Politics

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

Kate Brindley for NHPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders says if elected president he would seek to remove marijuana from a list of drugs deemed illegal by the federal government.

The Democratic presidential candidate says too many Americans have had their lives destroyed because of criminal records tied to marijuana use. He says in prepared remarks: "That's wrong. That has got to change."

Sanders was speaking at a town hall meeting Wednesday in Virginia with college students at George Mason University that was broadcast on the Internet to college gatherings across the country.

Chris Jensen/NHPR

Here's an issue with bipartisan consensus: Both parties agree the opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing challenges facing New Hampshire. But Democrats and Republicans in the State House are not quite yet reading from the same script on how to tackle this problem.

The third GOP debate was a heavyweight match but with quick footwork and well-orchestrated jabs that were responded to with masterful cross-counters. The surprise? Trump wasn't the only one punching. Bush went after Rubio for missing Senate votes. Kasich said Trump's platform was "fantasy." In a recurring theme, Cruz attacked the media and the CNBC moderator. Carson, who's been rising in the polls, stayed above the fray. The candidates also staked out real positions: Cruz vowed to eliminate the IRS.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

During a campaign stop at St. Anselm College in Manchester Wednesday, Hillary Clinton weighed in on the death penalty – something she hadn’t yet addressed during the 2016 campaign.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

State Rep. Pam Tucker of Greenland is exploring a run for Congress in the 1st District, potentially setting up a three-way Republican primary.

Tucker, a four-term representative, says she wants to break gridlock and focus on "reining in the excesses of a bloated federal government."

Last week we examined the campaign money landscape in the New Hampshire Primary, both how candidates are raising money in the state, and how they're spending it.

But what do those dollars mean against the national campaign fundraising picture?

rickpilot_2000 / flickr cc

The Attorney General’s office has refused to defend the law that caps state aid to schools in a case brought by the city of Dover.  It’s the latest in a long string of battles over education funding in the state.

For decades, many presidential candidates campaigning in Iowa have made sure to offer their loud support for ethanol — the fuel made from corn.

Ethanol is an important industry in Iowa. The state is the top producer of ethanol in the nation, accounting for 28 percent of national production, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

But this election cycle, ethanol is not the campaign force it once was.

Take the contrast between George W. Bush's 2000 presidential campaign and the current campaign of his brother, Jeb Bush.

Jim Cole / AP

If you’d like to understand what a decline in civics education means for the future of the country’s political system, David Souter suggests a sports analogy.

“As somebody said a while back – you know, if you go to a baseball game and you don’t know what the rules of the game are, it’s incomprehensible. If you know something about the three strikes rule, it’s maybe a little bit more comprehensible,” the retired United States Supreme Court justice told an audience at Nashua Community College Monday afternoon. “Well, the same thing goes for government.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

It was still dark out when hundreds of voters made their way to a country club in Atkinson to see Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump. But Trump wasted no time in energizing this early morning crowd by going on the offensive.

Trump’s first target was the media, which he accused of inflating the significance of recent polls that show Ben Carson leading the GOP field in Iowa.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A Democrat running for governor is calling on New Hampshire to raise and possibly eliminate the limit on how much renewable power consumers can sell back to the state's utilities.

Under "net metering", consumers who use sources such as solar can earn credits for putting power back on the grid. The current limit in the state is 50 megawatts and the state's utilities are closing in on that figure.

Gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern said Monday the state should immediately raise the cap and consider erasing it altogether.

Some of the most important real estate in presidential politics is actually right in front of your nose. Or under your thumbs — it really depends on how you log onto Facebook.

The social network is now a key place for campaigns to advertise. One reason for that: It's getting easier and easier for campaigns to target those ads to very specific, tailor-made audiences.

"This is our hub of communication," explained Ken Dawson, who heads digital strategies for Ben Carson's presidential campaign. "We really see it as the heart of our campaign."

NHPR Staff

Retired Supreme Court Justice David Souter is joining former U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg to discuss the role of civic engagement and education in American democracy.

Screenshots from Brigade App

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

This primary season, NHPR is taking a closer look at some of the issues defining the presidential primary races through a series we’re calling Where They Stand. Today we’re looking at some of the top foreign policy questions in the Republican primary.

On this subject, while the candidates agree on most issues, there are still differences to be found.

Republican presidential candidate John Kasich was in Manchester Friday holding another town hall. This one was aimed at local business owners, with a plan for how he would balance the country’s budget. But the conversation veered into some unexpected territory.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

New Hampshire voters might not have seen much of Lincoln Chafee before he bowed out of the presidential race Friday. If you happen to be involved with your local Democratic town committee, however, you might be on a first-name basis with the former candidate.

Back in May, right after Chafee announced he was mulling a run for president, the members of the Amherst and Milford Democrats wasted no time reaching out.

“We picked up the phone and called his home number,” committee chair Shannon Chandley recalled Friday. “’Do you want to come to our potluck?’”

PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

The state can now begin spending more than $3 million dollars to address substance abuse in the state budget. That’s after the Governor’s Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse on Friday finalized plans for the money.

Hillary Rodham Clinton firmly defended her record before and during the Benghazi attacks as she came face-to-face Thursday with the Republican-led special investigation of the 2012 violence in Libya, hoping to put to rest the worst episode of her tenure as secretary of state and clear an obstacle to her presidential campaign.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Republican Jack Flanagan, majority leader of the New Hampshire House, is exploring a run for Congress against Democratic incumbent Annie Kuster.

Kuster, now serving her second term, represents the state's 2nd Congressional District, which spans the western half of the state and includes the cities of Concord and Nashua. Flanagan is the first Republican to announce interest in challenging her.

Flanagan, of Brookline, is in his third term in the House and his first as majority leader.

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte that’s meant to address one particularly troubling side effect of the nation’s opioid crisis: growing drug dependence among infants.

The bill requires the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to review how it deals with “neonatal abstinence syndrome” (or “NAS”). It also calls upon the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to help states improve public health monitoring and data collection around NAS.

Presidential candidates boosted their spending in New Hampshire this summer, spending nearly six times as much as they did in the previous three month period.

The Republican and Democratic candidates doled out nearly $2 million across the state from July to September. The vast majority of that cash, however, went to a small handful of Republican operatives and consultants -- and the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

N.H.’s Executive Council took its show on the road Wednesday to the town of Mason. There was no high-profile item before the council, but regardless of the agenda, expect the council to be front and center politically through next November.

istock photo

Following a recent wave of mergers in the insurance industry, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is raising “serious concerns” about the potentially harmful impact of these deals on consumers. She nodded specifically to the projected effects of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger on New Hampshire’s insurance market.

Turn on the television in New Hampshire these days, and you won’t have to wait long before Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Chris Christie pops up on your screen. 

Joe Biden summoned the attention of the nation at noon Wednesday in the Rose Garden of the White House, where he shared his thoughts and feelings about running for president.

"Unfortunately," the vice president said, "I believe we're out of time — the time necessary to mount a winning campaign for the nomination."

Biden said he had thought that even this late in the year, the window of opportunity might still be open for him.

"I've concluded that it's closed," Biden said.

Vice President Joe Biden announced Wednesday he will not be a candidate for president in 2016, sparing Democrats from a shake-up in the race for the White House and removing a potential stumbling block for Hillary Clinton.

The vice president's decision comes after a long, and very public, struggle with whether or not to make a third run for the White House. Overcome with grief after the death of his eldest son, Beau, in May from brain cancer, at many times Biden seemed far from ready for the rigors of the campaign trail.

What motivates someone to give money to a foundering, long-shot campaign?

Just 10 people were major donors to Lincoln Chafee's presidential campaign. By contrast, more than 650,000 people have donated to Bernie Sanders.

NPR called up several listed on his third-quarter financial report, and three explained why they decided to pony up for the former Rhode Island governor.

This post was updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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