Politics

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

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.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  The Republican Candidates vying for the chance to run against Jeanne Shaheen for Senate in November were stumping in Concord over the weekend. Scott Brown, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith faced questions about agricultural and timber policies at an event hosted by the New Hampshire Farm Bureau and the Timberland Owners Association at Carter Hill Orchard.

Brown used the opportunity to say that he wants to cut the red tape required to get temporary worker visas.

Amanda Loder / NHPR

Representatives from Dartmouth College, UNH, and advocacy groups joined Democratic Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster for a roundtable discussion about campus sexual assault today.  The event at UNH Law in Concord focused on new legislation introduced in the US Senate.

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.

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz has joined Republicans injecting immigration into New Hampshire's U.S. Senate contest.

The conservative firebrand is out with a fundraising message Friday attacking New Hampshire's Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for supporting President Barack Obama's quote, "amnesty" immigration policies. Cruz becomes the second Republican eying the presidency this week to criticize Shaheen on immigration. Texas Gov. Rick Perry made similar charges, which Democrats called "desperate."

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is coming to New Hampshire for the second time in little more than a month to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

Christie has been crisscrossing the country this summer to bolster fellow Republicans as chair of the Republican Governors Association. But his schedule also is packed with stops in key states on the presidential nomination calendar, giving him the opportunity to make inroads with fundraisers, party leaders and activists who will be crucial if he decides to run in 2016.

NHPR Staff

While all three candidates seeking the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District race took part in a debate Wednesday morning, it was two candidates who spent much of their time attacking each other’s record.

The debate, hosted by WGIR, opened with state Representative Marilinda Garcia and former state Senator Gary Lambert accusing each other of taking illegal campaign contributions.

Each denied the allegation, and then went after each other’s voting record.

Hassan Vetoes Workplace Anti-Bullying Bill

Jul 28, 2014
No Bully Zone
Paul Schreiber / Flickr Creative Commons

Governor Maggie Hassan has vetoed a bill she called “well-intentioned” aimed at protecting public employees from bullying in the workplace.  

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The “Thank a Vet” barbeque in Holderness Saturday drew several Republicans vying for their party’s nomination in the upcoming September primary.  

Among them was former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith, who’s running to get his old seat back.

Smith has yet to release fundraising figures, but he says his campaign is doing fine.

“We don’t do fundraisers in Las Vegas and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’re a grassroots organization. I like to say I’m a country music Republican, not a country club Republican and so that’s where we’re raising our money.”

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

A New Hampshire judge has struck down a law requiring out-of-state students to establish legal residency before being allowed to vote.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of four out-of-state college students two years ago, shortly after lawmakers overrode a veto by then-Gov. John Lynch and passed Senate Bill 318.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina told more than 200 Republican activists that the GOP needs to do better when it comes to winning the support of women.

She said all Republicans -- but females in particular -- need to fight what she called the "baseless propaganda" that GOP is waging a war on women.

Fiorina says the best way to do that is through grassroots organizing and one to one outreach.

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.

NHPR Staff

The latest campaign finance reports show Democratic incumbents Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster raised far more money in the last three months than their potential Republican challengers in New Hampshire's two House races.

Kuster had the best quarter, raising $565,000 between April 1 and June 30, and has $1.7 million on hand for her 2nd District race. Republican Marilinda Garcia took in $128,000 and has $125,000 on hand, while Gary Lambert raised $103,000 and has $305,000 on hand. Republican Jim Lawrence reported $5,200 in contributions and $25,000 in debts.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Top Democrats rallied volunteers and worked the phones Monday in Portsmouth. Their goal was to call attention to the US Supreme Court’s “Hobby Lobby” ruling, which found a closely held company could not be forced to pay for all birth control procedures required by the Affordable Care Act.

Democrats hope Supreme Court rulings like the Hobby Lobby and the striking down of Massachusetts’s abortion clinic buffer zone law will motivate women voters, helping the party overcome certain challenges.

As members of Congress continue hammering out a bill to improve the Department of Veterans Affairs' beleaguered health care system, attention has focused on one man leading the charge: Bernie Sanders, Independent senator from Vermont and a self-described socialist.

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.

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