Granite Reports Update: With more than 1,400 attendees, NHDP raised at least $250K at ‘JJ’ event with Clinton

FRIDAY, OCT. 17: A QUARTER OF A MILLION-PLUS. Democratic sources tell Granite Reports that the NHDP raised more than $250,000 at last night’s Jefferson-Jackson fundraiser featuring former President Bill Clinton.


That’s a conservative estimate, we’re told. Checks are still being sorted out and the final amount could be much more.


We were also told that not only were there 1,226 Democrats in the Armory room of the Radisson hotel (not including the more than 100 staffers and interns), but  an additional 200 or so were in the ballroom watching the event on a large screen.


The crowd and the amount raised are records for a Jefferson-Jackson event.


(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)


THURSDAY, OCT. 16: RUBIO TO CAMPAIGN WITH HAVENSTEIN. When Florida Sen. Marco Rubio returns to New Hampshire next Thursday, he will campaign with GOP candidate for governor Walt Havenstein in Manchester.


Rubio and Havenstein will stop at about 4 p.m. at Next Step Bionics and Prosthetics, one of the nation’s top providers of bionics and prosthetics for amputees, located on Dow Street in the Millyard.


They are expected to tour the business and take questions from invited guests.


Earlier in the afternoon, Rubio will be the featured guest at a fundraiser reception at the Capitol Club in Conocrd for the Senate Republican Majority PAC, the political action committee set up to help elect Republicans.


In the evening, Rubio will be the featured guest at a fundraiser for 2nd District U.S. House candidate Marilinda Garcia at the LaBelle Winery in Amherst.


(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)






WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15: BOSTON MAYOR HEADS NORTH. Boston Mayor Marty Walsh will headline a rally sponsored by the AFL-CIO on Friday evening at the Plumbers and Pipefitters Hall in Hooksett.



“We need lawmakers who will go to Concord and truly work for the middle class,” explains Mark MacKenzie, President of the AFL-CIO NH. “Mayor Walsh understands that need, and he is coming to New Hampshire to deliver a message that will inspire voters and union members to turn out in big numbers on Election Day.”
According to the AFL-CIO Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is scheduled to attend, along with other Democrats for office.
WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15; BROWN CALL OUT-SOURCE SUPPORTER. Republican Senate challenger Scott Brown prepared to campaign with 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney Wednesday afternoon, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign released a new radio ad that mentions his alleged “controversial business dealings” with a Florida firm and his membership on the board of Kadant, Inc., which has sent jobs overseas.


Listen to the ad below.


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 15: GOP ROBOCALLS. The state Republican Party has launched automated calls charging that Gov. Maggie Hassan’s “administration,” namely, agency heads, have requested budget with a combined total of an 18 percent increase.



The NHGOP says in its call “it’s clear that she will need an income tax to pay for her lavish spending,” which has been a consistent charge of the party and the Walt Havenstein campaign.



The party has also set up a web site to charge Hassan with mismanagement and overspending.



Hassan did not pledge to oppose an income or sales tax when she ran for the state Senate in 2002, but has done so since then, including in this campaign.



Her campaign calls the GOP move “political grandstanding.”


(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)



TUESDAY, OCT. 14: BACKING SHAHEEN. Two labor organizations affiliated with public safety endorsed Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in the U.S. Senate race Tuesday.


The endorsements by the New Hampshire Police Association and the Manchester Patrolman’s Association came after the mayors of eight communities backed her on Monday.


Shaheen said she has worked on a bipartisan basis as governor from 1997 through 2002, and as a Senator since 2009, “to support our law enforcement officers and keep New Hampshire communities safe.”


Shaheen was also praised by Sgt. Tim King of the police association and Officer Ken Chamberlain of the patrolmen’s group as an official who has listened closely to the concerns and needs of law enforcement officers.


On Monday, Shaheen was endorsed by mayors Kendall Lane of Keene, Paul Grenier of Berlin, Dana Hilliard of Somersworth, Jim Bouley of Concord, James Nielsen of Claremont, Robert Lister of Portsmouth, T.J. Jean of Rochester and Karen Weston of Dover.


Each mayor praised Shaheen for help she has given in areas specific to his or her community.


Also, earlier today, Shaheen toured Airmar Technology Corporation’s manufacturing facility in Milford, telling workers she is focusing on supporting small businesses, while her opponent, Republican Scott Brown has a record “of supporting Big Oil, Wall Street, and companies that ship jobs overseas,” charged the Shaheen campaign.


The campaign said Airmar has benefited from federal job training programs that were created with Senator Shaheen’s support but Brown voted against.



“Putting New Hampshire first means making sure that our workforce has the skills needed to succeed in today’s economy and I’m proud that my vote to expand job-training programs is benefiting New Hampshire manufacturers like Airmar,” said Shaheen. “While I’ve worked to make a difference for businesses here in New Hampshire throughout my career, Scott Brown has a long record supporting special breaks for Big Oil, Wall Street and companies that ship jobs overseas. As long as I’m in the Senate, I’ll continue to work for New Hampshire businesses, not out of state corporate interests.”




Shaheen’s campaign said she supported the Small Business Jobs Act, which cut taxes for New Hampshire small businesses, increased businesses’ access to credit, and established the STEP program, which helps New Hampshire companies export their products. Shaheen also cosponsored the bipartisan Travel Promotion Act, which invested in New Hampshire’s tourism industry.


“Meanwhile, Scott Brown voted against both of these bipartisan, commonsense bills, which have helped small businesses in New Hampshire grow and create jobs,” the campaign said.


TUESDAY, OCT. 14: NEW WEB AD FROM “4 STRONG” GROUP. The conservative issues advocacy group “Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire” is out with a new web ad charging that Sen. Jeanne Shaheen has “Gone Washington.”


A narrator says, “While her family is personally benefitting from her failed votes and the taxpayers are footing the bill for her $14,500-a-month salary, Jeanne Shaheen has resorted to ducking debates and hiding from you.”


Footage shows “Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire” trackers asking Shaheen when she will hold a town hall meeting, and her telling a staffer with her that they are “crazy questions.”


Footage also shows a member of her campaign asking trackers, “Would you like a doggie bag?” as they wait outside of a Shaheen event.


View the ad below.

MONDAY, OCT. 13: NHPA FOR HASSAN. The New Hampshire Police Association today became the third statewide public safety-related union to back Gov. Maggie Hassan for reelection over Republican Walt Havenstein.


The endorsement came less than a week after Havenstein and former FBI agent U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., called Hassan soft on crime.


“With her consistent record of fighting to strengthen the safety of our people and communities, Governor Maggie Hassan is the clear choice on public safety,” said John Yurcak, NHPA president. “Governor Hassan has worked across party lines to solve problems and protect the critical priorities that help us maintain New Hampshire’s status as one of the safest states in the nation.”


Also, during the weekend the National Rifle Association’s Political Victory Fund criticized Hassan in direct mail piece for her opposition to “stand your ground” legislation.


The piece called her “wrong on your Second Amendment rights.”


(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)



SATURDAY, OCT. 11: BROWN: In a sign of how important the national GOP views the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race, candidate Scott Brown this morning will deliver the Republican response to President Barack Obama’s weekly radio address.



The focus will be on national security and will strike familiar themes.



Brown will say that President Obama and his administration seem “confused” about dealing with the crises in the Middle East and elsewhere, that Iraq and Syria have lost territory to ISIS, that Russia and China pose threats, and that as a result, “national security is a central issue in this election.”



He calls for securing the nation’s borders, reversing “the defense drawdown of the Obama years” and keeping “faith with America’s veterans.”



“In every part of America, people have deep worries about national security and border security – and all this when so many are still worried about job security. Yet we’re asked to believe that this is the best America can do. I do not accept that defeatist attitude for one moment, and neither should you,” Brown says.



He does not mention Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, but he (of course!) says New Hampshire needs an independent senator and not someone who is “voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time.”
UNITY? HMMM… With all eyes on the Scott Brown-Jeanne Shaheen race and the election just more than three weeks away, the big question gnawing at the GOP is whether there truly is unity.



Brown is certainly going to need it if he is going to pull off the upset (yes, it still would be considered an upset) on Nov. 4.



The unwritten story about Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s strategy of labeling Scott Brown as essentially “faux” pro-choice is this: It forces him to continually talk about, stress and, now, even advertise, that he is pro-choice.



Whether Brown is truly pro-choice depends on one’s point of view. He’s not as “purely” pro-choice as Shaheen, up and down the ledger, because he has supported the “Hobby Lobby” decision and has supported the “Women’s Right-to-Know Act” legislation in Massachusetts that would require women seeking abortions to be provided photos, drawings and other information about fetal development.



But by being forced to explain his pro-choice views by her ad hitting him on the “Women’s Right to Know Act,” Brown is not helping his cause with the pro-life component of the New Hampshire Republican Party – the group that was able to elect a large group of delegates to the party’s state convention and pass a plank to the party platform calling for a “Personhood Amendment.”



Can GOP pro-lifer voters overlook Brown’s position? There appear to be different views on the matter.



And while one may argue that not many people vote on that issue alone, this election is one in which the cliché “every vote counts” is real.
Bob Smith, the staunchly pro-life former Senator who was defeated by Brown in the primary but who received 23 percent of the primary vote, says Shaheen’s cutting ad on the topic has put Brown in a bind.



When asked, Smith told us that he has not heard from Brown about helping to rally conservative voters since their “very pleasant discussion” just after the primary.



He said he’s not upset or offended by that, but just was telling it like it is.



“As you know, there are two issues that make it difficult for him to get conservatives with him – guns and the life issue,” Smith said.



“There may be some wiggle room for him on guns, but for him to run ads touting that he is pro-choice makes it difficult for the pro-life movement to support him. That’s not criticism. It’s just a fact.”



Smith said, “I think it was not good strategy for him to answer her ad and to let her push him into advertising that he is pro-choice, because it will hurt him with pro-life voters,” said Smith.



On the other hand, Smith said, he understands that Brown feels a need to correct what Brown views as a distortion of his record.



“He’s got to do what he feels is right,” he said. “You have to be who you are and let the chips fall where they may.”



The Granite Grok blog, a leading conservative voice in the state, took to task Brown (as well as candidate for governor Walt Havenstein) in a recent entry.



Co-founder Skip Murphy asked, “So, has Brown just infuriated a goodly (and perhaps, sufficiently large) number of the Conservative and religious base with this bold and public stances? Sure, it has not been hidden – but a lot of folks have said it is a deal breaker for them.



“And add in Brown’s stance on guns and consider another group of voters ticked off,” he wrote.



As we wrote Thursday  in a story about the National Rifle Association, there is a movement among some conservatives to write-in “John Stark” or “John Langdon” on Nov. 4.



Will this effort have legs?



That remains to be seen. Murphy, though, wrote, “I am sure that it makes more than a few folks upset that the Stark/Langdon movement has not died down.”



At the same time, a voice in the GOP liberty movement is calling for unity.



Aaron Day, chair of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, called for Republicans to set aside their differences, writing on Facebook this week, “let’s stop fighting amongst ourselves and start kicking some Democrat ass!”



He does not mention Brown or Havenstein. The RLCNH backed Jim Rubens and Andrew Hemingway. And just as Smith and Rubens endorsed Brown, Hemingway backed Havenstein after the primary.



Rubens recently held a house party for Havenstein.



But there has been no sign of “Walt” reaching out to Hemingway.


(UPDATE: Monday, Oct. 13: After our initial report appeared, Hemingway told us, “Walt and I have spoken a number of times and I have organized meetings with my supporters with him.”)


Day wrote that the RLCNH had mixed results in the Sept. 9 primary but “it is time to move on to the general election.”



Despite some “painful losses,” he wrote, “Liberty Republican candidates are still in a position to capture majorities for the Executive Council, State House, and State Senate.”



“I have spent the weeks since the primary trying to work with factions within the Republican Party to avoid further internal division.”



THE NYQUIST MAILER. Day indicates that he was inspired – at least in part – to make the forceful call for unity after being personally called out in a direct mail piece sent last week by Democratic District 9 state Senate candidate Lee Nyquist.



Nyquist, who is opposing Sen. Andy Sanborn for the second consecutive election, has been putting out a steady barrage of mail, with one “positive” laying out his views on issues such as education and health care, and the other going after Sanborn for having “the wrong priorities” aand a “radical agenda.”



In a piece last week, a Nyquist mailer declares, “Andy Sanborn & Aaron Day’s ‘Free Stater’ agenda is hurting our children’s future.” The piece, with a photo two forlorn-looking children, talks about some of Sanborn’s votes on education.



It then repeats, “Andy Sanborn & ‘Free Stater’ Aaron Day – the wrong priorities.”



Bedford resident Day is a Sanborn constituent and the RLCNH also backed him.



Day wrote on Facebook, “This (mail) piece reminded me what the real battle is all about. The Democrats openly advocate redistributing our hard earned wealth while micromanaging every aspect of our daily lives (how to educate our children, determine which medical treatments we are allowed access to, what we can eat or drink, whether or not we can defend ourselves and our families).”



In an email to Granite Reports, Day wrote, “I have never met Lee Nyquist and wonder who would have suggested and funded a mailer that specifically references a Bedford resident who is currently not running for any office.”


BIG NAMES. The national names keep pouring into New Hampshire.



Next week, it will be Mitt Romney on Wednesday campaigning with Scott Brown, and then Rand Paul on Thursday morning and afternoon, for a series of GOP rallies in Manchester, Concord, Plymouth State University and Salem.



And of course, former President Bill Clinton will be in the state the same day. So far his only scheduled appearance is as the featured speaker at the NHDP Jefferson-Jackson Dinner in Manchester, but there may be other prior stops for the Democratic ticket.



The following week, former New York Gov. George Pataki will return to the state, and will go door-to-door and host a NHGOP phonebank in Dover, followed by another visit by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who was here on Tuesday.



As we’ve written (LINK), it’s that time when one election season begins to overlap with another.



LOU AND CAROL. Republicans had a field day on Thursday after state Sen. Lou D’Allesandro said on Jack Heath’s “New Hampshire Today” program on WGIR radio that he wished fellow Democrat Carol Shea-Porter spent more time in Manchester.



“Retail politics is the name of the game,” D’Allesandro. “If that disappears…I think the nature of democracy disappears…we’ll be come an advertising nation…It’s taken that part of politics and moved it to the side, and I’m very discouraged about that.



“Yes,” he said, “I wish Carol Shea-Porter were in Manchester more, I haven’t seen her in Manchester. Manchester is the heart of the first congressional district. I want to see her more.”



After the NHGOP used D’Allesandro’s comments in a press release saying that he “dings” Shea-Porter, the senator clarified on Twitter:



“@RepShea-Porter is a friend. She’s working hard for the people of Manchester. Her reelection to Congress will be most beneficial!”



NFIB BACKS PAPPAS. What do Republican Scott Brown and Democratic Executive Councilor Chris Pappas have in common? The National Federation of Independent Business.



The NFIB usually backs Republicans, but in this election, it’s going with restaurateur Pappas over Republican Robert Burns in the District 4 election.



NFIB state director Bruce Berke said Pappas, owner of the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, “has been a pro-small business Executive Councilor. He believes in sensible regulations that encourage small businesses to grow and create jobs. Chris Pappas is a strong voice for New Hampshire’s Main Street business owners, their employees and their families.”



LCV ENDORSEMENTS, BIG AD BUY. The League of Conservation voter this week endorsed Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Rep. Ann Kuster for their environmental records. The influential group says they have “worked tirelessly to protect our clean air and water, combat climate change, and promote our nation’s clean energy economy.”



After hosting a roundtable discussion with the two House members, the LCV, through its PAC, announced on Friday that will begin another TV ad barrage – this one costing $400,000 – labeling Brown as a tool of “Big Oil.”



View the new LCV ad below.

GEN OPP WEB ADS. The Koch brothers-funded youth group, Generation Opportunity, has launched web ads in New Hampshire (and four other states) with it’s “Creepy Uncle Sam” wasting “stacks and stacks of our generation’s money.”



The New Hampshire ad urges voters to tell Shaheen to stop supporting “Obamacare.”



View this unique ad below:




REPUBLICANS FOR GILMOUR. Democratic Nashua-Hollis state Sen. Peggy Gilmour this week announced the endorsement of more than 50 Republicans.



Included on the list are veteran Republican activist Ed Lecius and Nashua aldermen Brian McCarthy and Rick Dowd.



Click here for the entire list.
TAKING A PASS. Republican 1st District U.S. House candidate Frank Guinta took a pass on the GOP “Personhood Amendment” during a New Hampshire Public Radio forum this week.



Asked if he supports it, Guinta said, “Well look, the state party wants to do what it’s going to do. It did that. I’m focused basically on trying to talk about it through this lens but they made the decision to do it so, if that’s what they want to do that’s their right to do.”



GAIL ON THE TRAIL. Brown’s wife, Gail Huff, is impressing local Republicans with a personal approach as she campaigns for her husband.



She has visited small businesses and has campaigned with state Senate candidates Eddie Edwards and Regina Birdsell and earlier this week co-hosted with NHGOP chair Jennifer Horn a roundtable with CEOs of Nashua non-profits, an event moderated by Chris Williams, president of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce.



Horn called her “a natural on the campaign trail – passionate, articulate and a strong voice for Scott.”



(John DiStaso is news editor of the New Hampshire Journal and the most experienced political columnist/reporter in New Hampshire. He has been reporting on Granite State politics since 1982. Watch for updates of his Granite Reports column and of course separate stories on as news breaks. He can be reached at and on Twitter: @jdistaso.)

Author: John DiStaso

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