Politics

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

Donald Trump roared into Bangor Wednesday afternoon into the collective embrace of about 5,000 loyal supporters at the Cross Center. The audience applauded the presumptive Republican nominee’s promises of great trade deals, expanded job opportunities and a no-exceptions immigration policy that he says will make America safe.

All of the campaign hoopla played well in the heart of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, where large numbers of conservative voters could hand Trump one Electoral College vote if he carries the region in November.

Casey McDermott for NHPR

New Hampshire's Executive Council has approved state funding for Planned Parenthood.

The 3-2 vote on a family planning contract comes ten months after the council rejected an almost identical contract by the same margin.

Chris Sununu has voted for state contracts with Planned Parenthood , and he's voted against them.

This one, which would send $638,000 to seven clinics, five run by Planned Parenthood. It would subsidize low cost birth control, STD testing, and cancer screenings. 

The fight over the contract could prove a big moment in the race for governor. Democrats, including fellow councilor and gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern are pushing Sununu, who identifies as pro-choice, to support the contract. 

via C-Span

Mark Connolly is running for Governor. Today, he runs his own small investment company. But his resume runs the spectrum from financial executive to deputy secretary of state.

There are a lot of reasons to run for office. Ideological convictions. Hunger for power. A sense of duty to serve. But Connolly seems driven by a desire to improve what he sees as the technical and structural weaknesses in Concord.

A newspaper correspondent observing Abraham Lincoln's second inauguration in March 1865 — delivered to a crowd "as far as the eye could reach" — noted that the president laid his right hand on a Bible and, facing Supreme Court Chief Justice Salmon Chase, swore to preserve, protect and defend the U.S. Constitution.

"Then," the reporter noted, "solemnly repeating 'So help me God!' he bent forward and reverently kissed the Book."

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

A small group of Republicans is planning an effort to deny Donald Trump the Republican nomination for President. Members of this group are concerned that Trump’s inflammatory statements and poor fundraising figures could cost the GOP both the presidency and seats in the House and Senate. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There are four candidates in the 2016 gubernatorial Republican primary, most with several years’ experience in New Hampshire politics. Then there’s Frank Edelblut. The first-term state lawmaker from Wilton is casting himself as a business-savvy outsider who understands the evolving economy.

josh rogers/nhpr

The state reps gathered in the house well. They mostly talked about how the nation needs to break the gridlock on the gun debate. Jackie Cilley represents Barrington.

"It is a war zone, and there are practical, sensible solutions that we can promulgate and legislators, nationally and in this state that will make it a little less so."

When Governor Hassan joined the sit in, she spoke briefly, but pointedly on guns.

"It is absolutely essential that we expand background checks, so that known and suspected terrorist can't buy guns at gun shows or online."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

There's a wide fundraising gap between two of the Democrats hoping to become New Hampshire's next governor.

Candidates are not required to file campaign finance reports until Aug. 24, less than a month before the Sept. 13 primary. But Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern and businessman Mark Connolly filed reports Wednesday, a deadline for non-candidate committees to file.

In the wake of last week's mass shooting in Orlando, the debate over guns and how to keep them away from potential terrorists has been center stage in the U.S. Senate.  And so has New Hampshire’s Kelly Ayotte.

A bill she helped draft Monday aims to bar suspected terrorists from buying guns, and the issue of gun control is looking to be key to her re-election effort this year. But Ayotte’s involvement with gun policy and politics extends farther back that her six years in the U.S Senate.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire Rep. Annie Kuster joined dozens of Democratic colleagues who took over the floor of the Capitol in Washington on Wednesday to call for a vote on gun reforms.

“We have got to take a stand,” Kuster said Wednesday, during the gun discussion. “We can be silent no longer. We need a vote on the floor of this House.”

It’s easy for Americans to see the Brexit debate as a British issue. But the personal finance website Bankrate.com says if Britons vote tomorrow to exit the European Union, European vacations will likely be cheaper, mortgage rates might fall, the stock market could drop, and it would be harder to find a job in Britain.

Here & Now’s Lisa Mullins talks to economist Diane Swonk about the impact of Brexit on Americans.

What is your opinion on the Brexit? Let us know in a Here & Now poll:

Josh Rogers/NHPR

Among the Democrats vying for the title of New Hampshire governor this year is former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand. He's hoping his mix of political and fiscal experience will win over voters in the Democratic primary this September.

Things are not going well for Donald Trump.

On Monday, he fired his campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski. Lewandowski ran the campaign on a shoestring budget and a strategy that was largely built off and fueled by the candidate's say-whatever personality and brand.

In the runup to this election season, The Party Decides seemed to be on every political science nerd's reading list.

As the U.S. Senate debates measures to keep guns out of the hands of terrorists, New Hampshire's Senator Kelly Ayotte is throwing her support to a proposal drafted by Maine Senator Susan Collins.

The plan would bar people on the TSA's no-fly and selected lists from buying guns. It also creates an appeals process where people wrongly blocked from buying gun could recover legal fees from the federal government.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Following outcry over the role of superdelegates in the party’s presidential nomination, New Hampshire Democrats voted to reform the delegate selection process ahead of the 2020 presidential primary. 

Paige Sutherland / NHPR

Sen. Jeanie Forrester, a Republican candidate for governor, holds one of the most powerful seats in the State House: She’s chair of the influential Senate Finance Committee, with a big say in how every state dollar is raised and spent.

But you won’t hear Forrester talk too much on the campaign trail about her work in Concord. Rather, Forrester is pitching herself as more community leader than State House insider.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

By the end of the day at the New Hampshire Democrats’ state convention, it was hard to miss the message that party leaders were trying to pitch to their grassroots activists, heading into the general election this fall.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Today lawmakers approved a 1.5 million dollar statewide drug enforcement program known as Granite Hammer.

After a lengthy procedural debate in the House over whether to proceed with the special session, members voted overwhelmingly in favor of the bill. The legislation, based on a Manchester Police Department initiative, would create a grant program to fund drug enforcement efforts at county and local police departments.

As the general election shifts into high gear, a pair of Republican governors and a 15-term representative this week voiced their frustrations with the party's presumptive presidential nominee and have decided they cannot get onboard the Trump train.

Fred Upton, R-Mich., joins Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan and also Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who ran for president against Donald Trump.

Earlier this year, we noticed a pattern in which states were voting for Hillary Clinton and which were voting for Bernie Sanders in the Democratic nominating contests. Sanders tended to win the states that had the highest income equality (as measured by the Gini index, a widely used measure of inequality), and Clinton tended to win states that were the most unequal.

If one needed proof the opioid crisis is seen as a powerful election issue, confirmation came last week, in the form a $4.6 million dollar ad buy from the GOP group, One Nation.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

In Nashua on Wednesday, Republican Ted Gatsas announced his plan to fight opiate addiction across the state. In front of city hall, Gatsas told a small gathering of reporters the heroin crisis needs leadership, saying, "My first act as Governor would be to declare this fentanyl heroin epidemic is a public health emergency." 

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

Back in February, New Hampshire handed Sen. Bernie Sanders his first victory in pursuit of the presidency. Four months later, with Hillary Clinton poised to earn the Democratic nomination, where does that leave the more than 151,000 Granite Staters who backed her opponent?

Well, it depends.

The Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, claimed allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State during a phone call to 911 early Sunday. And that's reignited a debate over how to label the ideology that apparently inspired the attack.

Republican Donald Trump and many on the right say it's "radical Islam." But Democrat Hillary Clinton used a different term: "radical Islamism." It's not just a debate over semantics.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

According to Donald Trump's state campaign co-chairman, Steve Stepanek,  Trump's speech at St. Anselm college --  which featured a broadened call for tighter borders, and a post-Orlando pledge of fealty to the nation's LGBT community  --  was a sign that Republicans are uniting.   

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Republican Ted Gatsas, Manchester mayor and a former state senate president, arrived at the statehouse completed paperwork to run for governor in hand.

"Don't worry, we come prepared. I know what it is up here. I've done it a few times."

The same goes for former Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter. The Rochester democrat formalized her sixth campaign to represent the first district. Much, she says, remains the same.

NHPR

The Portsmouth Police Department is preparing for a Donald Trump campaign event Monday evening.

Trump is scheduled to give a speech at Saint Anselm College at 2:30 on Monday before heading over to Great Bay Community College for a rally at 6.

Portsmouth Police Chief David Mara says his department, along with state police and Secret Service are working with the college to prepare for a large crowd and the possibility of protestors.

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren has endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

Warren, a hero of progressive Democrats, is the latest party leader to fall in line behind Clinton after she clinched the requisite number of delegates earlier this week over rival Bernie Sanders.

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