Politics

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

PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

If you've been tuned into New Hampshire politics for the past few presidential elections, then you've probably heard the name Vermin Supreme.

He's been on the primary ballot for the past three presidential elections and he tends to stand out. He's the only candidate who consistently wears a boot on his head and declares "free ponies for all," as his major campaign platform. 

Hillary Clinton's Concord Book Signing Draws A Crowd

Dec 5, 2017
PAIGE SUTHERLAND/NHPR

Hundreds of Hillary Clinton supporters lined up for hours Tuesday outside Gibson’s Bookstore in Concord to get signed copies of Clinton’s new book.

AP/Jim Cole/Pool

Democratic political giant Mary Louise Hancock has died at 97.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawyers for a New Hampshire city sued by a performance artist and perennial candidate in the state's presidential primary believe a settlement is imminent on a request by the artist for a permit to bring two ponies to his planned protest of Hillary Clinton's book signing.

House and Senate Republicans have now passed two different versions of a sweeping tax overhaul. Their next step is to iron out differences between the two bills, so the final product can be sent to the president to be signed into law.

Hillary Clinton Makes Book Tour Stop in Concord

Dec 4, 2017
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Hillary Clinton is back in New Hampshire on Tuesday.

The former Democratic Presidential candidate and Secretary of State will be in downtown Concord signing copies of her new book.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR reporter Lauren Chooljian contributed to this report.

An additional three dozen lawmakers have signed and returned paperwork acknowledging that they’ve read the Statehouse sexual harassment policy in the week since NHPR first published a list of legislators’ signatures on file. 

That brings the total in compliance to a little more than three-quarters of the 400-member House.

Gene Chandler is back as Speaker of the New Hampshire House.

After two rounds of secret ballots and one caucus meeting Thursday, Chandler won the majority of votes cast by his House colleagues. The Bartlett Republican beat Democrat Steve Shurtleff of Penacook and Libertarian Jim McConnell of North Swanzey.

Chandler is in his 18th term in the NH house.

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Governor Sununu says he supports the GOP tax bill working its way through the Senate, calling it a “net positive” for the majority of low and middle income families in America.

Sununu met Wednesday with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about the tax plan, as well as New Hampshire’s Medicaid program and ongoing opioid crisis.

File Photo / NHPR

Now that the Senate Budget Committee has passed the Republican tax plan, GOP leaders hope the full Senate will take it up this week.

While the fate of the bill is unclear, Democrats seem to be united against it, calling it a giveaway to the wealthy at the expense of the middle class.

New Hampshire Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen joined NHPR's Peter Biello to discuss the legislation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

  The country's largest legislative body is set to choose its new leader. 

 

The 400-member New Hampshire House will vote Thursday morning to replace Shawn Jasper, who left the post after three years to become Agriculture Commissioner. 

 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic Executive Councilor Chris Pappas kicked off his congressional campaign with an event in Manchester Tuesday night.

Pappas spoke to supporters at the Puritan Backroom Restaurant, which his family owns and operates.

The former state representative told the crowd he’s willing to work across the aisle to get things done.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A state lawmaker wants to give employees who work at the New Hampshire Statehouse the same protections afforded to their counterparts in other public sector jobs across the state.

Right now, New Hampshire's public employee labor act applies to employees at state agencies, the judicial branch, the state university system and other public bodies. But the employees who work at the Statehouse are left out.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

  It wasn't gold, money or skeletons.

But the newly-found items, including old ledgers, now-vintage fans and Civil War bonds, locked for decades in an old safe in a first floor committee room, were still exciting to a few curious minds at the New Hampshire State House. 

When it comes to marijuana legalization, the conflict between state and federal laws appears to be cause for concern for New Hampshire banks.

Todd Wells, Chief Bank Examiner for the New Hampshire Banking Department, says it's a matter of "reputation risk" for state-chartered banks and credit unions hesitant to establish direct relationships with marijuana-related businesses.

New Hampshire could become one of just a few states that allows birth control pills to be prescribed by pharmacists.

A commission appointed by the state legislature voted unanimously last week to endorse the idea.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a scenario that was reminiscent of his earlier rise as Speaker of the House, Republican Shawn Jasper narrowly squeaked through as New Hampshire’s new agriculture commissioner — thanks to support from the opposite party.

When Jasper was elected Speaker in 2014, House Democrats joined with a handful of Republicans to secure his nomination. On Wednesday, the Executive Council's two Democrats also joined with one Republican to confirm Jasper as agriculture commissioner.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As reported earlier this week, New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper says he's disappointed that roughly one-quarter of his chamber has not signed a form acknowledging they’ve read the official State House sexual harassment policy.

Thanksgiving - or any time families gather together - often includes some intense political debate at the dinner table. 

It's the first Thanksgiving with President Donald Trump in office, and in a purple state that was nearly split between candidates during the election, there are bound to be some uncomfortable conversations. 

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New Hampshire House Speaker Shawn Jasper says he’s disappointed that roughly one-quarter of his chamber has not signed a form acknowledging they’ve read the official Statehouse sexual harassment policy. The way he sees it, “there should be 100 percent compliance.”

Some members of the New Hampshire Democratic Party are forming a caucus for military veterans and their families. 

About fifty people have expressed interest in joining, says Amelia Keane. She's a Democratic representative from Nashua and a combat medic in the Army Reserves.

Keane is also a member of the caucus, and she says its goal is to advocate for legislation that would improve the lives of veterans and their family members. She says right now the caucus is just getting started.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

A lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a controversial new voter registration law is heading to trial next August, according to a recent court order.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Democrats’ annual Kennedy Clinton Dinner is one of the party’s marquee fundraisers – a chance to bask in recent electoral victories and channel the party’s energy before the next campaign season kicks into gear.

But as Democrats gathered in Hollis for this year’s dinner, the reputation one of its namesakes was getting fresh scrutiny – and not just from political opponents.

A new poll from the University of New Hampshire says many New Hampshire residents don't think voter fraud has an impact on local elections.

The latest Granite State Poll tackles a topic that's been front of mind for many New Hampshire residents lately, especially Republicans. 

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A bipartisan group of lawmakers, including House Representative Annie Kuster, have introduced legislation to prevent and respond to sexual harassment in Congress.

The Me Too bill would require more transparency and provide better support for victims and whistleblowers. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Congresswoman Kuster by phone about the bill.

  (Editor's note: this transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Lorie Shaull / Wikimedia Commons

Three members of New Hampshire's congressional delegation say they support an ethics probe of Minnesota Sen. Al Franken following sexual harassment accusations by a radio anchor.

WMUR-TV reports Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan and Democratic Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster expressed support for an ethics investigation Thursday. Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who is a member of the Senate Ethics Committee, said she couldn't comment because the case may be evaluated by the committee.

Shaheen Bill To Toughen Federal Checks on Gun Buyers

Nov 16, 2017
FILE

Senator Jeanne Shaheen has teamed up with colleagues across the aisle to sponsor a bill, introduced Thursday, that seeks to strengthen the federal database on gun background checks.

Democratic State Rep. Mindi Messmer has announced she’s running for Congress.

Messmer is a first-term legislator from Rye who has made a name for herself through her work on drinking water contamination in the state.

Messmer is a scientist who runs her own environmental consulting firm.

She says she wants to bring that scientific background to Washington to defend environmental regulations that are being rolled back by the Trump administration.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A controversial school choice bill cleared a major hurdle in the State House Tuesday, receiving a positive recommendation from the House Education Committee on Tuesday by a 10-9 vote.

The bill would allow parents of some children to spend tax dollars to educate their children with non-public school options like private school or home school. But the bill looks considerably different than when it was originally introduced several months ago.

One Vote Margin Leads To Recount On Keno In Rochester

Nov 14, 2017
Courtesy of the N.H. Lottery Commission

Rochester officials will be hosting a recount next week on the passage of the electronic gambling game Keno.

Last week voters in the city approved Keno by just one vote.

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