Granite Reports: 1st Shaheen camp TV ad of campaign focuses on vets issues
SUNDAY, MAY 4: SHAHEEN CAMP AD: VETS SPOT: The Jeanne Shaheen campaign’s first TV ad of the U.S. Senate campaign is in fact a spot talking about her work for veterans and bringing veterans clinics to the state.
Granite Reports initially reported on the ad on Friday. See item below.
Today, we’ve learned the ad features Dwight Clark, past commander of the American Legion Post 4 in Keene.
Shaheen had worked on securing a clinic for the Keene area for several years and announced the impending opening of the Keene Outreach Clinic in September 2011..
“As the Monadnock region’s first veterans’ health services facility, the clinic will offer full-time primary care and part-time mental health services to the several thousand veterans in the region,” Shaheen said in a press release at the time.
FRIDAY, MAY 2: SHAHEEN’S FIRST TV AD. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign is set to launch its first television ad of the campaign.
Granite Reports has learned the ad is set to air on WMUR and New Hampshire cable from Sunday through May 10. The buy is about $90,000.
This is the Shaheen campaign’s second overall ad of the campaign. The campaign aired a radio ad criticizing Republican Scott Brown for not taking “The People’s Pledge” in March.
Brown’s campaign has aired one television ad so far in the campaign
Outside third party groups, such as Americans for Prosperity and the Senate Majority PAC, have run several television ads on both sides.
While the specific message in the Shaheen new ad is unclear, we understand it is a positive ad talking about Shaheen’s work for and with veterans.
(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)
TUESDAY, APRIL 29: LATEST FROM PERRY. Texas Gov. Rick Perry told a crowd in Ohio late Monday that he isn’t sure if he’s going to run for President, but will “spend time in preparation” just in case.
Republican Perry, continuing a tour of states to recruit businesses to Texas, was basking in the glow of Toyota’s decision this week to move its U.S. from California to his state.
“I don’t know whether I’m going to run for the presidency,” Perry said in Westlake, Ohio, according to the web site Cleveland.com. “I’m going to spend the time in preparation, whether it’s on foreign policy” or economics and other domestic issues.
Perry said his failure to gain traction during the 2012 presidential campaign “was one of the most interesting and humbling experience I’ve ever gone through in my life.”
As Granite Reports first reported last Saturday, about a dozen New Hampshire officials and activists plan to visit Perry in Austin, Texas in late May. Veteran GOP strategist Michael Dennehy is organizing the trip.
Perry may want to re-think one consideration before the meeting with the Granite Staters.
According to the Cleveland web site, he “expressed interest in a regional primary system in which states would vote in four regional blocs spaced out over several months and rotated each election cycle” but “stopped short of endorsing it.”
Such proposals have been suggested for many years, and have gone nowhere. Some such proposals have still included provisions to keep New Hampshire’s first-primary intact.
(See our exclusive Saturday report below on a group of New Hampshire activists and officials planning to travel to Texas in late May to meet with Texas Gov. Rick Perry, who may run for President in 2016. )
TUESDAY, APRIL 29: “STOP WASTEFUL BONUSES.” Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte has joined with Democratic U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri to introducing legislation that would prohibit bonuses for federal employees who are not in good standing with their agency or the law, according to Ayotte’s office.
The “Stop Wasteful Federal Bonuses Act” was prompted by a recent IRS Inspector General report that $2.8 million was paid in bonuses between 2010 and 2012 to 2,800 employees with conduct violations – including more than $1 million for over 1,100 IRS employees who are delinquent on their taxes.
“Federal employees who have disciplinary problems or who haven’t paid their taxes shouldn’t be getting bonuses,” Ayotte said. “Taxpayers in New Hampshire and across the nation were alarmed by recent reports of IRS employees being awarded bonuses that they shouldn’t have received. This bipartisan legislation takes common sense steps to prevent workers with serious conduct infractions from receiving bonus pay.”
The Ayotte-McCaskill bill “would prohibit the head of an agency from awarding a bonus to an employee if the agency Inspector General, a senior ethics official of the agency, or the Government Accountability Office makes a determination that the employee’s conduct either violated agency policy for which the employee may be fired or suspended, or violated a law for which the employee may be imprisoned for more than one year,” according to the two senators. “The bill would maintain the prohibition for five years.”
TUESDAY, APRIL 29. GAMBLING’S LAST GASP? All eyes will be on the State House Wednesday as the New Hampshire House takes up legislation that would allow for two casino gambling sites in the state.
The House has already rejected a single-casino plan this session and it has never approved expanded gambling, having considered it for at least the past 15 years.
But the earlier vote this session came before a state judge ruled the Medicaid Enhancement Tax unconstitutional, potentially blowing a $185 million hole in the current budget, according to the Standard and Poor’s bond rating in a report last week lowering its outlook of the state’s general obligation bonds.
The Senate bill would authorize two casinos with a total between them of 5,000 slot machines and240 table games. The bill was altered recently to distribute $25 million of the state’s “take” to cities and towns through a revenue sharing formula, ostensibly for property tax relief.
The state Lottery Commission has estimated the bill, with two casinos, would provide about $168 million for the state and about $480 million for the two casinos.
Gov. Maggie Hassan is strongly in favor of casino gambling for New Hampshire, but has limited her support to a single casino.
Republican candidate for governor Andrew Hemingway, meanwhile, will hold a news conference before the House session Wednesday to detail his plan to expand charitable gaming in the state.
Hemingway opposes casinos, but has proposed allowing charity gaming operators to add slot machines to their poker rooms.
In a statement Tuesday, Hemingway said, “I believe large campus-style casinos in New Hampshire are wrong for our retail businesses, wrong for the people, and wrong for the free market. As governor, I will work with the legislature to develop new innovative ideas, such as the one I am proposing, that can benefit charities, communities and the state as a whole.
“Maggie Hassan has doubled down on the idea of mega-casinos to benefit handpicked out-of-state corporations to find a needed windfall to fill her budget hole. That’s not the right path to solutions and an improved economy,” Hemingway said.
(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)
MONDAY, APRIL 28: HAVENSTEIN FINANCE LEADERS. Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein’s campaign has disclosed its finance committee chair and co-chair.
Campaign spokesman Henry Goodwin told the NH Journal that the campaign finance committee chair is Beverly Bruce of Tuftonboro, who was the state finance chair for Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.
The co-chair is Chris Wolfe of Derry, former chair of the Derry Republican Town Committee and former Rockingham County chair of Romney’s campaign.
(TUESDAY, APRIL 29 UPDATE: The Havenstein campaign today issued a press release on the naming of Bruce and Wolfe:
MONDAY, APRIL 28: GUINTA GIVES GRIMM DONATION TO NONPROFITS. New York U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm donated $2,500 to 1st District U.S. House candidate Frank Guinta’s campaign during the 2012 cycle, and now that Grimm has been indicted, Guinta is donating $2,500 to two nonprofits.
According to campaign spokesman Jay Ruais, Guinta’s campaign is donating $1,250 to the Mental Health Center of Greater Manchester and $1,250 to the Boys and Girls Club of Manchester.
According to the New York Daily News, Grimm was hit with a 20-count indictment charging he fraudulently under-reported the wages he paid his workers at his restaurant in Manhattan and hid about $1 million in sales and wages.
Grimm is also charged with obstruction and perjury for allegedly lying about his involvement in the business in a sworn deposition. He pleaded not guilty when he was arraigned at Brooklyn federal court on Monday.
MONDAY, APRIL 28: THE RETURN OF ‘MORNING JOE.’MSNBC talk show host and former U.S. Rep. Joe Scarborough will be back in New Hampshire this weekend.
Scarborough, who last appeared in the state in mid-March for the NHGOP’s Northeast leadership conference, will speak at the Cheshire County GOP Lincoln Day dinner on Friday evening and then keyote the NHGOP state convention in Concord on Saturday.
He has been talked about as a potential 2016 presidential contender, although he has said he has no plans to run.
MONDAY, APRIL 28: RUBENS: CALLS FOR VA PROBE. Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Jim Rubens is decrying reports that veterans died while waiting for medical care at a Veterans Administration hospital in Phoenix, Ariz.
According to a CNN report last week, veterans were placed on waiting lists as “part of an elaborate scheme designed by Veterans Affairs managers in Phoenix who were trying to hide that 1,400 to 1,600 sick veterans were forced to wait months to see a doctor.” CNN cited a recently retired top VA doctor and several other sources.
Rubens noted that earlier reports alleged the same practices had occurred at VA facilities in Georgia, South Carolina, Texas and Florida. In another report, he noted, it is also alleged that administrators used falsified backlog records to secure bonus pay for themselves. In 2011, the VA paid out $194 million in bonuses.
“It turns my stomach that government employees might be profiting while our heroes are dying waiting for the healthcare we owe them,” Rubens said.
“Those responsible for this vile and heartless abuse of our veterans must be rooted out and held fully and publicly accountable. Until this is fixed, veterans on these extended wait lists must be given vouchers to obtain the care they deserve at the hospital or provider of their choice.”
Rubens noted that in April 2012, Nicholas Tolentino, who was an administrator at the VA Medical Center in Manchester, testified to the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee outlining widespread practices of falsely reporting wait times. At the time, the Senate pledged to do something about it, with the chairperson even going as far as to say ‘This is not something we’re going to hold a hearing on and then leave and go do something else. I don’t want to continue to hear that anybody’s gaming this system.’”
“Unfortunately,” said Rubens, “nothing was ever done.”
Rubens said one of his GOP Senate primary opponents, Scott Brown, “served on the Veterans Affairs Committee, and was present at the Tolentino hearing. After hearing the testimony, Senator Brown remarked that the Tolentino testimony was ‘mind-boggling.’
“New Hampshire citizens are sick and tired of Washington politicians who provide sound bites but not solutions,” said Rubens. “Rather than make the tough decision to hold people accountable and change the system immediately so our veterans receive the care they need, Scott Brown failed to lead and left the problem unresolved. No action has been taken and veterans continue to suffer unnecessarily.”
“A system-wide review is in order, including VA healthcare facilities in New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts so that New Hampshire veterans experience no unwarranted care delays.”
MONDAY, APRIL 28: DEMOCRAT TANNER TO RUN FOR SENATE. First-term state Rep. Linda Tanner, D-Sunapee made it official today. She will run for the District 8 state Senate seat being vacated by retiring Republican Bob Odell.
Republican who have already announced for the seat are state Republican Party vice chairman J.P. Marzullo and former New Hampshire Bankers Association president Jerry Little of Weare.
Tanner, 68, taught health, health occupations, and physical education for 35 years at Kearsarge Regional High School.
According to the New Hampshire House web site Tanner has her name on three bills in the current session. House Bill 1410, which would include household and domesticated animals under the domestic violence protection statute, has passed the House and is scheduled for a public hearing Tuesday in the state Senate.
House Bill 682, sent to interim study, would have outlawed the imposition of surcharges on credit card purchases. And House Resolution 26, passed by the House, honored the Cadet Nurse Corps.
MONDAY, APRIL 28: MORE GUINTA ENDORSEMENTS. The latest list of Guinta endorsements includes conservative activists Jeff Chidester of Rochester and Luke Freudenberg of Wolfeboro; former state Board of Education Chair Judith O’Brien Thayer of Manchester, former Goffstown GOP Chair Pamela Manney and businessman Chuck Stephen of Manchester.
(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)
SATURDAY, APRIL 26: HEADIN’ TO TEXAS. OK, so Rick Perry’s last rodeo in the presidential arena didn’t work out so well.
But it’s a new cycle and some Granite State activists feel that Americans – especially New Hampshire voters – are willing to give a guy a second chance.
If he wants one, that is. And it seems like the Texas governor is considering another White House bid.
There’s only one way to find out, though, and that’s to visit with the man and talk about it.
To that end, Granite Reports has learned that about a dozen New Hampshire activists and officials plan to head to Austin in about a month to meet with Perry and listen to his thoughts about Texas’ economic success – and yes, just maybe talk about 2016.
Organizing the pilgrimage is Mike Dennehy, the veteran GOP strategist known primarily for his success with John McCain’s two New Hampshire primary victories. Some of those making the trip supported Perry’s last presidential campaign, and some did not.
Dennehy, we understand, has agreed to help Americans for Economic Freedom, a group created last year by political operatives close to Perry, as Perry travels the country promoting Texas as a top place to do business. Dennehy is aiding Perry and his team in broadening the Texas economic message into a national one.
Perry this week spent three days in New York wooing businesses to the Lone Star State. He also challenged New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo to a “thoughtful” debate on which state is better for businesses.
Americans for Economic Freedom is airing a 30-second television ad in New York appealing to business owners during Perry’s visit.
“If you’re tired of New York, there’s an option: Texas,” Perry says in the spot.
Perry has said he will decide next year whether to run for President.
When the Granite Staters get to Texas, the 800-pound gorilla in the room will be Perry’s gaffes during the last presidential campaign, and how he will work to get past them should he run again.
Perry has often called his last effort a humbling experience and has joked about it.
“I believe that people will give him a second chance if he decides to run for President,” Dennehy said. “That is the nature of America and that is certainly the nature of New Hampshire.”
CRUZ MISSION. As Ted Cruz makes an important visit to the first-primary state this weekend, it’s interesting to note that he’s the Texan that more Texans favor as presidential material, at least at the moment.
A Public Policy Polling survey in Texas about a week ago had Cruz leading the field as the choice of 25 percent, with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 14 percent. Perry trailed with 10 percent, tied with former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky.
For Cruz, the weekend visit is more important than his appearance at the Freedom Summit back on April 12. This time, Cruz is here on his own and will begin to test his tough, conservative “outsider” message with New Hampshire Republicans.
In our exclusive pre-visit interview (posted elsewhere on NHJournal.com), however, we found a “kinder, gentler” Cruz, one who is willing to adhere to the Reagan adage that if you agree with someone 80 percent of the time, that person is your ally.
Cruz, as we’ve reported, will appear tonight at the Carroll County Republican Committee Lincoln Day Dinner and on Sunday will speak at a private reception in Manchester for the conservative advocacy group “Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire.”
We understand that, as one would expect, Cruz will have at least one private meeting with grassroots activists and possibly some more well-known Republicans. A meeting this afternoon has already been set up with activists in Derry.
GUINTA AND TISEI. Frank Guinta has not changed his position on abortion and marriage, his campaign says. It says he remains staunchly pro-life and he also supports “traditional marriage.”
Why is that news? Because questions along those lines were being asked following word that Guinta has teamed up with Massachusetts congressional candidate Richard Tisei to form a new joint fund-raising PAC, called the New England Majority Fund.
It’s not unusual for elected officials or candidates to collaborate for joint fundraising committees. It’s a way for donors to continue giving to candidates after they “max out” in giving to the individual candidate’s campaign committee.
Usually, the candidates involved are like-minded, however.
In this case both are fiscal conservatives, and that, according to the Guinta campaign, forms the basis for the alliance.
But Tisei is openly gay, is in a gay marriage and is also strongly pro-choice. He went so far as to skip the Massachusetts Republican Party convention in March in protest of its socially conservative platform.
But Guinta spokesman Jay Ruais said in a statement to Granite Reports, “Frank is a principled leader, and his position on these issues remains unchanged.
“Richard and Frank are both running against individuals who supported ObamaCare and Nancy Pelosi’s reckless fiscal agenda that has left millions of middle class Americans out of work and without access to affordable health care.
“ Unlike Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, who continues to avoid her constituents, and refuses to hold open forums, Frank is willing to work with folks he may not agree with 100 percent of the time.”
Guinta’s position on abortion appears to have evolved since his days in the New Hampshire House. In 2002, as a state legislator, he opposed a parental notification bill for those 16 years of age or younger seeking to have abortions.
But by 2010, when he first ran for the U.S. House, he was strongly pro-life and also supported the Defense of Marriage Act.
THAT NEW AD. A day after Republicans accused Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign of telegraphing to a third party group possible content for a new television ad attacking Scott Brown as a tool of Wall Street and “big Oil,” the Senate Majority PAC, headed by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, began airing an ad with a similar theme on a local television station, at a cost of about $212,000.
“Scott Brown’s carrying some big oil baggage,” the ad says. “In Massachusetts, he voted to give oil companies big tax breaks. They make record profits, he collects over $400,000 in campaign contributions.
The ad continues, “Now Brown’s shopping for a new Senate seat. In oil rich Texas? The oil fields of North Dakota? Nope, Brown wants to bring his big oil baggage to New Hampshire. Scott Brown: out for himself and big oil at our expense.”
The Brown campaign says the whole situation is ironic given Shaheen’s push for The People’s Pledge to keep third-party spending out of the race.
KIMBALL’S SUPPORT. Former state Republican Party chairman and longtime Tea Party leader Jack Kimball continues to support Cliven Bundy, despite Bundy’s well-publicized racist remarks several days ago.
Kimball, while not condoning Bundy’s comments, says the standoff between the federal Bureau of Land Management and Bundy and his supporters (including Rochester’s Jerry DeLemus) is the bigger story.
“I’m not sure of the context” of Bundy’s comments, Kimball emailed us. “But I would be very suspicious due to the source of the article (the New York Times. Bundy did not back away from the comments later in remarks to other media.)
“Either way,” wrote Kimball, “this does not change the underlying issue with respect to BLM stealing and destroying a man’s personal property as well as brutalizing several members of his family.
“This is not the first time this has happened. In fact, it has been happening on a regular basis. In this instance, Mr. Bundy decided to make a stand. That’s why there is so much attention focused upon it,” Kimball wrote.
(John DiStaso is news editor of the New Hampshire Journal and the most experienced political columnist in New Hampshire. Watch for live updates of his Granite Reports column as news breaks. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @jdistaso.)