Politics

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

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.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Rand Paul, the Republican Kentucky senator who is considering a presidential run in 2016, is coming back to New Hampshire to rally voters ahead of November's election.

It's Paul's second trip in a month to the state that holds the nation's first presidential primary. He's visited several times over the past two years and says he'll decide whether to run for president in the spring.

On Thursday, he'll attend get-out-the-vote rallies in Manchester, Concord and Salem and also meet with students at Plymouth State University.

Tracy Lee Carroll for NHPR

Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney hit the campaign trail with GOP senate candidate Scott Brown Wednesday.

Romney told a crowd of supporters that voting out Jeanne Shaheen was a way to send a message to the the President.

Romney and Brown rallied voters at the Gilchrist Metal Fabricating, a stop Romney used during his presidential run. The former Massachusetts governor said there is a “big ravine” between  what  Jeanne Shaheen says in NH and what she does in Washington, which is support the president’s agenda without fail.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The race to represent New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District is catching fire here and nationally.

A poll last week put incumbent Rep. Anne Kuster, a first-term Democrat, behind her GOP challenger, state lawmaker Marilinda Garcia. It looks like it will be a close contest.

At 31, Marilinda Garcia would be one of the youngest members elected to the U.S. House this year. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Garcia won the GOP congressional primary last month, a large and loud crowd of millennials was in the house.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan touted her economic credentials at a campaign stop at a Manchester marketing company Tuesday. She also fired a few shots at her opponent, Walt Havenstein.

Hassan argued she’s better equipped to help small businesses than rival Walt Havenstein. Internet marketing company Commonplaces was a beneficiary of job training grants. Hassan championed that program and what she terms bipartisan successes like increasing higher ed funding, raising the gas tax and expanding Medicaid.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

There’s a painted blue line surrounding the entrance to the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard. Over that blue line, political campaigning is not allowed, but just a few inches on this side of it – politics are in motion.

Over the last few months, Shipyard unions have endorsed at least five candidates, most of them Democrats. 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

  Environmental issues have never ranked high on the list of issues that drive most voters to the polls. But this year, Tom Steyer – a former hedge fund manager and billionaire – has pledged to spend $50 million dollars in a few key races around the country, hoping to make climate change a central issue. This spending begs a question: can talking about global warming actually win elections?

Steyer’s operation in New Hampshire, NextGen Climate, has 24 full-time staff, and 5 field offices with two more slated to open in the coming weeks.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is set to campaign with Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein for the fourth time.

Here’s a statement about campaign advertising that may surprise you even if you’ve seen the influx of ads on TV and online video sites: “Candidates, parties and groups ran at least 10,300 TV ads in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race.”

That statement comes from a project called “Who’s Buying the Senate?”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Scott Brown has tried to make the New Hampshire Senate race about national security, illegal immigration and incumbent Jeanne Shaheen’s political fidelity to an unpopular president.

But the Republican candidate has spent a lot of time the past two weeks defending his somewhat ambiguous record on abortion rights. The issue boiled over Tuesday at a hastily organized “media availability” in Derry, where Brown was set to talk foreign policy with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla).

via YouTube

The US Senate campaigns of Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown continue to battle over Brown’s record on abortion.

A day after Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign aired an ad highlighting a Scott Brown’s sponsorship of  2005 bill in the Massachusetts legislature that sought to imposed a 24-waiting period for abortion and require women to be provided with images of fetus, the Brown campaign was up with an ad of his own.

It features Brown speaking right into the camera.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Frank Guinta, who is running to regain the congressional seat he held for one term, says he and his opponent, Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter, would have agreed on at least one vote. Guinta would have voted against the Obama administration’s current military campaign in Iraq and Syria.

In a conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy at the UNH School of Law’s Rudman Center, former Congressman Guinta said he would want more details on the president’s plan to arm moderate Syrian rebels.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Florida U.S. Senator Marco Rubio was in New Hampshire Tuesday to endorse Republican Scott Brown in the race for U.S. Senate.

Speaking with Brown at an event in Derry that focused on foreign policy, Rubio says re-electing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen would be disastrous.

“Your current United State Senator, if she’s reelected, God forbid, the first vote she will take is to re-elect Harry Reid as the majority leader, someone who uses the United States Senate as a platform to run interference for the failed foreign policy of this president.”

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Republican Scott Brown called on opponent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen to pull an ad he says misrepresents the so-called Women’s Right to Know bill he co-sponsored as a Massachusetts state senator.

The ad was controversial from the moment it began running.

For the Shaheen campaign, this ad is the sharpest effort yet in the race for U.S. Senate to undercut Scott Brown’s record on abortion rights.

Substance, Sparks in First Shaheen-Brown Debate

Oct 6, 2014

Senator Jeanne Shaheen and her Republican challenger, Scott Brown, debated for the first time yesterday in North Conway.

But both candidates focused more on spelling out big differences on policy than they did on rehashing the pointed attack lines promoted by their respective campaigns.

The charged sloganeering wasn't entirely absent. In his opening statement, Brown delivered his campaign’s fundamental argument: That Shaheen votes with President Obama and his polices 99 percent of the time.

Brown, Shaheen Spar In First Debate

Oct 6, 2014
Boverman/Jensen for NHPR

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen and GOP challenger Scott Brown sparred over reproductive rights Monday in a debate held at North Conway’s Grand Hotel.

Shaheen used this debate to emphasized her record supporting access to abortion and contraception, and to question Brown’s claim that he is pro-choice.

NHPR Staff

  U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and her Republican challenger Scott Brown are meeting for the first of several debates ahead of the November elections.

Monday's debate in North Conway is being hosted by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council, which represents a dozen towns and works to attract new businesses to the area.

Shaheen, a former governor, is seeking a second term in the Senate. Brown won a special election in 2010 in Massachusetts, lost the seat two years later and moved to New Hampshire in late 2013.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic incumbent U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says U.S. air strikes against ISIS in Syria were a necessary step toward defeating the terrorist group.

Senator Shaheen acknowledged the quandary of working with a Syrian government that just a year ago was forced to hand over chemical weapons it allegedly used on its own people.

But in an interview Tuesday night with NHPR’s Laura Knoy at the UNH School of Law, Shaheen, a member of the foreign relations committee, said there were no other options.

Boverman/Jensen for NHPR

Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen is making a big push for the women’s vote, which for three decades has tilted toward her party. But this year, GOP challenger Scott Brown is trying to exploit what may be a new vulnerability for Democratic candidates – women’s disenchantment with the way President Obama is handling the threat of the so-called Islamic State.

The race could come down to what’s highest on women’s minds come election day  – social and economic issues such as abortion and pay equity, or… national security.

Hillary Clinton's first grandchild has caused the former secretary of state and potential 2016 presidential candidate to postpone a Washington, D.C., fundraiser for a New Hampshire lawmaker.

Clinton was scheduled to attend a fundraiser with state Sen. Lou D'Allesandro, a Manchester Democrat, on Tuesday alongside former Massachusetts state Sen. Steve Baddour. Chelsea Clinton gave birth to a daughter, Charlotte, on Friday.

D'Allesandro's office said the fundraiser has not been rescheduled yet.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

On the campaign trail Monday, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown continued to rail against the Affordable Care Act, taking aim specifically at the employer mandate.

During an event at North Country Tractor in Pembroke, Brown highlighted a part of the health law yet to kick in: a requirement that businesses with 50 or more full-time employees offer health insurance benefits.

The store’s owner says that’s why he’s stopped hiring at 47 employees.

Brown says it’s an example of how so-called Obamacare is hurting New Hampshire businesses.

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