the day after his official campaign kickoff event in Burlington, Vt.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Campaigning in Hampton, Hillary Clinton criticized republicans for not supporting the Export-Import Bank, which Clinton says has helped produce hundreds of millions of dollars of exports from N.H. businesses.

Clinton met with local businesspeople at the Smuttynose Brewery.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Senate Capital Budget Committee voted along party lines on Thursday to not spend $4 million to study building a commuter rail from Boston to New Hampshire.

Democrats proposed the measure, which Governor Maggie Hassan included the money in her state budget, saying a rail would boost the state’s economy.

flickr

All week long, we've has been looking at how disparities in early childhood can shape a child’s chances for later in life.

Issues surrounding what some call the opportunity gap and others call inequality of opportunity, are common concerns of politicians in both parties these days, starting at the very top.

NHPR Staff

 

In her second visit to New Hampshire since announcing her presidential campaign, Hillary Rodham Clinton plans to visit the Seacoast area Friday for campaign events focused on small businesses.

Her campaign says she will visit Smuttynose Brewery in Hampton for a discussion with community members focused on business regulations, taxes and growing a small business. In the afternoon, Clinton will attend an organizing meeting with campaign supporters in Exeter. The campaign has not released details on the location of the Exeter event.

Photo by Tim Cummins via Flickr Creative Commons

 

Whether or not to spend $4 million to study the impact of bringing commuter rail service from Boston to New Hampshire is coming up for debate before a key Senate committee

The Senate Capital Budget committee will meet Thursday afternoon as it finalizes a proposal for capital spending projects in the next 2-year state budget. The capital budget also includes spending on projects such as a new courthouse and a new women's prison in Concord.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Republican Jeb Bush is back in New Hampshire.

The likely presidential candidate told an audience in Bedford that the GOP field has a lot of talkers but he’s delivered results.

At the Bedford home of BAE Systems executive and former Republican Congressional candidate Rich Ashooh, Bush stressed his efforts to bring greater choice and accountability to Florida’s education system as that state’s governor, telling voters it was emblematic of his approach to leadership.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

On Wednesday the Senate Finance Committee restored millions of dollars for elderly services, the developmentally disabled and substance abuse treatment that was cut by the House.

This includes $23 million for developmental services, $2.9 million for substance abuse treatment and $4 million for emergency shelters. However, these numbers are less than what the Governor proposed in her version. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is questioning whether Congressman Frank Guinta can still do his job after settling with the Federal Elections Commission over illegal campaign donations. 

Last week Guinta agreed to pay back the more than $355,000 he used from his parents to fund his 2010 campaign. He must also pay a $15,000 fine.

Hassan joins  House Speaker Shawn Jasper, Senate President Chuck Morse and U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte in questioning Guinta’s ability to legislate.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan has signed into law a bill that allows the state to back $28 million in bonds to help pay for the redevelopment of the Balsams.

The resort closed in 2011.  And Hassan says re-opening it is worth the state’s investment.

“It is so important that we find a way to redevelop the Balsams it has been such an anchor for the economy up there, and that of course has a ripple effect for the whole state."

The state-backed bond will help Maine businessman Les Otten fund the $143 million he estimates is needed to reopen the Dixville Notch resort.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate budget writers are trying to make good on a promise to fully restore dedicated funds aimed to promote renewable energy.

Last week Senate budget writers fully restored the $50 million the House raided from the renewable energy fund but Wednesday voted to redirect $1.5 million towards homeland security.

Democrat Hosmer of Laconia said the move contradicts the Senate’s stated position on dedicated funds.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

House Speaker John Boehner has given an indirect answer to whether embattled New Hampshire Republican congressman Frank Guinta should remain in Congress.

Boehner says lawmakers must meet the highest ethical standards. The Ohio Republican says he hasn’t reviewed all the details of Guinta’s case yet but plans to do that soon.

The Federal Election Commission says Guinta illegally accepted campaign contributions from his parents and has been fined $15,000.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

Senate budget writers are putting the final touches on their version of New Hampshire's next 2-year budget.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets Tuesday to finalize revenue projections for the next biennium. Those numbers will determine how much more money Senate budget writers have to spend than their House counterparts, who finalized their own $11.2 billion budget in April.

Sheryl Senter for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Republican Party's Executive Committee has declined to ask U.S. Rep Frank Guinta to resign, despite calls from fellow Republicans that he step down after the Federal Election Commission found he broke the law by accepting campaign donations from his parents.

Guinta said he'll remain in office. The committee, meeting Monday night, stated Guinta answered its questions, is accountable to his constituents, and would be available to answer their questions.

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

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