Politics

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

2014 Primaries and Elections: A Look Ahead

Jul 9, 2014
meagan_taylor / Flickr/CC

With summer officially here, it’s not just the weather heating up, but the political season as well. There are polls, ads, debates being scheduled, and big-name politicians coming in to support candidates. There's also already some drama, with one contender dropping out and another’s residency being questioned.  We’re looking at how the U.S. Congress, Senate, and N.H. Governor races are shaping up so far.

GUESTS:

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The realscottbrownrecord.com highlights what the NH PAC to Save America calls Brown’s deceptive tactic of criticizing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for doing what he also did– support policies favored by President Obama.

Brown has made Jeanne Shaheen’s fealty to the president a key part of his campaign, but PAC adviser Mike Dennehy says Brown needs to be held to account for the fact that Congressional Quarterly found he voted with the President 78 percent of the time in 2012.

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.

Campaigning in Concord today, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen took aim at the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that clears the way for some for-profit corporations to deny contraception coverage to their employees on religious grounds.

At a roundtable lunch with a half-dozen women, Shaheen warned that the ruling in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby restarts a bitter fight  -- across the country and in the U.S. Senate  -- over women’s health care.

  The 3-2 vote by clears the way for Republican Walt Havenstein to run for governor. Havenstein sought the hearing after Democrats argued the former defense contractor hadn’t met the 7-year residency requirement set by the state constitution.

At issue was whether Havenstein surrendered New Hampshire as his domicile by living part time in Maryland from 2007-2012.

By a 3-2 vote, in which democratic member Martha Van Oot and joined Republicans Michael Eaton and Brad Cook, the commission said no.

The Senator’s new disclosure will reflect that she and her husband no longer hold stock options in a California firm that received federal stimulus funding.

Ultrawave Labs Inc. is a California company working on technology to help better detect breast cancer.

In 2009, the Senator’s husband, William Shaheen, was named adviser to the company. He received stock options Shaheen included on US Senate disclosure forms, most recently filed in May.

According to that form, the Ultrawave stock options were to expire in 2019.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her husband, William, earned an average of more than $472,000 a year in pre-tax income between 2006 and 2013, according to federal tax returns released by Shaheen’s campaign Tuesday.

The couple's joint returns were made available four days after Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown and his wife, Gail Huff, released eight years of joint state and federal returns. Shaheen had pledged to release her returns if her opponents did the same.

NHPR/Josh Rogers

Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown released a trove of personal financial information Friday, including eight years of state and federal tax returns and a financial disclosure statement that showed before-tax income of more than $900,000 since the former Massachusetts senator left office in January 2013.

  Scott Brown drew the middle seat in this first debate featuring the major Republican candidates for U.S. Senate, but did his best to look past his party rivals towards the general election.

Brown called a united GOP Jeanne Shaheen’s  “worst nightmare,” and  challenged the incumbent to match him by allowing the media to inspect 8 years of tax returns.

"Senator Shaheen said if I release my returns, my wife and my returns, that she would do the same. So I hope she lives up to her word and releases her returns, so that she can be just as transparent as I am." 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The Republican front runner in the race for U.S. Senate – former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown – will not take part in a debate in Merrimack tonight with his primary challengers.

Testerman Out, Backs Bob Smith In U.S. Senate Race

Jun 13, 2014
Austin Cowan / NHPR

U.S. Senate candidate Bob Smith filed his official election paperwork in Concord on Friday, and also picked up the endorsement of fellow Republican Karen Testerman.

Citing concerns over splitting the conservative vote, Testerman, an activist from Franklin, is dropping her bid for the seat held by Jeanne Shaheen.

“This is not about any individual, this is not about any agenda,” Testeran told supporters. “This is about the United States of America.”

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Governor Hassan pointed to the state budget, the expansion of the N.H’s Medicaid program, and the passage of the first gas tax increase in more than twenty years as examples of what she called bipartisan progress.

“We’ve expanded healthcare for 50,000 hard-working granite staters and we are funding improvements to our roads and bridges and the completion of I-93. And we created balanced and fiscally responsible budget, without a sales or income tax, which I continue to oppose and would veto."

Todd Bookman

Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein wants state election officials to rule on whether he meets the residency requirements to hold the office.

Immediately after filing paperwork to officially launch his candidacy against Gov. Maggie Hassan in Concord on Wednesday, Havenstein submitted a petition to the state Ballot Law Commission, asking for an expedited hearing on the residency issue.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Senator Jeanne Shaheen stopped by the statehouse Monday to officially file her candidacy. A large crowd of supporters including union members from the Professional Fire Fighters Of New Hampshire cheered on the first-term Democrat.

Shaheen laid out her priorities and defended the Affordable Care Act, which is likely to be a key issue this November.

On the Political Front this morning, NHPR's Josh Rogers talks about this year's legislative session, which wrapped up last week. 

Lawmakers passed some bills on contentious topics, but failed on others. And some notable names announced they won't seek office again.

The big bills that passed:

Jim Rubens stopped by the secretary of states office Thursday to file his candidacy for US Senate. The Hanover Republican used the opportunity to make the case that he’ll be the number one competitor to former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown in the primary.

Former state senator Jim Rubens is perhaps the most difficult Republican to pin down ideologically in the race for the Senate seat currently held by Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Rubens, has trailed Scott Brown in early polls,

He’s been campaigning furiously on issues related to gun rights and veterans affairs.

Gambling Takes Center Stage In Congressional Race

Jun 2, 2014
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Casinos are shaping up to be a key issue in the 2nd Congressional District’s Republican primary.

At competing events Monday, several state representatives from Salem who back expanded gaming publicly endorsed GOP candidate Gary Lambert.

Meanwhile in Concord, anti-casino activists defended fellow Salem Representative Marilinda Garcia’s vote against a plan to legalize two casinos, despite overwhelming public support in her district.

To Liberty Caucus Chairman Aaron Day's way of thinking the symbolism of recent endorsements in this race is clear:

The GOP establishment has its candidate in former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown and republicans who prize the constitution and tackle problems with ideas have theirs in Jim Rubens.

"He’s thoughtful, intelligent, and open to rational discussion and debate."

N.H. GOP Director Testifies In 'Bridgegate' Scandal

May 20, 2014
NHPR Staff

  The Executive Director of the New Hampshire Republican Party answered questions in New Jersey on Tuesday regarding his role in the George Washington Bridge scandal involving Governor Chris Christie.

Matt Mowers testified before a special committee investigating whether lane closures on the bridge last September were an act of political retribution after the mayor of Fort Lee Mark Sokolich, a Democrat, declined to endorse Christie.

Mowers was a Christie campaign staffer at the time. He denies any involvement.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

At his latest campaign stop, U.S. Senate hopeful Scott Brown aimed to win over female voters.

The former Massachusetts Senator rolled out his ‘Women for Brown’ leadership team at an event inside his Manchester headquarters. Maureen Mooney, a former New Hampshire State Representative, is one of three co-chairs. She argues Brown is listening to his constituents, and will be an independent voice in Washington.

“Now on the other hand, our current senator, Shaheen, how can she possibly win? She voted for Obamacare,” says Mooney.

    

NHPR's Josh Rogers discusses plans to fix the state's Medicaid Enhancement Tax, which has been ruled unconstitutional by two superior court justices.

GOP Candidate Puts Forward Alternative Gambling Plan

Apr 30, 2014
Todd Bookman / NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway laid out his own gaming proposal on the same day the New Hampshire House voted down a two casino plan.

Hemingway, a conservative activist from Bristol, opposes what he calls 'Las Vegas style campus casinos' like those considered in the bill voted on by lawmakers.

Instead, he says already functioning charitable gaming sites in New Hampshire should be able to add slot machines to their operations.

New Hampshire Speaker of the House Terie Norelli is not expected to seek re-election this fall.

NHPR Staff

Michael Briggs, the Manchester Police officer shot in the line of duty in 2006, and his killer, Michael Addison, who now sits on death row, both loomed large in the debate.

An indication of how large could be seen in the front row of the senate gallery.

That’s where Manchester police officials, including the chief and he lead investigator of the Briggs muder stood in full uniform the whole time. 15 feet down in the senate floor Michael Briggs name came up almost immediately – by people on both sides of the issue.

    Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers talks with Rick Ganley about the past weekend in political activity in the Granite State and an upcoming vote in the Senate regarding repealing New Hampshire's death penalty.

Rockingham County Attorney James Reams filed a petition challenging his suspension by Attorney General Joseph A. Foster. Reams alleged his November 6, 2013 suspension was illegal and sought that the court order his reinstatement. A judge reinstated Reams on Thursday, April 10.

Read the full text here:

Reams v Foster, Et Al. Order 4/10/14

www.scottbrown.com

After months of flirting, former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown plans to announce he’s running for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire Thursday in Portsmouth.

    

Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers talks with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley about questions being raised regarding potential Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein's residency. 

Rogers also talks about big changes at two major New Hampshire newspapers and what's on the docket at the Statehouse this week.

Opponents continue to raise questions about whether a Republican expected to join the race for governor meets the state’s residency requirements.

www.scottbrown.com

Scott Brown's official announcement could come as early as next week, according to a report from WMUR.

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