Politics

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

Former Rhode Island governor Lincoln Chafee is expected to formally announce his candidacy Wednesday evening for the Democratic presidential nomination. He’ll make the announcement at George Mason University in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. Chafee left the governor’s office in January with low approval ratings. And there’s debate about whether Chafee can actually impact the Democratic presidential race.

The difficulties of his one term as governor seem far away as Lincoln Chafee drives north to to look for support among voters in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Campaigning in Manchester, Republican Lindsey Graham said if he were president, he’d deploy 20,000 troops to the Middle East. Graham said national security dictates that the fight ISIS in Iraq and join those trying to topple Syrian Leader Bashar al-Assad.

Sheryl Senter for NHPR

New Hampshire 1st District Congressman Frank Guinta continues to deny any wrongdoing, despite reports released Tuesday that contradict his story about $355,000 he spent on his 2010 campaign.

Despite calls for his resignation from the state's top Republicans, Guinta said in a statement Tuesday he has no plans on stepping down.

The Senate Finance Committee presented to colleagues its $11.3 billion budget proposal Tuesday at the State House calling it a "conservative but compassionate budget."

But Democratic Senate leaders say the two-year spending plan is not in the best interest of New Hampshire residents, claiming that it is riddled with “budget gimmicks” such as double counting and unspecified budget cuts to key social services.

Senate Minority Leader Jeff Woodburn also criticizes the plan,  claiming it gives business tax breaks to “special friends” such as Planet Fitness.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Federal Election Commission reports released today shed more light on the finances of district congressman Frank Guinta. 

NHPR

Federal investigators relied in part on statements from relatives of Congressman Frank Guinta to conclude that he used illegal donations to fund his 2010 campaign, according to recently released reports.

AP Photo

A movement to push Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to enter the presidential race will come to an end next week.

MoveOn.org and Democracy for America say the Run Warren Run movement will be suspended next Monday. The campaign began six months ago, though Warren has repeatedly insisted she isn’t running for president.

Organizers say the movement was successful in getting Democratic candidates in the race to focus on progressive issues such as income inequality.

Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina has served in the Senate since 2002, where he has focused mainly on foreign policy and military issues.

Before being elected to the Senate, he served eight years in the U.S. House.

Graham has also served as a Judge Advocate in the U.S. Air Force, the South Carolina Air National Guard, and the U.S. Air Force Reserve, attaining the rank of colonel.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

A day after jumping into the presidential race, Democrat Martin O'Malley is vowing to fight hard in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary and a stronghold for Hillary Rodham Clinton.

After greeting voters at a diner, O'Malley told reporters Sunday that he relishes tough fights.

O'Malley is kicking off his presidential bid with trips to the early voting states of Iowa and New Hampshire. He is the third Democrat to enter the race, behind Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.

Kate Harper for NHPR

 

Top advisers from Hillary Rodham Clinton's presidential campaign are speaking with substance abuse prevention advocates in Iowa and New Hampshire as they develop campaign policies around drug addiction and treatment.

Ann O'Leary and Maya Harris, two top policy advisers to the campaign, held video conferences last week with leading advocates in both early voting states, campaign officials said. Clinton said in April she would make mental health and substance abuse treatment a "big part" of her campaign after hearing about it on the trail in both states.

Kate Harper for NHPR

 

Vermont U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders is calling for early presidential candidate debates — possibly this summer — to flesh out opinions and stimulate voter interest.

In an interview with NBC's "Meet the Press" Sunday, Sanders said early debates will highlight policy differences and help voters understand candidates' positions.

Sanders, an independent, last week officially declared his candidacy, taking on Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic nomination. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley entered the Democratic race on Saturday

Presidential GOP hopefuls are back in New Hampshire again this week including Sen. Rand Paul, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Lindsay Graham.

Lindsay Graham will make his first stop in N.H. Tuesday – a day after he officially kicks off his presidential campaign for the Republican ticket in his home state.

The South Carolina Senator is scheduled to drop by MaryAnne’s Diner in Derry as well as attend a house party later that night in Tuftonboro hosted by Beverly Bruce. Graham will also be in Portsmouth and Manchester on Wednesday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It will be a busy week at the State House with the Senate having its chance to weigh in on the state budget. 

After weeks of sorting through the numbers, the Senate Finance Committee has sent its $11.3 billion version of the budget to the Senate floor Thursday – where it is expected to pass.

The Republican-backed plan restores funding to developmental services, elderly care and substance abuse treatment that was cut in the House version. It also puts back money in the state’s rainy day fund as well as the renewable energy fund.

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.

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