Politics

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

A North Country Democrat is mounting a write-in campaign to challenge State Senator Jeff Woodburn, who is seeking reelection as he faces multiple misdemeanor domestic violence and assault changes. 

Kathleen Kelley says her positions on issues don't differ much from Woodburn, and that if elected she'd fight for more resources for the North Country -- for schools, for health care and to improve economic opportunity. Kelley says Senate District 1 needs representation that is beyond reproach.

AP

Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for "Stormy Daniels," will appear at a Democratic Party picnic this weekend in New Hampshire.

Michael Avenatti says he's considering a 2020 presidential run. He already visited Iowa and on Sunday he'll speak at the Hillsborough County Democrats Summer Picnic in Greenfield.

Roger Lessard leads the local Democratic committee there.  He says the Avenatti visit came together quickly.

"We had not anticipated having anyone of national note appearing at the picnic and this just sort of fell into our lap."

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

As Molly Kelly makes her case to voters that she should be New Hampshire’s next governor, a recurrent argument is that her time in the state Senate proves that she is up to the task of leading New Hampshire.

“As governor, I think it is very important that you have that experience to work with legislators, and that you are ready day one," she recently said on the trail.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

A federal judge has struck down a New hampshire law that allows pollworkers to toss out absentee ballots if they don’t believe the signature adequately matches the one used on other voting paperwork.

Invitation via Josh Zakim's Facebook Page

 It's not out of the ordinary to see a New Hampshire politician skip across the state's southern border to raise money in Boston. What is unusual — really, unheard of until this year — is to see that from someone running for Secretary of State.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand talks about the issues in his campaign, from energy to education, and answers your questions. 

Note: Marchand's primary opponent, former state senator Molly Kelly, declined to appear on today's program.

Later in the hour, NHPR's Josh Rogers updates us on the New Hampshire Governor's race overall. 

Todd Bookman / NHPR

As part of a series of interviews with GOP candidates in the 2nd Congressional District primary, we sit down with Lynne Blankenbeker

Blankenbeker has served in the Middle East for the U.S. Air Force as an officer and trauma flight nurse, and later in the Navy Reserve Nurse Corps. She was a representative in the N.H. legislature, where she worked in veterans and public health issues. She is an attorney and served as a healthcare policy advisor at the Pentagon. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rep. Dan Eaton of Stoddard, one of the longest-serving Democrats in the New Hampshire Legislature, was reprimanded earlier this year after a State House employee reported that he had engaged in “a long pattern of behavior” that created a “hostile work environment.”

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Abortion rights have been a big issue in the Democratic primary for New Hampshire Governor.

Both candidates - former state senator Molly Kelly and former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand - have been working to cast themselves as the more stout defender of legal abortion.

Today, the political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England rendered its judgement, endorsing Molly Kelly.

Joining All Things Considered to discuss the endorsement is Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers

Note: Transcript has been lightly edited for clarity

Josh Rogers for NHPR

The political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England is endorsing former state senator Molly Kelly in the race for governor. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Steve Marchand will appear on NHPR's The Exchange Tuesday, Aug. 14, as part of the show's coverage of the 2018 primary elections.

Marchand, the former mayor of Portsmouth, is running for the Democratic nomination for governor. Also running is former state Senator Molly Kelly. Kelly was given the opportunity to appear with Marchand, but declined the show's invitation.

The winner of the Democratic primary on Tuesday, Sept. 11 will take on Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is running unopposed.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Bedford State Senator and Republican Congressional Candidate Andy Sanborn has declined to clarify what, exactly, he said to a Senate intern in 2013 that later prompted New Hampshire Senate leaders to bring in an outside law firm to review the situation.

Now, the comment has been revealed for the first time in newly released testimony from the senate’s legal counsel, who says he overheard the statement firsthand.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Several days after he was arrested on misdemeanor assault and domestic violence charges, Sen. Jeff Woodburn is stepping down as the leader of the Democratic caucus in the New Hampshire Senate - but staying put in his seat representing much of the North Country.

File photo

Steve Marchand is running for the Governor as a loud and unapologetic liberal. And whether the topic is guns, abortion, campaign finance or energy, the former Portsmouth mayor’s is working to ensure his stance is the most progressive in the race.

But, to see Steve Marchand as a pure liberal is to look past a long and mixed list of political affiliations.


Annie Ropeik / NHPR

The two Democratic candidates for New Hampshire governor did their best to differentiate themselves at a forum in Exeter Wednesday night.  

The Rockingham County Democrats hosted the event. It was one of the first times Molly Kelly and Steve Marchand have debated face to face in their primary campaign.

Many in the audience asked questions in search of distinctions – but the answers they heard focused more on style than policy.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Earlier this summer, eight Democratic candidates sat shoulder to shoulder before about 70 voters in the library of Kennett Middle School in Conway.

But before they could even introduce themselves to the voters in the audience, New Hampshire

Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley had a special request: Play nice, please.

National Atlas of the United States

The Exchange wants to help listeners get to know the Republican candidates running in the primary for New Hampshire's 2nd Congressional District.

Beginning Wednesday, August 8, The Exchange will interview candidates live from 9:40-10 a.m. These interviews will also be available to watch on Facebook Live. Five Republicans and two Libertarians are vying to unseat Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the 2nd Congressional District. Kuster was first elected to the House in 2012, and is running unopposed in the Democratic primary. 

Here is a schedule of the interviews:

NHPR

 

New Hampshire will be getting millions of dollars more to combat the opioid epidemic, but two Libertarians running for New Hampshire governor say ... no thanks.

 

Candidates Aaron Day and Jilletta Jarvis oppose the federal money coming to the state from the federal government.

 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly was in Hanover Tuesday, reiterating her criticisms of Gov. Chris Sununu’s energy policies.

In June, Sununu vetoed a bill that would have expanded the state's net metering program – where towns and businesses get rebates for generating their own energy.

The town of Hanover is trying to go all-renewable in the coming decades.

josh rogers / nhpr

Right now New Hampshire's goal is to have 25 percent of local electricity derived from renewable sources by 2025. Steve Marchand wants renewables to count for 50 percent by 2030.

Marchand says Massachusetts, Vermont, and Maine are headed in that direction and New Hampshire would be wise to join them.

"I think this is a reasonable number. There are thousands of jobs in growing parts of the economy that I think are sitting there, if we are willing and able to lead on being more aggressive about increasing the percentage of our mix that comes from renewable resources."

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

By all accounts yesterday was an embarrassing day for political leaders in Concord. The bill they crafted, at Gov. Chris Sununu’s direction, aimed to blunt a U.S. Supreme court ruling that could force local business to collect taxes for other states. It was rejected by the New Hampshire House. NHPR’s Josh Rogers and Peter Biello talked about the political ramifications of the bill's failure, particularly for Sununu.

With six weeks to go until the primary, Congresswoman Annie Kuster’s campaign account is six times the size of the three Republicans who’ve lining up to challenge her — combined.

NHPR

A trio of Republican lawmakers who supported the voting law known as Senate Bill 3 will not be forced to testify as part of a lawsuit challenging its constitutionality, according to a ruling issued Monday. 

The fundraising narrative in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District has been consistent from the start of the race: There’s Democrat Maura Sullivan way out in the front of the pack, thanks largely to out-of-state donors and other powerful political allies, and then there’s everyone else.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

A federal judge in Concord heard arguments Monday morning in a lawsuit alleging that the state has unconstitutionally thrown out hundreds of absentee ballots because the voters’ signatures did not appear to sufficiently match the handwriting used on other election paperwork.  

Robert Garrova for NHPR

Governor Sununu signed a controversial voter residency bill into law Friday. Before that, dozens of protestors visited his office to ask him to veto the measure.

House Bill 1264 adds more restrictions to voting requirements and cleared the legislature earlier this year.

Opponents say the measure's stricter residency provisions -- like having a driver's license or car registration -- would make it more difficult for college students to vote.

 

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has signed a bill that eliminates the distinction between "residency" and "domicile" for voting purposes. The move comes a day after the state Supreme Sourt issued a split opinion finding the bill constitutional.

The governor said he sought the court's opinion on the bill to "put the issue to rest once and for all." 

Updated at 9:38 p.m. ET

The Justice Department charged 12 Russian intelligence officers on Friday with a litany of alleged offenses related to Russia's hacking of the Democratic National Committee's emails, state election systems and other targets in 2016.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who announced the indictments, said the Russians involved belonged to the military intelligence service GRU. They are accused of a sustained cyberattack against Democratic Party targets, including its campaign committee and Hillary Clinton's campaign.

Lauren Chooljian for NHPR

Allegations that New Hampshire Republican state Senator Andy Sanborn made inappropriate comments at the State House are following him on the campaign trail for Congress.

Sanborn is among a handful of Republicans running to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st Congressional District. 

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Abortion rights have become a major issue in New Hampshire's Democratic gubernatorial primary.

“The confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court, means in almost certain terms the overturning of Roe V. Wade.”

That was Steve Marchand speaking in Portsmouth Tuesday.

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