Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Political Library Announces 2009 New Hampshire Primary Awards Honorees

From the NH Political Library:

The New Hampshire Political Library is pleased to announce this year’s honorees to be recognized Monday, March 30th at the 2009 New Hampshire Primary Awards:

Mr. Paul Begala: a senior strategist for President Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and currently political contributor for CNN and Affiliated Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University's Public Policy Institute

Mr. Mike Murphy: a senior strategist for Senator John McCain’s 2000 presidential campaign and currently political contributor for NBC and MSNBC News; and

Ms. Kelly O’Donnell: NBC News correspondent covering the presidential campaigns of Senator Bob Dole in 1996, Senator John Kerry in 2004 and the Republican field in 2008 and currently Capitol Hill Correspondent.

The 2009 New Hampshire Primary Awards will take place Monday, March 30, 2009 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester. Dinner Table Sponsorships begin at $2,500 and admission for individual guests is $125. For more information about attending, please call the Political Library at 225-4617, extension 11.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Former McCain supporter indicted on fraud charges

A former New Hampshire supporter of U.S. Sen. John McCain has been indicted on misdemeanor charges relating to mileage reimbursements.

Richard Brothers, head of the Department of Employment Security, has been accused of filing reimbursement forms for trips that he did not make.

“For each month between August 2007 and May 2008, the informations charge that Richard Brothers knowingly made a written false statement, which he did not believe to be true, with a purpose to deceive a public servant in the performance of his or her official function, by submitting travel vouchers for reimbursement for mileage and tolls and attesting to trips he had not actually taken, thereby causing the State to reimburse him for mileage and toll expenses he had not actually incurred for the dates and/or locations stated on the travel vouchers,” reads the indictment from New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.

Brothers was an alternative delegate, for McCain, to the Republican National Convention in 2008 and served on McCain’s Belknap County leadership committee during the New Hampshire presidential primary.

Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) said that Brothers should immediately resign.

“These are very serious charges that result from a thorough investigation by the Attorney General's Office. I call on Richard Brothers to resign,” Lynch said in a press release. “I have also directed Richard Brothers not to enter any Employment Security facility, effective immediately.”

Shea-Porter viewed more favorable than Hodes, among NH Dems

A new University of New Hampshire poll shows that both of New Hampshire’s U.S. Senators enjoy high favorable ratings.

The poll also shows that U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) has a higher favorable rating than U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-Rochester). Hodes announced earlier this month that he would run for the United States Senate in 2010 and Shea-Porter is also considering running for the seat.

According to the poll, “Shea-Porter is well positioned in a primary battle with Hodes, as 61% of Democrats view Shea-Porter favorably compared to 50% for Hodes. However, Shea-Porter is viewed much more unfavorably by Republicans than Hodes is, with 50% of Republicans having an unfavorable opinion of Shea-Porter compared to 28% for Hodes.”

“Democrats have a difficult choice between Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes,” said Andrew Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center, in a press release. “Hodes looks to be better positioned for a general election, but Shea-Porter appeals more strongly to their party’s liberal base.”

The poll has U.S. Sens. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) and Judd Gregg (R-NH) with high favorability ratings.

Granite Staters gave Gregg a favorability rating of 64 percent, while 15 percent have an unfavorable rating of the senior United States Senator. The poll was taken before Gregg withdrew his name from consideration for the Secretary of Commerce post.

Shaheen is viewed favorably by 56 percent of poll respondents and 32 percent had unfavorable view of Shaheen.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

HuckPac launches in Granite State

Supporters of former Gov. Mike Huckabee have started a local chapter of Huckabee’s national political action committee.

David Hurst and Bob Burns, both of whom represented Huckabee at the Republican National Convention, have started HuckPac NH.

Hurst and Burns will be launching the organization with a house party on February 26th.

Huckabee unsuccessfully ran for president in 2008 but is often mentioned has a potential candidate in 2012.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Guinta takes on Lynch over budget

Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta is criticizing Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) over Lynch’s proposed budget cuts and changes to the room-and-meals tax.

Guinta, a potential gubernatorial candidate in 2010, said he is “deeply troubled” by Lynch’s budget.

“I am deeply troubled that the Governor’s Office does not understand the real problems that this budget proposal lays on the backs of the cities and towns of New Hampshire,” Guinta said. “In his budget, Gov. Lynch asks communities to forego funds that they have used as part of their budget for nearly 40 years. In exchange, he is asking them to use one-time ‘stimulus to cover the revenue shortfall. For the Governor’s Office to dismiss these concerns with the phrase ‘It’s a trade-off’ shows shocking ignorance about their own budget proposal and its consequences. Assuming federal funds arrive on time, as promised by the Governor, there remains no plan for replenishing those funds in the following biennium.”

According to Guinta, “the proposed budget would create a $9.6 million revenue hole in the city’s FY10 budget and a $2.4 million deficit in the current FY09 budget.”

Guinta also said that he would like to organize a meeting of the state’s mayors to discuss the state budget.

Shea-Porter starts ‘Populist Caucus’

U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s (D-NH) office has announced that she is a founding member of a new congressional caucus.

According to a press release the Populist Caucus, “is devoted solely to addressing middle class issues.”

The caucus will fight for legislation that will, “provide fair wages, proper benefits, and a level playing field at the negotiating table,” and “ensure American workers have secure, solvent retirement plans.”

“Our country does best with a thriving middle class,” said Shea-Porter in a statement. “I am proud to be a founding member of the Populist Caucus and will fight for middle class tax cuts, affordable health care, and fair trade practices.”

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Party chairs on Gregg withdrawal

New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley and New Hampshire Republican Party Chairman John H. Sununu has released statements on U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg’s decision to withdraw his nomination for the top Commerce post.

Sununu on Gregg:

"Senator Gregg made it clear in his statement and his conference call why he felt he should withdraw his name from consideration for Secretary of Commerce, and his decision confirms that he is a man of principle and commitment. I wish him and Kathy nothing but the best in the future."

Buckley on Gregg:

"At a time when it appeared that Senator Judd Gregg was going to put aside partisan politics to work with the president on fixing our economy, he has instead decided that being in lock-step with conservative Washington Republicans is more important than finding solutions to these serious problems.

"We need leaders in Washington who are going to roll-up their sleeves and work across the aisle to fix our broken economy. The fact that Senator Gregg has withdrawn his name from consideration because of his objection to a recovery package that that will help jump start our economy, create millions of new jobs, and provide broad tax cuts for working Americans is simply out of touch.

"It has been clear from the beginning of this process that Judd Gregg no longer has an interest in serving the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate."

Hodes hits Gregg over nomination withdrawal

U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) has released a statement that is critical of U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg’s (R-NH) decision to withdraw his nomination to be the Secretary of Commerce.

Below is the Hodes statement:

“I am surprised and disappointed at this sudden withdrawal. Senator Gregg would take us back to the years of George W. Bush rather than moving forward with the change agenda that the American people clearly want. I will continue to work with President Obama to create jobs and rebuild our economy for the middle class.

I will be a candidate for the United State Senate in 2010. I look forward to working every day to stand up for New Hampshire as we come together to confront the economic crisis facing our nation.”

Gregg withdraws, what is next?

Now that U.S. Sen. Judd (R-NH) has decided to withdraw his nomination to become the next Secretary of Commerce, here are some questions worth considering.

-Did Gregg receive any pressure to withdraw from GOP leaders?
-Who did Gregg contact after he made his decision? What did they tell Gregg?
-What does Bonnie Newman think? What does John Lynch think?
-How does this affect U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes decision to run for the United States Senate?

NRSC airs web ad against Hodes

The NRSC has a new web ad that criticizes U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes support for the stimulus bill.

According to the NRSC, “The video highlights U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes’ (D-NH) support for the largest tax increase in American history, as well as this year’s massive spending bill, which adds over one trillion dollars to the federal debt and contains many egregious examples of wasteful spending, including $335 million for STD prevention and $150 million for honeybee insurance. As he prepares for his 2010 U.S. Senate bid, Hodes will be forced to explain these fiscally irresponsible votes to Granite State voters.”

Hodes announced earlier this month that he would run for the United States Senate next year.

NRCC targets Shea-Porter

The NRCC has begun airing a radio ad against U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH).

“While middle-class families are hurting and looking to their leaders for help, Carol Shea-Porter has failed to deliver real relief,” said NRCC Communications Director Ken Spain in a press release. “Carol Shea-Porter had a choice to pass an alternative proposal that would have created twice as many jobs at half the cost and in less time, but she chose to pass this package of pork instead. After running on a platform of fiscal responsibility, Carol Shea-Porter now has the obligation to explain why she’s willing to pile even more mountains of debt onto our grandchildren without regard for how middle-class families’ hard-earned tax dollars will be spent.”

Lynch 'respects' Gregg's decision

Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) said that he “respects” U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg’s decision to withdraw his nomination for Commerce Secretary.

"I very much respect Senator Gregg's decision to withdraw and stay in the U.S. Senate,” Lynch said in a statement.

Lynch also said thanked Bonnie Newman, the woman Lynch selected to fill Gregg’s seat.

"I want to thank Bonnie Newman for her willingness to serve. She is a great public servant, who I am confident will continue to make important contributions to our state and our nation."

Gregg withdraws nomination

U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has announced that he is withdrawing his nomination to become the next Secretary of Commerce.

Gregg said in a press release that he has “irresolvable conflicts” with President Obama over the stimulus bill and the attempt to have the White House oversee the Census.

Below are excerpts from the Gregg release:

“I want to thank the President for nominating me to serve in his Cabinet as Secretary of Commerce. This was a great honor, and I had felt that I could bring some views and ideas that would assist him in governing during this difficult time. I especially admire his willingness to reach across the aisle.

“However, it has become apparent during this process that this will not work for me as I have found that on issues such as the stimulus package and the Census there are irresolvable conflicts for me. Prior to accepting this post, we had discussed these and other potential differences, but unfortunately we did not adequately focus on these concerns. We are functioning from a different set of views on many critical items of policy.”

Gregg added, “As a further matter of clarification, nothing about the vetting process played any role in this decision. I will continue to represent the people of New Hampshire in the United States Senate.”

Sununu take over of NH GOP now complete

If you worked for former U.S. Sen. John Sununu’s campaign, there is a good chance you could get a job working for the New Hampshire Republican Party.

John DiStaso reported that Ryan Williams, Sununu’s former campaign communications director, has been hired to fill the same post for the state party.

Shortly after former Gov. John H. Sununu became chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, DiStaso reported that former Sununu campaign staffers BJ Perry, Paul Collins and Andy Leach were all volunteering for the state party.

It now appears that the Sununu take over of the state party is now complete.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The House always wins

The UNH Survey Center has released a new poll exploring public sentiment over expanded gaming and the current budget crisis.

According to the poll:

“The only revenue option that is somewhat politically popular is expanding legal gambling – 41% say they would be more likely to vote for a State Senate candidate who favored legalized gambling, 37% said they would be more likely to vote against, 18% said it would make little difference in their vote, and 4% don’t know.

There has been little change in how New Hampshire adults feel about these issues over the past 10 years. The biggest difference is the percentage who said any of these revenue options would make no difference on their vote has declined, an indication that people have thought more about their options during the current crisis.”

When dealing with this issue remember that the House always wins.

I am woman, hear me roar

U.S. Reps. Paul Hodes (D-NH) and Carol Shea-Porter has introduced a resolution that would honor the New Hampshire State Senate.

From the release:

Congressman Paul Hodes introduced a U.S. House resolution today honoring the New Hampshire State Senate for becoming the first legislative body in America to have a majority female membership. He was joined by his New Hampshire colleague Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter, who was an original cosponsor of the bill.

The New Hampshire State Senate has 9 women chairing committees and has a membership comprised of 13 women and 11 men.

New Hampshire is also the first state where legislative leaders in both chambers are female. Speaker Terrie Norelli is the first female Speaker of the State House and Mary Jane Wallner serves as the House Majority Leader. Sylvia Larsen is President of the State Senate with Maggie Hassan serving as the Majority Leader.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Shea-Porter appointed to nature subcommittees

From U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's (D-NH) office:

Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter announced that she has been appointed to two subcommittees on the Natural Resources Committee: the Subcommittee on Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife, and the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands.

“I wanted to serve on these two important subcommittees so I can help protect New Hampshire and the nation’s natural resources,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.

The Insular Affairs, Oceans, and Wildlife Subcommittee has jurisdiction over the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and Fish and Wildlife Programs. Congresswoman Shea-Porter will focus on protecting New Hampshire's maritime treasures and shoreline. As a member of the National Parks, Forest, and Public Lands Subcommittee, Shea-Porter will help protect public lands and national forests, including the White Mountain National Forest.

Nadeau 2010?

Former state Supreme Court Justice Joe Nadeau is considering running for the United States Senate in 2010.

Nadeau, a Democrat, would be the second Democrat to announce they are running for the senate. U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) said last week that he would be running to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH).

“President Obama has challenged everybody to think beyond their usual routine to see what their contribution can be, and I’m going to see whether there’s something I can do beyond the judiciary," Nadeau told Politico.

Politico also reported that, “The website was registered over the weekend to ‘Nadeau for Senate.’”

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Jam on!

U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) has announced that he will be running for the United States Senate in 2010.

Hodes will be running to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH), who has been tapped to be Secretary of Commerce. Gregg’s replacement, U.S. Sen.-designate Bonnie Newman (R-NH) has said she will not run in 2010.

“It is with the stories of people like Anne Marie Morse, Chris Howe, and thousands of New Hampshire families struggling in this difficult economy in mind that I announce today that I will run for the United States Senate in 2010 to continue to keep our state and our nation moving forward,” Hodes wrote on the website Blue Hampshire.

Hodes said that he will formally announce his candidacy sometime over the next couple of months.

Former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass (R-NH) told the Concord Monitor that he is interested in running for the seat and former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH) is often mentioned as a possible candidate. The Monitor also floated the names of New Hampshire Attorney General Kelly Ayotte and Jim Merrill, as potential candidates.

The Union Leader reported yesterday that Katrina Swett will run for Hodes’ congressional seat in 2010.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sununu on Newman

NH GOP Chairman John H. Sununu on Bonnie Newman's appointment:

“I want to congratulate Bonnie Newman on her appointment to the United States Senate. I am confident that her vast experience in both the public and private sector will serve her well and benefit the people of New Hampshire. Bonnie is a dear friend of mine and I look forward to working with her in her new role as United States Senator.”

Newman’s from that state to the south

Will Granite State Republicans be more upset about Bonnie Newman calling herself a “moderate” or the fact that she was raised in Massachusetts?

A moderate Republican from the Bay State, we can already hear the jokes.

What about Hodes?

The Union Leader is reporting that U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes (D-NH) will announce “within the week” that he will run for the United States in 2010.

Hodes will be running for the seat that is being vacated by U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg, who is slated to become the next Secretary of Commerce.

Hodes was elected to a second term in November and said a month ago that he was “seriously considering” running for the senate.

Here are a couple of things to consider about Hodes’ announcement:

-Does this deter other Democrats from joining the race?
-Did he make this decision with a blessing from Ray Buckley?
-Did he talk with Carol Shea-Porter?
-Who will be the first Republican to announce they are running for the seat?
-Who will John H. Sununu call over the next week?

Hodes, Shea-Porter on Gregg leaving senate

U.S. Reps. Paul Hodes and Carol Shea-Porter have released statements on U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg’s nomination to be the next Secretary of Commerce.

Hodes on Gregg:

“President Obama promised to turn the page and enter a new post partisan era. His appointment today of Senator Gregg shows his commitment to that goal. Senator Gregg has a long history of service to New Hampshire and the appointment today is good news for the State of New Hampshire as we now can expect to have a strong advocate for our state in the cabinet. I will continue to work with our Governor, congressional delegation, Senator Gregg in his new role, and President Obama to rebuild our economy and create jobs.”

Shea-Porter on Gregg:

“President Obama has placed someone who has a deep knowledge of New Hampshire in his cabinet. I wish Senator Gregg well and look forward to working with the Administration to help New Hampshire.”

Sununu, Buckley on Gregg's nomination

Below are statements from both John H. Sununu, New Hampshire Republican chairman, and Ray Buckley, New Hampshire Democratic Chairman.

Sununu on Gregg:

“I join all New Hampshire residents in thanking Senator Gregg for 28 years of dedicated public service. I know he will carry his high quality of performance and integrity into his new position. Judd is an old friend and we wish him well in this next phase of his distinguished career. I extend my heartfelt wishes for a speedy confirmation and know that his continued commitment to our country will make New Hampshire proud.

When I answered the call to take over as the Republican Party Chairman in New Hampshire, I knew that there was a very real possibility that Senator Gregg would not run for re-election in 2010. I had to make plans knowing that the seat may be open in the next election cycle. We have kept that in mind throughout this process and I’m confident that 2010 will still be a very good year for Republicans in New Hampshire.”

Buckley on Gregg:

"We are in the midst of financial catastrophe. President Obama was elected to lead and deliver results for the American people, and to go beyond partisan politics to find real solutions to our nation's economic problems. He has nominated Senator Gregg to help him in his effort to rebuild America's economy, and we trust his judgment and support his decision.

"Governor Lynch has decided to stand with the White House and the Senate Majority Leadership at this time of national economic crisis, and we are grateful that we have strong and results-oriented leaders like President Obama and Governor Lynch."

"We look forward to healthy competition for an open Senate seat in 2010. Party registration in New Hampshire has changed significantly in recent years to favor Democrats, and we are confident in our ability to elect a strong Democrat to the seat."

Gregg accepts Commerce nomination

U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) has accepted a nomination to become the next Secretary of Commerce. Gregg said yesterday that he decided to accept the post only after Gov. John Lynch (D-Hopkinton) said he would a Republican to fill Gregg’s seat.

Here are some excerpts from Gregg’s press release:

“Today, I have been nominated by President Obama to serve in his administration as Secretary of Commerce, and I want to thank the President for this extraordinary opportunity. I have accepted this post, and the call to help address the momentous and significant economic challenges facing our nation.

“Kathy and I want to thank the people of New Hampshire for affording me the privilege to serve them in the U.S. Senate for the past 16 years. It has been an honor for both of us to work on behalf of Granite Staters and represent their priorities in Washington, and to do our part to help make our state a better place to live and raise a family. I also thank my Senate colleagues for their leadership, support and friendship as we continue to work toward solutions to help address families’ concerns about their retirement savings, their homes, and their futures.”

He also said:

“It is my goal to help the President put America back on the path to prosperity. This is not a time for politics—it is a time to lead. We must put aside partisanship and ideologies and govern effectively so that we can pass onto our children and our grandchildren a government that works and a nation that is strong.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Buckley open to possible senate deal

The chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party has issued a statement that leaves the door open to the possibility that Gov. John Lynch (D-NH) could appoint a Republican to fill U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg’s (R-NH) senate seat.

Earlier today, both Lynch and Gregg issued statements that said Gregg would accept a nomination to be Commerce Secretary, only if Lynch appoints a Republican.

Ray Buckley’s full statement:

"President Obama was elected to lead and deliver results for the American people, and to go beyond partisan politics to find real solutions to our nation's economic problems. If he determines that Senator Gregg is essential to his effort to rebuild America's economy, then we should trust his judgment and support his decision.

"Governor Lynch has decided to stand with the President at this time of national economic crisis, and we are grateful that we have two strong and results-oriented leaders like President Obama and Governor Lynch. If President Obama does appoint Senator Gregg as Commerce Secretary, I am confident Governor Lynch will replace him with someone who will put New Hampshire and its people first, and work with the Obama Administration, Senator Shaheen, Congresswoman Shea-Porter, Congressman Hodes, Governor Lynch and the legislative leadership in a positive and productive manner."

Lynch acknowledges discussions with Gregg, WH

Gov. John Lynch said today that he has talked with U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-NH) and the White House about the possibility of Gregg being nominated to be Secretary of Commerce.

Lynch also said that Gregg told him he would not resign his senate seat if it changed the balance of power in the United States Senate.

"I have had conversations with Senator Gregg, the White House and U.S. Senate leadership. Senator Gregg has said he would not resign his seat in the U.S. Senate if it changed the balance in the Senate,” Lynch said in a statement. “Based on my discussions, it is clear the White House and Senate leadership understand this as well.”

Lynch also cited the national economy and said, "It is important that President Obama be able to select the advisors he feels are necessary to help him address the challenges facing our nation.”

Reports over the past couple of days have centered on the possibility that Lynch could appoint either Bonnie Newman or former House Speaker Doug Scamman, to serve the remainder of Gregg’s term. However, in the statement he released, Lynch refused to name whom he would appoint to fill the seat.

"If President Obama does nominate Senator Gregg to serve as Commerce Secretary, I will name a replacement who will put the people of New Hampshire first and represent New Hampshire effectively in the U.S. Senate."

Who goes with Gregg?

It now seems that it is only a matter of when, not if, Judd Gregg is named Secretary of Commerce. While most people are focused on his replacement, our money is on Bonnie Newman, we were thinking about another set of questions.

Mainly, what about his staff?

Here are some things to consider:

-Would Gregg’s current chief of staff, Alyssa Shooshan, join him at Commerce? Would the appointed senator decide to even keep Shooshan on?
-What about Joel Maiola? Does Maiola take a hiatus from his consulting business to join Gregg at Commerce?
-What about Gregg’s press secretary Laena Fallon? Like Shooshan, would she join Gregg, be replaced or remain in her current position?

These are just some questions that people will be considering over the next couple of days.