Politics

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

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson says she won't support growing calls for a special debate on climate change.

Williamson, an author and public speaker, talked to around 25 Merrimack residents Wednesday about PFAS chemical contamination. She says their drinking water concerns are tied to larger issues with the effects of corporate money on politics.

Williamson argues a debate focused just on climate change would ignore too many other problems – like child poverty, a priority of hers.

Sara Ernst / NHPR

Presidential candidate Seth Moulton echoed the sentiments of local leaders gathered at Merrimack Town Hall: Increase access to PFAS testing and strengthen enforcement on the federal level.

 

Officials from Merrimack invited Moulton, as well as all the presidential hopefuls, to participate in a community discussion Monday to learn more about PFAS contamination in New Hampshire.

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

Massachusetts senator and presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren visited voters in Windham and Manchester, New Hampshire on Friday to pitch a plan she says will fight the influence of big corporations and rebuild the middle class.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand presents herself as a fighter – and a winner, seemingly unfazed by low poll numbers.  Speaking on The Exchange, the New York Senator said she believes she can win over red, blue, and purple parts of the country, touting her popularity in conservative parts of her home state.

"I've never backed down from a fight. I take on the fights that other people won't, and I actually win. And that's been my story," she said. 

Sara Plourde for NHPR

NHPR reports on the New Hampshire Presidential Primary every four years, but this time around we're trying something a little different.

We're inviting you to weigh in on how we should cover this campaign. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar joined a New Hampshire tradition, Politics & Eggs, hosted Monday at St. Anselm College.

 

The U.S. Senator from Minnesota told the crowd of voters that investing in infrastructure is a priority in a time of economic stability after bouncing back from the 2008 housing crisis.

NHPR Staff

The New Hampshire Senate has moved to rollback a new law Democrats argue amounts to voter suppression.

The law that takes effect in July will end the state's distinction between domicile and residency for voting purposes, which means out-of-state college students who vote in New Hampshire would also be subject to residency requirements, such as getting New Hampshire driver's licenses or registering their cars.

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

After a marathon session, the New Hampshire Senate passed a $13 billion dollar state budget along party lines late Thursday night.

The Democratic-backed plan boosts funding for local schools by more than $100 million dollars, and would increase beds for people in mental health crisis. It also includes tax changes opposed by Gov. Chris Sununu.

Republicans offered numerous amendments to strip out spending proposals they said were unaffordable. But Senate Finance Chairman Lou D'Allesandro said the spending plan was a sensible approach to addressing the state's needs.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

Hundreds of state lawmakers - past, present, and maybe future - gathered for lunch on the State House lawn Thursday. Legislative Old Home Day was, for many, a highlight of the celebration marking the 200th anniversary of the State House.

Josh Rogers, NHPR

House Majority Leader Doug Ley is adamant that he hasn’t broken any ethics rules by engaging in legislative advocacy as president of the New Hampshire chapter of the American Federation of Teachers while serving in the Legislature.

Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR

Summer is approaching, but New Hampshire lawmakers are still thinking about snow.

The House gave final approval last week to a bill that would settle the thorny issue of who has the power to postpone town elections in the event of bad weather.

The legislation was introduced after snowstorms caused problems for town meetings and elections in both March 2017 and last year.

Some town moderators decided to postpone their elections, but the secretary of state said they did not have that power.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg is criticizing President Trump's conduct, but says it's not the sole focus of his campaign.  

The South Bend, Indiana mayor spoke to a crowd of several hundred in Exeter Friday night. He said Democrats shouldn't spend too much time trying to counter the current White House.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders campaigned across New Hampshire this week, with three events scheduled on Memorial Day and three more for Tuesday.

During a stop in Warner, Sanders told a crowd that many of the unpopular positions he's taken in the past now have widespread support -- including his votes against the war in Iraq.

Now, as tensions with Iran mount, Sanders accused the current president of failing to learn from history.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Democrats in the state Senate passed three bills Thursday they contend will reduce gun violence in New Hampshire.

 

Todd Bookman for NHPR

It’s a busy time of year at the New Hampshire State House, and no lawmaker may be as busy as New Hampshire Senate Majority leader Dan Feltes. 

Daniel S. Hurd via Flickr CC

New law aims to improve safety of public sector workers

Gov. Chris Sununu was surrounded by the family of a deceased highway department worker as he signed a bill aimed at improving workplace safety for New Hampshire's public sector employees.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

During her latest swing through the Granite State this weekend, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren stumped in Rochester, Bedford and Nashua, and spoke to guests at the Rockingham County Democrats summer clambake.

The senator from Massachusetts also sat down for a brief interview with NHPR inside the Portsmouth Book & Bar, where she touched on topics ranging from student debt to international trade.

(This transcript has been lightly edited for clarity.)

Jason Moon / NHPR

Presidential campaigns do all they can to make sure their events stay on message: candidates who pivot out of tough questions, campaign staff who keep a tight grip on the microphone while a voter is asking a question.

But now, more and more, voters are coming to campaign events with their own bag of tricks. With the help of advocacy groups around the state, they’re getting trained in an art known as birddogging.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

The New Hampshire state Senate is now busy with next capital budget, and the overtaxed septic system atop the state's most iconic mountain appears to be a pressing issue.

Capital budget writers say the toilets and waste disposal system atop Mount Washington are falling short.

Wolfeboro Republican Jeb Bradley sits on the senate's capital budget committee. He's also hiked Mt. Washington many times.

Bradley says the current septic system is no longer sufficient to meet the needs of the many people who summit Mount Washington, on foot, by car or via the Cog Railway.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Last year, New Hampshire House leadership had trouble getting state representatives to even acknowledge the institution’s anti-harassment policies — let alone attend training on the issue

But on Wednesday, about 100 legislators – or a quarter of the 400-member House of Representatives – showed up for just such a training session developed by the Council of State Governments and designed specifically for members of the New Hampshire legislature.  

Todd Bookman/NHPR

During a campaign stop in Nashua, Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Kamala Harris criticized a measure passed Tuesday by the Alabama legislature that would ban nearly all abortions in that state.

“Let us all agree that women’s health care is under attack, and we will not stand for it,” Harris told a standing room only crowd inside of Girls, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to empowering young women.  

The Alabama statute, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Kay Ivey, would make performing an abortion a felony except in very limited circumstances.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker told a crowd of people in Concord Monday that a positive message is the best way to confront President Donald Trump in the next election.

“I'm kinda worried about my party as much I'm worried about other things,” said Booker. “Because I don't think we win this election by showing the worst of who we are. I think this idea, ‘when they go low, we go lower’ is terrifying to me.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire's Legislative Ethics Committee is reviewing a complaint against House Majority Leader Doug Ley, which alleges he violated ethics guidelines by testifying and voting on legislation that could affect the teachers union that employs him as its president.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democrats are criticizing Governor Chris Sununu's veto of a paid family and medical leave bill.

The bill would have offered up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker’s salary. The state would've paid for this with a mandatory .5 % payroll tax.

Sununu called it an income tax and vetoed it on Thursday.

Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes, a Democrat from Concord, says that was a missed opportunity for the state.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu has vetoed the paid family leave bill backed by Democrats, as expected.

Sununu said the bill amounted to an income tax.

The bill calls for a .5 % payroll tax that would fund up to 12 weeks of family and medical leave at up to 60 % of a worker's salary. 

Gov. Chris Sununu paid a whirlwind visit to New York City this week. He hit a few reliable tourist spots: Times Square, the 9/11 Memorial. But much of his time was spent on a marathon series of appearances on the national media circuit.

 

There were interviews on CNBC’s Squawk Box, a sit-down on David Webb's SIRUS XM show, and multiple Fox News appearances.

 

Or, as Sununu put it in a tweet, “a full day of media hits promoting NH!”

NHPR Staff

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton drew a large crowd in Hanover Wednesday night for a foreign policy discussion at Dartmouth College. 

 

In her remarks, the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee cautioned against rushing toward impeachment proceedings for President Trump.

 

Instead, she said, Democrats should continue an independent Congressional investigation, using the Mueller report as a guide. 

 

Clinton also criticized Trump administration foreign policy on Russia and Iran.

File Photo, NHPR

Governor Chris Sununu says he hopes to sign a bill that would spur development of solar energy projects to benefit low-income residents. It was a stated priority at the start of his term, but until now, he hadn't weighed in much on related legislation.

New Hampshire Campaign Finance System

Candidates running for office in New Hampshire can run up a tab on all kinds of expenses: lawn signs, postage, snacks for fundraisers, radio ads, print ads, digital ads and more.

But some lawmakers lean on campaign donations to cover other, less obvious expenses that pile up on the campaign trail, or even while they’re in office: things like car repairs, dry cleaning bills and floral arrangements.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A bill to add dozens of new state employees at the agency tasked with investigating child abuse has now passed both chambers of the legislature.

Multiple outside reviews of the Division of Children, Youth and Families have identified a shortage of caseworkers as a problem. DCYF employees currently juggle a caseload that is nearly four times the nationally recommended average.

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