Politics

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

Kuster, Garcia Trade Barbs In Final Debate

Oct 29, 2014
NHPR Staff/Allegra Boverman

The candidates for New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District sparred and sniped over a wide range of financial and social issues in their final debate last night.

But the matchup between incumbent Democrat Anne Kuster and GOP challenger Marilinda Garcia didn’t seem to produce any big moments that might tip the scales  one way or another.  

As they have all campaign long, Garcia and Kuster each portrayed the other as a political puppet. Garcia tried to tie Kuster to unpopular policies of President Obama, while Kuster characterized Garcia as a tool of the Tea Party.

It’s a week to the election, and New Hampshire campaigns are focused on getting their voters to the polls. And this year, there are some powerful new players on the field.

On a crystalline fall day, two orange tee-shirted canvassers for a group called NextGen Climate Change wander the breezy backstreets of Portsmouth.

“I know exactly where we are,” says worker Andrea Harkness.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A stark choice was on display Monday night as Democrat Carol Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta met for their final debate before the mid-term elections next week, televised live on WMUR TV.

In their three campaigns against one another, Guinta and Shea-Porter have debated more than a handful of times. They rarely agree on much.

Allegra Boverman

In an interview at the UNH School of Law Monday night, 2nd Congressional District Republican candidate Marilinda Garcia defended her record on hot-button social issues.

During the discussion with NHPR’s Laura Knoy, Garcia reiterated her opposition to gay marriage.

“I don’t think the state and the government should be there to be forcing religious denominations and institutions to redefine what is a sacrament.”

And on abortion, she says her record has been mischaracterized.

Fred Bever for NHPR

Former GOP Presidential nominee John McCain was back in New Hampshire today, stumping for the Republican ticket.

In an appearance at the American Legion Hall, the Arizona Senator nodded in agreement as Republican senate candidate Scott Brown asserted that Shaheen should have joined in a letter that called on President Obama to leave a residual force in Iraq. The American people have been failed by the administration’s foreign policy, Brown says. 

Emily Corwin / NHPR

  College campuses used to be the domain of the Democrats. Two years ago, Democrats got 62 percent of the vote among 18-29 year olds.  And with midterm election turnout particularly low among college students, it didn't make sense for the GOP to spend time campaigning there.

“Traditionally in midterm elections, the GOP has said ‘we don’t think it’s worth expending the resources,’” says 32 year old Andrew Hemingway, a recent Republican candidate for Governor and manager of Newt Gingrich’s 2012 campaign in New Hampshire.

Via candidate's website

A court has rejected a lawsuit by independent candidate for Massachusetts governor Evan Falchuk.

Falchuk was seeking to participate in the debate, scheduled for Monday at 8 p.m. in Worcester.

Falchuk said he was initially invited to the debate, but the offer was later rescinded. Falchuk filed the lawsuit in Suffolk Superior Court.

Falchuk said he was disappointed with the decision, but was glad to have his day in court.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain was out campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein Sunday.

  McCain and Havenstein greeted people as they dined at the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, shaking hands and posing for pictures. McCain says he came to lend Havenstein support in what he calls his ‘second favorite state’ because of Havenstein’s business background.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was joined on the campaign trail this weekend by one of her party’s biggest stars: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator who defeated Scott Brown in 2012. While Shaheen’s campaign stops targeted core Democratic constituencies – college towns and union halls --  Scott Brown’s campaign sought votes a bit farther afield.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made one thing clear to the crowd at the University of New Hampshire.  Scott Brown is not from here.

Dartmouth College and Stanford University researchers who sent election information mailers to voters in Montana, California and New Hampshire may have broken election laws in at least one of those states.

The election mailers placed candidates on a spectrum from ‘more liberal’ to ‘more conservative,’ and were titled “2014 Voter Information Guide.”  Dartmouth spokesperson Justin Anderson says were designed by political science researchers whose work “seeks to determine whether individuals provided with more information about candidates are more likely to vote.”

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

When Democrat Carol Shea-Porter first ran for congress 8 years ago, few gave her much of a shot.  Most of the powers that be in the democratic party lined up behind someone else, and her campaign was a decidedly hand to mouth operation.

“Well nobody, got paid first of all, so you didn’t have to get that much money if nobody gets paid,” explains Caroline French. Back then she was in charge of making sure Shea-Porter got to her events on time.

French says that first campaign was won on pure enthusiasm.

cnn.com

In their second televised debate, U.S. Senate candidates Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown clashed on how to best handle the threat of ISIS.

Brown repeatedly tried to link Shaheen to President Obama, including on the fight against the Islamic State.

“Senator, with respect, the Kurds are hanging on for dear life, they’re in trouble. The Iraqi government is in trouble. ISIS is the size of New England right now, and you and the president have taken ground troops off the table, which is the worst thing you can do.”

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The 2014 election marks Republican Frank Guinta's third try at the 1st Congressional District seat.

The former mayor of Manchester won in 2010, riding a wave of anti-government, Tea Party sentiment to a resounding 54-42 defeat of Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter.

Two years later, in a big year for Democrats, Shea-Porter returned the favor.

The two are now locked in a tight rematch.

At a house party in Rochester, Frank Guinta works the room, shaking hands with roughly 20 people gathered in the kitchen.

Chris Jensen/Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Walt Havenstein faced off in their first televised debate Wednesday night on NH1.

Hassan and Havenstein agreed on one thing: those responsible for the riots in Keene should be held accountable.

After that, there was plenty of daylight between them. At times the two seemed to talk past one another, both defending their own records - and distorting their opponents.

Havenstein repeatedly accused Hassan of fomenting “toxic partisanship” in Concord. Hassan said Havenstein is misinformed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s governor’s race is flying a bit under the radar. Most of this season’s campaign drama – not to mention spending – is focused on the U.S. Senate and Congressional races. 

But no one would say that incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan has it entirely locked up. Republican challenger Walt Havenstein is seen as the underdog, but there are political factors – both national and local, that could help him beat a path to the governor’s office.  

NHPR Staff

The dynamic of this high-profile race has changed little since former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown began plotting a return to Washington, from New Hampshire, the state in which he spent his early childhood.

Last night's NECN/Concord Monitor/UNH debate at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord was true to form.

Jeanne Shaheen repeatedly cast Brown as an opportunist:

David Lane / Union Leader

First congressional district candidates Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter met Tuesday night on NH1’s TV debate. Both candidates took aim at the other’s voting record in Washington.

Scroll down for audio of the full debate.

These candidates know each other well. This is the third time they’ve run against each other. And this debate often focused on refighting old battles.

Democrat Carol Shea-Porter was quick to blame Guinta and Republicans for the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration.

Four N.H. Senate and two Executive Council candidates debated a range of issues in Portsmouth Monday night. The forum was hosted by a new nonprofit dedicated to engaging young adults in the democratic process, called The 603 Initiative.

Republican candidate for NH Senate District 21, Phil Nazzaro argued the state should reduce its taxes on business profits tax. But Longtime Democratic incumbent Martha Fuller Clark said NH needs that revenue:  

Screenshots via NH1 news

In their first debate Democrat Ann Kuster and her Republican Challenger Marilinda Garcia both did their best to connect their opponent to another, less popular politician.

Garcia tried to tie Kuster to Obama, whose approval rating in the latest UNH poll was below 40 percent.

“She chaired his campaign committee or parts of it while in New Hampshire, and as recently as a few months ago she still claims to be one of his strongest supporters in Congress,” said Garcia.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

In a wide-ranging conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy Monday evening, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein covered a gamut of economic and social policy issues.

Havenstein’s overall campaign is focused on the state’s economy. At the taping of NHPR’s “Rudman Center Conversations with the Candidates” Havenstein said his view of New Hampshire’s poor business climate was cemented when his 31-year-old son had to leave the state in order to take the next step in his tech career.

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/barackobamadotcom/">BarackObamaDotCom</a> / Flickr

Former President Bill Clinton tried to light a fire under New Hampshire Democrats at the party’s annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner in Manchester last night.

He warned that without a more energetic voter turnout effort, Democrats could take a big hit, as they did in 2010.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Congressional incumbents are typically most vulnerable right after their first term, and tight polls and big money flowing into New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District suggest that Democratic Congresswoman Ann Kuster is in that dangerous territory.

On a recent rainy day in Concord, Kuster took a spin through Peter’s Salon, a decades-old establishment in downtown Concord that employs more than two dozen workers. She’s there to press some flesh and highlight her support for small businesses in new Hampshire.  

As Election Day draws near we’re checking in each week on political ads and ad spending with Dave Levinthal, Senior Political Reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

Over the past week Levinthal says political ads have turned negative – really negative.

In a debate Thursday morning on WGIR, Governor Maggie Hassan repeatedly went after Republican Walt Havenstein for a pledge he signed earlier this year with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

“By singing that Koch brothers pledge, he is pledging to undo our Medicaid expansion, he’s pledging no matter what to do what the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity tell him to do.”

Tune in to NHPR for a series of debates with the candidates for senator, governor and New Hampshire’s two congressional seats. They will will air live at 7 P.M. beginning Monday, October 20. The full schedule is posted below.

The NH1 debates are produced in partnership with NHPR, The Portsmouth Herald, The Laconia Sun and Foster's Daily Democrat. 

To learn more about the candidates, click here. To listen to NHPR's Rudman Center Conversations with the Candidates, click here.

Former President Bill Clinton is coming back to New Hampshire, the state that helped lead him to the Democratic nomination in 1992, to rally support for the state's Democratic candidates.

Clinton will headline the state Democratic Party's annual dinner in Manchester on Thursday. The Democratic incumbents topping the party's ticket — Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster — will also speak. Clinton's wife, former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, will campaign with Shaheen and Hassan two days before the Nov. 4 election.

Pages