Politics

Credit Daniel S. Hurd

NHPR's political coverage from the New Hampshire State House to the First In The Nation Primary, Town Meeting, and the Congressional Delegation. Stories by Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers, Digital Journalist Brian Wallstin, and the NHPR News team. 

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Former BAE Systems CEO Walt Havenstein is the Republican nominee governor.

Walt Havenstein didn’t always run strong in this race but he won by nearly 20 points over Andrew Hemingway. He said voters in the general election will have a clear choice.

“The choice is going to be about the future of our state and whether or not we’re gonna maintain and stay in this economic stagnation or if we’re actually gonna take a bold course to change our economic outcome for the future prosperity of our state.”

Former Executive Councilor Dave Wheeler took a step toward returning to the council Tuesday, winning the GOP primary for the District 5 seat.

The Milford Republican defeated Steve Hattamer of Hollis.

Wheeler served on the council for one term, but lost his bid for re-election to Democrat Deb Pignatelli in 2012.

Pignatelli chose not to seek another term.

Wheeler will face Nashua Alderman Diane Sheehan, who defeated Jennifer Daler in the Democratic primary.  

Scott Brown wasn't even an official candidate when he declined to agree to a "people's pledge" to limit the amount of outside spending in the New Hampshire Senate race.

Six months later, with Brown expected to win the Republican nomination in Tuesday’s primary, more than half of the $19.1 million spent on the New Hampshire race has come from outside groups.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  As former President of BAE Systems, Walt Havenstein led one of New Hampshire’s largest employers. That’s one reason top Republicans encouraged the millionaire business-man to get into the governor’s race. Havenstein has vastly outspent his Republican opponent but this race remains tight.

Midterm Elections With 'Political Junkie' Ken Rudin

Sep 4, 2014
Allegra Boverman

Ken Rudin is in New Hampshire, putting his seasoned eye on politics.  And this year, with Republicans hoping to take the U.S. Senate and congressional dysfunction weighing heavily on voters, we’ll explore the themes emerging in the 2014 midterm elections, both here and around the country.

GUEST:

Republican candidates in the 1st Congressional District squared off Tuesday for their final debate before the Sept. 9 primary.

With the news earlier in the day that a second American journalist had died at the hands of the Islamic State, discussion on the conflict in Iraq was at the forefront Tuesday night.

Frank Guinta said the country needs to "eliminate and eradicate ISIS," but when pressed on whether that meant boots on the ground, the former Congressman balked.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

At 32 years old, Republican Andrew Hemingway would be the youngest governor in the history of New Hampshire.

That, coupled with his being known primarily as a political activist, makes his candidacy a bit of a long shot. But Hemingway is banking on his traditional conservative values coupled with his tech savvy.

Republicans hoping to unseat New Hampshire's U.S. House incumbents are split on recent legislation to address the crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border.

The $694 million bill passed by the House on Aug. 1 would increase spending for overwhelmed border agencies, add more immigration judges and detention spaces, and alter a 2008 anti-trafficking law to permit Central American children to be sent back home without deportation hearings.

When discussing competitive U.S. Senate races, New Hampshire isn't at the top of the list. Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana — they all have tight contests. But now it seems even New Hampshire may be in play.

Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is a former longtime New Hampshire governor, finishing up her first term in the U.S. Senate. Polls consistently find she's still personally popular, even after millions of dollars in attack ads run against her. And yet a recent WMUR Granite State poll finds she has a race on her hands.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The same day he was arraigned on abuse of power charges, Texas Governor Rick Perry kicked off a two-day visit to New Hampshire, fueling speculation about another presidential bid.

Speaking at an Americans for Prosperity event in Manchester on Friday, Governor Rick Perry didn’t shy away from the indictment handed down last week.

“This indictment isn’t about me. This is a lot bigger than me. It’s about the state system of constitutional checks and balances. We’ll prevail.”

AP Photo

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has written to federal regulators stating that she has nothing to do with a newly formed political organization urging her to run for president in 2016.

Lawyers for the first-term Massachusetts Democrat, who was elected in 2012, delivered a letter to the Federal Elections Commission on Friday stating that Warren "has not, and does not, explicitly or implicitly, authorize, endorse, or otherwise approve" of any activities by "Ready For Warren."

www.lawrenceforcongress.com

Jim Lawrence is a former state Representative, having served three terms in the New Hampshire Statehouse.

The Hudson man is running in the 2nd Congressional District.

Why are you running?

President Barack Obama’s policies – being supported 95 percent of the time by Ann Kuster – in my estimation, they were destroying the future of American for my children. I felt that I had to act. The other Republican candidates running in the race weren’t talking about the issues that I felt were important to the voters of New Hampshire.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Arizona Senator John McCain was back on the New Hampshire campaign trail Monday.

He was here to boost the campaign of former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.

John McCain won the New Hampshire primary twice, and seemed to understand that a crowd of Granite State voters – even one of full supporters – likes a little deference.

“I will leave it up to the good judgment of the people of New Hampshire. I certainly wouldn’t pretend to tell them how to vote, but I would like to share with them as I have today the experience I had with this good and decent American.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i3X2eDCmPRY / Mayday

  A political action committee on a mission to overhaul  how campaigns are financed is putting its weight behind first district Democratic Congresswoman, Carol Shea-Porter. Porter  is  one of 8 candidates to be endorsed by Mayday, which expects to spent $13 million dollars this campaign season.

Mayday is the brainchild of Harvard Law professor and political activist, Lawrence Lessig.  He says Mayday has one goal: to reduce the influence of money in politics.

Hassan campaign

Governor Maggie Hassan has returned another $9,000-worth of campaign contributions from organized labor. Hassan has now returned $33,000 of improper donations from union political action committees.

The problem with the initial donations – $25,000 from the Electrical Workers PAC and $10,000 from the Plumbers and Steamfitters PAC, was when they were received – after Hassan’s candidacy was official.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

  Former Republican Presidential Nominee Mitt Romney has endorsed New Hampshire gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

In a statement, the former Massachusetts governor praised Havenstein’s leadership abilities, pointing to his tenure as the CEO of BAE Systems.

Havenstein is running against Republican activist Andrew Hemingway, who led Tea Party protests against Romney in the last election.

The two will face off in a September 9th primary.

The winner will face Governor Maggie Hassan in the November general election.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

Governor Maggie Hassan is directing state agencies to put all large expenditures on hold, after shortfalls in revenue last month.

Hassan says specifically, there were shortfalls from the business taxes and interest and dividends tax.

She says meals and rooms revenue and other financial indicators remained strong in July.

"We must continue to work together across party lines to address these revenue trends and responsibly manage the state’s budget while protecting our bipartisan priorities.”

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein says lowering the state’s business profits tax is part of his plan to create 25,000 new jobs by August 2017.

Walt Havenstein says under his plan, reducing the tax from 8.5% to 7.4% would take place over two budget cycles.

The former BAE CEO acknowledged it would cost the state $50 million in revenue in the first biennium, but says no spending cuts would be needed.

“Even at our meager, meager anemic growth rate, our growth rate will offset that particular reduction.”

NHPR/Josh Rogers

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown will kick off a series of town hall meetings Tuesday night in Salem.

Brown, a former Massachusetts U.S. Senator, says Tuesday night’s discussion will focus on immigration, with each meeting focusing on a particular topic.

Brown is running against former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith and former state Senator Jim Rubens in the Republican primary on Sept. 9.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie visited New Hampshire for the second time in as many months Thursday night to aid Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein with his campaign.

Chris Christie, who’s Chair of the Republican Governors Association is again signaling establishment support for former defense contractor Walt Havenstein.

Christie said when Havenstein took over BAE Systems in 2000, the company had a budget three times the size of the state.

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is coming to New Hampshire for the second time in little more than a month to campaign for Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

Christie has been crisscrossing the country this summer to bolster fellow Republicans as chair of the Republican Governors Association. But his schedule also is packed with stops in key states on the presidential nomination calendar, giving him the opportunity to make inroads with fundraisers, party leaders and activists who will be crucial if he decides to run in 2016.

NHPR Staff

While all three candidates seeking the Republican nomination in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District race took part in a debate Wednesday morning, it was two candidates who spent much of their time attacking each other’s record.

The debate, hosted by WGIR, opened with state Representative Marilinda Garcia and former state Senator Gary Lambert accusing each other of taking illegal campaign contributions.

Each denied the allegation, and then went after each other’s voting record.

NHPR / Michael Brindley

The “Thank a Vet” barbeque in Holderness Saturday drew several Republicans vying for their party’s nomination in the upcoming September primary.  

Among them was former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith, who’s running to get his old seat back.

Smith has yet to release fundraising figures, but he says his campaign is doing fine.

“We don’t do fundraisers in Las Vegas and raise hundreds of thousands of dollars. We’re a grassroots organization. I like to say I’m a country music Republican, not a country club Republican and so that’s where we’re raising our money.”

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

A New Hampshire judge has struck down a law requiring out-of-state students to establish legal residency before being allowed to vote.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union challenged the law on behalf of four out-of-state college students two years ago, shortly after lawmakers overrode a veto by then-Gov. John Lynch and passed Senate Bill 318.

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

Former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina told more than 200 Republican activists that the GOP needs to do better when it comes to winning the support of women.

She said all Republicans -- but females in particular -- need to fight what she called the "baseless propaganda" that GOP is waging a war on women.

Fiorina says the best way to do that is through grassroots organizing and one to one outreach.

The New Hampshire Civil Liberties has filed a lawsuit in federal court that challenges a new state law limiting the time political parties have to collect signatures to get on the ballot.

The organization filed the lawsuit on behalf of the libertarian party.

State law now requires that political organizations collect the signatures they need in the year of the election.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

The realscottbrownrecord.com highlights what the NH PAC to Save America calls Brown’s deceptive tactic of criticizing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen for doing what he also did– support policies favored by President Obama.

Brown has made Jeanne Shaheen’s fealty to the president a key part of his campaign, but PAC adviser Mike Dennehy says Brown needs to be held to account for the fact that Congressional Quarterly found he voted with the President 78 percent of the time in 2012.

www.merrimack4th.com

If you want to catch a glimpse of New Hampshire's U.S. Senate candidates on Independence Day, head to Amherst and Merrimack.

Both parades will feature all four major candidates running this year, including incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

She'll be joined by the three Republican challengers: former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown, former New Hampshire U.S. Senator Bob Smith, and former state Senator Jim Rubens.

The Amherst parade kicks off at 10 at Wilkins Elementary School.

Via Flickr CC

As you're paying more at the pump today, you may be wondering where all that extra money is going.

New Hampshire's 4.2 cent increase to the state's gas tax goes into effect July 1.

The increase, the first since 1991, is expected to generate an additional $32 million annually for the state's Department of Transportation.

The legislation that enacted the increase mandates that 42 percent of that money go towards bonding for the widening of Interstate 93.

In a decision that could have implications in New Hampshire, the Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a Massachusetts law that permits a 35-foot protest-free zone outside abortion clinics.

The justices were unanimous in ruling that extending a buffer zone 35 feet from clinic entrances violates the First Amendment rights of protesters.

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