Politics

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

Josh Rogers | NHPR

While late summer can be a quiet time on the presidential primary campaign trail, many Democratic candidates face a crucial test in the coming days: either qualify for the next round of televised debates, or risk losing relevance. 

That urgency was on display as candidates made the rounds this weekend in New Hampshire.

On Tuesday, Aug. 20, U.S. Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster is joining The Exchange to discuss legislation and policies she's been working on in Washington, D.C., as well as recent state and national news. She serves on the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. What issues do you want to hear about? Submit your questions below. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The scene outside the SNHU Arena in Manchester looked pretty much like every other Trump rally you’ve seen on TV: thousands of people in bright red hats, street vendors selling Trump gear.

But the difference was the line of people who wound around Elm Street - many wearing Red Sox shirts matched with their Make America Great Again hats.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

In the wake of this weekend’s mass shootings, gun-control advocates in New Hampshire are calling on Chris Sununu to sign off on three gun-related bills.

During a rally today in Concord, supporters said the measures are the bare minimum the governor could do, but opponents say the laws are misguided.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

While Governor Sununu and Democratic lawmakers say they want to make a deal on the state budget, neither is giving much ground, and both are working to frame a debate that doesn't look likely to end soon.

In June, Governor Sununu vetoed the state budget passed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature.

justgrimes / Flickr Creative Commons

 

Judge Joseph Laplante says a challenge to New Hampshire's new voter residency law can move forward, and he rejected an effort to remove Secretary of State Bill Gardner as a defendant in the case.

Gov. Chris Sununu has vetoed his 39th and 40th bills of the year. These bills aim to undo recent election law changes backed by the GOP.

Related: Click here for our veto tracker, which is detailing bills vetoed by Governor Chris Sununu

One bill, HB 105, aims to repeal the law known as Senate Bill 3.

iStock

A federal judge has blocked the implementation of New Hampshire's Medicaid work requirement.

The ruling reverses a move by the Trump administration that allowed New Hampshire to impose a 100-hour-a-month work requirement on beneficiaries of expanded Medicaid. 

Sarah Gibson for NHPR

 

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren is urging New Hampshire voters to push presidential candidates on their policy platforms and campaign fundraising.

Speaking to a crowd of over 500 in a sweltering Derry middle school gym on Saturday, Warren urged voters to ask candidates how they’re running and funding their campaigns.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Testimony from Special Counsel Robert Mueller in front of Congress on Wednesday elicited strong reactions across the aisle this week.

New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen spoke with Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley about her thoughts on the hearings.

Dan Tuohy/NHPR

As state political leaders seek compromise on the stalled state budget, towns and cities are grappling with fiscal uncertainty that could have some long-term ramifications. 

Governor Chris Sununu vetoed the budget passed by Democrats in the legislature about three weeks ago.  It’s unclear when both sides will reach agreement.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

In an age when campaigns increasingly rely on social media or televised town hall meetings to court voters, face to face campaigning still has its place.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Minnesota Senator and presidential candidate Amy Klobuchar pitched herself as an experienced moderate during  a series of campaign stops in New Hampshire over the weekend.

At an event at the home of former Democratic state senator Peter Burling in Cornish, Klobuchar told the crowd that candidates for president shouldn’t make promises they can’t keep.

NHPR Staff

Gov. Chris Sununu signed a bipartisan bill into law Friday that aims to protect New Hampshire businesses from having to collect and remit sales taxes for other states. 

Jason Moon / NHPR

Presidential candidate Julian Castro is making another campaign swing through New Hampshire this week -- his first since last month's televised Democratic debate.

The former San Antonio mayor and secretary of Housing and Urban Development is making immigration a focus of his campaign.

Speaking to voters at Nashua Community College on Thursday night, Castro argued that President Trump believes immigration is a winning issue for him.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

They can be found shuffling across North State Street on days when the legislative calendar is packed with public hearings. You see them taking notes from the Senate balcony during floor votes, and chatting with lawmakers in the hallways throughout the capitol.

Lobbyists have long been part of the fabric of the New Hampshire State House, helping shape everything from the state budget to the finer points of agritourism policy. But their influence is often hard to measure.

It can be hard to keep track of the details on lobbying spending in New Hampshire. We want to help.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Senator Kamala Harris touched on climate change, health care and pay raises for teachers during her stump speech Sunday in Somersworth, New Hampshire. But the California Democrat’s sharpest lines were reserved for President Trump. 

Todd Bookman for NHPR

When they were knocking on doors in Manchester’s Ward 4 ahead of last fall's elections, Reps. Nicole Klein-Knight and Donald Bouchard kept hearing from people who claimed they were ineligible to vote because of past criminal records.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Concord State Senator Dan Feltes says he’s strongly considering a run for Governor and will make a final decision by summer’s end.

In a Medium post Feltes sent to potential supporters, he said, “The major roadblock to meaningful, inclusive progress for New Hampshire is one person: Governor Chris Sununu.”

Feltes and Sununu have clashed repeatedly on issues including the state budget, paid family leave, taxes and election law.

Feltes serves as Majority Leader in the State Senate, and before joining the senate he was a legal aid lawyer.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Gov. Chris Sununu, a Republican who has found himself at odds with the Democratic-controlled Legislature this year, has vetoed another ten bills, including a few priorities for New Hampshire's Democratic lawmakers.

One bill was designed to identify whether campaign donations from LLC members exceed contribution limits, which allows wealthy donors to skirt campaign finance limits by channeling donations through multiple limited liability corporations.

Screencap via YouTube

Governor Chris Sununu rallied Republicans on July 4th by playing auctioneer and selling off memorabilia of a veto.

At a time when the governor says he's eager to reach common ground with Democrats on the state budget, his message at a Republican breakfast in Wolfeboro was a departure.

"This is the veto of Senate Bill 1. You guys know what Senate Bill 1 was," Sununu said. 

What Sununu was selling was a copy of his veto message against paid family leave.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Kirsten Gillibrand made her pitch to people attending New Hampshire's Politics and Eggs breakfast Tuesday.

The New York senator is the latest 2020 hopeful to participate in the traditional campaign stop at Saint Anselm College, where she shook hands with business and policy advocates and signed the event’s signature wooden eggs.

“I don’t pander, and I am not competitive, but I will sign every egg in this room before I leave,” Gillibrand said, to laughs.

Pasja1000 via Pixabay / https://pixabay.com/images/id-3336451/

New Hampshire passed a law last week forming a commission to advocate for the needs of its aging population. The Granite State has the second oldest population in the country, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local health care providers facing the loss of federal money beacuse of Trump administration rules on abortion say their patients will be hurt by the state budget impasse.

Top Democratic budget writers say that’s one reason they want a quick resolution with Governor Sununu, who vetoed their budget last week.

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

New Hampshire is at the forefront of a growing debate over PFAS chemical contamination in drinking water. And many of the Democrats campaigning to win the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary are taking notice.

They’re using the issue to connect with a highly engaged block of potential Granite State voters – and local PFAS activists are welcoming the attention.


Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

Vice President Mike Pence is in New Hampshire Tuesday to discuss the opioid crisis. Pence will meet with public officials and recovery advocates at the Granite Recovery Center in Salem.

The Center runs twelve alcohol and drug rehab programs throughout the state. Its founder, Eric Spofford, regularly hosts Republicans on the campaign trail.

After a meeting with Spofford and alumni of the recovery center, Pence plans to deliver remarks on opioids and illegal drugs.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Sununu says his current goals for the budget have less to do with how money might get spent than with ensuring the spending levels are sustainable under the state's current tax structure.   

"Pretty much all the funding initiatives I wanted to go forward with, I'm willing to let them take that off the table, that's fine.

But my responsibility is to make sure we don't put ourselves in a financial hole. Their budget would do that." 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is taking a step closer to running for governor.  The Concord Democrat has announced a list of 175 people who are backing his potential campaign.

Volinsky's announcement comes months after he privately emailed political supporters to say that a gubernatorial run was likely.

It also follows a solid fundraising period that left the 63-year-old lawyer with $125,000 in his campaign account.

Josh Rogers for NHPR

Bernie Sanders marched in Nashua's Pride parade on Saturday. When Sanders arrived, he posed for selfies and praised Mayor Jim Donchess for backing the parade.

Listen to the broadcast version of this story:

"Hey, congratulations," he told Donchess, "You got a nice group of people here."

Sanders borrowed a baseball cap with a rainbow unicorn logo, asking, "A unicorn is politically correct?"

Then he marched, keeping a brisk pace under a blazing sun. 

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