Thursday, Sept. 29, 2022

Hassan campaign emails donors to sound alarm over trouble in November. "The email ... undercuts the narrative that Bolduc's extremist reputation paired with the Supreme Court's decision overturning Roe v. Wade, will deliver Hassan an automatic win." The email said public polling in NH is "wrong" and "sugar-coated for any Democratic candidate." (Alayna Treene for Axios; the email) #nhsen

Leavitt campaigns on opposition to Manchester schools policy on transgender students. The policy was the subject of a lawsuit that was dismissed last week, as Paul Feely reported for the Union Leader. Leavitt, the GOP nominee for NH01, held a press conference outside the school district's headquarters. "Parents deserve to have a direct role in their child's education, and they certainly have a right to know when their child is expressing concerns over gender, race, sex, or mental and emotional health in school," she said in a statement touting her support for a federal Parental Bill of Rights in Congress. Her campaign posted video from the press conference on YouTube.

More headlines:

Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2022

Republican challengers press Democratic incumbents for more debates. Bolduc called on Hassan to do seven debates; Hassan has said she'll do three. Leavitt called on Pappas to do five debates; Pappas has agreed to four of them. Burns commended Kuster for agreeing to five debates, then he challenged her to nine. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nhsen #nh01 #nh02

Corey Lewandowski cuts deal on charge stemming from alleged unwanted sexual advances. "The records show that Lewandowski agreed to a deal that will see him undergo eight hours of impulse control counseling, serve 50 hours of community service and stay out of trouble for a year. He also paid a $1,000 fine. Under the agreement, Lewandowski did not have to admit guilt, and once the conditions are met, the charges will be dismissed." (Alex Isenstadt for Politico)

Bolduc challenges Hassan to seven debates. Will she show? "Bolduc's proposed debate schedule includes the three match-ups on Hassan’s pre-primary list: WMUR, NHPR, and the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council." Bolduc also added four more: (1) iHeart Radio, NH Today, and New England College; (2) Pulse of NH Debate; (3) NH Home Builders Association; and (4) Nashua Chamber of Commerce. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhsen

Laconia candidates discuss housing issues, reproductive rights at bipartisan forum. "The event ushered in a sense of normalcy and civility for the election cycle. The candidates for New Hampshire House in the recently-redistricted District 5 — including Laconia Wards 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 — shared their views with voters. Topics ranged from homelessness and housing issues to abortion and marijuana laws." (Jon Decker for The Laconia Daily Sun) #nhleg

In a sliver of Lake Sunapee, boaters and homeowners clash over public water access. "Lakefront homeowners on Jobs Creek say a surge in boat traffic in the past few years is bad for the environment and public safety. This summer, they submitted a petition asking the state ... to prohibit rafting ... as well as restrict single boats from dropping anchor within 150-feet of shoreline." But the NH Department of Safety commissioner rejected the petition for insufficient evidence. (Todd Bookman for NHPR)

Reports describe circumstances of Seabrook nuclear plant false alarm. "The state report details the breakdown in communication, including that it took 20 minutes for a manager from the plant to call New Hampshire safety officials to confirm the false alarm." (KC Downey for WMUR, NH report, NRC report; see also Angeljean Chiaramida for Seacoastonline)

Catholic Charities backs off proposal to build 180 units of affordable housing in Rochester neighborhood. Area residents "raised concerns about the impact on their property values, said it could bring increased crime, and raised concern about the burden on police, schools and other services." The charity plans to look for another location. (Karen Dandurant for Foster's Daily Democrat)

Something to sip on: journalists, political scientist discuss primaries and coverage at panel. "The panel included Dr. Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire; Josh Rogers, a reporter for New Hampshire Public Radio; Holly Ramer, a reporter for the Associated Press who got her start in the Granite State, and Julie Hirshan Hart, editor at The Laconia Daily Sun." They spoke about the nationalization of the presidential primary process, shifts in the news media landscape, how to be a discerning news consumer and more. (Catherine McLaughlin for The Laconia Daily Sun) #fitn

After second recent instance of anti-Semitic vandalism, police investigating and vigil planned. Spray-painted graffiti was found in the park next to the Laconia library, and a swastika was found carved into a library bookshelf. The city's Human Relations Committee plans a vigil for Oct. 2 at 1 p.m. in Opechee Park. (Michael Mortensen for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Franklin adopts hate and intolerance resolution in response to neo-Nazi threats. A local business was targeted over the summer by online "trolling from the neo-Nazi hate group the Nationalist Social Club, known as NSC-131. ... bakery owners in Portsmouth and Dover (were) also on the receiving end of the group’s activity." After an uptick in white supremacist rallies across New England, the Dover City Council issued an official condemnation. Now Franklin has followed suit. (Michaela Towfighi for Concord Monitor)

What's the value of rooftop solar panels? New study helping NH find out. "Residents, businesses or municipalities that have small-scale energy resources can get compensated for the extra energy they feed back into the grid through net metering. And next January, the state’s Public Utilities Commission will begin a new proceeding to reconsider how to compensate those customers" (Mara Hoplamazian for NHPR). See also NH Consumer Advocate Donald M. Kreis' latest column for InDepthNH.

More headlines:

Disability rights advocates: Sununu mischaracterized special education rights in private schools
The Bulletin asked the governor for clarification. The response from his office continued to confuse the issue.
Lawmaker wants to limit insulin copays to $35 for more Granite Staters
The proposal would target people with diabetes who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid and don’t have commercial insurance.
Conspiracy-fueled push to hand-count ballots gains traction
New Hampshire is among at least six states in which Republicans aligned with Donald Trump have introduced legislation to ban ballot tabulators.

Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022

Third primary winner withdraws from NH legislative race. Brian Bagley, a Democrat from Manchester, told state election officials he's withdrawing from the ballot in Manchester Wards 6, 8 and 9 for health reasons. He's been replaced by Rep. Josh Query, who narrowly lost his own primary in Manchester Ward 9. (Union Leader) #nhleg

Hassan claims 'bipartisanship' as a touchstone. How much does that matter to NH voters? "Given the nature of New Hampshire’s electorate, which tends to swing with the national mood, every vote could count in Hassan’s race to seek reelection against Republican Don Bolduc. And what Hassan’s campaign is doing amounts to a time-tested move for candidates in her situation: an incumbent with soft poll numbers running against a partisan tide in a midterm election." (Josh Rogers for NHPR) #nhsen

NH GOP files FEC complaint over 'misleading' mailers. The complaint alleges that NH02 mailers lacked proper labeling and sought to portray Robert Burns as more pro-Trump than his top Republican opponent. The party claims these anonymous mailings were part of Democrats' ploy to boost pro-Trump candidates in GOP primaries. Burns is up against Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster in the Nov. 8 general election. (WMUR; Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nh02

No talk of first-in-the-nation presidential primary at big NH Dems fundraiser. There "was no rousing defense" of the tradition "and not even a polite rebuke of the Democratic National Committee's re-examination of the early state voting order." Meanwhile, the GOP has already affirmed its plans to move forward with the 2024 nominating calendar without changes. (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #fitn

Divisive concepts law yields no 'credible' complaints thus far. "Now, more than a year after the law took effect, the head of the state’s Commission on Human Rights said that agency has received no credible claims that any New Hampshire teachers have run afoul of the law. ... The information ... comes as the state defends itself against a lawsuit challenging the law’s constitutionality." One complaint under the law was reportedly pending this month. (Adam Drapcho for Granite State News Collaborative) #nhleg

More headlines:

Monday, Sept. 26, 2022

Hassan and Bolduc spar over Medicare and Social Security. "Bolduc said Hassan is lying about his record. 'I never said privatize Medicare,' he said. ... The Hassan campaign pointed to a recording from a campaign event in August in which Bolduc did call privatization 'hugely important.' " (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nhsen

Sunday, Sept. 25, 2022

Sununu does an about-face on U.S. Senate candidate Don Bolduc. Before the GOP primary, Sununu had denounced Bolduc as a "conspiracy theorist-type" and "not a serious candidate." Sununu endorsed NH Senate President Chuck Morse, who lost to Bolduc. In a Fox News interview Saturday, the governor praised Bolduc: "he's an amazing individual with this war hero background that just wants to stand up and serve." Sununu said Bolduc will beat Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan. (Dan Alexander for Seacoast Current; Fox News) #nhgov #nhsen

Nikki Haley claps back at "The View." In a CloseUp interview, the former UN ambassador and SC governor responded to comments that had called her a "chameleon" for using her middle name instead of her first name. Democrats have made such "racist" remarks in the past, Haley said. "They can't stand that a minority female would be a conservative Republican. They just can't take it," she said. Haley, who's considering a 2024 presidential bid, came to NH to tout GOP candidates. (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #fitn  

Nikki Haley to NH women: Democrats "are lying to you" about abortion. "They're not telling you that they overwhelmingly supported legislation allowing abortion up to the time of birth," Haley told NHJournal. "They’re not telling you that what Republicans are saying is this doesn’t need to be decided by unelected justices. It needs to be decided by the people." (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #fitn

Pete Buttigieg focused on transportation but political future remains open. The current transportation secretary, who placed second in the 2020 first-in-the-nation presidential primary, sat for a CloseUp interview conducted remotely. (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #fitn

More headlines:

Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022

Both NH01 candidates talking past each other in close race. Democratic incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas is focused on portraying Republican challenger Karoline Leavitt as "a Trump MAGA Republican, someone too extreme to represent the district." Leavitt is focused on casting Pappas as beholden to "an uber-liberal House Speaker Nancy Pelosi" and runaway federal spending. UNH politics professor Dante Scala said he expects Pappas to keep emphasizing abortion while Leavitt emphasizes the economy. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nh01

Poll suggests close contest for NH02 candidates. Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster "cruised to re-election in 2018 and 2020," but in her current bid for a sixth term, Republican challenger Robert Burns seems to be mounting a stiff challenge. A poll conducted right after the primary showed Kuster with a 48%-45% edge over Burns, with 7% of voters still undecided. The poll showed a majority of independents favoring Burns. (Paul Steinhauser for Concord Monitor) #nh02

With 44 days until election, Buttigieg headlines Eleanor Roosevelt Dinner. At the NH Dems fundraiser in Manchester, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg said Republicans are out of step with the public. Even moderate members of the GOP feel homeless and have resorted to abnormal tactics, he said. Other speakers included Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, Reps. Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster, gubernatorial candidate Dr. Tom Sherman and Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington. (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH) #nhsen #nh01 #nh02 #nhgov #fitn

Cheshire House 7 candidates agree on housing needs, differ on guns. Shaun Filiault, who unseated NH Rep. John Bordenet in the Democratic primary for Cheshire County's NH House District 7, said he'll continue talking about gun policy, including the need for a red-flag law. David A. Kamm, who ran unopposed in the Republican primary, said he favors existing gun laws and doesn't plan to push for any significant changes, though he would be open to considering tighter licensure rules. (Rick Green for The Keene Sentinel) #nhleg

Some nursing homes are frustrated with COVID regulations. Kathryn Kindopp, administrator at Maplewood Nursing Home in Westmoreland, said it’s time to relax the pandemic rules since most residents are vaccinated and treatments are more widely available. "I think we’re discriminating against our elders in nursing homes," she said. Kindopp wrote a letter to the CDC director and didn't receive a reply. She contacted Rep. Annie Kuster, who sent her own letter. (Kelly Burch for The Keene Sentinel) #nh02

Keene nursing home outbreak leads to dozens of COVID cases. Keene Center has had 33 residents and 15 employees test positive for COVID-19 since an outbreak began in August. "Two residents died while receiving end of life care during this time," though the nursing home owner did not disclose whether they had COVID at the time. (Olivia Belanger for The Keene Sentinel)

Abortion is a matter of ‘freedom’ for Biden and Democrats. "Though the party’s candidates from New Hampshire to Florida to Nevada have carried the freedom message in their campaigns this fall, Democrats in some prominent races have taken that anti-government theme to a new level." The story mentions a Pappas ad and a Hassan campaign stop. (Seung Min Kim for AP) #nhsen #nh01

More headlines:

Friday, Sept. 23, 2022

Error-ridden mailers prompt NH AG to send cease-and-desist letter to NH Dems. The mailers were sent to 39 towns and affected 926 voters in what NH Dems executive director called "a regrettable clerical error made by a mail vendor" (Ethan DeWitt for NH Bulletin).

Don Bolduc's home was site of "aggressive" 2018 incident with police. Bolduc’s wife, Sharon, called 911 for a medical emergency. An officer arrived and described the matter as "a verbal domestic" incident. "Bolduc campaign spokesperson Kate Constantini said in a statement to The Daily Beast that the kerfuffle was the result of 'brothers will be brothers' after one of Bolduc’s sons got into a car accident on the way home for Christmas. She did not address the confrontation with police." (Jake Lahut for Daily Beast) #nhsen

Former head of Granite Recovery Centers sues NHPR, alleging defamation. Eric Spofford sued NHPR and three staffers for a story and podcast that included allegations of sexual misconduct. A spokesperson for the radio station said, "NHPR stands by its reporting and will vigorously defend our journalism." The lawsuit also accuses NHPR of falsely implying that Spofford was the person seen on surveillance video vandalizing homes linked to NHPR employees involved in the story about him (Nancy West for InDepthNH). An earlier post from NHJournal included some information about the lawsuit (Damien Fisher for NHJournal).

As cable news focused on queen, Democratic political donations slipped. "Nat Binns, a principal for MissionWired, a digital fund-raising company that supports Democrats, said ... he had never experienced such a vacuum of political news stories at this stage of the campaigns. The clients of MissionWired include at least three Senate Democrats facing tough re-election campaigns that could determine whether the party maintains control of the Senate: Raphael Warnock of Georgia, Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada and Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire." (Neil Vigdor for The New York Times) #nhsen

More headlines:

Thursday, Sept. 22, 2022

Unions for first responders endorse GOP candidates for governor and NH01. Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire (PFFNH) endorsed Gov. Chris Sununu's reelection bid. New Hampshire Police Association (NHPA) endorsed Republican nominee Karoline Leavitt over Democratic incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas in NH01. The firefighters group that endorsed Sununu on Thursday endorsed Pappas in March. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhgov #nh01

More headlines:

Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022

Illness forces 2 GOP candidates off ballot; replacements named. Michael Yakubovich and Gary Hopper announced they are stepping away from politics to address health issues.

  • Yakubovich, a Hooksett state rep who won the GOP primary for NH Senate District 16, will be replaced on the ballot by former state rep Keith Murphy, who owns Murphy's Taproom in Manchester. (Murphy will go up against Democratic candidate June Trisciani.)
  • Hopper, a Weare state rep who was running for the Weare/Goffstown floterial district, will be replaced on the ballot by Liza Mazur, a Goffstown business owner and newly naturalized U.S. citizen. (Mazur will be among the candidates vying for two seats.)
  • The two substitutions were made by state and local Republicans under a 2013 law. (Damien Fisher for NHJournal) #nhleg

When is it 'reasonable' to remove a voter from the checklist? In NH, it depends on who you ask. "In the past, these officials largely operated out of public view ... But since the 2020 election and subsequent false claims of widespread voter fraud, these lists have come under more scrutiny ... Towns appear to have wide latitude in how much energy they spend cleaning up the voter rolls." (Todd Bookman for NHPR) #voting

More headlines:

Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022

Mike Pompeo at "Politics & Eggs" says more must be done to control the southern border. The former secretary of state, who has acknowledged he's considering a 2024 presidential bid, reportedly bristled at questions about Republican governors sending migrants from the southern border to places like Martha's Vineyard and Washington, D.C. (Adam Sexton for WMUR, Full video) #fitn

Pompeo calls border-crossing fentanyl an act of war. "When he took questions, audience members asked Pompeo about the flow of fentanyl that has fed a surge in opioid overdoses in New Hampshire and across the country, with one saying, 'It seems almost like an act of war.' Pompeo replied, 'I’m not sure I’d use the word "almost." ' Pompeo reminded attendees of previous reports that 'Trump wanted to bomb Mexico.' Pompeo set the record straight: 'That was actually me.' " (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #fitn

Pompeo criticizes Biden's recent speech as divisive. "He smeared half the country," Pompeo said. "He called fellow Americans semi-fascists. He called us a threat to the soul and foundations of our republic." Pompeo also said teaching kids that "there is an oppressor class and an oppressed class" and that "our nation was founded on a racist idea" are "corrosive" ideas that dissuade people from "valuing democracy." (Josh Rogers for NHPR) #fitn

Pompeo blames Biden for invasion of Ukraine. Vladimir Putin directed Russian troops to invade Ukraine in response to Biden's withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan, Pompeo said, calling the president's policies "woke, weak and waffling." Pompeo said he would have become a "former" secretary of state if he had ever publicly contradicted Trump while in office. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #fitn

Nikki Haley to campaign in NH this week. The former SC governor and UN ambassador will support Sununu and Bolduc, the top two Republicans on the ballot. "Haley will team up with Sununu on the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Thursday evening, and she’ll join Bolduc for events on Friday." Haley could be a GOP presidential hopeful in 2024. (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News) #fitn #nhgov #nhsen

Ted Cruz plans major 2022 campaign swing. "Cruz will travel to 17 states to campaign for GOP candidates this fall, including three states — Iowa, New Hampshire and Nevada — which are home to early contests on the GOP presidential nominating calendar. ... In New Hampshire, he will campaign for congressional hopeful Karoline Leavitt." Cruz campaigned alongside Leavitt ahead of the GOP primary. (Alex Isenstadt for Politico) #fitn #nh01

Gubernatorial candidates disagree on education funding during forum on disability policy. Republican Gov. Chris Sununu and Democratic challenger Dr. Tom Sherman spoke in separate interviews about the state's Education Freedom Accounts and other topics. Sherman said he disagrees with the very idea of using EFAs to send public education funds to private and religious schools. Sununu pushed back. "Do you see schools standing up and saying this program is bankrupting us? ... Nope," Sununu said. (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH; see also Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader and WMUR) #nhgov

Sununu's name floated on "The View" as potential presidential candidate. Alyssa Farah Griffin, a former press secretary for Vice President Mike Pence and special assistant to President Donald Trump, recently joined the show as a conservative host. Griffin listed a few people she thinks could run as "credible" Republicans in 2024. "We've got some [candidates] if they're willing to challenge Trump," she said. "I'd love to see Nikki Haley, I'd love to see Liz Cheney. I'd love to see Chris Sununu." (Claire Spellberg Lustig for Primetimer; ABC's "The View") #fitn #nhgov

Challenger concedes Belknap County sheriff race after recount. Mike MacFadzen had requested a recount after initial results showed he lost to incumbent Sheriff Bill Wright by just 152 votes in the GOP primary. "The town we had a concern with was Barnstead. I requested they count that town. They did, the count came in and it was accurate," MacFadzen said. Both MacFadzen and Wright attended the recount at the state archives. (Jon Decker for The Laconia Daily Sun) #voting

NH Secretary of State's Office "looking into" more vote-counting concerns in Windham. "In the end, the final reported results were nearly identical to those reported on election night, with just a couple of votes net difference. So, why the moving-target tally? Town officials struggled to offer a cogent explanation" (Damien Fisher for NHJournal). Note that Windham was one of three sites where an election monitor was appointed to observe the state primary after issues were identified in past elections; the monitor is slated to submit a report to the state within 30 days (Amanda Gokee for NH Bulletin). #voting

Litchfield residents call for resignations over school budget deficit. "Amid calls from residents for the superintendent and board members to resign, Litchfield’s school board voted to withdraw more than $800,000 from two capital reserve funds to cover for a mistaken assumption by the district’s former business administrator." That will exhaust the funds Litchfield has been saving up since 2020 for a new elementary school. (Paul Feely for Union Leader)

Holocaust memorial event switches to virtual-only format due to high demand. The host had expected about 200 audience members for an in-person event at Keene State College but now expects more than 400 after a surge in registrations. Filmmakers Ken Burns and Sarah Botstein will give a lecture on their film, "The U.S. and the Holocaust." The event will now be a Zoom webinar. (Trisha Nail for Keene Sentinel, Event registration)

Lebanon and NH leaders reach tentative deal toward creation of riverfront park. The plan calls for Lebanon to buy 7 acres of state-owned riverfront property for recreational use. A purchase price has not yet been determined. (Patrick Adrian for Valley News)

More headlines:

Monday, Sept. 19, 2022

Don Bolduc on Maggie Hassan's abortion focus: "Get over it." During an interview with WMUR, the GOP nominee railed against the Democratic incumbent for her focus on abortion rights, instead of the economy and inflation. Her views, he said, "are not consistent with the average Granite Stater." A recent poll found that 58% of NH registered voters oppose the U.S. Supreme Court's recent ruling overturning the constitutional right to abortion. (Adam Sexton for WMUR, poll) #nhsen

More headlines:

  • Court orders hearing on AG, state police fault for withheld evidence in double murder (Damien Fisher for InDepthNH)
  • Records show Keene police’s famed ex-detective caught in lies (Damien Fisher for InDepthNH)
  • Valley News ran an editorial saying the GOP primary election results "strongly suggest that the wing-nut wing of the party is ascendant at the top of the ticket this fall." (Valley News) #nhsen
  • NH AG accuses 2 teens of targeting Black student by carving race-motivated messages inside school bathroom (AP)
  • NH energy leaders share concerns about high energy costs as winter nears (Hannah Cotter for WMUR)
  • New NH billboard: "I'm an atheist and I vote" (Shawne Wickham for Union Leader)

Sunday, Sept. 18, 2022

Reverberations from Croydon town meeting felt as November election looms. "Croydon’s now-infamous town meeting was more than six months ago. But the organizing effort to overturn the vote" – i.e., to undo an earlier vote that had cut the school budget in half – "didn't end at the special school district meeting in May, when voters moved to fund schools at the level proposed by school administrators. ... 'We understand this wasn't just a one-time battle,' " said parent Meghan Pike. (Josie Albertson-Grove for Union Leader) #nhleg

Democrats' midterm reality check. "After Democrats' surge in political momentum over the summer, signs indicate the midterm environment is tilting back in the GOP's direction. ... The elevation of weak Senate candidates is the biggest political challenge for Republicans in the home stretch." (Josh Kraushaar for Axios) #nhsen

Swing-state Republicans on defense over Graham’s abortion ban. "Bolduc put distance between himself and Graham’s proposal this week, arguing that the ban 'doesn’t make sense.' 'Women on both sides of the issue will get a better voice at the state level.' " (Julia Manchester for The Hill) #nhsen

New festival celebrates BIPOC businesses, nonprofits, artists across New England. Sunday, Sept. 25, "will mark the debut of New England BIPOC Fest, a New Hampshire event bringing together leading BIPOC chefs, musicians, and nonprofit organizers for a celebration of the region’s communities of color." One of the festival's founders, Portsmouth assistant mayor Joanna “Jo” Kelley. (Joy Ashford for The Boston Globe)

📅
Looking for more? Find events on the Granite Memo calendar.

Aren't Hassan and Pappas abortion ads full of "lies" too? Don Bolduc and Karoline Leavitt "have repeatedly said they support states making abortion laws for themselves and oppose a national abortion law. And yet Hassan and Pappas are both spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on ads claiming the opposite." (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #opinion #nhsen #nh01

More headlines:

Saturday, Sept. 17, 2022

Effort to force hand count of ballots slowed primary election results. NH Secretary of State David Scanlan said an organized effort delayed tabulation by hours in some parts of the state. "Groups opposed to voting machines urged people to write in the names of the candidates they support, even when those names were already printed on the ballot. This forced election officials to count those ballots by hand." (Rick Green for Keene Sentinel) #voting

Boston Globe editorial argues no one should be fooled by Bolduc's pivot. "The people who amplified ludicrous claims of election fraud helped create an environment in which the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol was possible, and those who continue to undermine confidence in the election afterward risk fomenting future violence. Election denial is a blot on the record of any politician who embraces it — and a red flag about their own personal integrity." (The Boston Globe) #nhsen

NH keeps patients in the dark about doctor malpractice. "Patients and families (in NH) have no reliable way to learn crucial information about a doctor because the state's medical board is one of the least transparent in the nation." Sununu's office said the NH AG will launch a "review of the practices of the New Hampshire Board of Medicine, along with the rules and statutes that govern their activities." This story is a follow-up on a Spotlight team investigation. (The Boston Globe)

More headlines:

Friday, Sept. 16, 2022

Mowers tweet targeting GOP election deniers raises eyebrows. "Granite State Republican activists and campaign insiders interpreted Mowers’ message as a public hit on Leavitt, and they weren’t happy ... Mowers said he was reacting to the broader issue of Republicans nationwide embracing Trump’s unfounded stolen-election rhetoric ..." (Michael Graham for NHJournal, Mowers tweet) #nh01

Poll suggests Democrats leading in all three federal races. For U.S. Senate, Maggie Hassan led Don Bolduc by 11 points (51% to 40%). For NH01, Chris Pappas led Karoline Leavitt by 5 points (47% to 42%). For NH02, Annie Kuster led Bob Burns by 18 points (54% to 36%). Credibility interval ±3.4 points. (Emerson College) #poll #nhsen

Both towns pass ballot-counting audit. The NH Secretary of State's Office released an audit report Friday with results from an audit of AccuVote electronic counting devices from Tuesday's primary in Hopkinton and Laconia's Ward 1. In Hopkinton – where the moderator said a potential discrepancy might exist after at least three ballots became jammed in a machine – the audit team found a three-vote discrepancy among the Democratic ballots and a one-vote discrepancy among the Republican ballots. No discrepancies were found in Laconia's Ward 1. The audit process, outlined in a 2022 law, will be used in the general election. (This process is different from the election monitors who were appointed to keep an eye on the primary election process in Windham, Bedford and Laconia's Ward 6 after ballot-counting problems were identified in recent elections. Those monitors will submit reports to the state within 30 days of the election.) #voting

Recount planned for 10 primaries. The contested primaries include six GOP and four Democratic races. One is for Belknap County sheriff. The other nine are for state rep seats. The recounts will begin in Concord on Monday morning and conclude on Tuesday. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #voting

More headlines:

Thursday, Sept. 15, 2022

Lawmakers approve more energy aid amid concerns over high heating costs. The additional funding aims to help middle-class residents who qualify and apply.

  • The aid will come in a one-time $450 credit for fuel and $200 for electricity. The NH Department of Energy website has info on how to apply (Michaela Towfighi for Concord Monitor).
  • "About 50,000 moderate-income households will be eligible for $650 in one-time electricity and heating fuel assistance this winter ... House Deputy Speaker Steven Smith, R-Charlestown, said this money will not be sent to eligible families but instead would go directly to power and energy delivery companies." (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader).
  • " 'I'm glad they're doing it,' said Sonya Royal, of Manchester. 'But I feel like it's a Band-Aid after they've stabbed you.' " (Scott Cook for WMUR)
  • "Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, R-Wolfeboro, said the direness of the emergency necessitated the unprecedented measure." (Paula Tracey for InDepthNH)
  • "The proposal passed by the House and Senate scales back the plan proposed by Gov. Chris Sununu in June to use $60 million in surplus money to give all ratepayers a $100 automatic credit. Instead, lawmakers targeted $35 million to those earning from 60% to 75% of the state’s median income, which is $75,000 to $93,000 per year for a family of four" (Holly Ramer for AP).
  • "While this final legislation looks a little different from what we originally proposed, this is a big win," Sununu said. (Statement) #nhleg #nhgov

All of Sununu's recent vetoes survive override efforts. Lawmakers came to Concord for "Veto day" on Thursday. A majority in the NH House voted to save a bill related to siting landfills near bodies of water, but the NH Senate voted to leave the vetoed bill alone. None of Sununu's vetoes were overridden. (WMUR, Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader, Garry Rayno for InDepthNH) #nhleg

Tie broken by drawing lots. Mike DiGregorio and Mark Hounsell each had 445 votes in the GOP primary for a seat representing Conway in the NH House. They drew lots Thursday at the NH Secretary of State's Office. Luck was on DiGregorio's side. (Daymond Steer for The Conway Daily Sun) #nhleg #voting

Belknap County sheriff primary candidates await official result, while thinking forward. "So far, as the votes are being confirmed, it appears that incumbent and first-term Sheriff Bill Wright was the victor, by a narrow margin of less than 200 votes over Mike MacFadzen, director of Belknap County Restorative Justice" (Jon Decker for The Laconia Daily Sun). Unofficial results posted online by the Secretary of State's Office show Wright winning with 4,942 votes, or 152 more than MacFadzen's 4,790 votes.

Audit underway for ballot counting machines from state primary in Laconia Ward 1 and Hopkinton. The audit is required by law and intends to test the voting system for the general election. Results are to be released by noon Friday. (WMUR) #voting

One complaint pending under NH law that regulates how teachers talk about racism. The NH Commission for Human Rights is reviewing the one and only charge that has been brought since the 2021 law took affect, according to a NH Department of Justice spokesperson, who told Granite Memo on Thursday that the charge was "recently filed" and that the commission treats complaints as confidential. The commission's website outlines the process and relevant statutes and regulations. The existence of the pending complaint was reported earlier Thursday by Sarah Gibson for NHPR in coverage related to a federal lawsuit challenging the new restrictions, which prohibit teaching that a member of one group is "inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously." #education

Group raises concerns over early draft changes to Minimum Standards for Public School Approval. Reaching Higher NH said the changes could lay groundwork for the public education system to be "outsourced and commodified." Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut, who has championed school choice policies, said the changes are part of a routine review. The department contracted Fred Bramante and his nonprofit National Center for Competency-Based Learning to steer the revision process. (Eileen O'Grady for Concord Monitor) #education

Long-overdue plan for trash disposal criticized for lacking clear strategies. The 18-page draft from the NH Department of Environmental Services prompted nearly 400 pages of public comment, including from the waste management sector and conservation advocates. A final draft will go to lawmakers Oct. 1. (Frances Mize for Valley News) #nhleg

In sharp pivot, Bolduc suddenly concedes Biden won:

  • Bolduc backtracks on claims 2020 election was stolen. "I have come to the conclusion, and I want to be definitive on this, the election was not stolen," Bolduc told "America's Newsroom" hosts Bill Hemmer and Dana Perino. Bolduc previously said Trump won the 2020 election. (Madeline Coggins for Fox News) #nhsen
  • Bolduc abandons false claims of stolen election, days after GOP Senate primary win. "Bolduc has repeatedly – as recently as last month – told voters he believed Donald Trump was the rightful winner of that election." (Josh Rogers for NHPR) #nhsen
  • Right after primary win, Bolduc reverses support for election lies. "Like a driver making a screeching U-turn, Don Bolduc ... pivoted on Thursday from his primary race to the general election, saying he had 'come to the conclusion' that the 2020 presidential election 'was not stolen,' after he had spent more than a year claiming it was. ... Ms. Hassan's campaign responded quickly to Mr. Bolduc’s reversal, sharing a series of videos and quotes of the many times Mr. Bolduc had promoted the lie that the 2020 election was stolen." (Maggie Astor for The New York Times) #nhsen
  • Bolduc abruptly backs off false 2020 election claims. "Hassan's campaign described Bolduc's new public stance as an unconvincing and cynical ploy. ... Hassan's seat represents a top pickup opportunity for Republicans, who are trying to erase Democrats' slim Senate majority this fall." (Gregory Krieg and Dan Merica for CNN) #nhsen
  • Bolduc does 180 on stolen election days after winning primary. "Bolduc isn’t the first Republican to reconsider their stance on the 2020 election after winning their primary. Trump-endorsed Arizona Senate candidate Blake Masters scrubbed his campaign website of any mentions of the 2020 election being stolen after he won his primary early last month." (Ryan Bort for Rolling Stone) #nhsen
  • In reversal, Bolduc calls Biden 'legitimate' president. "Independent analysts say his hard-right views could make it difficult to win over independent-minded voters in the politically competitive state ... New Hampshire is one of seven key battlegrounds ... that analysts believe will determine control of the 100-seat Senate." (Andy Sullivan for Reuters) #nhsen

Pence visits NH to support Bolduc. Pence showed his support at an event in Wilton hosted by the Hillsborough Republican Committee. "If there was ever a time for Gen. Don Bolduc in the United States Senate, it's now," Pence said. (Tim Callery for WMUR) #nhsen #fitn

Bolduc hugs Sununu at NH GOP unity breakfast. "It may not have been entirely consensual, but Don Bolduc got his hug from Chris Sununu. ... The two threw down on each other hard during the primary ... But the Senate nominee insisted they were on the same team. ... Boldoc rushed off the stage to a surprised Sununu waiting to speak, threw out his arms, and wrapped him in a rib-squeaking bear hug." (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhsen

  • "The hug by Bolduc appeared to be an attempt to erase a recent history of bad blood between the two men, who now share the top of the GOP ticket on November’s ballot in New Hampshire. (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News)
  • Republicans and Democrats host dueling post-primary "unity"' events (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader)
  • Republicans and Democrats get ready for push to general election (Adam Sexton for WMUR)

Rep seeks bill to hold NH state primary earlier. NH Rep. Joe Sweeney, R-Salem, announced Thursday that he has requested the drafting of a bill that would move the state primary election earlier in the year. This is the third time he has done this. Gov. Chris Sununu, who vetoed previous attempts to move the primary from September to August, said this week that he would be open to moving to a different date, such as the second or third week of June. In a tweet supporting Sweeney's move, the Hillsborough County GOP said the September primary "protects incumbents." (Granite Memo reporting) #nhleg #voting

Restaurants fined for child labor violations, a growing trend. Toscana in Portsmouth and Tuscan Village and Tuscan Market locations in Salem were among four Tuscan Brands businesses that paid a combined $15,737 in civil penalties after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation revealed excessive hours worked by employees 14-15 years old. The DOL also noted numerous child labor violations by 21 McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts franchises throughout New Hampshire and Vermont. (Ian Lenahan for Portsmouth Herald, DOL)

More headlines:

  • Abortion ban legislation adds to political challenge for GOP. Bolduc quickly distanced himself from Sen. Lindsey Graham's bill. (Steve Peoples and Holly Ramer for AP) #nhsen
  • Democrats punt same-sex marriage vote until after election. Democrats need 10 Republican votes to break a filibuster. (Mary Clare Jalonick for AP) #nhsen
  • War of words underway in New Hampshire 1st District race (Jennifer Crompton for WMUR) #nh01
  • Stark contrasts between Hassan, Bolduc in US Senate race (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nhsen
  • Catholic Medical Center in Manchester launches review after Boston Globe investigation raises accusations about former surgeon (Tim Callery for WMUR)

Wednesday, Sept. 14, 2022

Tie-breaker to decide Conway state rep primary. There was a tie Tuesday in the GOP primary for NH House in Carroll County District 1 (Conway), according to the NH Secretary of State's Office. Voters were to choose three candidates in the race, and two candidates (Michael DiGregorio and Mark Hounsell) tied for third place with 445 votes apiece. A public tie-breaker will be conducted Thursday at 10:30 a.m. in the NH Secretary of State's Office to determine whether DiGregorio or Hounsell will advance to the general election. (Press release) #nhleg #voting

New ballot-counting law, write-ins delayed primary results. Local officials attributed later state primary results to "a growing body of state election regulations, and a somewhat higher-than-usual number of write-in candidates on voters' ballots." (Josie Albertson-Grove for Union Leader) #voting

Some in GOP devastated by primary outcome. Ahead of Tuesday's vote, establishment Republicans had expressed concern that electing a hard-right slate of candidates could severely hamper odds of GOP victory in the Nov. 8 general election. As the projected results rolled in, unnamed GOP insiders and strategists said things aren't looking great. "I think we’re all f—ed," one reportedly said. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhsen #nh01 #nh02

Free Stater and other "extremist" NH reps lose primary races in Belknap County. NH Rep. Mike Sylvia, R-Belmont, was defeated by Travis O’Hara. Voters in Gilford, Gilmanton and Laconia also rejected Republican incumbents NH Reps. Norm Silber, Glen Aldrich and Gregg Hough. (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH) #nhleg

Newcomer Jonah Wheeler of Peterborough unseats Democratic incumbent. Wheeler received more votes than incumbents Ivy Vann and Peter Leishman in the Democratic primary for Hillsborough 33 state rep, so Wheeler and Leishman will advance to the Nov. 8 general election. Vann won't. Wheeler, 19, "would likely be the youngest representative in the state House if he is elected in November." Wheeler and Leishman will face Republicans Rachel Maidment and Matthew Pilcher. (Ashley Saari and Ben Conant for Monadnock Ledger-Transcript) #nhleg

Bolduc wins Senate primary, realizing  GOP fears. "Mr. Bolduc’s victory will come as a relief to Democrats, who also assume he will be the weaker opponent against Senator Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat." (Trip Gabriel for The New York Times) #nhsen

Tuesday was another bad day for Senate Republicans' 2022 chances. "Bolduc now joins the likes of Herschel Walker in Georgia, J.D. Vance in Ohio, Mehmet Oz in Pennsylvania and Blake Masters in Arizona as Republican candidates who ran -- and won -- primary campaigns by aligning themselves with the coalition built by former President Donald Trump but who appear to have much work to do when it comes to courting a general election audience." (Chris Cillizza for CNN) #nhsen

Republicans shudder as "extremist" Don Bolduc wins Senate primary. "New Hampshire Republicans have saddled themselves with an exceptionally MAGA-ish Senate candidate in a tough general election ... Before writing off Bolduc, though, it’s worth noting that the electorate is so polarized that other wacky Republican candidates ... are doing as well in some polls as their less extremist counterparts. It may all come down to national trends favoring or disfavoring the GOP." (Ed Kilgore for New York Magazine's Intelligencer) #nhsen

Leavitt claims victory in GOP congressional primary, topping five-person field. "At 25 years old, Leavitt is the minimum age for serving in Congress, She said her youth is a driving force behind her campaign. ... Leavitt painted a dark portrait of American life under President Joe Biden. In her victory speech, she portrayed Pappas, 42, as a Democrat in lock-step with his party." (Todd Bookman for NHPR) #nh01

Leavitt upsets Mowers, winning GOP primary for NH01. "Ms. Leavitt, who adopted Mr. Trump’s brash style and taste for inflammatory statements, was backed by a host of hard-right Republicans in Congress, most notably Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, the No. 3 Republican, who has also styled herself in the former president’s image. In her campaign, Ms. Leavitt unequivocally repeated Mr. Trump’s lie that the 2020 presidential election was stolen." (Annie Karni for The New York Times) #nh01

Stefanik-backed candidate wins MAGA world face-off. "House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (CA) endorsed Leavitt’s opponent, former Trump advisor Matt Mowers, and a super PAC aligned with McCarthy spent heavily late in the primary campaign to boost him." Leavitt "courted the MAGA wing of the party." Her endorsers include Rep. Jim Jordan, Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Mike Lee, Rep. Madison Cawthorn, and others. (Jake Lahut for Daily Beast) #nh01

Leavitt projected winner in fierce GOP congressional primary. "The increasingly combustible battle between Leavitt and Mowers became one to the right, with both showcasing their Trump administration experience. However, Mowers did not go as far as Leavitt when it comes to Trump’s 2020 election loss to President Biden. Leavitt is a firm supporter of the former president’s unproven claims that the last election was 'rigged' with 'massive voter fraud' and 'stolen.' Mowers, with more pragmatic language, has said that he continues to have concerns about voting 'irregularities around the country.'" (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News) #nh01

Mike Pompeo acknowledges he's eyeing the White House. The former U.S. secretary of state told supporters in Chicago on Tuesday night that he’s laying the groundwork for a possible 2024 presidential bid. "We’ve got a team in Iowa, a team in New Hampshire and South Carolina. And that’s not random," he said. Pompeo said avoided badmouthing Trump. "I hope he enjoys retirement," Pompeo said, drawing a laugh from the audience. (Shia Kapos for Politico's Illinois Playbook) #fitn

It's a race for House GOP No. 3 next year — but a lopsided one. Rep. Byron Donalds, R-FL, (who campaigned in Litchfield with Karoline Leavitt, NH01 GOP nominee, the day before the primary) is seen as a long shot for conference chair, but he’s still taking on incumbent chair Rep. Elise Stefanik (for whom Leavitt worked as a spokesperson). "Both Stefanik and Donalds would bring their own liabilities to a post that attracts more attention in the House’s majority party." (Olivia Beavers for Politico)

More headlines:

Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022

🗳️
State primary election. Voters are picking which Republicans and Democrats will appear on the Nov. 8 general election ballot for U.S. Senate, NH01, NH02, governor, Executive Council, NH House and NH Senate. See details from Citizens Count. 

Two towns selected for post-election audit. NH Secretary of State David Scanlan's office announced he has selected the AccuVote electronic ballot counting devices in Laconia's Ward 1 and Hopkinton for the post-election audit of the State Primary Election, in accordance with SB 366. Moderators of those two wards were notified Tuesday at noon. This is the first election this procedure will be used.

  • Audit will be conducted Thursday at 4 p.m. at NH Archives and Records Management (9 Ratification Way in Concord).
  • Results of the audit will be released no later than Friday at noon.
  • "The intent of this audit is to test the process of using high speed scanners to be used in the General Election," the secretary's office said.
  • The secretary appointed eight people to conduct the audit: attorney Orville Fitch, NH Sen. James Gray, attorney Christopher Regan, Senior Deputy Secretary of State Patricia Lovejoy, attorney Eric Forcier, attorney Jennifer Coté, Ira Margulies from Clear Ballot and Orion Marchese from Clear Ballot.
  • Two people have been appointed to provide technical assistance: Dan Cloutier and John Penney.

Election hotline receives more than 100 calls. Shortly after 5 p.m., NH DOJ spokesperson Michael Garrity said the Election Law Unit’s Election Day hotline had received more than 100 calls with a variety of questions: about participating in the election, participating in an opposing party’s primary, accurately posting election location and timing information, complaints about electioneering at the polls, and "lots of questions about the ability to request hand count ballots," Garrity said. The hotline, 1-866-868-3703 (1-866-VOTER03), will remain open until 8 p.m., and inquiries and complaints may also be submitted via email at electionlaw@doj.nh.gov. (Granite Memo) #voting

NHPR pushes back against NHJournal story about Senate debates. News director Daniel Barrick tweeted that the story "is in error" and that NHPR has "communicated with every major NH Senate campaign about fall debates." The NHJournal story by Michael Graham had claimed Hassan "was negotiating an agreement with the left-leaning media outlets" NHPR and NH Bulletin "to schedule a debate" in the general election campaign. Graham's story alleged NHPR struck a "deal" with Hassan. Barrick rejected that notion: "The allegation in this piece of any 'deal' with any candidates is patently false," he said. (Barrick tweet, original NHJournal story) #nhsen

Republicans fret over "too Trumpy" NH primary candidate Don Bolduc. "A veteran of 10 tours of Afghanistan, Mr Bolduc has falsely claimed that coronavirus vaccines contain microchips and that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election. ... Republican prospects of retaking the Senate have dimmed ... Top party figures are fretting a Bolduc nomination will doom the effort." (Sam Cabral for BBC News) #nhsen

Midterm primaries wrap up with fresh test of GOP’s future. "The GOP is grappling with the possibility of again nominating a candidate who is popular with the party’s base but struggles to broaden support ahead of the November general election." (Will Weissert and Holly Ramer for AP) #nhsen

Monday, Sept. 12, 2022

Critics cry foul after Hassan announces she's RSVP'd for three general election debates. On Friday – days before her GOP opponent would even be nominated – Hassan said she will attend three general election debates: (1) WMUR and the NH Institute of Politics, (2) NHPR, NH PBS and NH Bulletin, and (3) The Mount Washington Valley Economic Council. Writing for NHJournal, Michael Graham said Hassan "was negotiating an agreement with the left-leaning media outlets" NHPR and NH Bulletin "to schedule a debate" in the general campaign. NHPR declined to discuss "its deal with Hassan," Graham wrote. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhsen

Kevin McCarthy’s allies have swept aside dissenters who might derail his speakership bid next year. "Their final targets are on the ballot here Tuesday" in NH. "The final primaries in New Hampshire have drawn outsize attention and money from Republicans and Democrats hoping to influence who secures the GOP nominations. ... the political environment has shifted. Few Republicans now expect to net the huge number of seats as they projected months ago..." (Ally Mutnick and Olivia Beavers for Politico) #nh01 #nh02

Republican primaries focus on insider vs. outsider battles. "Most candidates in GOP primary contests have worked to show the Republican base just how much they stand against the so-called establishment." (Adam Sexton for WMUR)

Republicans head to primary polls without influence of Trump endorsements. "It's possible that Trump could make a last-minute endorsement, but it would come too late to make its biggest impact. ... The question that will be answered Tuesday is whether the Trump base of the party turns out or if a more traditional state primary GOP base of voters turns out." (Adam Sexton for WMUR)

More insight into the back-and-forth over a possible Trump endorsement in the GOP Senate primary. Trump was thinking about endorsing Chuck Morse, who met with Trump in NJ on Sept. 2 and spoke with him by phone on Thursday. "During their meetings, Mr. Trump complimented Mr. Morse’s fund-raising prowess in the state and his record of public service. ... people close to the former president said Mr. Trump seemed less excited about Mr. Morse’s candidacy compared with other Senate candidates he has backed this year." Then Trump spoke positively of Don Bolduc in a radio interview this month. (Trip Gabriel and Michael C. Bender for The New York Times) #nhsen

Manchester Ink Link issues its first-ever political endorsements. "Unlike the endorsements from most publications, our endorsements are not predicated on policy. ... Still, there is one adage that we believe here at Manchester Ink Link that we think everyone in Manchester can agree with: 'the world is run by those who show up.'" So the publication is endorsing the list of candidates who responded to the publication's voter guide questionnaire. (Andrew Sylvia for Manchester Ink Link) #mht

Windham ballot-folding concerns raised again. In a GraniteGrok post, Ken Eyring wrote that absentee ballots have been folded twice, with creases through the ovals. Damien Fisher reporting for NHJournal: "The same improper folds on absentee ballots in 2020 resulted in anomalous results and new state oversight of the vote." Windham is one of three communities that will have state election monitors on site for Tuesday's primary vote. (Damien Fisher for NHJournal) #voting

More headlines:

Sunday, Sept. 11, 2022

Skepticism about the 2020 presidential election is spilling into 2022. NH Secretary of State David Scanlan created a special committee on voter confidence. “People need to be heard, and we’ve got to do an even better job explaining how well elections are run in cities and towns across New Hampshire,” Scanlan said. The committee will put together a report, as different groups offer vastly different ideas on how to move forward. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #voting

In an op-ed, Sununu reiterated his Senate endorsement. "The Republican candidate who Maggie Hassan is most afraid to face in this election is small-business owner and Senate President Chuck Morse. He’s fought alongside me in Concord to cut taxes, rebuild our mental health system, invest in transformative clean water projects, and expand educational opportunities for our kids." (Union Leader) #nhsen

Trio of major opponents insist Sununu "overstepped his authority." Julian Acciard, a 34-year-old Marine veteran; Thad Riley, a 50-year-old small business owner from Brentwood; and Karen Testerman, a conservative from Franklin each cited Sununu's actions during the COVID-19 pandemic. They're running against him in the GOP primary. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nhgov

Education Freedom Account program needs more honesty. "The program has grown from 1,572 students last school year, to 3,025 this school year ... The additional students brings the state’s tax dollar obligation to $14.7 million this school year ... For many the program is a Godsend, but advocates need to be honest about what is really going on and most of that is using state tax dollars to pay for private and religious schools, and homeschool programs, not children leaving public schools to find a more fitting education environment." (Garry Rayno for InDepthNH)

Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022

Protesters call out Seacoast landlords as rents surge. “We are banding together to help our neighbors facing this because they deserve to afford to live here,” said NH Rep. Ellen Read of Newmarket. Two bills related to rent increases stalled this year in the NH legislature. (Megan Fernandes for Foster's Daily Democrat)

On Tuesday, there's winning and then there's winning. Dover city councilor Fergus Cullen, a former executive director of the Republican State Committee, said, "Candidates have to not only win elections, they have to beat expectations." (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader)

More headlines:

Friday, Sept. 9, 2022

NH Secretary of State David Scanlan predicts state primary voter turnout. Scanlan said he expects 149,000 voters in the Republican primary and 121,000 voters in the Democratic primary. That would equal about 31% of the state's 869,863 registered voters. As of Aug. 30, the state had 263,934 registered Republicans, 273,921 registered Democrats, and 332,008 independents (who can vote in either party's primary). #voting

State could spur new mental health hospital development with up to $15 million in federal funds. "The Joint Legislative Fiscal Committee approved funding for the new proposal Friday. It will also require Executive Council sign-off" (Paul Cuno-Booth for NHPR). "The money would be used for both construction of the building and for a contract guaranteeing care over time" (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH). #nhleg #nhgov

Conservative group attacks Sununu with ad campaign ahead of GOP gubernatorial primary. Cornerstone Action sent a mailer accusing the governor of lying about an abortion-related policy. "At issue is a promise Sununu made during his first bid for governor (to) support repealing the state's 'buffer zone' law restricting protests around abortion clinics." There's also a digital video ad. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhgov

Wall Street Journal Editorial Board bashes Democrats for their ad buy in the NH GOP primary for Senate. "Democrats are again running TV ads to help a Trumpy Republican candidate for Senate. President Biden is warning that ultra-MAGA Republicans threaten American democracy. Why won’t he tell his party to quit elevating them?" (Wall Street Journal) #nhsen

Looks like Trump is sitting out his last chance for big NH endorsements. The former president "could tip the scales" in the GOP primaries for NH01 and U.S. Senate. Corey Lewandowski "could be the reason why Trump never got involved in the (Senate) contest" this year, or Trump could have a different reason. In NH01, it appears to be down to Mowers and Leavitt. "Who is the true Trump favorite? No one knows." (James Pindell for The Boston Globe) #nhsen #nh01

John H. Sununu endorses Chuck Morse in GOP primary for Senate. In a statement, the former NH governor and White House chief of staff called Morse "a man of integrity, a principled conservative, and a public servant true to the spirit of New Hampshire." Morse said John H. Sununu "was one of the first to encourage me to get involved in New Hampshire politics." (Granite Memo) #nhsen

Post-debate survey finds frontrunners fade while Vikram Mansharamani and Kevin Smith bounce. Working for NHJournal, the data firm co/efficient conducted a real-time survey of likely GOP primary voters during WMUR's debate in which the five top Republicans running for U.S. Senate participated. "While the survey is not a poll, it is an interesting glimpse ..." (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nhsen

More headlines:

Thursday, Sept. 8, 2022

A celebrated NH surgeon, Dr. Yvon Baribeau, set a record for malpractice settlements. "Hospital executives were well aware for years how dangerous he had become. They knew because they had been repeatedly warned by surgeons and other medical professionals at Catholic Medical Center (in Manchester) that Baribeau’s errors were harming, even killing, patients. ... And yet for years hospital management resisted reining in one of their leading rainmakers." (Boston Globe Spotlight Team)

"Pop-up" super PAC launches new attack ad targeting Don Bolduc. White Mountain PAC "reported spending about $14,000 on media production, a fraction of the $4.6 million it dropped Friday on media production and placement supporting state Senate President Chuck Morse." The PAC filed a statement of organization on Aug. 30, which means it won't have to disclose its donors until after the Sept. 13 primary. "Altogether, outside groups have poured about $11.2 million into the Senate primary race." (Taylor Giorno for OpenSecrets) #nhsen

One candidate in GOP primary for NH02 signals support for federal law to tighten abortion restrictions. During a televised debate, Bob Burns said he would ban abortions once there is a fetal heartbeat. He rejected the idea that this question should be left up to each state to decide. George Hansel said he is "pro-choice" but opposes "late-term abortions," with some exceptions. He said his views align fairly closely with the NH law. Lily Tang Williams said she opposes abortion but believes the matter is best left for states to decide. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nh02

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, R-NH, endorses Karoline Leavitt for Congress. In a statement, Smith praised Leavitt's "hard-charging, grassroots campaign" and said she is "the only true grassroots conservative in the race for Congress." (Granite Memo) #nh01

In an op-ed, Ian Underwood argues that what happened with Croydon's school budget has been mischaracterized. "It wasn’t an effort by Free Staters. It was a proposal by one resident, who has an extensive record of writing about the need to simultaneously improve the quality and reduce the cost of education in New Hampshire." (InDepthNH)

Two GOP candidates running for Cheshire County sheriff. "Richard Pratt Jr., 55, of Winchester, who retired as Nelson’s police chief last December, is competing in Tuesday’s primary against Jeffrey Selander, 62, who served as a police officer in Meriden, Conn., before moving to New Hampshire in 2016." The two candidates outlined their qualifications and plans in separate interviews. (Ryan Spencer for Keene Sentinel)

Shaheen pressed USPS about preventing mail schemes. Residents of Peterborough and Goffstown have been victimized by cons that involve mail forwarding. Shaheen sent a letter to the postmaster general saying the two NH cases reported to her office "raise concerns about the security of these procedures and the agency’s ability to confirm the identity of those making mail-forwarding requests." (Rick Green for Keene Sentinel) #nhsen

Colby-Sawyer College to slash tuition by 62% for 2023. The reduction "brings the listed price more in line with what students are already paying ... (since) 100% of current students at the New London college receive financial aid." The aim is to improve price transparency. (Nora Doyle-Burr for Valley News)

More headlines:

As Sununu endorses Morse for U.S. Senate, analysts ask: Will it matter?
Long awaited, the announcement was seen by many as an inevitability.

Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2022

No school in Concord on primary election day. Citing general safety concerns, the Concord School Board voted 7-0 on Tuesday to cancel classes districtwide for Sept. 13, when voters will cast ballots at three elementary schools. Having outsiders in school buildings while classes are in session raises risks, the superintendent said. The district already has a professional development day scheduled for Nov. 8, so no classes will be held the day of the general election. (Eileen O'Grady for Concord Monitor) #voting

Voter confidence committee hears expert testimony on what drives mistrust. During the committee's final public meeting, experts from Dartmouth and MIT described factors that can affect voter perceptions and suggested some tweaks, even as most NH voters trust the state's election processes. Now the committee will write a report on how to boost confidence. (Paul Cuno-Booth for NHPR) #voting

Historic meeting atop Mount Washington. For the first time in state history, the governor and Executive Council met Wednesday at the summit and voted to approve several contracts (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH). The council approved "two-year no-interest loans to give 300 businesses more time to pay back $12.4 million in grants for COVID-19 relief to the federal government" (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader). #nhgov

Manchester residents air safety concerns after stabbing death on walking trail. A homeless person was arrested on a second-degree murder charge. Victoria Sullivan, who ran against Mayor Joyce Craig in the past two elections, was among the residents who spoke Tuesday at City Hall. "You are acting like you are the Mayor of Mayberry while you are actually on your way to being the mayor of little Chicago," Sullivan said. In response to the public's comments, Craig said safety is city leadership's top priority. In tweets, Craig said the suspect had been arrested for violent crimes twice over the summer and released. She said bail policy reforms are part of what's needed. (Paul Feely for Union Leader) #mht

  • In an opinion piece, organizer Brandon Lemay said Sullivan's comments "were downright malicious to the homeless." (Manchester Ink Link)
  • Schonna Green resigned Wednesday after 18 months as Manchester's Director of Homeless Initiatives. An alderman said the city should not have treated tackling homelessness as a one-person job. (Carol Robidoux for Manchester Ink Link)

Granite State Debates host GOP contenders in NH02 race. Over the course of the debate moderated by WMUR's Adam Sexton, the candidates – Bob Burns, George Hansel and Lily Tang Williams – commented on abortion restrictions, foreign policy, immigration, inflation, the search at Mar-a-Lago, a factual dispute over whether Keene is a "sanctuary city," and more. (WMUR) #nh02

Three GOP rivals gang up on Matt Mowers in WMUR debate. "While Mowers came under assault for having voted in two states for president in 2016 (primaries) and for declining to take a position on federal legislation restricting abortion, none of the shots appeared to deliver a knockout punch." (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nh01

Candidates in GOP primary for NH01 share core beliefs, but differ in tone and experience. "With the candidates largely in agreement the race could boil down to how voters view their character, tone, and temperament, as well as age and experience." (Todd Bookman for NHPR) #nh01

Analysts say Chuck Morse primary win could make general election more competitive. "If Republicans nominate Bolduc (for U.S. Senate), we’d be inclined to keep our Leans Democratic rating as-is. We can, however, more easily see the race becoming a Toss-up if Morse is nominated." Both NH01 ("Toss-up") and NH02 ("Leans Democratic) are expected to be competitive in the general election, though these ratings may change. (Sabato's Crystal Ball) #nhsen #nh01 #nh02

Republicans look to avert a complicating NH primary result. The possibility that Don Bolduc could win the GOP primary "has set off a frantic burst of spending from Republican groups looking to boost Chuck Morse." Even people close to Bolduc "describe as a 'loose cannon' without much of a political organization or fundraising ability. He had raised less than $600,000 by August 24, compared to Hassan's $31.4 million." (Dan Merica for CNN) #nhsen

Kevin Smith has backing from former Gov. Craig Benson. "We need to send someone to Washington who is different and has a history of putting America first. That Republican candidate is Kevin Smith," Benson wrote in a guest column. (Seacoastonline) #nhsen

Rochester shuts down discussion of banning four LGBTQ+ books. About 20 community members showed up to oppose the effort undertaken by City Councilor Jim Gray, who is also a NH senator. The council voted 12-1 to remove Gray's request from the agenda. Gray said his views had been misrepresented by the media. (Karen Dandurant for Fosters.com) #nhleg

Latino candidates for state and local offices explain proposals for their community. Allisandra Murray, Dr. Trinidad Tellez, Rep. Maria Perez,  Jason Bonilla and Carlos Gonzales were quoted in this story. (Gabriela Lozada for NHPR) #nhleg

Enfield town officials are mulling a proposal for a new public beach on Lake Mascoma. The $50,000 project would involve about 1.5 acres of grassy lakefront land and would create a public swimming spot. The idea is to replace Shakoma Beach. (Liz Sauchelli for Valley News)

Investigation and documentary to feature what Michael Flynn has been up to. "The retired lieutenant general, former national security adviser, onetime anti-terrorism fighter, is now focused on his next task: building a movement centered on Christian nationalist ideas, where Christianity is at the center of American life and institutions." This AP/"Frontline" investigation includes a documentary set to premiere Oct. 18 (Michelle R. Smith for AP). (Flynn campaigned for Don Bolduc in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate last October, then Bolduc's campaign paid Flynn's company a $5,209 "event speaking fee," as Roger Sollenberger reported for Daily Best in February.)

A new framework approved Tuesday by NH lawmakers "will allow the state to begin settling claims in January with hundreds of people sexually and physically abused while at the state’s former Youth Development Center." (Annmarie Timmons for NHBulletin) #nhleg

More headlines:

Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022

Trump calls Sununu, chats about U.S. Senate race. An aide to the governor confirmed that the former president initiated the chat, "and the Senate race came up as part of a larger" conversation. Sununu encouraged Trump to look closely at the contest. The big question is whether Trump might endorse Don Bolduc or Chuck Morse in the GOP primary. Sununu, who is believed to support Morse, has spoken negatively of Bolduc. Trump has spoken positively of Bolduc but said he's "'looking strongly' at whether to make an endorsement." (Kevin Landrigan for the Union Leader) #nhsen

Granite State Debates host GOP contenders in NH01 race. Over the course of the debate moderated by WMUR's Adam Sexton, the candidates – Matt Mowers, Karoline Leavitt, Gail Huff Brown, Tim Baxter and Russell Prescott – commented on rising energy prices, oversight of nuclear facilities, high housing costs, abortion restrictions, election confidence, whether they would impeach President Joe Biden, border policies and illegal drugs, COVID-19 booster shots, the idea that democracy itself is under threat, and more. See also post-debate reactions from the candidates. (WMUR) #nh01

Live Free or Die debates host GOP contenders in NH02 race. Over the course of the debate moderated by NH Today's Chris Ryan, the candidates – Bob Burns, George Hansel and Lily Tang Williams – answered questions about inflation, student loan forgiveness, drug price negotiation, strengthening Medicare, energy efficiency, whether the 2020 election was "compromised" and what fixes are needed, pathways to citizenship, marijuana legalization and more. All three said they would favor removing cannabis from Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act. (Granite Memo) #nh02

Committee OKs revised guidelines for Youth Development Center settlement awards. The victims' lawyer says it's not fair. "The state abused these folks as kids," attorney David A. Vicinanzo said. "Now it’s abusing them again by playing political spin games, pretending this is a victim-friendly process while ignoring and disrespecting the actual child victims." (Garry Rayno for InDepthNH)

State floating another behavioral health services proposal. After a proposal to help Portsmouth Regional Help build a new facility in Epping was withdrawn earlier this year, the NH Department of Health and Human Services will propose to spend the same sum in federal pandemic aid to help instead with a new facility for SolutionHealth, an integrated system founded by Southern New Hampshire Health and Elliot Health System. The latest proposal does not indicate where the facility would be located. (Garry Rayno for InDepthNH)

Juul settlement to yield $8.5 million in proceeds to NH. "The company recklessly targeted our children with deceptive and targeted marketing practices, created a public health crisis, and irresponsibly put profits over the health of our young people," said AG John Formella. (NH AG press release)

Monday, Sept. 5, 2022

Gail Huff Brown campaigning on "choice" when it comes to abortion. The GOP candidate for NH01 told NHJournal that she supports the NH abortion law, which bans abortion after 24 weeks, and "will never support any public funding for abortion or for contraception." But she released a 30-second "Life Choices" ad that recounts how she decided not to terminate her pregnancy at 20 weeks despite a risk to her own life. Some GOP strategists see her emphasis on "choice" as a smart move. At least one anti-abortion group called her strategy a mistake. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nh01

Daily Beast article calls NH01 race "new ground zero in the MAGA civil wars." House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy is backing Matt Mowers. Rep. Elise Stefanik, R-NY, is backing Karoline Leavitt, her former press secretary. "The endorsements in the primary ... have largely fallen along similar lines to other MAGA proxy fights, but the demographics of the district and the involvement of House leadership give this power struggle its own flavor." (Jake Lahut for Daily Beast) #nh01

Three vying for the NH Senate seat Chuck Morse is vacating. Tw0 GOP candidates – Daryl Abbas of Salem and Peter E. Torosian of Atkinson – and one Democrat, Wayne Haubner of Salem, are running for NH Senate District 22. Abbas and Torosian are currently state reps. Torosian has sponsored legislation for NH to secede from the United States. Haubner is a tech exec and Digital Federal Credit Union board member. (Angelina Berube for The Eagle-Tribune) #nhleg

Editorial warns that Republicans "court disaster." The party's rightward shift, as exemplified by Don Bolduc's lead, is concerning, this editorial argues. (Conway Daily Sun) #nhsen

A poll finds that nearly 80% of likely voters say NH elections are free of fraud. "The Union Leader obtained a copy of the poll as the Special Committee on Voter Confidence was preparing to hold the final scheduled public listening session Tuesday at the Keene Public Library." (Kevin Landrigan for the Union Leader)

How the EPA's new proposed rule for PFAS chemicals could help with NH cleanup efforts. "The EPA is proposing a hazardous substance designation for PFOA and PFOS under its 'Superfund' program." The head of the NH Department of Environmental Services waste management division said the designation would help efforts at sites that are already listed as federal priorities, such as the former Pease Air Force Base and the Coakley Landfill. It could also give the state more leverage with polluters at other sites. (Mara Hoplamazian for NHPR)

Ten candidates are running in the GOP primary for NH01. This overview covers all 10, not just the five who are appearing on debate stages. (Catherine McLaughlin for The Laconia Daily Sun) #nh01

Sunday, Sept. 4, 2022

Campaigning for 2024 presidential nomination "already on"? Not until after the November election will the race for the 2024 presidential nomination really get underway, but early visits by Mike Pence, Mike Pompeo, Ted Cruz and other GOP hopefuls have been happening since early 2021. "I think the race is already on," said NH Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque. (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News) #fitn

Outside money trying to influence NH federal elections. "Retail politics is still practiced with a passion in the Granite State, but it pales in effectiveness to the millions of dollars poured into our purple state to influence outcomes." (Garry Rayno for InDepthNH) #nhsen #nh01 #nh01

Dems are playing to older voters nationwide. They are highlighting their work on prescription drug costs and criticizing Republicans over suggests Social Security changes. "A quick glance at the Senate map shows how decisive older voters could be. Of the eight states at the center of the battle for the chamber, which is split 50-50, five are among the 20 oldest states in the country: New Hampshire is 2nd, Florida is 5th, Pennsylvania is 7th and Ohio and Wisconsin are in the teens." Plus, Nevada and Arizona are "havens for retirees." (Kevin Robillard for HuffPost) #nhsen

Don Bolduc says he's not sure why GOP establishment doesn't back him. In a WMUR CloseUp interview, the frontrunner in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate shrugged off criticism from Sununu and national Republicans, arguing that his "outsider" campaign is working. When given the opportunity to distance himself from Michael Flynn – a Trump ally who pleaded the 5th Amendment rather than saying whether he supports the peaceful transition of power – Bolduc didn't take the chance: "I am for a peaceful process. ... General Flynn and I served in combat together, and I consider him an admirable man. He's entitled to his comments." (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nhsen

Chuck Morse argues the FBI search and seizure of classified documents at Trump's Mar-a-Lago property is a symptom of politicization. In a WMUR CloseUp interview, Adam Sexton pressed him on the core question: "Should former President Trump have given the documents back when the government asked for them?" Morse replied: "I'm sure there's legal things in here where President Trump should be working with the FBI to give documents, but let's be honest, Adam, what happened that day was politicizing the process, and I don't believe in that." Morse said calls to dismantle the FBI go too far. What's needed is an investigation of FBI leadership, he said. (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nhsen

Union Leader sees reasons to pick Gail Huff Brown for NH01. With an editorial, the paper called her "a serious, level-headed woman who uses her knowledge of the issues rather than brashness to convince voters." The editorial contrasted her with GOP competitors Matt Mowers ("a modern man on the political make") and Karoline Leavitt ("barely legally old enough to serve"). "We don’t think Chris Pappas and the Democrats want to face Gail Huff Brown this November." (Union Leader) #nh01


📺 Interviews on WMUR's CloseUp

All five major GOP candidates for U.S. Senate have been featured in WMUR CloseUp interviews this summer. The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan. #nhsen

All five major GOP candidates for NH01 have been featured in WMUR CloseUp interviews this summer. The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas. #nh01

All three major GOP candidates for NH02 have been featured in WMUR CloseUp interviews this summer. The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster. #nh02

Major candidates for NH governor have been featured in WMUR CloseUp interviews this summer. They are competing with incumbent Gov. Chris Sununu. #nhgov

Sununu was interviewed for CloseUp back in January and in May.


Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022

Free Staters "seek to undo" NH government "from within." "More than 6,000 people have relocated to New Hampshire since the effort was launched 21 years ago, according to its organizers. And while some dispute that claim, legislators on both sides of the aisle in Concord agree that Free Staters have come to wield outsize political influence." (Brian MacQuarrie for The Boston Globe)

Sen. Ted Cruz to stump for Karoline Leavitt. The conservative Republican from Texas will attend a get-out-the-vote rally Thursday, Sept. 8, at American Legion Post 27 in Londonderry. Cruz endorsed Leavitt in October, calling her "a fighter who shares our core values." In a statement, Leavitt called Cruz "one of the greatest champions of the Constitution and our God-given freedoms on Capitol Hill." Leavitt is competing with Matt Mowers and others in the GOP primary for a chance to challenge incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas in November. (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News)

Friday, Sept. 2, 2022

Republicans and Democrats flood NH airwaves with ads about Chuck Morse. "National Democrats on Friday began a $3.1 million television advertising blitz aimed at influencing the opposing party’s contest, one day after national Republicans launched their own $4.5 million spree of ads. By the Sept. 13 primary, outside groups will have spent far more than all of the candidates combined." Establishment GOP groups figure frontrunner Don Bolduc would be weak in the general election. So too do Democrats. (Trip Gabriel for The New York Times) #nhsen

This ad spend by national Dems fits a pattern of meddling. "While the Democratic spot is not an outright boost of a pro-Trump candidate in a Republican primary, it does fit into a broader pattern of Democratic ads affecting GOP nominating contests this primary season. Democratic groups in other states ... have spent tens of millions of dollars boosting less-electable Republicans in primaries this year, often by tying them to former President Donald Trump." But the Senate Majority PAC's ad doesn't mention Don Bolduc, just Chuck Morse – "and on terms that could work in the general election, too." (Joseph Gedeon for Politico) #nhsen

Jay Nordlinger criticizes Dems for GOP primary ads. "Democrats have been warning about MAGA and the threat it poses to democracy. ... If you don’t like something — if you don’t want something — don’t pay for it. Don’t fund it. Don’t invite it," he wrote. (National Review)

How the establishment GOP aims to beat Sen. Maggie Hassan. From a national perspective, Hassan is considered "one of the more vulnerable Democrats in the November general election." But some Republicans have warned that nominating Don Bolduc could weaken the GOP's odds. While a PAC created by a former National Republican Senatorial Committee staffer spends more than $4 million to boost Chuck Morse's candidacy in the GOP primary, "a PAC aligned with McConnell, the Senate Leadership Fund, announced Friday it had purchased $23 million in advertising aimed at Hassan that will start airing Sept. 13, the day of the primary." This is the McConnell-affiliated fund's first investment in NH. (Azi Paybarah for The Washington Post) #nhsen

Republican-aligned super PAC plans $23 million ad buy to win against Maggie Hassan. Republicans view the incumbent Democrat as vulnerable. "And the move by the Senate Leadership Fund ... is another sign that Republicans still believe Hassan is beatable in November, even without a topflight GOP nominee." (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News) #nhsen

Chuck Morse changes his mind on federal abortion restrictions. "In January, he told News 9 he would support a version of New Hampshire's 24-week abortion ban in the U.S. Senate. Now, he considers abortion to be a state issue." (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nhsen

Don Bolduc and Chuck Morse respond to President Joe Biden's "MAGA Republicans" speech. Biden warned of "an extremism" within the GOP "that threatens the very foundations of our republic." Most Republicans aren't "MAGA Republicans," he said. "But there is no question that the Republican Party today is dominated, driven, and intimidated by Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans, and that is a threat to this country." Bolduc said Biden was "yelling at the clouds while he insults half of our country." Morse said, "Count me as one of the 'MAGA Republicans' Joe Biden has decided to insult last night." (Bolduc tweet, Morse tweet) #nhsen

Don Bolduc chastises incumbents over their COVID-19 leadership. In a Washington Times op-ed calling Labor Day "the official kick-off of the political campaign season," Bolduc said "many of these same politicians who aided and abetted our government’s misguided approach to COVID-19 are asking for a fresh term in Washington. They are hoping for those early days of the pandemic to be a distant memory come November." (The Washington Times) #nhsen

Don Bolduc sat for an interview with NHPR's Rick Ganley. Bolduc is aiming to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate so he can take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Ganley asked Bolduc about election security misinformation, inflation, abortion restrictions, climate change, immigration and border enforcement. "I'm a hell no on new spending. It's out of control. We've got to reverse our energy policies. They created the inflation," Bolduc said. NHPR included a lengthy editor's note after Bolduc's response regarding election security. (NHPR interview, NHPR series overview) #nhsen

Ads to boost Vikram Mansharamani and Kevin Smith. While super PACs drop millions on frontrunner Don Bolduc and contender Chuck Morse, smaller ad buys from two more outside groups will boost other major candidates in the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Granite State Leadership Fund, which spent $353,000, will tout Mansharamani. Stand for New Hampshire, which is backing Smith, spent $84,000 on TV ads. (Bridget Bowman and Ben Kamisar for NBC News) #nhsen

Contenders for GOP primary in NH01 trade barbs. A super PAC backing Matt Morse released an ad calling Karoline Leavitt a "woke Gen Z’er." With her own ad, Leavitt called Mowers "another swamp doormat." (Bridget Bowman and Ben Kamisar for NBC News) #nh01

Democrats push abortion rights to center of campaign. "In separate appearances in Concord and Manchester this week, Democrats Sen. Maggie Hassan and Rep. Chris Pappas, both of whom are facing tight re-election battles this fall, said electing Democrats is the way to ensure that abortion rights and access to health care including contraception, STD and cancer screenings, aren’t further eroded." (Josh Rogers for NHPR) #nhsen #nh01

The NH AG's Office is investigating four anonymous political mailers sent to voters in the NH02 district. The mailers, which do not identify the person or entity responsible for the advertising, were produced by Reynolds DeWalt, a printing company based in Massachusetts and affiliated with Democrats. Neither the printer nor its lawyers at Elias Law Group have said who is behind the mailers. The mailers promoted Bob Burns and cast doubt on George Hansel, who are running in the GOP primary for a chance to challenge Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster. (Josh Rogers for NHPR, NH AG statement, Rick Green for Keene Sentinel, Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nh02

Biden's student debt cancelation order unpopular among Republicans and most NH independents. In a Granite State Poll conducted Aug. 25-29 by the UNH Survey Center, an overwhelming 86% of Democrats in NH supported the student debt cancelation, while 88% of Republicans and 59% of independents in NH opposed it (±2.2%). (Granite State Poll)

Groups object to NH solid waste plan. "Working on Waste, a citizens’ initiative focusing on safe alternatives to incinerators and landfills, has added its voice to groups who say the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services’ draft solid waste plan is not aggressive enough in embracing change." (Thomas P. Caldwell for InDepthNH)

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2022

Libertarian candidates for NH governor and U.S. Senate qualify for November ballot. Karlyn Borysenko, who is running for governor, and Jeremy Kauffman, who is running for Senate, filed their ballot access petitions Thursday. Officials deemed their petitions complete and valid, so both will appear as third-party candidates in the general election. When asked whether he expects to win, Kauffman told Granite Memo that will be a challenge, since "so many wealthy, out-of-state donors are supporting the establishment candidates." Even so, Kauffman said he'll use conventional and unconventional strategies to keep getting people's attention. "I hope my campaign will encourage more New Hampshire residents to embrace liberty, encourage more libertarians to embrace New Hampshire, and force the anti-liberty Republicans and Democrats to embrace liberty positions even when they don't want to," he said. Third-party candidate filings are due Sept. 7. (SOS Declarations of Intent) #nhsen #nhgov

Chuck Morse endorsed by Hillsboro weekly newspaper. The Messenger, a Granite Quill publication run by publisher Leigh Bosse and editor Joyce Bosse, argued Morse is the candidate in the GOP primary best prepared to win against Maggie Hassan in the general election. "We know that Morse can beat Hassan because he's done it already," the editorial states. "When Hassan was Governor, she opposed every attempt to cut the state's punishingly high business taxes, even vetoing a balanced budget because it cut business tax rates. But Morse held Republicans together, pushed the Legislature to override Hassan's veto, and started a series of tax reforms that have made New Hampshire's economy the strongest in the Northeast." (The Messenger) #nhsen

Free Stater steps down as Belknap County delegation chair. During a contentious meeting Thursday, NH Rep. Mike Sylvia, R-Belmont, claimed an Aug. 1 emergency meeting related to the Gunstock Area Commission was illegal. Sylvia, who is running for reelection, moved to another seat at the table and didn't resign from the legislature. Also during the meeting, NH Rep. Barbara Comtois, R-Center Barnstead, stepped down as secretary of the delegation, and NH Rep. Dawn Johnson, R-Laconia, stormed out of the meeting. (Paula Tracy for InDepthNH) #nhleg

Bruce Fenton sat for an interview with NHPR's Rick Ganley. Fenton is aiming to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate so he can take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Ganley asked Fenton about election security misinformation, inflation, abortion restrictions, climate change, immigration and border enforcement. "I am a leave-me-aloneist, and I'm consistent across all issues on that," Fenton said. "I want the government out of our lives and out of our wallets. And I don't want any new abortion regulations of any kind or any ban." (NHPR interview, NHPR series overview) #nhsen

Leaders to discuss potential removal of four LGBTQ books from Rochester Public Library. Republican NH Sen. Jim Gray, who is also a city councilor, is targeting the books after he received an email from a parent. Library trustees, not the City Council, control the books offered in the library. The topic is slated for discussion at the Sept. 6 council meeting. (Karen Dandurant for Foster's Daily Democrat)

Jon Decker interviews some from the "horde of Republicans" running for U.S. Senate, including lesser-known candidates. (Laconia Daily Sun)

Why Pete Buttigieg was in NH and how he's handling speculation about his presidential ambitions. "Buttigieg’s infrastructure sales pitch is both enhanced and hampered by his own political celebrity, particularly in New Hampshire — an early voting state where he finished second behind Sen. Bernie Sanders, and where he recently essentially tied Biden in a wildly hypothetical poll of a 2024 contested primary." (Adam Wren for Politico)

August 2022

Wednesday, Aug. 31, 2022

Super PAC spending millions to back Chuck Morse in campaign's final weeks. White Mountain PAC bought at least $3.5 million in TV ad time for the home stretch of the GOP primary for U.S. Senate. Two people told Politico the spending will back Morse, who is trailing Don Bolduc. The ad focuses on immigration and finishing the southern border wall. Bolduc spokesperson James Thompson said the ad buy will "backfire with grassroots voters" who like Bolduc's "outsider" status and "fresh perspective." (Natalie Allison for Politico, Bridget Bowman and Ben Kamisar for NBC, Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader) #nhsen

Lawsuit challenges use of electronic voting machines. Daniel Richard of Auburn sued to assert that NH leaders have no authority to use electronic ballot-counting machines at polling places. A judge in Rockingham County Superior Court agreed to hear arguments Sept. 9, just four days before the Sept. 13 primary. (Kevin Landrigan for Union Leader)

Hassan castigates GOP candidates over abortion rights. During an event at Equality Health Center in Concord, the incumbent Democrat condemned the anti-abortion views of Chuck Morse, Don Bolduc and Kevin Smith. The major GOP candidates "have been competing to see who can be the most anti-choice," she said. Hassan didn't mention candidates Bruce Fenton or Vikram Mansharamani. Meanwhile, Pappas and Kuster spoke about abortion rights at their own events in Manchester. (Kevin Landrigan for the Union Leader) #nhsen

Vikram Mansharamani sat for an interview with NHPR's Rick Ganley. Mansharamani is aiming to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate so he can take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Ganley asked Mansharamani about election security misinformation, inflation, abortion restrictions, climate change, immigration and border enforcement. "I do believe we cannot have a democracy where 50% or so of the population doesn't believe in the integrity of the process. That means we do need to strengthen our institutions," Mansharamani said. Interviews with four other GOP candidates are airing this week. (NHPR interview, NHPR series overview) #nhsen

NH Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut speaks with NHPR about the meaning of "an adequate education" and the state's "divisive concepts" law. Edelblut said he defers to the legislature to define education adequacy. (He had testified this year in support of focusing the definition of "adequate" on core subjects, but the definition was expanded after advocacy from teachers.) When asked about the state's 2021 "divisive concepts" law, Edelblut said the restrictions are "anti-discrimination provisions ... because we really want to make sure that none of our students, none of our educators are discriminated against in any way, shape or form." (Julia Furukawa for NHPR)

The GOP primary for NH Senate District 16 typifies an intraparty divide. NH Rep. Barbara Griffin, a traditional Republican, is running against NH Rep. Michael Yakubovich, a Liberty Republican with ties to the Free State Project. "While supporters of the candidates battle over who is a 'real Republican,' some insiders expect Griffin to do well in her hometown of Goffstown and for Yakubovich to hold down his home base in Hooksett with a split in Manchester Ward 1. That means whoever can reach and win over conservatives in Candia and Raymond could be on their way to the state Senate," Adam Sexton reported for WMUR. Meanwhile, June Trisciani, a Manchester at-large alderman and rising star among NH Dems, will run in Senate District 16 as a write-in candidate, Kevin Landrigan reported for the Union Leader. (WMUR, Union Leader) #nhleg

An article featured in the 2022 Freshman special edition of The Dartmouth gives new college students an overview of NH politics. The piece includes quotes from history professor Annelise Orleck, government professor and NH Rep. Russell Muirhead, NH Rep. Mary Hakken-Phillips, NH Sen. Sue Prentiss, NH Rep. Sharon Nordgren and Dartmouth Dems president Gabi Rodriguez. (Taylor Haber for The Dartmouth)

Register of probate: A little-known position becomes a political challenge "The two candidates vying Sept. 13 to be the Republican candidate for Belknap County Register of Probate — Marc Abear of Meredith and the incumbent Alan Glassman of Barnstead — fundamentally disagree on whether the job should be abolished altogether, or restored in full to provide a valuable community service." Voters will decide Nov. 8 whether to do away with the positions statewide. (Roberta Baker for The Laconia Daily Sun)

Bruce Fenton meets with Keene Sentinel editorial board. "If Fenton had his way, 2022 would be the last time citizens cast direct votes for U.S. senators, a right granted by the U.S. Constitution’s 17th Amendment. Before the amendment was ratified in 1913, state legislatures selected U.S. senators. ... He said returning the selection of senators to state lawmakers could ease the concentration of power inherent in expensive political campaigns." (Rick Green for Keene Sentinel) #nhsen

Vikram Mansharamani meets with Keene Sentinel editorial board. "A former Harvard University lecturer, Mansharamani has no first-hand political experience but said he feels he’s right for a senatorial role because he’s analyzed the national economy throughout his career. He said he’s worked with Fortune 500 companies to navigate uncertainty around regulations and economics." (Tim Nail for Keene Sentinel) #nhsen

Four GOP candidates seek two seats in NH House District 6. Two incumbents, Brodie Deshaies and John MacDonald, are facing a Sept. 13 primary challenge from Lawrence Borland and Katy Peternel. All are from Wolfeboro. Candidates were asked about their backgrounds, qualifications, views on recent NH legislation and top issues looking forward. They were also asked whether they would vote for Trump again in 2024 – one candidate said no. (Daymond Steer for Conway Daily Sun)

Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2022

Don Bolduc looks like the clear GOP frontrunner for U.S. Senate. Among likely Republican primary voters, 43% support Bolduc, 22% support Chuck Morse and 20% remain undecided (±3.3%), according to the Granite State Poll conducted Aug. 25-29 by the UNH Survey Center. The other candidates polled at 5% or less. An endorsement from Sununu or Trump could nudge the undecideds either way: the poll suggests Sununu's endorsement would have a greater net positive impact than Trump's endorsement. Sununu has made clear he won't back Bolduc. Sununu is believed to favor Morse, but some worry a formal endorsement could spur Trump to back Bolduc. Trump didn't endorse Bolduc in 2020 and hasn't said whether he'll make an endorsement in the 2022 race. (UNH Survey Center, NHJournal) #nhsen

Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-FL, endorses Don Bolduc, calling him "a Patriot and a champion" for NH people. Bolduc thanked Gaetz and tweeted, "Granite Staters are looking for an Outsider!" NH Dems Chairman Raymond Buckley said Bolduc's acceptance of the endorsement shows he is an "an extreme, far-right candidate." Gaetz, a close Trump ally, has drawn attention with crass comments and controversies. (Gaetz tweet, Bolduc tweet, Kevin Landrigan tweet) #nhsen

Kevin Smith sat for an interview with NHPR's Rick Ganley. Smith is aiming to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate so he can take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Ganley asked Smith about election security misinformation, inflation, abortion restrictions, climate change, immigration and border enforcement. "We have to stop printing money in Washington. I've said we have to go back to a balanced budget," Smith said. "We have to go back to the Gramm-Rudman law from the 1980s, which said that you had to have a balanced budget every year or else there were automatic budget cuts. So that's one way you can bring down the cost of inflation." Interviews with four other GOP candidates are airing this week. (NHPR Smith interview, NHPR series overview) #nhsen

Maryland ⁦Gov. Larry Hogan visited NH to fundraise for NH state reps. "We're pretty divided right now, both in the Republican Party and in the country," Hogan told Paul Steinhauser reporting for Fox News. "In 10 weeks, we'll find out – as the dust settles and the smoke clears – we'll found out where we are as a party," Hogan added. "But I think that's going to evolve into next year. Time will tell which direction we're going to go." (Steinhauser tweet) #nhleg #fitn

Former ambassador Richard Grenell went on the NHJournal podcast to tout Matt Mowers. Grenell, who worked with Mowers at the State Department during the Trump administration, visited Manchester on Aug. 28 for a cookout event with Mowers in the GOP primary for NH01. "He's a smart guy. He's a confident patriot. He's somebody who's brave and courageous," Grenell said of Mowers. (NHJournal) #nh01

Republicans set sights on long-sought NH01 win. The district has gone to the GOP only twice in the past decade. "Republicans are also hoping for a breakthrough in the Senate and to oust incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan ... Given the narrow margins in both the House and the Senate, both races could be paramount to the two parties' hopes to control either chamber of Congress after the midterm elections." (Washington Examiner) #nh01

Mike Pompeo will swing by "Politics & Eggs" on Sept. 20. His appearance will come "amid speculation over a potential 2024 presidential bid." Other potential GOP presidential candidates, including Mike Pence and Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, have made similar stops in recent months. Pompeo served as CIA director then Secretary of State in the Trump administration. (The Hill, Event details) #fitn

📅
Did you know? You can find information about NH political events on the Granite Memo calendar. Check back for frequent updates. 

Three GOP candidates in NH02 primary tussle in two-hour radio debate. George Hansel, Bob Burns and Lily Tang Williams are competing for a chance to face Rep. Annie Kuster in November. All three said Biden won in 2020 by enough votes to win legitimately, though each expressed concerns about vote harvesting. Hansel and Burns are seen as the two leading candidates. Burns has repeatedly been called the "MAGA candidate" by Democrats. Hansel said: "Democrats are propping up my opponents because they are scared of me." (Kevin Landrigan for the Union Leader, Good Morning NH with Chris Ryan) #nh02

Still unclear who's sending NH02 mail anonymously. John Doherty, managing partner of Reynolds DeWalt, told NHJournal that anonymous mailers related to federal elections "get mailed all the time." He refused to disclose the organization that ordered the mailers. Now a Democratic PAC is backing a TV ad bolstering Bob Burns as the pro-Trump choice in the GOP primary. Burns is up against George Hansel and Lily Tang Williams for a shot to take on Annie Kuster in November. (Michael Graham for NHJournal) #nh02

What's at stake in the GOP primary for NH02? Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster has represented the district for the past decade. The three GOP hopefuls competing in the Sept. 13 primary for a chance to unseat her in November are Bob Burns, George Hansel and Lily Tang Williams. "Here’s a look at where the race stands, and what’s at stake." (Josh Rogers for NHPR)

Pappas sits for WMUR interview. The incumbent Democrat said his GOP challengers are "out of step" with NH voters. (Adam Sexton for WMUR) #nh01

Monday, Aug. 29, 2022

Both leading GOP candidates in NH02 race disavow a series of anonymous mailings. The mailers promote Bob Burns as the pro-Trump candidate and claim Burns’ leading opponent, George Hansel, does not support Trump's agenda. The shop that sent the mail has done work for Democratic campaigns. The candidates alleged Democratic interference in the GOP primary. (Union Leader, following NHJournal) #nh02

Chuck Morse sat for an interview with NHPR's Rick Ganley. Morse, the current NH Senate president, is aiming to win the GOP primary for U.S. Senate so he can take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan in November. Ganley asked Morse about election security misinformation, inflation, abortion restrictions, climate change, immigration and border enforcement. "We ought to close that border and we ought to build that wall," Morse said. Interviews with four more candidates will air this week. (NHPR Morse interview, NHPR series overview) #nhsen

In a new TV ad, Chuck Morse says he'll finish Trump’s border wall. The ad's narration says Morse built his business with "hard work" and "no illegals." The spot blames Biden and Pelosi for border woes and says Morse will "stop the flood of crime and drugs." His campaign said they will spend $300,000 to run the ad statewide on broadcast and cable. (Paul Steinhauser for Fox News) #nhsen

Hassan suggests Biden went too far with his comments about "semi-fascism" in the Republican Party. "I have concerns that some people seem to think that violence is (an) appropriate way of resolving disputes in our democracy, but I think President Biden's comments just painted with way too broad a brush," Hassan told WMUR's Adam Sexton. Hassan supporter Ed McCabe, however, said Biden's comments were spot on, since some "radical Trump people" stormed the Capitol to block Biden's victory. "Those are fascists, OK? So he's calling them what they are." (WMUR)

Weekend rally in downtown Nashua denounces racist groups. About 50 people gathered Saturday for the event organized by NH Rep. Maria Perez, who said more elected officials should be speaking out against hate groups and working to protect immigrants and other minorities. (NHPR, InDepthNH) #nhleg

What will COVID precautions look like for college students this year? UNH President James Dean said masks are no longer required, except in certain facilities. Students must undergo COVID testing before they arrive and again within their first two weeks on campus. After that, COVID testing is voluntary. (The New Hampshire)

Tom Sherman, who's running for governor, accuses Sununu of appeasing extremists. "In New Hampshire and across the country we’re watching extremists attempt to tear down long-held rights and institutions. Public schools. Reproductive rights. The integrity of our elections. ... For years when it suited his political ambitions, Chris Sununu catered to these extremists, giving them a wink and a nod to keep them on his side," Sherman wrote. (Seacoastonline guest column) #nhgov

Tom Sherman and other Democrats argue PPP aid for businesses is comparable to student loan forgiveness. Sununu and others disagree. In response to pandemic lockdowns, nearly 24,000 PPP loans were issued in NH, "the vast majority going to small businesses." Great New Hampshire Restaurants CEO Tom Boucher said PPP and college debt "aren’t even close to the same category." (NHJournal) #nhgov

After visiting Berlin on Friday, Pete Buttigieg caught up Monday with Chris Ryan. Buttigieg touted the Berlin snow melt project as part of the Biden administration's work. When asked whether there's any chance he'd run in the 2024 presidential primary, Buttigieg demurred. "I can't talk about the campaign side of things while I'm here doing my day job," he said. (NH Today) #fitn

Sunday, Aug. 28, 2022

Sununu appears on CNN's "State of the Union." The interview with Dana Bash lasted about 8 minutes.  

  • On the redacted FBI affidavit for the Mar-a-Lago search: Sununu called for transparency. "When are we going to see the cards?" he said.
  • On student loan forgiveness: Sununu called Biden's policy an unfair "political shell game" with taxpayer money. "I paid $278.03 every month for about 15 years between my wife and I to pay our student loans back," he said. "There was never an expectation that the government should get involved and pay that." (Those 180 payments would total $50,045.40.)
  • On fascism and white supremacy: Biden recently said there's an "extreme MAGA philosophy ... almost like semi-fascism" in the GOP. In response, Sununu said Biden's comment insulted half the country. Bash pressed him: "So you don't see any elements of that at all in your party?" Sununu's response: "You can see elements of fascism and white supremacy in America. Let's own that as Americans. There's no doubt."

On the Libertarian Party of NH's "outrageous" tweets: Sununu said, "That should pretty much be the end of the Libertarian Party in New Hampshire. And I mean that." (Full CNN video, LPNH tweet 1, LPNH tweet 2, Boston Globe) #nhgov

Anonymous mailers featuring candidates in NH02 GOP primary prompt AG investigation. The mailers, which don't disclose who paid for them, tout Bob Burns as more pro-Trump than his opponent, Keene Mayor George Hansel. Burns and Hansel campaigns said they had no involvement. The political mail shop that sent the mystery mail, Reynolds DeWalt, which has done work for Democratic campaigns, did not respond to NHJournal's requests for comment. Burns, Hansel and Lily Tang Williams are competing in the GOP primary for a chance to face Democratic incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster. (NHJournal) #nh02

Don't expect Ron DeSantis in NH anytime soon. Sources said the FL governor is focused on his general election faceoff with former Gov. Charlie Crist. NH Rep. Doug Thomas, R-Rockingham, said "factions" within the GOP want someone other than Trump in 2024. “There are people who love Ron DeSantis. I like him,” he said. “There are people who like Trump. I like him. There are people who like Kristi Noem. I like her.” (The Daily Beast) #fitn

Republicans are eyeing U.S. Senate seats in a few key states, including NH. But some cite "candidate quality" fears. In the GOP primary, frontrunner Don Bolduc could join the group of "hard-right candidates" chosen this year by Republican primary voters in various states despite warnings about their viability in the general election. Chuck Morse is Bolduc's "biggest primary threat" and  "the preferred candidate of much of what remains of the G.O.P. establishment." The NRSC has committed to spend $6.5 million on the NH race after the primary. "Ms. Hassan has long been seen as vulnerable." (New York Times) #nhsen

Matt Mowers expresses confidence in NH01 as Republican primary nears. Polling shows GOP rival Karoline Leavitt may be catching up to Mowers. "It doesn't matter what the polls show," Mowers said. "What matters every single day is our message and making sure we get out there, continue to work hard every day." Mowers cited the public's concerns about inflation, drugs and immigration. Adam Sexton (at 7:32) asks about Mowers having voted in both the NH and NJ presidential primaries in 2016. The NH AG has said the letter of the law was followed. "What about the spirit of the law?" Sexton asks. "Is this the way the system is supposed to work, that a political operative can move around the country and vote in multiple presidential primaries?" Mowers dismissed the criticism as political talking points, emphasized the NH AG's finding and said voters want to talk about the issues. Trump endorsed Mowers in 2020 but hasn't in 2022. "I'd welcome his support," Mowers said. (WMUR CloseUp, YouTube, WMUR preview) #nh01

Karoline Leavitt bashes Matt Mowers by questioning his loyalty to Trump. Both served in the Trump administration and are now running in the GOP primary for NH01. In a WMUR CloseUp interview, Leavitt argues Mowers has been too supportive of Dr. Deborah Birx and Dr. Anthony Fauci during the COVID-19 pandemic. Adam Sexton (at 7:36) notes Leavitt has said she thinks Biden didn't win legitimately, then he asks, "Is it safe to say then if you lose this primary, you're just going to say, 'Oh, that was voter fraud, too'?" Leavitt laughs. "Well, we'll see what happens in three weeks," she said. "What I do know is I am working incredibly hard, and I will support the Republican nominee in this race because I do believe that Chris Pappas has to be fired." (WMUR CloseUp, YouTube, WMUR preview) #nh01

Two Manchester cops are taking their gun store lawsuit to the NH Supreme Court. The officers, who were shot on duty in 2016, are suing the store that sold the firearm and the NH Department of Safety, which provided the background check. The lower court said both the store and the state had followed current law. (NHJournal)

Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022

Power struggle over ski resort raises questions about Sununu's grip on the Republican Party. “There was, I think, a fine line between Republicans and Free Staters. Now there’s a battle line,” said political consultant Scott Spradling. (AP)

Outrageous tweets from the Libertarian Party of NH draw outrage. They tweeted a photo of Meghan McCain crying at the casket of her father, Sen. John McCain, as the Union Leader reported. Subsequently, @LPNH has tweeted "we don’t apologize" and retweeted Justin O'Donnell, who wrote that offensive tweets are "radicalizing voters and activists of the future."

State rep urges others to "learn from my mistake" after her DUI arrest. Video from the May incident shows Rep. Erica Layon, R-Derry, being questioned by police. She told officers the NH House had just rejected a "parental rights" bill she had supported, and she suggested a former Derry town councilor had paid them to arrest her. Layon is running for reelection. (Derry News) #nhleg

Friday, Aug. 26, 2022

Newspaper publisher cries foul after her arrest over how political ads were labeled. “This is clearly a case of a small business needing to defend itself against overreaching government,” said Londonderry Times publisher Debra Paul, who faces six misdemeanor charges. Her arrest came after the NH AG's office sent her letters in March 2019, March 2021 and September 2021 alerting her to the improper labeling, according to a police affidavit. (AP)

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg touts snow-melting project in Berlin. With a $19.5 million federal grant, the project will pipe excess heat from the Burgess Biopower plant under streets and sidewalks. Buttigieg said tax dollars should be spent in ways that "make a difference and create economic growth." Buttigieg (who recently polled ahead of Joe Biden among NH Democrats) acknowledged he had campaigned in NH ahead of the 2020 presidential primary (in which he finished second behind Bernie Sanders). (WMUR, UNH poll)

Thursday, Aug. 25, 2022

Candidates challenging Sununu in the GOP gubernatorial primary argue the base is unhappy with the incumbent. “It’s the conservatives. They’re ready for a change," said Thad Riley, one of five challengers in the Sept. 13 primary. Still, Sununu consistently ranks among the nation's most popular governors. (NHJournal) #nhgov

Criteria announced for Granite State Debates. Candidates for governor, U.S. Senate or U.S. House seeking inclusion in the 2022 Granite State Debates must meet all predetermined objective criteria by Aug. 22. (WMUR)

Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2022

The Ballot Law Commission declined to block candidacies of state reps who advocated for NH secession. The commission determined it does not have jurisdiction because the question at hand relates to the U.S. Constitution, not state election law. (WMUR, NH Bulletin, InDepthNH) #nhleg

Four GOP candidates for Senate were on stage for Newsmax debate at St. Anselm College. "The net result? Not much. [Kevin] Smith is still the best debater, [Bruce] Fenton is still a bitcoin firebrand, [Chuck] Morse is still uncomfortable with the format, and [Don] Bolduc is very likely still the frontrunner." A fifth candidate, Vikram Mansharamani, was excluded for polling below 4%. (NHJournal) #nhsen

Tuesday, Aug. 23, 2022

Maggie Hassan barely won her Senate seat in in 2016. Could a few lucky breaks help her keep it? "Hassan is a prime example of a surprisingly positive turnaround for her party in Senate races. A series of fortunate-for-her events have put her in a much stronger position for November than her approval numbers, which are underwater, alone would predict. ... But Hassan still faces an uphill fight. ... Whether Hassan can prevail may hinge on whom Republicans nominate to face her." (Tal Kopan for The Boston Globe)

Monday, Aug. 22, 2022

Three election monitors appointed in response to local ballot-counting problems. The NH Attorney General’s Office announced the names of election monitors appointed for the Sept. 13 primary: Eugene van Loan in Windham, Eric Forcier in Bedford and Bonnie Winnona MacKinnon in Laconia's Ward 6. Monitors must produce a report within 30 days of the primary. (Union Leader)

Politico report suggests Trump backlash might be reason for Sununu to refrain from endorsing Chuck Morse for U.S. Senate. "New Hampshire political insiders believe Sununu would back Morse, with whom he shares a hometown of Salem and has worked alongside at the state Capitol, if he were to weigh in. But some GOP strategists worry that an endorsement by Sununu, who has publicly insulted Trump, could prompt the former president to react with an endorsement of Bolduc, who Trump passed over for an endorsement in 2020." No word yet from Sununu or Trump on whether they'll endorse. (Politico) #nhsen

Atkinson woman claims candidates who supported secession are now disqualified for office. Karen Steele alleges that 14 Republican members of the NH House violated the U.S. Constitution by taking actions related to a resolution that would have asked NH voters to decide whether the state should secede. The dispute will go before the Ballot Law Commission on Wednesday, Aug. 24. (InDepthNH) #nhleg

Libertarian candidate Jeremy Kauffman featured in Reuters investigation. Kauffman, who's running for U.S. Senate, cofounded Odysee, a video website that Reuters described as part of "a new breed" of sites that "thrive on misinformation and hate." When asked about extremist content, Kauffman said that even "morally questionable groups, such as Reuters journalists or the Proud Boys, should be allowed to speak to others that want to hear them." In response to the article, Kauffman tweeted, "being smeared by corporate journos is the closest one gets to an award for successfully opposing the regime." (Reuters, Kauffman tweet) #nhsen

Don Bolduc campaign comments on Confederate flag flap. A military-style Jeep in a convoy supporting Bolduc at Londonderry's Old Home Day parade on Saturday sported a Bolduc campaign sign and a Confederate flag. Town officials condemned the flag. "Supporters of this symbol of racism, hate, and treason will find no refuge in Londonderry," they said. Bolduc political director Jimmy Thompson said the vehicle wasn't registered by the campaign, Bolduc became aware of the situation after the parade and asked the driver to remove his campaign sign, and Bolduc "deplores any and all discrimination based on race, gender or anything else." (NHPR, Union Leader, Sexton tweet) #nhsen

Sunday, Aug. 21, 2022

Endorsements from Trump and/or Sununu could boost GOP candidates in three federal primaries: Senate, NH01 and NH02. Sununu endorsed Keene Mayor George Hansel for NH02. Trump hasn't endorsed in any of the three races. For candidates aiming to win the Nov. 8 general election, a Sununu endorsement would be more valuable than a Trump endorsement, New England College provost Wayne Lesperance said. (Union Leader) #nhsen #nh01 #nh01

Union Leader endorses Chuck Morse in GOP primary for U.S. Senate. The editorial faulted Morse for "his milquetoast response to Donald Trump’s post-election antics," but it credited Morse with keeping NH taxes and spending low while keeping standards high – and it said he can effectively represent NH interests in Washington "in the mold of Judd Gregg and Norris Cotton." In the primary, Morse is up against Don Bolduc, Bruce Fenton, Kevin Smith and Vikram Mansharamani. The winner will take on Democratic incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan. (Union Leader) #nhsen

Friday, Aug. 19, 2022

Four GOP candidates for Senate are lined up for a Newsmax debate. Don Bolduc, Bruce Fenton, Chuck Morse and Kevin Smith are expected to participate in the Aug. 24 event beginning at 9 p.m. at St. Anselm College (Newsmax). Notably absent from that list? Vikram Mansharamani. His campaign said the network won't let him participate because he's polling below 4%. (NHJournal) #nhsen

Sununu won't endorse Bolduc in GOP primary for Senate. "He's not a serious candidate ... and if he were the GOP nominee I have no doubt we would have a much harder time," the governor said Friday on WGIR radio. The campaign declined to respond directly but said Bolduc's message is resonating with voters. (NHPR) #nhsen

Thursday, Aug. 18, 2022

Two candidates appear to be neck-and-neck in the GOP primary for NH01. Or maybe there's a clear frontrunner? It depends on which poll you consult.

  • A survey conducted Aug. 14-17 by GOP pollster Remington Research Group shows Matt Mowers and Karoline Leavitt tied at 21%, with 35% of likely GOP primary voters still undecided (±4.5%). The poll was conducted for the Leavitt campaign. (NHJournal)
  • A survey conducted Aug. 1-4 by GOP pollster The Tarrance Group shows Mowers at 37% with a 24-point lead over Leavitt (±5.8%). The poll was conducted for the conservative Congressional Leadership Fund. NHJournal reportedly obtained a poll memo and verified its authenticity with unnamed sources. (NHJournal)
  • These latest poll numbers come after an NHJournal poll showed Mowers with a significant lead (NHJournal) and a St. Anselm College poll showed Leavitt nipping at Mowers' heels. (WMUR) #nh01

Expect heightened scrutiny of NH elections this fall. That's the message from Secretary of State David Scanlan after revelations of past ballot-counting errors in Windham, Bedford and Laconia. Scanlan’s office has begun hosting about a dozen voluntary training sessions for election workers. (InDepthNH)

Opioid drugmaker Endo reaches $450 million settlement with NH and 33 other states. The agreement resolves allegations that the company deceptively marketed Opana ER and downplayed its addiction risks. This case involves one of several complaints NH has filed related to the ongoing opioid crisis. (NH Business Review)

Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2022

Mike Pence paid a visit. He supported candidates ahead of the 2022 midterm elections and fueled speculation about his 2024 intentions.

  • With a "Politics and Eggs" speech in Manchester, the former VP urged Republicans to rally around "a bold, optimistic agenda" for freedom. (Video: New England Council)
  • Critics were unimpressed: NHJournal's Michael Graham said Pence's speech was "heavy on platitudes." Boston Globe columnist Joan Vennochi said Pence delivered "more mush."
  • Asked about the FBI search at Mar-a-Lago, Pence expressed concern but urged GOP to quit lashing out at law enforcement. "Calls to defund the FBI are just as wrong as calls to defund the police," he said. (AP)
  • Asked about Jan. 6 committee's investigation, Pence signaled that he might be open to testifying. "If there was an invitation to participate, I'd consider it," he said. (WMUR)
  • Pence reprised his comments in a phone interview for Good Morning NH with Jack Heath.
  • Later in the day, Pence met with and tweeted his support for NH Senate candidates Tim Lang and Carrie Gendreau. #nhleg #fitn

Tuesday, Aug. 16, 2022

Republicans vying to challenge Sen. Maggie Hassan met in a radio debate. The five main candidates – Chuck Morse, Kevin Smith, Don Bolduc, Bruce Fenton and Vikram Mansharamani – agreed that pocketbook issues are key voter concerns. (NHPR, NHJournal, Debate Hour 1, Debate Hour 2) #nhsen

U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Arkansas, visited Manchester and the Seacoast. Cotton, a possible 2024 presidential hopeful, said he's focused on the 2022 midterms for now. He criticized Democrats and claimed the FBI is "an enforcement arm of the Democratic Party." (WMUR) #fitn

Clear frontrunner in GOP primary for U.S. Senate. The new Saint Anselm College poll showed Don Bolduc with 32%, followed by Chuck Morse with 16%. Three other candidates – Kevin Smith, Bruce Fenton and Vikram Mansharamani – had less than 4% apiece. The winner will face Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan. (NBC, WMUR, Poll) #nhsen

Monday, Aug. 15, 2022

Two candidates lead the rest in GOP primary for NH01. Matt Mowers leads with 25%, followed by Karoline Leavitt with 21% in the new St. Anselm College poll (±4.8%). Trailing them are Gail Huff Brown at 9%, Tim Baxter at 8% and Russell Prescott at 2%. One-third of respondents were undecided. The winner will face Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas. (WMUR, Poll) #nh01

Republican primary for NH02 still "a jump ball." Bob Burns is at 12%, George Hansel is at 10% and Lily Tang Williams is at 8% in the new St. Anselm College poll (±4.9%), with 65% of voters still unsure who they will pick. The winner will face Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster. (WMUR, Poll) #nh01

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This is where the cheat sheet records end. Or begin? It's really all a matter of perspective.