Politics

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

White House Livestream

A lawsuit that sought to restrict New Hampshire's ability to share voter information with the Trump administration’s election integrity commission was resolved in court Monday. 

Both sides compromised on a plan to allow Secretary of State Bill Gardner to share scanned, unsearchable copies of local voter checklists from all wards across the state— not the larger, digitized version of that information that is collected in the central statewide voter database.

Governor Chris Sununu will be revving his engine Saturday night at New England Dragway in Epping.

The governor told reporters he doesn’t believe the school buses he, lottery director Charles McIntyre, New Hampshire’s 2017 teacher of the years, and a radio host best known as “Roadkill,” will be driving are souped up.

But he did indicate he’s considering ways to make sure his bus turns heads at it speeds down the ¼ mile drag strip.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire politicians on both sides of the aisle were quick to condemn comments President Trump reportedly made during a conversation with the President of Mexico earlier this year about the Granite State’s opioid epidemic.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senator Maggie Hassan says she was outraged by allegations of substandard care at the Manchester VA Medical Center, first reported in The Boston Globe.    Hassan and other delegation members are planning to meet with U.S. Secretary of Veteran Affairs David Shulkin, who is visiting the Center this Friday, August 4.  Hassan also talked with The Exchange about what's next for the ACA,  after the recent failure of Repeal and Replace, and about whether Medicare for All, now being pushed by Senator Bernie Sanders, has a chance. She didn't seem to think so.  See highlights from the entire conversation below.    

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Anthony Scaramucci is leaving his position as White House communications director — less than two weeks after being named for the job.

Scaramucci's departure followed the Monday-morning swearing in of the new White House chief of staff, retired Gen. John F. Kelly. Scaramucci had negotiated an unusual deal to report directly to the president rather than the chief of staff (Reince Priebus at the time).

A Conversation With Senator Maggie Hassan

Jul 30, 2017
Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan will be our guest on NHPR's The Exchange Monday, July 31.

There is no shortage of issues in Washington D.C., and we'll ask Hassan about several of them, including the ongoing debate over health care and President Trump's recent announcement regarding banning transgender people from the military. We'll also get her take on the investigation into the Manchester VA Medical Center.

 


Jason Moon for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he disagrees with President Donald Trump’s decision to ban transgender people from serving in the armed forces. In an interview Thursday afternoon, Sununu said anyone who is physically and mentally fit should be able to serve in the U.S. military.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Voters from New Hampshire’s 16th District were at the polls Tuesday choosing a new state senator in a special election.

Allegra Boverman

There’s a special election for the state Senate Tuesday in District 16 — which covers Bow, Candia, Hooksett and part of Manchester.

In light of what it describes as “some confusion regarding the use of different forms of identification by voters,” the New Hampshire Attorney General’s office sent a memo this weekend to election workers in that district outlining what kind of documents voters will need at the polls.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Voters in New Hampshire’s 16th District will head to the polls Tuesday to choose a new state senator.

The seat opened up after the passing of Democratic Senator Scott McGillivray.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

In one of his first acts after being inaugurated in January, Governor Chris Sununu asked department heads to compile a list of state regulations that could be stricken from the books.

That review has now resulted in more than 1,600 regulations that Sununu said need to go.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner returned to New Hampshire Thursday after traveling to Washington earlier this week for his first meeting as a member of the Trump administration's election commission.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

In the spirit of summer, Gov. Chris Sununu and New Hampshire's Executive Councilor had a little fun at Wednesday’s regular meeting, starting the morning with a boat ride and ending it with arcade games.

White House Livestream

Secretary of State Bill Gardner used his opening remarks at the inaugural meeting of the Trump administration’s voting integrity commission to call for closer examination of the value of photo ID laws and other measures that, he says, improve public confidence in elections.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

State Senate candidates David Boutin, Republican and former state Senator, Kevin Cavanaugh, Democrat and Manchester alderman, and Jason Dubrow, a Libertarian active in town government in Dunbarton, joined The Exchange to discuss issues important to New Hampshire voters. Voting takes place on July 25. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Secretary of State Bill Gardner is on his way to Washington to participate in the first official meeting of the Trump administration’s Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, scheduled for Wednesday.

NHPR Staff

Governor Sununu's pick to lead a lead a new state department dedicated to economic development had his day before the Executive Council today.

The Governor likes to describe the goal for this new department, which would oversee business development and travel and tourism, as being a "one stop shop" for folks doing business in New Hampshire.

That sounds simple, but it touches areas as diverse as education, housing, and labor policies, all of which can get complicated, as can the business-speak of Sununu's pick to spearhead development efforts, Taylor Caswell.

NHPR Staff

Governor Chris Sununu has issued his first veto since taking office in January, on a bill aimed to set statewide standards for votes on zoning variances.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

July tends to be a quiet month in New Hampshire’s political calendar. That’s why candidates in the special election for the District 16 New Hampshire Senate seat are doing their best to remind voters to get to the polls later this month.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

After last fall’s election, New Hampshire's Second District Congresswoman, Ann McLane Kuster, said she hoped to find areas where should could agree with President Trump.

"Absolutely I’ll be looking for common ground. Paid family leave that’s one that I think is important, and obviously infrastructure investment, I think is very significant for the economy. And I think there will be others."

Donald Trump Jr. tweeted images of emails regarding his 2016 meeting with a Russian lawyer on Tuesday.

An intermediary said he could connect Trump Jr. with people who had information "that would incriminate Hillary [Clinton]... and would be very useful to your father." 

NHPR Staff

A legal challenge to the New Hampshire’s plans to share voter data with the Trump administration has been put on hold, pending other legal challenges at the federal level.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

On The Exchange, Governor Chris Sununu addressed the uproar over the White House request for voter information and defended his decision not to join an alliance set up by states pledging to uphold the Paris Accord on climate change. He reaffirmed his support for the Northern Pass project and called for a "smart portfolio of renewables," including geothermal.  As for the political dimension of these and other debates,  Sununu had this to say: "I do my best to throw politics out." 

Sheryl Rich-Kern for NHPR

Update: The hearing was postponed Tuesday morning at the request of the New Hampshire ACLU, pending further legal action at the federal level.

One of the first legal challenges related to the Trump administration’s request for state voter files will go before a judge in Nashua Tuesday, as part of a lawsuit filed last week by the New Hampshire ACLU and two state lawmakers.

Gov. Chris Sununu says turning over the state’s voter information (or, at least, what’s included in public voter checklists) to a Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity is a step toward restoring confidence in the nation’s elections.

FILE

Former U.S. Attorney Emily Gray Rice will be Manchester’s new interim city solicitor. Rice was officially confirmed Monday by the city’s alderman through a phone poll.

NHPR Staff

The new state budget may be in effect, but one issue still unresolved is a contract for state employees. Governor Sununu says he’d welcome a deal but it may not happen.

Negotiations between the Sununu administration and the five unions representing state workers haven’t been easy. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As N.H. Deputy Secretary of State David Scanlan explained on The Exchange, the voter information requested by the Commission on Election Integrity is already publicly available and has been for about ten years -- though there are laws governing who gets access to that voter information, as well as how it is accessed and used.  For election-law attorney Paul Twomey, the Commission's request, in addition to being politically suspect,  does not fall within that legal framework and could lead to major security risks.  

Both Scanlan and N.H. Secretary of State Bill Gardner have seemed somewhat taken aback by the uproar over the Commission's request. Scanlan places some of the blame on a polarized political climate.  Since our conversation, as NHPR's Casey McDermott reports here, the ACLU has joined with two N.H. lawmakers in suing Gardner over his plans to comply with the Trump Administration's request for voter information.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Two New Hampshire lawmakers from different sides of the aisle are asking a judge to block the Secretary of State from handing over voter information to President Trump’s election integrity commission.

Work requirements under the federal health insurance program Medicaid are based on a simple premise: If you want to receive government assistance for your healthcare and you’re able to work, you should work.

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