Money in Politics | New Hampshire Public Radio

Money in Politics

State of Democracy's coverage of campaign finance and the role money is playing in the 2016 New Hampshire primary and beyond.

Josh Rogers, Todd Bookman

Democratic gubernatorial nominee Dan Feltes has raised more money than Governor Chris Sununu has over the past month. But with election day less than three weeks away, Sununu maintains a large cash advantage.

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Feltes has raised $290,000 since September 16. His haul since getting into the race now tops $1.4 million.

via YouTube

Outside spending has started to pour into the race for New Hampshire governor. It comes as Gov. Chris Sununu enjoys a large cash advantage over Democratic rival Dan Feltes.

Gov. Chris Sununu has raised more money than either of his two Democratic challengers, and has more cash left in his campaign account than those two candidates combined.

But State Sen. Dan Feltes and Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky are both touting their latest fundraising numbers, filed this week with the Secretary of State, as record-breaking in their own ways.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

An effort to more tightly regulate how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money needs closer study, according to a House panel reviewing the proposed reforms.

NHPR

Gubernatorial candidate Dan Feltes is running ads on Facebook that claim “he isn't taking corporate PAC or LLC contributions, so the public can be sure their governor is working for them — not himself.”

That message is consistent with Feltes’ record in the state Senate, where he’s sponsored bills to outlaw corporate campaign donations and to limit political activities of limited liability corporations.

You can’t outscroll them.

Political ads are bombarding social media in New Hampshire right now, as presidential candidates try to squeeze in as much digital facetime as they can in the lead up to Tuesday’s primary.

  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Lawmakers are considering a bill that would tighten the rules for how candidates in New Hampshire spend their campaign funds.

An investigation by NHPR last year found that lawmakers in New Hampshire routinely use campaign money on items including flower arrangements, dry cleaning and auto mechanic bills, raising questions about the appropriateness of such expenses.

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

A lawmaker from Keene wants the campaign finance laws that govern state elections to apply to city and town elections as well.

Under current law, rules for campaign finance disclosure are up to individual municipalities. But Democratic representative William Pearson wants the state to require anyone who runs in municipal elections and spends more than $500 to disclose their campaign finance records to the Secretary of State.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

The rules for how New Hampshire politicians can spend their campaign money could be tightened in the coming year.

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.

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.

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

The New Hampshire State House
NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate this week approved a proposal to allow political candidates to spend campaign contributions on child care costs.

Supporters say this change will make it easier for young parents to run for elected office. The proposal had drawn criticism from Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who said it would be unfair to donors.

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.

When faced with questions earlier this year about the thousands of dollars paid out from his inaugural committee to his sister and top political advisor, Gov. Chris Sununu’s team said those payments followed state and federal regulations, and “the organization’s bylaws and conflict of interest policy.”

But when NHPR asked to see those bylaws and conflict of interest policy, Sununu’s team declined.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Local lobbying firms and major corporations make up most of the most recent donations to Governor Chris Sununu's inaugural fund, according to the committee’s latest fundraising report.

The Sununu Inaugural Committee raised more than $250,000 since the governor's re-election last November. More than $160,000 of that haul came from corporations and PACs.

Ben Vihstadt

A law that passed the year he was elected made Chris Sununu the first New Hampshire governor required to disclose the activities of his inaugural committee. And to hear Sununu tell it, that committee - the Sununu Inaugural Celebration, Inc. - has more than delivered when it comes to transparency.

Facebook Ad Archive

The final weeks of last week’s midterm campaign saw a flurry of partisan activity: Last-minute Facebook ads touting Gov. Chris Sununu’s plan for paid family and medical leave. Fliers criticizing Republican lawmakers “who cozy up to big corporations and special interests.” Phone banks backed by a group called "Families First," encouraging voters to support Democrats on Election Day.

Let's Fix Washington

Sep 18, 2018

Former Congressmen David Jolly, a Republican, and Patrick Murphy, a Democrat, are travelling nationwide as part of their "Let's Fix Washington" initiative.  Jolly and Murphy, who were one-time rivals for a Senate seat, discuss how Congress got to its current state of division and gridlock and how, through bipartisan leadership, the nation’s political systems can function more effectively.  

Primary Preview: Downticket Races in N.H.

Aug 17, 2018

Down-ticket races are heating up in N.H. as summer winds down.  We dig into the lower-profile elections that can have a big impact: State Senate, Executive Council, and other key races to watch as the mid-term campaigns pick up in the weeks before September's primary elections.  Today's guest host is Dean Spiliotes, civic scholar in the School of Arts and Sciences at SNHU and author of the website NH Political Capital.

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

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.

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.

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