Politics

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

Sara Plourde / NHPR

With New Hampshire well into the swing of the presidential primary season, a new podcast from NHPR explores how the state has kept hold of its first-in-the-nation primary status.

It's called Stranglehold, and the first episode is out now. It's called "The Guardian," and it examines the role of Secretary of State Bill Gardner, the man who's been called the "Guardian" of the New Hampshire primary for decades.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Stranglehold co-hosts Lauren Chooljian and Jack Rodolico about the new podcast, which will run right up to the 2020 presidential primary.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Democrats – and nearly every candidate seeking their party’s nomination for president -- were in Manchester Saturday for the state Democratic convention.

Ruth Davis of Durham, who wore a button for Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, said seeing so many candidates up close would prompt many voters, even ones who think they’ve made up their minds, to reassess the field.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Almost all of the Democrats running for president will appear at the state party's convention in Manchester this weekend. But long before many of the candidates started showing up at conventions, cookouts and coffee shops, they’ve been steering money toward local Democratic committees and campaigns here in New Hampshire.

The Democratic National Committee has been putting pressure on the state of Iowa to make their caucus more accessible to voters.

This led Iowa officials to roll out a plan for a new virtual caucus. But the DNC confirmed last week it would reject the plan.

With changes to the Iowa caucus on the horizon, there are fears surrounding New Hampshire’s reaction, given the Granite State’s history of fiercely protecting its first-in-the-nation primary status.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Congressman Chris Pappas spoke with The Exchange on a variety of issues including climate change legislation, background checks, and the I-93 expansion.  Here are some highlights from that conversation. 

Listen to the show and read the transcript. 

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Five Democratic presidential candidates in the span of 24 hours have released sweeping plans to address climate change, ahead of a series of town halls devoted to the issue.

On Wednesday, California Sen. Kamala Harris and South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg each unveiled their climate plans. New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Obama cabinet member Julián Castro each laid out theirs on Tuesday.

Todd Bookman / NHPR

Joe Biden was under scrutiny for a report that a war story he recounted on the campaign trail was riddled with inaccuracies. As he sat for an interview earlier this week, he responded, "The details are irrelevant in terms of decision-making."

A third Republican has jumped into the 2020 race for U.S. Senate. Bryant "Corky" Messner of Wolfeboro, a military veteran and attorney, is pitching himself as a political outsider.

Josh Rogers | NHPR

After a labor day weekend that saw another mass shooting, this time in Odessa Texas, gun policy is on the minds of many Democratic primary voters.

When Bernie Sanders spoke in Epsom Tuesday, his focus was healthcare, but when asked about guns by a member of the crowd, Sanders pledged to fight for universal background checks and to limit the availability of so-called assault weapons.

"More and more Americans - and I - certainly believe we should ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons," he said.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senate Majority Leader Dan Feltes is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor.

Feltes, in his third term, announced his candidacy Tuesday in a web video, saying he'll work hard, leave no one behind and get things done.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

For Democrats looking to court grassroots progressive supporters in New Hampshire, few speaking slots are as coveted as the New Hampshire AFL-CIO’s annual Labor Day breakfast.

Ali Oshinskie / NHPR

A federal lawsuit challenging New Hampshire's new voter residency law will move forward toward a likely January 2020 trial, after state attorneys failed to convince a judge that it should be thrown out because it would not change any voting requirements. 

NHPR Staff

It's been seven weeks since the Executive Council voted on party lines to reject Governor Sununu's nomination of Attorney General Gordon MacDonald to be Chief Justice of New Hampshire's Supreme Court. And councilors say Governor Sununu hasn't indicated his plan to fill the vacancy to lead what is now a four member court.

Jordyn Haime

Rolando Cantú is originally from Texas, and is now a junior at American University in Washington, D.C. But I caught up with him a few weeks ago in Berlin, New Hampshire, where he was helping set up tables and chairs in a packed catering hall, before Sen. Bernie Sanders was scheduled to speak. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Former congressman Beto O'Rourke of Texas took a break from the campaign trail earlier this month to spend time in his home town of El Paso, where a gunman shot and killed 22 people at a Walmart. When he resumed campaigning, he did so with a sharper tone, and one directed at President Trump.

Annie Ropeik for NHPR

Presidential candidate Andrew Yang tried to set his climate change plan apart from the rest of the Democratic field at an event in Portsmouth on Monday. Yang had been criticized recently for saying on the Democratic debate stage that the solution to climate change is to "move to high ground."

On the banks of the Piscataqua River Monday, the venture capitalist said that stance is about accepting some harsh scientific truths.

Dan Tuohy for NHPR

Change versus restoration: it’s a key question, maybe the key question, facing Democrats as they ready themselves to pick a nominee to challenge President Trump.

That question was on the minds of many voters in New Hampshire this weekend as they welcomed a half dozen candidates, including two who put that question in stark relief: the most experienced Democrat running, former Vice President Joe Biden, and the youngest Democrat in the race, South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg. 

Josh Rogers / NHPR

Michael Bennet was about as fired up as he ever gets at the Iowa State Fair's Political Soapbox, railing against Bernie Sanders' health care plan — but politely.

"I respect him because he tells the truth about what's in his plan, but I disagree that that's gonna get us universal health care in America," said Bennet, a Colorado senator and decidedly lower tier Democratic presidential candidate.

Ali Oshinskie for NHPR

Andrew Yang, who may be best known for his "Freedom Dividend," describes himself as an entrepreneur, an optimist, and an "Asian man who likes math" — that last one being a standard campaign quip.

The Democratic presidential hopeful outlined his ideas in an interview with the NPR Politics Podcast and New Hampshire Public Radio. 

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

 

Joe Biden won't be among the parade of White House hopefuls in California this week, skipping the Democratic National Committee's summer meeting to campaign in New Hampshire instead.

The former vice president will have the nation's first primary state essentially to himself as his top rivals jockey for attention from hundreds of Democratic officials gathered in San Francisco for the party's last national meeting before presidential voting begins in February.

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.

Congresswoman Kuster On Guns & Medicare For All

Aug 17, 2019
Dan Tuohy / NHPR

U.S. Rep. Ann McLane Kuster joins 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. 

This conversation airs live at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20th, and again at 7 p.m. Audio and transcript of the discussion will be available shortly after the conclusion of the program. 

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.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the former law professor and consumer advocate from Cambridge, Mass., has long talked about fighting for progressive reform, everything from tax policy more supportive of the middle class to gun safety.

As she campaigned around Iowa, a sign on the side of her RV reads, "Honk if you want big structural change." It was a good start to a conversation with the NPR Politics Podcast, in a series partnership with Iowa Public Radio and New Hampshire Public Radio.  

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.

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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.

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