Politics

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

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Senate budget writers are trying to make good on a promise to fully restore dedicated funds aimed to promote renewable energy.

Last week Senate budget writers fully restored the $50 million the House raided from the renewable energy fund but Wednesday voted to redirect $1.5 million towards homeland security.

Democrat Hosmer of Laconia said the move contradicts the Senate’s stated position on dedicated funds.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

House Speaker John Boehner has given an indirect answer to whether embattled New Hampshire Republican congressman Frank Guinta should remain in Congress.

Boehner says lawmakers must meet the highest ethical standards. The Ohio Republican says he hasn’t reviewed all the details of Guinta’s case yet but plans to do that soon.

The Federal Election Commission says Guinta illegally accepted campaign contributions from his parents and has been fined $15,000.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

 

Senate budget writers are putting the final touches on their version of New Hampshire's next 2-year budget.

The Senate Ways and Means Committee meets Tuesday to finalize revenue projections for the next biennium. Those numbers will determine how much more money Senate budget writers have to spend than their House counterparts, who finalized their own $11.2 billion budget in April.

Sheryl Senter for NHPR

 

The New Hampshire Republican Party's Executive Committee has declined to ask U.S. Rep Frank Guinta to resign, despite calls from fellow Republicans that he step down after the Federal Election Commission found he broke the law by accepting campaign donations from his parents.

Guinta said he'll remain in office. The committee, meeting Monday night, stated Guinta answered its questions, is accountable to his constituents, and would be available to answer their questions.

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte sat down with medical staff and first responders at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester on Monday to discuss the growing number of infants being exposed to heroin and other opioids in the womb.

Ayotte announced she is co-sponsoring legislation along with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and Senator Robert Casey (D-PA) to address this issue. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In the wake of recent developments around Federal Election Commission rules, Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling on Representative Frank Guinta to step down.

Ayotte says she spoke with Guinta over the weekend, telling him, "if she was in his position she would resign."

Guinta has been fined $15,000 and must pay back the more than $355,000  his parents contributed to his 2010 campaign.

N.H. Senate President Chuck Morse along with N.H. House Speaker Shawn Jasper are also calling for his resignation. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It’s been a tough few days for first district congressman Frank Guinta. First, the news that the Federal Elections Commission found Guinta violated campaign finance laws by accepting $355,000 money from his parents in 2010,  then Joe McQuaid, publisher of The Union Leader ran a six word editorial: "Frank Guinta is a damned liar." Shortly after, U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte said Guinta owes voters a full accounting.

 

Money to promote New Hampshire as a tourist destination remains in limbo as lawmakers put together a budget for the next two years.

Under state law, a percentage of the state's rooms and meals tax goes to the state Division of Travel and Tourism for marketing. But the House budget would suspend that law and allocate $1 million a year, compared the $4.7 million in Gov. Maggie Hassan's proposal.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton will be back in the state next week.

Her campaign announced the former Secretary of State will return to New Hampshire May 22.

The campaign did not provide details about the time or location of her campaign visit.

This will mark Clinton’s second trip to the state since formally announcing her bid for president.

She held roundtable discussions in Keene and Concord last month.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley says many Americans living in cities are worse off than they were eight years ago, and Democrats in Washington wasted a chance to stop that from happening.

The former Baltimore mayor is considering a run against Hillary Rodham Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Congressman Frank Guinta took $355,000 in illegal donations from his parents in 2009 and 2010, and that’s the conclusion of and FEC investigation.  Guinta, who had long denied he’s taken money from his parents, has agreed to pay that money back, plus a $15,000 fine. NHPR's Josh Rogers talks with All Things Considered host Peter Biello.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Federal Elections Commission says U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta illegally accepted more than $300,000 in campaign donations from his parents in 2010.

Questions over Guinta's finances arose in 2010, the year the Republican was first elected to Congress. He was defeated in 2012, but reclaimed the seat in November.

Associated Press

Campaigning in Londonderry, GOP presidential candidate Rand Paul went after fellow republican Jeb Bush on privacy issues, and said he will lead the filibuster effort against any extension of the Patriot Act.

The Kentucky Senator Paul ask voters to be wary of would-be presidents who, as he put it, don’t support  'the entire bill of rights.'

On The Political Front is our weekly conversation with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire has a reputation as a place where liberties are prized yet it’s the only New England state where possessing even a small amount of marijuana remains a crime that can land people in jail. A bill before the state’s GOP-controlled legislature would change that, but first it needs to win the backing of Governor Hassan.

josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie’s first stop was the Farnum Center drug and alcohol treatment facility in Manchester. He stressed addition can affect anyone, and that recovery is possible.

"I just believe everybody deserves a second chance, that everybody deserves to understand that this is treatable."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill allowing doctors to prescribe the overdose reversal drug Narcan may soon become law after the Senate passed the measure on Thursday.

If Governor Maggie Hassan signs off on the legislation– doctors across the state will be able to put Narcan in the hands of family, friends and users. Currently first responders and law enforcement are allowed to administer it.

The Governor would not say if she would back the bill but said she will closely review it.

Republican Andy Sanborn of Bedford says this bill is about saving lives.

Sara Plourde

 

New Hampshire lawmakers are preparing to get rid of a law put on the books last year allowing facilities that provide abortions to create 25-foot protest buffer zones.

The U.S. Supreme Court struck down a similar buffer zone law in Massachusetts last year, shortly after New Hampshire's law was passed. Since the decision, no New Hampshire facilities have put up the buffer zones. The House has already voted in support of a full repeal, and senators are taking up the repeal bill Thursday.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is returning to New Hampshire as he struggles to press forward with a likely presidential bid following indictments in the 2013 George Washington Bridge scandal.

The Republican will be in the early-voting state Thursday and Friday for several events.

The trip will include a visit to a drug treatment center and a keynote speech at a Lincoln Day dinner. He'll also lead another happy hour-timed town hall Friday at Fury's Publick House bar in Dover.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire House has again voted to make fetal homicide a crime.

Lawmakers voted 193-159 on Wednesday to amend the Senate’s version, which applies the law to fetuses which have reached the stage of viability.  

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Ohio Governor John Kasich is back in New Hampshire for his third trip so far this year.

The presidential hopeful has not officially entered the GOP race and says that decision hangs on whether he can raise enough money, but would not specify how much that was.

On Wednesday Kasich mingled with New Hampshire lawmakers at The Barley House in Concord where he touted his record for small business issues and taxes, but ducked invitations from lawmakers to bash other candidates in the race such as Hillary Clinton and Marco Rubio.

Chris Jensen, NHPR

 

New Hampshire's House of Representatives is considering a bill that would pave the way for an ambitious plan to restore a faded North Country resort.

The bill would create a special taxing district allowing the state to back $28 million in bonds toward redeveloping the Balsams, which closed in 2011.

Maine businessman Les Otten is seeking the state-backed bond to help finance the $143 million Balsams project.

The bill has passed the Senate; the House considers it Wednesday.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

 

Gov. Maggie Hassan says she plans to restore $3.9 million in rate increases for New Hampshire nursing homes. Nursing homes were told earlier this year they would not receive any increases, although many had already written budgets around them.

The state's nursing homes will receive the money immediately. The Department of Health and Human Services initially planned to halt the rate increases due to a budget shortfall. The proposal drew fire from the nursing homes and Senate Republicans.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Hundreds of New Hampshire residents turned out Tuesday to weigh in on the State budget, with more than 400 people signed up to testify during the hearing.

While waiting their turn activists filled the chamber and hallways wearing shirts that read  “addiction kills” or printed stickers with “people can’t wait.”The hearing went well into the night with 30 people left to speak around 11 p.m.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

Mike Huckabee, the former Governor of Arkansas, announced his candidacy for the Republican Presidential Primary on May 5, 2015. Huckabee, who ran in 2008, worked as a television host on the Fox News until January, when he resigned from the network in order to consider another run.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Senators are opening the budget process to members of the public who want to give testimony on what should and shouldn't be included in the next 2-year spending plan for New Hampshire.

People can testify before the Senate Finance Committee during two public hearings Tuesday, starting at 3 p.m. and 6 p.m. Both will be held in Representatives' Hall at the State House in Concord.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Officials from the N.H. Department of Health and Human Services are asking Senate budget writers to restore funding that was cut in the House proposal.

The $11.2 billion spending plan passed in April significantly under or level funded services for substance abuse, developmental disabilities and seniors.  

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Pediatric Neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson announced his bid for the 2016 Republican presidential primary in an interview with Florida TV station on May 3rd, 2015, and made his official announcement at an event in Detroit on May 4th.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Carly Fiorina is the former CEO of Hewlett Packard and as such, was the first woman to lead a Fortune 20 company. On May 4, 2015, she announced her candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential primary.

Fiorina received her undergraduate degree from Stanford, and earned business degrees from MIT and the University of Maryland. After surviving breast cancer (Fiorina was diagnosed and treated in 2009), she ran for U.S. Senate in 2010, and was defeated by incumbent Democrat Barbara Boxer.

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