Politics

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

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s participation on President Trump’s election commission has earned him criticism that he’s undercutting his decades of work as New Hampshire’s top elections official. Gardner, for his part, says he’s taking part in the controversial commission “in [his] personal capacity.”

Still, over the past five months since the commission was formed, state workers — including Gardner's staff assistant and attorneys employed by the New Hampshire Secretary of State — have repeatedly been called upon to carry out work related to the commission, apparently on state time.

JOHN LOCHER / AP

Governor Chris Sununu says gun reform should be put on the back burner, as families continue to mourn those lost in Sunday night's mass shooting in Las Vegas. 

Allegra Boverman

Governor Chris Sununu spent part of Monday at the White House.

Sam Evans-Brown

We’re still months away from the start of the next legislative session. But already, the legislative agenda is starting to take shape. Among the hundreds of bills already in the works for next session is one that aims to give the public a clearer window into the legislative process itself.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu is heading to Washington on Monday for an undisclosed event at the White House.

The governor’s staff included the visit in his public schedule for the week (with "Attends Event at The White" penciled in at 11 a.m. on Monday), but would not elaborate on the nature of the event when asked for more information. They said the White House would be releasing more details ahead of time, over the weekend.

"The White House will announce the details of the upcoming event this weekend," the governor's office said.

The scene: the Executive council chambers. The time: 6 p.m. on a Wednesday. The crowd? A mysterious, oft-stereotyped (and sometimes maligned) species, seen only rarely in the halls of the Statehouse: millennials.

They were there as part of a newly formed Millennial Advisory Council, announced last week by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu says President Donald Trump's tax plan would improve the lives of residents in the state.

Sununu said the plan would provide tax breaks and retains benefits that would encourage work, higher education, retirement security, and stop corporations from shipping jobs overseas.

He also said it would make the nation more competitive by lowering the highest business tax rate in the developed world, creating new jobs and higher wages.

Sununu said it also would simplify the tax code and make it fairer by eliminating loopholes.

Democratic candidate Kari Lerner of Chester won a special New Hampshire House election in Rockingham County on Tuesday.

Lerner defeated Republican former state Representative James Headd of Auburn by 39 votes.

Headd has requested a recount. It will be Tuesday, 10 a.m., at the State Archives building in Concord. 

The election took place in District 4, which has 20 percent more registered Republicans than Democrats, according to the New Hampshire Democratic Party. President Donald Trump won the district by 23 points.

NHPR File

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky says he will not run for governor in 2018.

He plans to run for re-election to council District 2, which stretches from Charlestown on the Vermont border to Dublin and Keene and over to Dover, Durham, Rochester, and Somersworth.

The Democrat from Concord tells NHPR it's humbling to have friends and supporters encourage him to run. In the end, 2018 was not meant to be.


Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ political donations are not all tethered to one party. This holds true in New Hampshire, which plans to submit an underdog bid for the online retailer’s second headquarters.

The Amazon PAC has contributed to a Sununu -- former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu, the governor’s brother. The PAC gave $2,000 to the former Senator in the 2008 campaign. It donated $1,000 in 2004 to the Daniel Webster PAC, the senator's leadership PAC at the time.

Other Amazon PAC donations, according to Federal Election Commission finance reports, include:

Peter Biello / NHPR

Members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation are again pushing for a full-service veterans hospital.

Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin has said that a task force he appointed would develop a plan to provide "full services" in New Hampshire.

But Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and others in the delegation worry the VA is backing away from that plan.

A subsequent announcement on the task force emphasizes the hospital should "best meet the needs" of the state's veterans.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Democratic New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan are holding a news conference to highlight what they call the "devastating impact" that the latest GOP health care bill would have on state residents.

The senators say there are provisions that would make health insurance unaffordable for millions. They want Republicans to instead restart bipartisan negotiations on health care.

They're holding a news conference at the Elliot Hospital in Manchester on Monday morning.

Updated at 3:36 p.m. ET

Sen. John McCain may, once again, be the savior of President Barack Obama's signature domestic achievement.

The Arizona Republican announced in a statement on Friday that he opposes the latest GOP legislation to dismantle the Affordable Care Act.

Gov. Chris Sununu is continuing to beat the drum for Amazon’s attention — in media interviews, at least — as the online shopping giant scouts out a second location for its headquarters.

FILE

Incumbent Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas and former alderman Joyce Craig will face off again in the race for mayor this November.

That’s after the pair claimed the top two spots in Tuesday's city primary election.

NPR

Both New Hampshire US Senators are criticizing Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price for reportedly taking private jets around the country for official government business.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Middle-class families would get a $1,000 tax credit under a bill being introduced by U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan.

Hassan, a Democrat, says her Middle Class Tax Break Act would apply to families who have earned income up to $200,000. It would also provide a $500 tax credit for individuals with earned income up to $100,000.

Hassan says giving a tax cut to middle class families will help drive economic growth. She also has co-sponsored legislation to expand the earned income tax credit and child tax credit, and a measure to help people refinance student loan debt.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Voters in Manchester head to the polls Tuesday to cast ballots in the mayoral primary. While there are four candidates in the race, the two heavyweights are the same ones who faced off in the last campaign for mayor.

Incumbent Mayor Ted Gatsas and former alderman Joyce Craig.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party is gathering Saturday in Manchester for its mid-term state convention.

Party chairman Ray Buckley says a big part of the event will focus on training what he says is a new generation of Democrats.

“In the off-year conventions it’s a great opportunity for Democrats across the state to gather, to exchange skills, and learn the abilities to expand our grassroots operation.”

The event is being held at Manchester’s Memorial High School.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

There’s an aldermen race going on next week in Manchester. And one of the candidates on the ballot would be the city’s youngest elected if he wins.

He turned 20 Thursday, attends UNH Manchester, and is a refugee from Kuwait.

But first he’ll have to clear Tuesday’s primary before he can even make it onto November’s ballot.

Mark Goebel / Flickr

A commission tasked with reforming New Hampshire’s law on open records requests met for the first time last week.

Members of the Right-to-Know law commission must devise an alternative process to resolve complaints regarding access to public records. They also are looking to find a way to encourage resolutions of disputes between citizens and public agencies.

State Sen. Bob Giuda, who is the chairman of the commission, spoke with NHPR's Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley about his goals for Right-to-Know law reform.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The Trump administration’s election commission met in New Hampshire on Tuesday, putting a national spotlight on the state’s election processes. Also in the spotlight was the man who’s been in charge of New Hampshire elections for the last four decades.

A fact-finding hearing by President Trump's commission looking into voter fraud exposed self-inflicted rifts among its members during the panel's second meeting Tuesday in Manchester, N.H.

Days earlier, the panel's Republican co-chairman, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, wrote a column in Breitbart News claiming that there was proof of enough voter fraud in New Hampshire last November to possibly have influenced the outcome of a Senate race.

Casey McDermott for NHPR

The Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity met at Saint Anselm College in Manchester today. This marked the group's second meeting and comes amid criticism over the actual intent of the commission established by President Trump through executive order according to the order.

The commission was never meant to find evidence of voter fraud, but to find anything that enhances or undermines "confidence in the integrity of the voting process."

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

It’s not exactly election season, but there’s been a lot of talk in New Hampshire lately about the voting process.

President Trump's commission on voter integrity met at Saint Anselm College in Manchester on Tuesday, just as a controversial New Hampshire election law got its first test in a special election in the Lakes Region.

The Trump administration’s commission on voting issues is meeting today at St. Anselm College in Manchester. The meeting comes amid a debate over the purpose of this commission.

Republican State Representative Fred Doucette of Salem, co-chair of President Donald Trump's campaign in New Hampshire, is in attendance. He spoke with NHPR's Peter Biello.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The White House’s Election Integrity Commission met in Manchester Tuesday to discuss voter fraud in New Hampshire.

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen released a statement last week condemning President Trump's voting commission and talk of widespread voter fraud in last November’s elections.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

After three hours of arguments inside a Hillsborough County courtroom in Nashua on Monday afternoon, the fate of the state's controversial new voting law is still up in the air heading into a Laconia legislative special election on Tuesday.

NHPR Staff

The next statewide elections are more than a year away, but, already, the battle over how New Hampshire voters cast their ballots is well underway.

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