Money in Politics

State of Democracy's coverage of campaign finance and the role money is playing in the 2016 New Hampshire primary and beyond.

NHPR's recent interactive map showing how Granite Staters are donating to the 2016 presidential candidates is a unique visual guide to campaign fundraising.

On first glance, a couple of obvious geographic partisan disparities jump out. For instance, Republican donors are heavily concentrated in southern Hillsborough County and Rockingham County. There's also a pocket of Republican donors in the Lakes Region.

Nearly two thirds of the contributions from New Hampshire residents to presidential candidates since January went to Democrats, with Hillary Clinton collecting more from Granite Staters than all the Republicans combined.

Zach Nugent for NHPR

Rep. Frank Guinta's recent troubles with the Federal Election Commission have put a serious dent in his fundraising efforts over the past few months. 

Via the NH Rebellion on Facebook

As they make their way around the Granite State, the presidential contenders being met by potential voters frustrated with the political influence of wealthy donors.

NHPR’s digital reporter Brian Wallstin has been reporting on the issue of money in politics and where the candidates stand, and he’s here to talk about what he’s learned.

At campaign events, house parties and town hall meetings across the state, presidential contenders are being met by potential voters who want to know what they plan to do about the role of money in politics.

And the candidates aren’t shying away from the question.

Democrats have taken aim at Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that struck down limits on independent expenditures by corporations and unions.

Four Things You Should Know About Money in Politics

Jul 9, 2015
Beverly via Flickr CC

What are the limits on presidential campaign funding? Can I really spend whatever I want to help my candidate get elected?

Campaign Finance Reformers Find Voice on 2016 Trail

Jul 9, 2015
Courtesy Emma Stein

In December 1999, six weeks before the 2000 New Hampshire primary, John Rauh watched as Republican Sen. John McCain and Democrat Bill Bradley met in Claremont to denounce the role of money in politics.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

If you’re hoping to follow the money in the 2016 presidential primary race, you’ve got a tough task. The fundraising tools available to candidates and their supporters are perhaps more complicated now than in any previous campaign. You've got your political actions committees (or PACs), your super PACs, your exploratory committees, your run-of-the-mill candidate committees, and countless other groups throwing their 2 (billion) cents into the 2016 presidential race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Federal Election Commission reports released today shed more light on the finances of district congressman Frank Guinta. 

NHPR

Federal investigators relied in part on statements from relatives of Congressman Frank Guinta to conclude that he used illegal donations to fund his 2010 campaign, according to recently released reports.

C. Hanchey via Flickr CC

City officials in Nashua want to change campaign finance rules after two mayoral hopefuls established exploratory committees. The city holds its mayoral primary in four months.

Mayor Donnalee Lozeau is not running for re-election and two potential and four declared candidates, Michael Broderick, Douglas Carroll, David Deane, and James Donchess, are beginning to court voters. 

The two prospective candidates - Alderman-at-Large Daniel Moriarty and Nashua Chamber President Chris Williams - have launched exploratory committees with active social media sites.

A fundraising pitch from Gov. Maggie Hassan's campaign to the chief executive officer of Sony Entertainment is among the documents released in last year's Sony hack that are now posted on Wikileaks.

The emails show Hassan's campaign asked Michael Lynton, the Sony executive, for a $7,000 campaign donation and a $10,000 donation to the state Democratic party in 2014. An assistant for Lynton responded that Lynton would donate the $7,000 to Hassan, but skip the party donation.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Florida US Senator Marco Rubio is in New Hampshire today. It’s part of a two day visit that’s largely seen as an early campaign trip of sorts by a political figure hoping to win the Republican Party’s presidential nomination in 2016.

Rubio has made a number of moves ahead of an expected presidential bid – he’s hired staff in New Hampshire, and he’s also used his political action committee to donate money to state and local officials and candidates, in this state and others that hold early primaries and caucuses.

NHPR Staff

For the second straight year, a group of activists are marching across the Granite State to raise awareness for their goal of getting money out of politics.

Members of the New Hampshire Rebellion have covered more 300 miles over the past ten days, with marches starting in Portsmouth, Nashua, Keene and Dixville Notch.

Those four marches are set to converge in front of the Statehouse in Concord later today, marking the fifth anniversary of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision.

Sara Plourde

Spending on the New Hampshire Senate race cracked the $46 million mark this week to become the most expensive election campaign in Granite State history.

And to the surprise of no one, outside groups have far outspent the candidates: party organizations, political action committees, super PACS and other non-candidate groups have poured $28.7 million into the race, one of a handful of closely watched contests that will determine which party controls the U.S. Senate.

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.

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?”

Money In Politics: N.H.'s 2014 Races

Sep 24, 2014
Martin Stelbrink / NHPR

New Hampshire politicians get their funding from the usual array of sources – from PACs, SuperPACS, and campaign contributions, to the national party, and their own pockets. We’re sitting down with three experts who have watched this year’s New Hampshire campaigns, including issues like dark money, outside spending, and special interests.

GUESTS:

AP Photo

Former ambassador John Bolton's Political Action Committee, or PAC, is endorsing and contributing money to two more candidates in New Hampshire, Republican House hopefuls Frank Guinta and Marilinda Garcia. 

Bolton was President George W. Bush's ambassador to the United Nations. His political action committee is backing about two dozen candidates for federal office, including Guinta and Garcia, who won their primaries on Tuesday. 

Chris Jensen/Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Alleged violations of the state’s campaign finance rules are once again front and center in the New Hampshire governor’s race, with the top candidates on the receiving end of accusations that they accepted illegal donations.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party was first out of the gate Tuesday, asking Attorney General Joe Foster to investigate Republican candidate Walt Havenstein for “multiple violations,” including allegedly taking money from political action committees that failed to register with the state.

Thanks to nearly $1.5 million from his own pocket, Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein is keeping pace in the race for campaign money with Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan.

According to reports filed today with the Secretary of State, Havenstein reports a campaign war chest of $1,989,876. That includes $1,474,000 in personal loans and another $17,000 from other family members.

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.

NHPR Staff

Governor Maggie Hassan’s campaign has been ordered to return $24,000 in contributions that came in the day after she filed for  re-election.

Attorney General Joe Foster issued a ruling Friday on the complaint filed last month by the New Hampshire Republican Party.

Foster says the Friends of Maggie Hassan political action committee accepted a $25,000 contribution from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers political action committee on June 13.

The attack ads with the cartoon sheep began airing in May, followed by the negative mailers.

Paid for by a conservative nonprofit called Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, they targeted Republican state senators who supported Medicaid expansion and a four-cent hike in the state gas tax. According to a spokesman, it was just the beginning of the group’s efforts to “fight” for a more fiscally conservative senate.

Republicans Accuse Hassan Of Taking Illegal Campaign Contributions

Jul 17, 2014

Update:  Thursday afternoon an attorney for the Hassan campaign asked New Hampshire Attorney General Joe Foster to expedite a review of the Republican party’s allegations.

New Hampshire Republicans have accused Gov. Maggie Hassan of accepting illegal campaign contributions from organized labor and have asked the Attorney General to investigate. At issue is a total of $45,000 in donations to the governor’s re-election campaign from three labor unions.

Shaheen Leads Fundraising Pack In Race For U.S. Senate

Jul 7, 2014

As expected, Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and Republican candidate Scott Brown have shown they will have very little trouble raising money in their race for the U.S. Senate.

Shaheen's campaign announced Monday she raised more than $2.8 million for her re-election campaign between April 1 and June 30 of this year, more than double the amount she collected from supporters in the previous two quarters combined.

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