IT'S EARLY, BUT ... Speculation is already being heard in GOP circles about 2010.
Frank Guinta for governor? Or maybe for Congress?
He's been hearing from people who want him to run for one of the other. Of course, he has to officially decide first if he wants to run for reelection as Manchester mayor, and according to adviser Mike Biundo, right now he's focusing on the city budget.
Source: "John DiStaso's Granite Status: Michigan's Anuzis has NH supporter" (By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, Thursday, Jan. 22, 2009).
MORE CONGRESSIONAL RUMBLINGS. Two days after unveiling a budget for the state's largest city that contains a small property tax cut, Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta remains undecided on his political future.
But this much we can tell you: He will make some decisions soon and if he does run for office in 2010, it looks more and more like it will be for the 1st District U.S. House seat. Last week, Guinta made his second trip to Washington to meet with top officials of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
SOURCE: "John DiStaso's Granite Status: District 3 Senate race heats up" (By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, Thursday, April 2, 2009).
September 12, 2008
Mayor Frank Guinta is networking with state and federal Republican Party insiders on everything political from the flawed tax cap proposal, serving as the honorary chair of a conservative lobbyist funded group called the "NH Advantage Coalition", endorsing political candidates for high office such as George Pataki, Rudy Guiliani, John Stephen, Jeb Bradley, and the like, to now serving on a reinstituted finance committee that will be chaired by one of WILLARD Mitt Romney's former political hack attacks.
Also, while Manchester, New Hampshire's city government is nominally +$14 million in the red this fiscal year (FY2009), taxes and fees are increasing ever higher, the rainy day fund account and other one-time accounts are all diminishing, all 22 schools now in need of improvement -- up from 3 when Guinta took office in early-2006, crime on the rise, an increasing level of vacant downtown store-fronts from before Guinta took office in early-2006, an ongoing downtown-area parking fiasco,...
...and the like, I do NOT believe that Mayor Frank Guinta has the time to serve on outside political boards while the city he purports to lead is becoming worse off than before he became Mayor of Manchester, NH in early-2006.
So I ask: Frank Guinta for Governor or Congress or maybe someday U.S. President? I hope not for the sake of the state of New Hampshire, Capitol Hill, and our Nation and World!
"The Anti-Frank Guinta"!
"N.H. GOP forms finance committee"
By Brian Lawson, politickernh.com, September 12, 2008 - 10:56am
The New Hampshire Republican Party has decided to reinstitute a finance committee that will help the state party raise money for the general election.
The committee will be chaired by Jim Merrill, Mitt Romney's former New Hampshire state director and currently a consultant for Devine Strategies.
"This is a critical election for New Hampshire Republicans, and it's important that we engage and invigorate all facets of the party, from our grassroots activists to our major donors," said Merrill in a press release.
The party has not had a committee since 2006, since then it has been based on an event-by-event basis.
The committee will have 33 members including New Hampshire Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen, political consultant Mike Dennehy, Mayor Frank Guinta (R-Manchester), former state Sen. Chuck Morse (R-Salem), Susan Duprey and former congressional candidate Jim Forsythe.
"NHGOP RELEASE: NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY ANNOUNCES FINANCE COMMITTEE"
September 12, 2008 - 10:28am
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: September 12, 2008
Contact: Fergus Cullen, Chairman, New Hampshire Republican Party
603-225-9341 office, 603-520-5450 cell
NEW HAMPSHIRE REPUBLICAN PARTY ANNOUNCES FINANCE COMMITTEE
CONCORD, NH – In another sign of energy flowing back into the New Hampshire Republican Party, more than thirty leaders from around the state have stepped up to reconstitute the state party’s Finance Committee. This group has been tasked with raising the necessary resources to fund the State Party and the Victory Program in New Hampshire.
Jim Merrill, of Manchester, will lead the finance effort as Chairman.
“This is a critical election for New Hampshire Republicans, and it’s important that we engage and invigorate all facets of the party, from our grassroots activists to our major donors,” said Merrill.
“In building this committee we brought together a mix of dedicated and talented Republicans – business and community leaders, public officials, and party activists – who will extend our reach into all corners of the state and help us harness the excitement and energy the McCain-Palin-Sununu team brings to our entire ticket.”
“State party finances are stronger today than they’ve been at any time since the 2004 election, and this talented and connected group will ensure we have the resources we need to help our candidates win elections,” said Fergus Cullen, Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party.
“The work of our newly reconstituted finance committee will ensure that our message will be heard, and the party will be able to fully fund programs that will help our candidates up and down the ballot.”
The finance committee consists of 33 members from all ten counties, and its members come from diverse professional and political backgrounds.
New Hampshire Republican Party Finance Committee Members:
Jim Merrill, Manchester, Chairman
Fergus Cullen, Wolfeboro, NHGOP Chairman
Bill Beauregard, Keene
Stacey Blake, Nottingham
Ernie Bridge, Newport
Beverly Bruce, Center Tuftonboro
Liz Christoffersen, Hollis
David Citarelli, Amherst
Scott Coulombe, Berlin
Mike Dennehy, Concord
Craig Donais, Manchester
Susan Duprey, Concord
Don and Nancy Dwight, Lyme
Mike Eaton, Chichester
Jim Forsythe, Strafford
Linda Frawley, Belmont
Brad Galinson, Amherst
Frank Guinta, Manchester
Kevin Halloran, Brookline
Phil Hastings, Concord
Dane Hoover, Salem
Cliff Hurst, Manchester
Ken Jones, Amherst
Judy Krahulec, Laconia
John Lyons, Portsmouth
Kerry Marsh, Concord
Maureen Mooney, Merrimack
Chuck Morse, Salem
Karl Norwood, Amherst
Doug Scamman, Stratham
Siobhan Tautkus, Manchester
Chris Wolfe, Derry
"City Hall: Gov. Guinta? Mayor O'Neil? Possibilities are endless"
By SCOTT BROOKS, New Hampshire Union Leader Staff, Sunday, Nov. 16, 2008
Mayor Frank Guinta will run for higher office.
Don't take our word for it. Take his.
"You know, I'm not sure exactly where my political future will take me," Guinta said in a Nov. 8 podcast on the conservative blog, GraniteGrok.com. "But I've said in the past, and I'll say it in the future, that I am eager and willing to serve the people in this state.
"It's a wonderful place to live. But there are a lot of value systems that we have to protect. So as I talk to people in New Hampshire, I'll get a feel for how they would like me to continue to serve, and I'll certainly take them up on their offer when the time is right."
Guinta has made no bones about his political ambitions, having flirted with a run for governor early this year. He backed out of the race in March, but told reporters, "When the time is right, you will probably see my name on the ballot for something else."
Recently, the mayor has taken some small steps to increase his profile outside of the Queen City.
His political action committee, dormant for the first seven months of this year, suddenly became active in the fall. The PAC gave out $1,000 to Republican state Senate candidates (half of that went to District 18 hopeful Doug Kruse), and as of the last filing on Oct. 29 it was still holding onto another $9,000.
Then there's the half-hour interview he gave to "Meet the New Press," the podcast and AM-radio show led by Gilford Republicans Doug Lambert and Skip Murphy. Speaking just four days after Election Day, the mayor boasted of his budget-slashing ways and offered himself as proof that Republican candidates can still run on their records in New Hampshire, even when the tide is going the Democrats' way.
"I am a Republican mayor serving my second term in a Democrat city," Guinta said. "The things I've talked about are core, in my opinion, values, not just of the Republican Party, but of largely the people in New Hampshire."
He said the Republican brand, damaged under the Bush administration, can be repaired.
"But we have to have candidates that are going to do what they say," he said. "I'm one of the only people in the state that actually presents budgets at a municipal level or a state level that have actually been cutting spending. And that message has resonated with people."
- - - - - -
THINKING IT OVER: If Guinta does decide to seek a third term, there's at least one Democratic alderman who could give him a run for his money.
Alderman At-Large Dan O'Neil has thought about running for mayor before. This coming year might be the year he finally does it.
"It's something I'm going to consider. Absolutely," he said.
O'Neil said he needs to talk it over with his wife before he makes a decision.
"We've talked about it over the years, that I'd like to do it at some point," he said, "but we haven't really talked about whether or not this is the right time."
He added, "I think before you can do anything, it just has to be right for you, personally. You know, it's a major commitment to run."
- - - - - -
YOU WOULDN'T LIKE HIM WHEN HE'S ANGRY: One city official ended the week a little less powerful than he started it.
Ward 2 Alderman and state Sen. Ted Gatsas was ousted Monday as Republican leader in the state Senate. Gatsas lost the post to state Sen. Peter Bragdon, a Milford Republican.
He got no sympathy from his colleague in Ward 3, Alderman Peter Sullivan.
"Oh great," Sullivan wrote in a posting on BlueHampshire.com, "now he's going to be in a bad mood. You realize that Wednesday's aldermanic meeting is now going to last until 4 AM, since Ted will take out his frustration on at least a dozen department heads."
In fact, the meeting was unusually short, ending at 9:45 p.m.
Thankfully, all department heads were spared.
- - - - - -
CAN'T STOP, WON'T STOP: State Transportation Commissioner George Campbell says bus service between downtown Manchester and Boston will not be discontinued.
At least, he doesn't think it will.
"I do not foresee any circumstance in which the scheduled service to Manchester would be eliminated," he wrote this month in a letter to Gatsas.
Campbell called the elimination of bus service "unlikely."
But if, for some reason, it does happen, he said, "we would meet with City officials and the bus company to discuss alternatives to reducing or eliminating service to Manchester."
- - - - - -
DRIVERS' ED: Speaking of buses. You'd think there would be someone out there capable of driving one.
The Manchester Transit Authority held a class this past summer, as usual, for would-be school bus drivers.
According to Assistant Executive Director Evan Rosset, the class had nine students.
None of them, he said, passed the written exam.
"I've never seen a whole class like that not make it," Rosset said. "It's actually pretty rare."
All those poor performances forced the district to make do with fewer drivers at the start of the school year, Rosset said.
As a result, some after-school sports schedules had to be changed.
The episode also spurred the MTA to do some head scratching.
Rosset said the agency is determined to figure out what went wrong and correct the problem.
"A 100 percent failure rate is not acceptable," he said.
- - - - - -
PARTING WORDS: A well-known advocate in Manchester's Hispanic community has up and left us.
Former PSNH Community Relations Manager and Manchester Police Commissioner Nury Marquez is now living with her family in Virginia, where she says she is boning up on her French and looking for work.
Marquez lived in New Hampshire for 22 years but said she wanted to find a community with more cultural diversity. She said her new home, about 20 miles from the nation's capital, is more "dynamic" than the Queen City.
"I speak three languages," Marquez said. "I want my kids to speak at least three languages. That was going to be a real challenge in Manchester."
What can we say? Au revoir.
Read Scott Brooks' coverage of Manchester City Hall during the week in the New Hamsphire Union Leader. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"John DiStaso's Granite Status: Where next for David Scannell?"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008
OLD GUARD, NEW GUARD. New Hampshire Republicans, still trying to recover and regroup from their disastrous showing in the election two weeks ago, are looking to big name "seasoned veterans" and a less well-known and younger group to figure out how to begin to compete with those high-flying Democrats.
We've learned of two separate efforts to hold GOP-only meetings within the next week to talk about it.
A small, select group of the "old guard" is expected to meet Tuesday at an undisclosed location.
This meeting, organized by state Sen. Ted Gatsas, R-Manchester, is expected to include the suddenly rejuvenated (at least in the speaking out department ) former Gov. John H. Sununu and former state Senate presidents Ed Dupont and Bill Bartlett. Former Gov. Steve Merrill's name is also mentioned as a potential participant.
Separately, Neil Levesque, a former aide to former Rep. Charlie Bass, has organized his own larger group.
Helping out is party finance director Jim Merrill, who said he is "feeling like an intermediary right now, fielding a lot of phone calls from a lot of people who want to talk to me about the future of the party.
"The next step is to have an honest conversation where you kind of close the door and all of us talk about how to move forward and identify what the issues are," he said.
Merrill said the party needs to begin by being " an active minority" at the State House, "standing on Republican principles and refreshing the Republican brand with new and innovative ideas on energy, health care and the environment."
With the shock of the election subsiding, Merrill said, "the people I've talked to are in a good frame of mind now."
The invitation list for Levesque's meeting, on Monday, includes, but is not necessarily limited to, Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, state party chair Fergus Cullen, congressional candidates Jennifer Horn, John Stephen and Grant Bosse, Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney, Jamie Burnett from Sen. John E. Sununu's staff, Josiah Bartlett Center president Charlie Arlinghaus, strategists Mike Dennehy and Rich Killion and Jim Merrill.
Also on the list are activists Taylor Caswell, Liz Ferren, Shannon McGinley, Jim Adams and Christian Callahan.
For anyone who may feel hurt about being left out, we understand Levesque is planning a summit of what a source called "a few hundred people" in December.
Anyone inside the GOP "establishment" or otherwise, caught leaking information to the press, giving negative interviews, or writing negative op-eds, should be shunned from all GOP activity by the rank-and-file members and other "establishment" types alike and shut out of any future involvement with the party.
Does Peter Spaulding have any more credibility left after this campaign? He tries to throw the RNC under the bus at every turn yet it was the RNC who tried to salvage the horrible McCain campaign.
And as for staff being "new, out-of-state staffers with no experience" and "too interested in titles and not involved in cooperation and team building within the organization and with volunteers", that was a McCain campaign problem, from top to bottom, as can be seen by them appointing political newbie Ashley Maagero to State Director, who only managed to insult, un-motivate, and discourage everyone she came in contact with.
If Peter Spaulding and the McCain campaign are looking for someone to blame, they should point the finger right at themselves!
Notice that nobody from the RNC is giving negative interviews, op-eds, or leaking sensitive and private e-mails to the press!
- Rob W, Litchfield
The people that write comments about the abuse of these dogs hasn't a CLUE to what goes on. 1. The dogs have plenty of room for them to sprawl out in their cages. 2. They are fed everyday win or lose because they must maintain their set weights+/- 1 1/2 lbs. 3. That must be a well balanced meal to keep them healthy so they can run. 4. The dogs are let out 4-5 times a day for exercise and to go the bathroom(if not their kidneys will get tied up) and won't run as fast... 5. No the dogs are not beaten like a Bull Dog to fight!!! 6. These dogs have been bred to run like this for 3,000+ Years even back to Cleopatra. The "GOLDEN RULE" of Dog Racing is if you take care of the dogs they'll take care of you by Winning!!!!!! If not you go broke fast. A Happy Healthy Dog Wins. As a former trainer I can assure these are all true facts. But if you find someone who does not follow the "GOLDEN RULE" report them and prosecute them!!! Thank You
- R M, Laconia
Live dog racing may be a money-loser, or it may get people in the habit of going to the track, which boosts revenue for simulcasting. But Mr. Sullivan ignores the enormous future costs of letting gadflies put an industry out of business: It energizes them to go on and commit more mischief.
Michelle of Derry, do you realize how dumb it sounds to take anecdotal evidence, with a sample size of three, as proof of conditions in the industry? About as dumb as Richard Fortin's extrapolation from four invitees to a GOP pow-wow to the assertion that the party is anti-woman.
- Spike, Brentwood NH
NH think outside the box??? Dog Racing has been here for 40+ years paying taxes to the state. I lived in Boston in the 70s-80s and fall, winter and spring made the trip almost every night to Seabrook Dog Track just see Live Racing. With Mass. closing it's Dog Tracks it could be an uplift to NH Dog Tracks to attract more people in turn more Taxes, more Jobs and a Win-Win for ALL !!!!!!!!!! Don't be so Quick to Move on This Vote.
- E J, Manchester
Do we honestly believe there are not hoards of animals 'rights' activists at work in the states where the live racing feeds originate? What happens when these racing operations are shut down?
Make no mistake, the ultimate goal of these people is the eventual end of all human use of animals.
I'll be watching for this cruely ironic headline:
Unemployed Racing Animals Sold To China
PETA Outraged! Over One Billion Chinese Unimpressed
Unintended consequences can be such a bummer.
- Mike P., Manchester
While Mr. Merrill makes the most sense I've heard here about the GOP's future direction, I have to say that a closed-door meeting of party big wigs 1970s and '80s is likely not to be very effective - not that these people aren't very dedicated to the party. But where are the new voices? Party activists who have run campaigns for years in the state aren't much help either. Why not ask the party rank-and-file what they think? Why not ask UNDECLARED voters what they want to see in a future GOP? This party needs a radical transformation, and until it gets it, we should get used to losing elections. And the comment here about including women is also right on target. How about a few minorities, too?
- Stephen, Manchester
Corey is correct that not all handlers treat their greyhounds poorly. I am the owner of 3 former racing greys and I and I can tell you that only 1 out of the 3 was treated well. So that means that nearly 2/3 of greyhounds are abused and given poor housing conditions. Would this be acceptable to you if we were talking children? Hmmm, I think not.
Watching a greyhound run is one of the most beautiful things you can see. The sheer power and grace are amazing. Why do you have to house them in small little cages for up to 22 hours a day? If it's so humane, then don't allow the handlers to beat them when they loose and don't allow them to deny the dogs food when they loose.
Perhaps the state needs to control the conditions that these beautiful wonderful animals are housed in?
Folks, adopt a greyhound if you can. They are the best pets and they are like potato chips. Fall in love with one of these beauties and you can't just have one.
- Michelle, Derry
I find it interesting but not surprising that those listed as invitees to the meeting of the high GOP muckee nucks does not include a single woman. Isn't that typical of the GOP in NH. it is still a men only club. Why is it that it takes the Democrats to break the glass ceiling and we Republicans still stick to an all male ole boys club. How many more defeats will it take before the boys in the smoked fill room open the doors and let the women in our party in as equals. For the first time in party history a woman was the nomineed in the 2nd Congressional District and nowhere do I see her name on the list of invitees. When will they ever learn that women are a majority in the Republican ranks in NH it's way over the time that they get their do. Once more the movers and shakers have shut the door on the participation of women in party affairs and it is only men under the big ratty leaky umbrella. No wonder we are losing more elections than winning.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
Throwing the baby out with the bath water - as an owner of harness race horses and former owner of racing greyounds in NH, I can tell you that not all in the sport treat their animals badly.
Punish the ones who do, but why destroy a whole industry because of a few bad apples?
Of course the tracks want to continue to operate without live racing - PURE PROFIT for them with no regard to the hard working men and women who have chosen this as their livelihood.
Should we ban hockey because fights break out and poeple end up hospitalized? Hardly.
Don't like the races - don't go. How many lawmakers who vote to end racing will take in one of the HUNDREDS of dogs who will now have no purpose? Will the State also allocate money for their adoption and care with a $250 million budget deficit facing us? Doubtful.
Be careful what you wish for . . .
- Corey Corbin, Sandown
Wow... talk about priorities or lack of them. Can't our representatives work on the real priorities? Taxes, controlling spending, ensuring that NH keeps its NH-advantage... there's got to be a 100 more important issues than this.
- Ken, Bedford
So the first sentence in this article saying that "NH is not in the habit of following in the footsteps of Massachusetts" was a joke right? Because the last 10 years have REALLY shown NH doing a lot of the stupid stuff that liberal Massachusetts does.
- Chris King, Manchester, New Hampshire
"GOP to hold ‘positive look forward meeting’"
By Brian Lawson, PolitickerNH.com Reporter
Two Republican consultants and the mayor of the largest city in New Hampshire have organized an invitation-only meeting for Granite State Republicans to get together and discuss ways to "move forward to 2010," PolitickerNH.com has learned.
The meeting, being billed as a "Working Meeting: A Positive Look Forward," is being organized by Jim Merrill, Neil Levesque and Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta. It is scheduled to take place on December 15th at Saint Anselm College's New Hampshire Institute of Politics.
"This event is being organized as working meeting to discuss strategies that we as Republicans can use to move forward to 2010," and e-mail to New Hampshire Republicans read. "The meeting is meant to be inclusive, provide information, and increase communication within our network of Republican friends in the state."
The meeting will feature speeches from Guinta, U.S. Sen. Judd Gregg (R-Rye), New Hampshire Republican Chairman Fergus Cullen, former Gov. John H. Sununu and former congressional candidate Jennifer Horn (R-Nashua).
The group also hopes that attendees will be able to break into smaller groups to work together throughout the year.
The event is free but is not open to the public.
"This event is not open to the public and the organizers reserve the right to limit admission," the e-mail reads.
BRIAN LAWSON is a PolitickerNH.com Reporter and can be reached via email at email@example.com.
"2009 rising Republican stars", By Brian Lawson, PolitickerNH.com Reporter
Although 2008 saw the fall of several Republican heavyweights, it also gave birth to a group of Republicans who will shape the party, and New Hampshire, in 2009.
Below you will find a list of the top ten Republicans to watch for in the upcoming year.
10) Erin Hass: A former State Senate staffer, Hass has developed an impressive Rolodex and will be doing policy work for the Dennehy Group during the upcoming legislative session.
9) Andy Leach: Known as the hardest working Republican campaign staffer in the state, Leach knows just about everyone and will be a top hire for the next round of campaigns.
8) State Rep. DJ Bettencourt: Even though he is a young state Rep. from Salem, Bettencourt is becoming an inside player and his position as co-chair of the House Republican Alliance will give him an opportunity to show the party elders what he's made of.
7) Grant Bosse: Bosse might have finished fourth in a four-way Republican primary in the 2nd Congressional District, but Bosse redeemed himself by skillfully managing Bill Denley's State Senate campaign. In addition, Bosse's work with the Josiah Bartlett Center will serve as talking points for Republican legislators.
6) Bill Denley: The only Republican to win in a competitive State Senate race now has a chance to show Republicans that his victory wasn't a fluke.
5) Jim Merrill: A Republican consultant who managed Mitt Romney's unsuccessful presidential primary campaign, Merrill is now in the middle of trying to reshape the New Hampshire Republican Party.
4) Jennifer Horn and John Stephen: Horn and Stephen are the automatic front-runners in their respective congressional districts and Republicans in both districts are on hold until Horn and Stephen decide whether or not they are running for Congress in 2010.
3) State Sen. Peter Bragdon: A mild-mannered State senator from Milford, Bragdon defeated state Sen. Ted Gatsas (R-Manchester) for Senate minority leader and has pledged to work closely with Gov. John Lynch. Bragdon's accession also means that he can retool the beleaguered senate Republican PAC.
2) Mayor Frank Guinta: Earlier this year, Guinta publicly considered running for governor before deciding against it. His name is mentioned as a top-tier candidate for either governor or Congress in 2010, but before he does that Guinta must decide whether or not he will run for re-election as mayor of Manchester.
1) Attorney General Kelly Ayotte: Ayotte's work as attorney general has many state Republicans glowing over the possibility that she could run for political office in 2010. Her political views remain virtually unknown, but she is likely to have support should she run in any upcoming race.
Brian Lawson is a PolitickerNH.com Reporter and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"2009 rising Democratic stars", By Brian Lawson, PolitickerNH.com Reporter
In 2008, the Democrats retained control of the state legislature and swept all the federal races in the state. During the next year, these 10 Democrats are likely to dominate the political stage.
10) State Rep. Scott Merrick: This three-term state rep. from Lancaster is quickly gaining the reputation of being a hard worker. He served last legislative session as an assistant floor leader, all while still in college at Tufts.
9) Dean Barker: The editor of Blue Hampshire, Barker has built a progressive online community that is not afraid to criticize party leaders.
8) Mike Brunelle: Brunelle helped orchestrate John Shea's surprise re-election victory over Dan St. Hilaire for the Executive Council and will be helping to organize the party's political efforts as he becomes the party's next executive director.
7) State Sen. Matt Houde: Houde is only a freshman state senator but is already considered one of the most thoughtful senators. Houde is also in a Democratic-leaning senate district, which means he can serve for as long as he wants.
6) Mayor Jim Bouley: This mayor of Concord is in his first term, but his name could appear as a possible candidate for higher office in 2010. Bouley is also a well-known lobbyist who joined forces with Republican political consultant Mike Dennehy earlier this year.
5) Dan O'Neill: A Manchester city councilor, O'Neill is the favorite to run against current Mayor Frank Guinta and will have the support of the Democratic Party as Democrats hope to end Guinta's political ambitions.
4) Steve Marchand: A former mayor of Portsmouth, Marchand ran for the U.S. Senate before bowing out of the race when Jeanne Shaheen decided to run. Look for Marchand to give serious thought to running for higher office in 2010.
3) Jim Demers and Ned Helms: Demers and Helms will spend the next year serving as President-elect Barack Obama's informal gatekeepers into New Hampshire politics and anyone wanting a job with the administration would be wise to take these two out for lunch.
2) Mike Vlacich: Vlacich, the former director of the state's Division of Economic Development, has been tapped to serve as the state director for incoming U.S. Sen.-elect Jeanne Shaheen (D-Madbury). Vlacich is known in Concord for having great relationships with both Democrats and Republicans and has the ear of both Gov. John Lynch and Shaheen.
1) State Sen. Maggie Hassan: Considered the leading Democratic candidate for governor in 2010, Hassan will be playing a major role this legislative session as the Senate majority leader. Her success, or failure, in the next year could determine her political future.
Brian Lawson is a PolitickerNH.com Reporter and can be reached via email at email@example.com.
"[Mayor Frank] Guinta to speak outside Queen City", By Brian Lawson, PolitickerNH.com Reporter, 1/5/2009
Mayor Frank Guinta will deliver a political speech to a group of Republicans in central New Hampshire, PolitickerNH.com has learned.
Guinta will be speaking in late February at the Pemi-Baker Valley Republican Club Lincoln-Reagan Day Dinner.
Guinta's name is often mentioned as a possible statewide candidate and Guinta made similar speeches in the spring of 2008 when he was considering running for governor.
A political consultant for Guinta said that Guinta will continue to speak before Republican groups throughout the state in the coming months.
"Mayor Guinta's leadership and ability to win tough elections with bipartisan support has made him a much sought-after speaker," Mike Biundo told PolitickerNH.com. "He will continue to make these type of speeches as his schedule allows."
The speech is scheduled for Feb. 21 (2009) at 6:00 p.m. at Walter's Basin Restaurant in Holderness.
Brian Lawson is a PolitickerNH.com Reporter and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
"John DiStaso's Granite Status: Hodes moves quickly"
By JOHN DISTASO, The Union Leader, updated 12:17 a.m. ET, Thurs., Feb. 5, 2009
Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta is getting calls and requests to speak around the state. He has a decision to make soon. Will he run for reelection as mayor?
He did not return our call yesterday but adviser Michael Biundo said Guinta is "'flattered by those who have been speculating about him running for higher office" and has been contacted "by people he respects on both a national and local level to gauge his interest."
John DiStaso's Granite Status: "OK, print those bumper stickers"
The NH Union Leader, Friday, March 6, 2009
Friday afternoon update #2.1: Former state GOP chairman Fergus Cullen has just taken himself out of the running for the District 3 state Senate seat and backed Jeb Bradley.
Bradley then told UnionLeader.com he will make the official announcement that he will run “in a few days.”
Cullen said, “I will actively help and support him."
In an email, Cullen wrote, “After much thought and discussion with many activists both in and outside the district, I have decided that I will defer to Jeb Bradley. Jeb is well-known, is obviously qualified to serve, and has an existing organization and fund-raising base. I think Jeb is our best candidate in this special election, and I support him.”
Cullen thanked “the many Carroll County activists and others who encouraged me to run” and promised to be “a voice for a future-focused Republican party that modernizes by adapting our core conservative principles to changing times and changing issues.”
Friday afternoon update: Although Jeb Bradley did not announce for the open District 3 state Senate seat this morning as expected, he still intends to become a candidate.
A sticking point has emerged in a deal that would have cleared the way for Bradley: former GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen, who also has been considering running, is not stepping aside, at least not at the moment.
Joe Kenney announced yesterday that he would not run for the seat he had held before running for governor last year. Kenney said he will be deployed to Afghanistan next week. Kenney has served in both Iraq wars with the Marines.
With Bradley and state GOP officials hoping to avoid a primary, they are waiting for Cullen to decide.
The filing period for the seat opens on Monday. The seat became open last week when state Sen. William Denley resigned after being arrested for driving while intoxicated.
State House Bureau Chief Tom Fahey will have a full report in tomorrow’s New Hampshire Union Leader.
A DONE DEAL. Jeb Bradley will soon be trying to make a political comeback.
We've learned that barring any last-minute collapse of a deal that's all but done, the Republican former congressman will announce his candidacy for the District 3 state Senate seat tomorrow.
The venues will be a morning news conference in Concord and later at the Carroll County Lincoln Day dinner at the Whittier House in Ossipee.
The special election to fill the seat vacated by resigned Republican Sen. William Denley will be April 21 if there are no primaries. A primary in either party would be held on April 21 and, in that case, the general election would be bumped to May 26. The Executive Council approved these dates yesterday and also set the filing period for March 9 to 16.
Joe Kenney, who represented the district before running for governor last year, said at mid-day yesterday he'll decide within 36 hours whether to run.
Fergus Cullen, the former state GOP party chair, contended he had not reached a final decision, either.
Bradley said he'd step aside for Kenney "and be the first to write him a check," but that apparently won't be necessary. Kenney will be the one to step aside, clearing the way for Bradley, who said yesterday only that he is "still getting a lot of phone calls and contacts from people urging me to consider it." He said he is "flattered," but is still weighing family obligations.
We reported in some detail last week why this is not a slam dunk for the Republicans. Bradley lost the Senate district in 2006 and 2008 to Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
Democratic attorney Bud Martin, who lost to Denley in November, is running again, and the Democrats are prepared to go all out to pick up their 15th senate seat.
"Does Jeb Bradley intend to do to New Hampshire's budget what he did to America's budget?" asked state Democratic chair Raymond Buckley, wasting no time. He accused Bradley of casting "irresponsible" votes on Capitol Hill.
State GOP Chair John H. Sununu praised Bradley and said, "I'm 93.7 percent sure he'll run." We're not sure why Sununu chose that particular percentage, but so be it.
As the deal came together, final efforts were being made to ensure that former Bradley rival John Stephen and Executive Councilor Ray Burton were on board.
Burton is a big player in the district and apparently is still smarting over Bradley's call for his resignation back in 2005, following reports that Burton employed a child sex offender in five of his campaigns. Bradley was certainly not alone in calling for the resignation, but he was the first.
Stephen, now in the private sector, remains a key conservative whose support would be important to Bradley.
And, as we've reported, looking ahead, if Bradley wins, he would position himself for a run for governor next year, if he chooses to go that route.
GUINTA FOR CONGRESS? Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta says he hasn't decided if he'll seek another term as chief executive of the state's largest city, but he's also entertaining calls that he run for the 1st District U.S. House seat.
We've learned Guinta visited Washington last week to meet with conservative leaders, House Republican leader John Boehner and other GOP congressmen, as well as officials of the National Republican Congressional Committee.
Guinta said his focus is on serving the city and working through a "very difficult budget process."
But, he said, "I'm honestly just humbled by the encouragement that I've been getting for a run in 2010. I have not made any decision about the 2009 cycle or the 2010 cycle, and I'm listening to what people have to say.
"I'm not ruling anything out, or in, right now," Guinta said, "but I wouldn't take a meeting with somebody if I weren't intrigued, and I'm intrigued by the encouragement I've received for a run for Congress."
THE GOP RAMPS UP. Sununu this week took a big step in positioning the state GOP to do battle not only this year, but more importantly, in 2010, to be headlined by another major battle to keep a U.S. Senate seat in GOP hands.
Sununu informed the party executive committee he has named Paul Collins as executive director of the state committee. Collins has a long history with the Sununu family, beginning in John H.'s governor's office and most recently as John E.'s chief of staff and campaign manager.
Former party executive director Andy Leach has been named director of operations and former John E. Sununu staffer B.J. Perry has been named field manager.
Earlier, Ryan Williams, formerly a staffer with the Sununu Senate campaign, was named party communications director.
Sununu says he continues to hold organizational meetings with groups of Republicans. A meeting with about 50 young party activists is upcoming.
"We're just now building up the operation," he says. The staffing "is the first step and we are working hard to bring the factions together and making sure it's a unified party. It's back to basics."
Some Republicans are quietly asking what the new chairman will do if his son decides to run for the U.S. Senate next year.
But it's looking increasingly like a moot point. The former Senator continues to take on private sector board of directors' posts while also serving on the government's TARP (Troubled Asset Relief Program) board.
CONFLICT? The Democratic Party yesterday called on John E. Sununu to step down from the TARP panel, charging a "glaring conflict of interest."
The party points out that Sununu recently joined the board of ConvergeEx and says that 33 percent of ConvergeEx stock is owned by the Mellon Bank, which has received more than $3 billion in TARP funds and was chosen last October to help the Treasury Department administer the TARP program.
The executive director of the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington has made the same call.
Sununu said in a statement last evening, "ConvergEx Group is an independent company, and is not eligible to apply for or receive funds from any of the programs established under TARP. The Bank of New York (Mellon) plays no role whatsoever in management decisions at ConvergEx.
"I am pleased that our panel has approved five of six reports with strong bi-partisan votes, and intend to work to maintain that strong level of cooperation and consensus in our oversight."
THE AYOTTE APPOINTMENT. It's hard to say how widespread the outrage is, but the progressive Blue Hampshire weblog lit up when Democratic John Lynch re-nominated Republican Kelly Ayotte to a second full term as Attorney General.
Perhaps most significant was a comment by Manchester Alderman Peter Sullivan, who told us yesterday the nomination "aggravates me as part of a larger pattern. I sometimes think that some people in politics are so preoccupied with polls and approval ratings that they forget why they got involved in politics to begin with. Everything is focused on keeping a small group of political and social elites content. That's what I see here."
Sullivan said he was "stunned" by Ayotte's decision last year "to sign on to an amicus brief pushed by the Proposition 8 campaigners in California. New Hampshire has made great strides in protecting the legal rights of its gay and lesbian residents, and Ayotte's decision was insulting and inexplicable."
On Blue Hampshire, Sullivan wrote, "John Lynch is turning into the (Republican) Gov. (Bruce) Keough we never had.
"This is getting out of control," he wrote, referring to Lynch's recent agreement to name Republican Bonnie Newman as Judd Gregg's successor.
When we asked Buckley yesterday for his comment on the Ayotte nomination, he said, "I'm focusing my energies on supporting the President's stimulus program and encouraging our state's elected officials to do all they can in this time of economic crises to construct fair and affordable budgets. That's what I'm focusing on."
In the "for-what-it's-worth" department, others pointed out that it's not unprecedented for governors of one party to name department heads who are members of the other party.
A few examples: John H. Sununu named Democrat Sylvio Dupuis as health and human services commissioner in the early 1980s; Republican Steve Merrill named Dupuis insurance commissioner in the late 1980s; Merrill named Democrat John Broderick (his longtime friend and then-law partner) to the state Supreme Court in 1995.
Lynch defenders say Sullivan's criticism was ironic since he "endorsed" Guinta for mayor two years ago.
Sullivan said he didn't endorse Guinta, but, "Did I vote for Frank? Yes, I probably did."
He said that Guinta "endorsed me" and probably helped him get elected.
SIGNED BALLOTS. There may be a ripple in an otherwise calm Democratic State Committee meeting on Saturday in Concord, where Buckley is unopposed for another two-year term as chair.
The only contested race is for second vice chairman, between current party secretary Dorothy Solomon and Merrimack County Chair Alex Lee.
Lee is mounting a challenge to the national Democratic Party's 35-year-old rule that requires all elections to be open, with signed ballots.
He told the Status this week that he has filed a complaint with the Attorney General's Office charging the party's practice of having signed ballots violates a state law that requires party elections be conducted in the way that other elections are conducted. He admits there is a gray area of whether the law applies only to conventions and whether various court rulings about private "clubs" are applicable.
But that aside, Lee says, it just makes sense to have private ballots.
"The problem with this system is that it is a coercive system that sows dissent," Lee said. He said it prevents people from voting their consciences "because they are worried about repercussions."
Buckley said the 1974 DNC rule, which applies to the national committee and all state committees, was part of reforming the party following the raucous 1972 national convention.
"One of the main goals was to make the party transparent and open," he said. He said the national party requires signed ballots because national and state committee members are elected to represent Democrats just as legislators represent constituents, and, "In that representative role, the people who elected you deserve to know who you are voting for in order to eliminate the kind of back room deals that permeated politics in previous decades."
And, he said, at least four U.S. Supreme Court cases have determined that party rules trump state law when it comes to the internal governance of the political party.
For the record, Lee calls Solomon "one of my favorite people." He says his challenge is not directed at her.
MARK IS SERIOUS. With U.S. Rep. Paul Hodes now a candidate for U.S. Senate, Democrat Mark Fernald, a pro-state income tax former state senator and two-time candidate for governor, has sent out a lengthy "Dear Friends of New Hampshire" e-mail saying that he is considering running for the 2nd District U.S. House seat.
Fernald, who joins a long list of potential candidates, sets out his philosophy in detail, calling for a party platform that is "fiscally responsible, economically sound, socially progressive and grounded in American values."
--Sen. Jeanne Shaheen today will participate in a White House Health Care Summit to be attended by President Barack Obama. Shaheen will be in a "breakout group" focusing on the challenges that cost and coverage bring to attempts to reform health care.
--Two big St. Patrick's Day events are on tap: the 31st annual Bobby Stephen St. Patrick's Day/Fund for Education Dinner at the Executive Court Banquet Facility on March 17 and the 12th annual Manchester City Democrats St. Patrick's Day Breakfast on March 21 at the Alpine Club, honoring Alderman Dan O'Neil.
--The state Senate Republican caucus will hold its first major fund-raiser of leader Peter Bragdon's tenure tonight at The Barley House in Concord. Tickets range from $100 to $1,000.
--The state Democratic Party's 50th anniversary "100 Club" Dinner is set for March 29 at the Radisson Hotel in Nashua, with tickets ranging from the traditional $100 to $10,000 for a "honorary co-chair."
John DiStaso is senior political reporter of the New Hampshire Union Leader.
How can we miss you if you won't go away?
- Richard, Manchester
In 2012, I would like Mr. Cullen to show some bipartisan spirit and run for president with Lyndon LaRouche.
- Jason Friel, Newmarket, NH
Jeb Bradley would be as effective as a State Senator as he was a United States Congressman--and that is to say he wouldn't be effective at all.
Jeb cares about having an office, not serving a constituency. He's demonstrated that again and again.
Do not put this man back in office. Please.
- William Smith, Manchester, NH
Jeb Bradley? Again? Can't we get a real republican elected in this state anymore?? I just can't be excited about him.
- Patricia, Raymond
Sa it ain't so Fergus. Your go along to get along approach worked so well as Chairman.
- jay tiffany, warner
Peter Sullivan should be ashamed of himself for attacking Kelly Ayotte, but should be embarrassed for his attacks on Frank Guinta. Peter, a Democrat, openly supported Frank's bid for election and for re-election. He even attended Guinta events (including the opening of his campaign office in '07.) It's sad to see him now pandering to the left wing of his party now when they don't want to have anything to do with him and support someone else for his Aldermanic seat. He needs to chill his rhetoric and start acting in a bipartisan manner again if he wants support from the GOP and Independents.
- Shane M., Manchester
Gee Ryan, that's a really narrow interpretation of what a congressman does; perhaps you ought to read up on the details of the job.
- Charles, Hooksett
"So Guinta has proposed a zero percent increase or a decrease in the budget every year; this makes him qualified to be a congressman?" - Frank, Manchester
Yes; yes it does.
- Ryan, Hooksett
Sorry Chris, but your assumption is incorrect. I am a former republican turned independent due to republican idiocy.
That being said, my point, which you obviously didn't get, was that Guinta's sole selling point has been his budget stance. Being a member of Congress involves much more than that.
Besides, between Guinta and Hodes, there's no room left on the grandstand.
- Frank, Manchester
Frank from Manchester, you are just a Democrat partisan who can't handle that Republicans, Independents, and several Democrats have supported Guinta and continue to do so. The mayor has done several great things for this city throughout his tenure regardless of his political party. He has worked across the isle, which is something that Carol Shea Porter has NEVER done.
It wouldn't kill you to recognize that people form both parties can be great leaders and Guinta is one of those great leaders. He has done a great job as mayor and I would absolutely support him in a congressional race.
- Chris King, Manchester
Jeb Bradley voted to make the State-wide property tax permanent when he was in office. Just the kind of representation we need. Government in your pockets at every turn.
- Bill, Tuftonboro
So Guinta has proposed a zero percent increase or a decrease in the budget every year; this makes him qualified to be a congressman? Congress is a lot more complex than that!
Boy, republicans have really sunk low. Lower taxes, that's their answer to everything. No wonder they're in the minority; they really are clueless about today's issues.
- Frank, Manchester
Frank Guinta is gradually becoming NH's newest Bruce Keough: always checking the water temperature, but never getting wet.
- Jasper Hahn, Durham
I'm sure the idle rich would leave you alone, if you agreed to leave them alone....but I doubt you and your party would agree to such a thing....
- John, Surprise, AZ
Frankl Guinta and Jeb Bradley tow of the state's biggest losers. They should stay home and make life better for all of us. Bradley helped get us in this condition by being a rubber stamp for George Bush.
- Paul, Manchester
Guinta has done a VERY good job as Mayor of Manchester. He has worked in a bipartisan manor with the Democrat majority of the Aldermen while holding their feet to the fire in order to force them into keeping taxes down (which is amazing considering how high our taxes could have gone with the spend-happy fiscal mindset of the board of Aldermen.) He proposed a zero percent budget every year. He has added several policemen, boldly appointed one of the best police chief's in our city's history, and worked to bring the Jac Pac site's redevelopment to fruition. I believe he has shown himself to be one of the most articulate and bold individuals to sit in Manchester's corner office in a long time.
I am very proud of how much our mayor has accomplished and I truly believe these accomplishments could only be amplified on a national scale if he were elected to the first congressional seat in NH. So, if possible, RUN GUINTA RUN!
- Ryan Feltner, Manchester NH
Mayor Guinta has better make sure he wins his 3rd term before he thinks of climbing the political ladder. He has not done that great a job as Mayor. Historically since prior to the 1900's the best a Manchester Mayor has done after serving in that office has been Executive Council, he may be County Commissioner material but certainly not Congressman, Governor, or Senator. This Republican is not very impressed with Guinta, I rank him in my estimation below what I feel about Judas Gregg.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
The Republican party needs new blood, not recycled retreads no matter how they performed in the past - it is a new era and new people should be sought and recruited or the same attacks (linked to Bush...) will kill their chances and the party.
- Mike, Raymond
Jeez, how many elections does Bradley need to lose before he just.....goes.....away!
Must be he can't find a real job in this economy that he and his republican friends got us into.
Hope you're enjoying your handiwork, Jeb!
- Frank, Manchester
Kathy Sullivan should know that two wrongs do not make a right.
Peter Sullivan’s endorsement of Guinta has nothing to do with her appalling defense of Governor Lynch’s renomination of Ayotte.
Nice try, Kathy.
- Bill, Amherst
I'm not thrilled with this, but let's be honest: anybody but Shea-Porter.
- Tom, Campton
Here's a great big giant falsehood: tax breaks for the wealthiest top 1% bring higher employment. It also applies to businesses, they do not increase their hiring as their taxes go down. That's just more conservative falsehoods. Employment and job growth were greater during the higher tax periods for the wealthy. Quite a coincidence that as taxes for the wealthy decreased under Bush so did job growth. How is this possible? Easy, conservative Republicans like Spike continue to spew falsehoods in order to expand their ideologies. Of course Americans aren't falling for the bull any longer. Rush? Really?
- Tom, Dover-Foxcroft, Me.
Jack of Franconia, be careful what you wish for. By "idle rich," of course, you mean productive high achievers. They are whom we tax and they are whom you really resent, as you and every other slacker know that someone else's success is what made you fail. So Obama is going to raise their income tax rate (calling it a mere reversal of a Bush mistake), raise their payroll taxes, limit the benefit of their itemized deductions, and put a huge cap-and-trade charge on their electric bill; and Rush Limbaugh is the only Republican who dares to oppose him.
Our only way out of this recession is to get your "idle rich" to start or expand businesses, take risks, and create real jobs. But they see what's coming; why would they be that stupid?
- Spike, Brentwood NH
Glen from Manchester: apparently you must be from some other Manchester with a Mayor named Guinta. Fact 1: Guinta has never proposed a tax hike as Mayor and has forced the aldermen to keep tax hikes below the inflation rate for 3 straight budgets. Fact 2: The School Board controls education - not the Mayor. How can you even start to blame him - unless you say he should spend more money which then refutes your 1st point. Fact 3: Since Guinta became Mayor, crime has steadily fallen because he advocated putting more cops on the streets and he chose a great new Police Chief.
Haha you party hack! Your anti-Guinta rhetoric gets exposed. Write back under a different name and try some new arguments...you are really entertaining.
- Seth Connors, Manchester
Jeb Bradley would make a excellent State Senator for his district although I cannot vote for him. He has a proven legislative record . Run Jeb Run.
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
Guinta for Congress? I'd like to see him actually deliver of his campaign promises before he goes looking for a promotion. Taxes and spending are higher, the schools are worse and crime is still a problem. Where are the accomplishments?
Well, I suppose he'd fit right in down in DC. Bigger government, no change and failed promises.
- Glen, Manchester
Jeb Bradley for state senate? Can't the idle rich just stay that way and leave the rest of us alone?
- Jack, Franconia
John DiStaso's Granite Status: "Wiz for Congress? No, not that one"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, The NH Union Leader, March 12, 2009
JEB MAKES IT OFFICIAL. Republican former congressman Jeb Bradley plans to make his run for the District 3 state Senate seat official on Monday morning, the final day of filing.
Former state Sen. Bob Clegg will then hold a fund-raiser lunch for him at the Barley House in Concord at noon.
Democrat Bud Martin wasted no time. He filed on Monday for the seat he lost to William Denley last November. As of late yesterday afternoon, no one else had filed for the seat, according to the Secretary of State's Office.
Denley resigned last month after being arrested for DWI.
ABOUT THOSE COMMITTEES. At least for a while yesterday, the remaining nine state Senate Republicans refused to play nice with the majority.
The mini-drama started when Senate President Sylvia Larsen refused Senate Minority Leader Bragdon's request to immediately name Republicans to the seats on two committees vacated by Denley.
Bragdon said that without Denley, the Democratic majority is 4-2 on the Ways and Means Committee and 4-1 on the Energy, Environment and Economic Development Committee.
Bragdon said he realizes the Democrats have a 14-9 majority overall, but having 4-1 and 2-1 ratios on important committees is too slanted and deprives the GOP of "diversity in our representation."
The Republicans yesterday used an important but routine vote as a protest. They refused to give Larsen the two GOP votes she needed to suspend a rule to allow several bills to be sent to the finance committee after the deadline.
"We're willing to be bipartisan but bipartisanship works both ways," Bragdon said.
After the Democratic leadership agreed to meet with the GOP leadership today to discuss the committee assignments, the Republicans agreed to vote to suspend the rules and allow the bills through.
The Senate leadership said in a statement it has had "ongoing discussions with Senator Bragdon about whether it is wise to fill committee vacancies because doing so on a short-term, temporary basis could be used as a potentially damaging precedent in the future."
It said the Senate generally avoids temporary assignments on committees "to avoid the appearance that Senate leadership is attempting to manipulate committee membership to control the outcome of committee votes. This was a concern raised by many senators during the tenure of (Republican) Tom Eaton's senate presidency."
The leadership said the Republican's "initial refusal to suspend rules in order to allow for late introduction of important and cost-saving legislation (including one of Senator Bragdon's own bills) violates a long-standing bi-partisan courtesy. Use of this tactic was a surprise and struck Senate leadership as unproductive since they had been talking with Senator Bragdon about this all along."
The Democrats said that "the minority party has been fairly treated in all aspects of legislative assignments and operations."
IT'S NOT OVER. It became clear as early as Tuesday evening that Sen. Lou D'Allesandro did not have the necessary 12 votes in the 23-member state Senate to pass his bill to put a combined maximum total of 13,000 video gambling machines at the state's three racetracks and at two to-be-determined North Country locations.
He confirmed at mid-day yesterday that the bill would be tabled while he tries to gather enough votes in time for the April 9 crossover deadline, when all bills originating in either the House or Senate must be passed to the other chamber.
D'Allesandro said several senators wanted "more information."
We're not sure how much more they need to know about a proposal that's been around for about a decade now, but so be it.
It appears the key senators in play, at least as of yesterday, were Democrat Molly Kelly and Republicans Bragdon and Sharon Carson.
YOUNG WIZ FOR THE HOUSE? Manchester businessman Jim Wieczorek, the son of Executive Councilor Ray Wieczorek, confirms he is thinking seriously of running for the 1st District U.S. House seat.
Wieczorek says he is primarily concerned about he "totally reckless massive spending" by the current Congress."
He becomes the third Manchester resident mulling a run next year. Mayor Frank Guinta and former two-time candidate John Stephen are also in the mix.
That doesn't sway Wieczorek any more than what Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter does.
"I don't care what she or anybody else does," he says.
NEWS TO JOHN. This column's report last week that Guinta had been in Washington talking to officials of the National Republican Congressional Committee was unexpected news to the Stephen camp.
John Stephen is working for the Lucas Group and is far from deciding whether to run, but we're told Guinta's decision on whether to run won't affect his.
It's very early but it's unlikely any Republican who gets into this one will have a free ride to the nomination.
HORN'S CHOICE. In the 2nd District, last year's GOP nominee, Jennifer Horn, says there's a good chance she'll run again in 2010.
"I'm leaning much more heavily toward the House" than the U.S. Senate even though, "I've had a lot of people calling me about going after Paul Hodes," she said.
Horn raised speculation about a Senate run because she called out Hodes on issues even after he announced his intention to run for the Senate.
But Horn said she is just trying to hold "my congressman" accountable.
Horn cautioned that she has not decided "100 percent" on anything and has "a lot on my plate."
She will return to Nashua radio on April 6 and will go on a humanitarian trip to Russia on April 26 in connection with the non-profit Chernobyl Children's Project.
THE MALPRACTICE FUND. The battle lines are drawn over Gov. John Lynch's proposal to help balance the current and next two-year budgets by taking money -- "raiding," some might say -- $110 million of a surplus in the health care provider-funded malpractice fund entrusted to the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association,
New Hampshire Medical Society President Charles Blitzer, M.D., says talk of legal action circulating the State House is premature, but many health care providers -- including, but not limited to, doctors -- are unhappy with the idea of having their surplus funds suddenly depleted by an act of the Legislature and intend to turn out in force at a legislative hearing next week to speak against it.
Still, a recent memo by Assistant Attorney General Glenn Perlow to state Insurance Commissioner Roger Sevigny girds the state for possible legal action.
The memo explains the issue in detail and concludes with a legal opinion that neither the JUA itself, the JUA's member insurance companies nor JUA-covered health care providers have the ability under existing case law "to successfully challenge a legislative act to transfer the funds" to the state general fund.
Perlow says the 2008 surplus has been estimated at between $145 million and $160 million and is a result of "very efficient operation, good claims management and sound investment over a number of years by the JUA board."
But he also notes -- and this may be a key point in negotiations -- that another reason the fund is so large is that the JUA pays no premium tax and has not been assessed for the Insurance Department Administration Fund to pay for operations of the state insurance department, as other insurance providers are.
It's unclear at the moment how much of the surplus is attributable to those two "freebies." Blitzer called it a good question.
Another question is, can the state retrieve that money retroactively or can it only dip into the till going forward?
Assistant AG Perlow wrote that the insurance department believes that between $60 million and $120 million could be withdrawn "without placing the JUA under any significant financial risk" and recommends that $90 million to $105 million be withdrawn and channeled to the general fund, leaving $55 million for the JUA.
The law change to allow the withdrawal is contained in House Bill 2, the budget trailer bill. Perhaps expecting the possibility of legal action, the bill protects anyone associated with the JUA from liability and says the state will hold those people harmless, defend and indemnify them.
HB2 calls for a transfer of $50 million by June 20 of this year, $30 million by June 30, 2010 and $30 million by June 30, 2011.
Blitzer, referring to Perlow's memo, said, "We feel that some of the opinions that the governor has received as to the accessibility of the funds are questionable."
NO PLEDGE, PLEASE. The Granite State Fair Tax Coalition's crusade against the anti-broadbased tax pledge continued on town meeting day on Tuesday.
Warrant articles asking Lynch and lawmakers to end "The Pledge" and look for "alternatives" to increasing property taxes won in Claremont, Lebanon, Allenstown, Farmington, Kingston, Littleton, New Hampton, North Hampton, Pelham, Rye and Swanzey.
A total of 72 communities endorsed the measure in 2007 or 2008.
PUT A CAP ON IT. Voters in five of six towns approved non-binding warrant articles calling for spending to be capped at the rate of the consumer price index, according to the New Hampshire Advantage Coalition.
Spending caps passed in Kingston, Hampstead, Allenstown, Salem and Rindge, and failed in Hudson.
NO GO FOR ALEX. At last Saturday's Democratic State Committee meeting, Merrimack County Democratic Chairman Alex Lee was soundly defeated in his attempts to become the state party's second vice chair and to end the practice of having state committee members sign their ballots.
As we reported last week, Lee formally complained to the Attorney General's Office that national and state party mandates to have committee members sign their ballots violated state law.
Party legal advisor Kathy Sullivan wrote a response to Assistant Attorney General James Kennedy, pointing out that the law in question:
-- Applies only to the election of delegates to constitutional conventions and state party conventions and not to the state committee or the election of party officers.
-- Even if it were applicable, provides an "opt out " provision, recognizing several court rulings stating that political party rules on how they govern themselves trump state laws.
Sullivan says Assistant Attorney General James Kennedy told her on Friday that Lee's complaint was without merit. She said she announced what Kennedy told her at the meeting.
Kennedy refused to disclose his verdict to us directly because, he said, he had not yet informed Lee.
Lee, meanwhile, lost to Dorothy Solomon, 93-30 (or, as Lee explains on the Blue Hampshire web log, "25 if you don't count the ones that were unsigned.").
Lee said he now intends to try to gather support in other states for changing the national Democratic rule requiring signed ballots.
STEWARD MOVES ON. After making a splash by opposing the $787 billion economic package, Nashua businessman Fred Tausch says he is transforming his "STEWARD" organization and Web site into a spending watchdog resource for interested citizens.
Now that the stimulus has passed and dollars are flowing, Tausch says he will "take STEWARD from an anti-stimulus site to something that will attempt to provide as much information and transparency to New Hampshire citizens about what is going on in the federal government and in the state, with a particular focus on tracing the stimulus."
An economist will soon provide a study forecasting the effect the stimulus will have on the state and then follow up reports on how it actually does impact the state.
Tausch's site will also have freelance reporters write about the effect of the stimulus on citizens, groups of citizens and the business community.
Tausch points out that the Obama administration has said that the stimulus will save or create 16,000 jobs in New Hampshire.
Will it? Tausch hopes to find out.
STEWARD, by the way is an acronym for Stimulating the Economy Without Accumulating Record Debt.
SHAHEEN THE CENTRIST? A Congressional Quarterly story this week contends Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is part of a "centrist" coalition in the U.S. Senate that's "forcing congressional leaders to moderate the majority's liberal agenda."
It reports that Shaheen was among 15 senators who met with Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh last week to "plot their strategy."
Problem is, Shaheen voted for the $410 billion omnibus spending bill this week, while Bayh did not. With the notable exception of the original TARP bill, she has backed President Barack Obama and the Democratic leadership since taking office.
Shaheen spokesman Alex Reese said his boss "looks at every bill on a case-by-case basis and casts her vote based on what she thinks is best for New Hampshire."
Jimmy Wieczorek for Congress? Is that a joke?
None of the Manchester people will win- they all think our city is all that matters. Most voters don't live in Manchester!
- Sam, Manchester
For what it's worth this registered Republican's choices to run for Congress in the First District are 1. Will Infantine, 2. Jim Wieczorek, 3, Lou DeMato for now. As for Frank, thanks but no thanks, he is not Congressional material in my book, maybe for County Commissioner or Executive Council and the same applies for John Stephen, neither one deserve to climb any higher on the elective political ladder. For filling the vacancy of do nothing Judas Gregg I have only one choice and that's former Senator John Sununu, no one else comes close
- Richard L. Fortin, Manchester
Don't forget Will Infantine and Lou DeMato thinking about running for Congress, bringing to roughly half the city of Manchester kicking the idea around.
Really hope Guinta doesn't take his eye off the ball and stays focused on the budget and the tax cap and worries about Congress after that. If he pulls those off, at least he'll have some accomplishments to run on.
- Glen, Manchester
NH-01: Manchester mayor Frank Guinta looks pretty serious about taking on Carol Shea-Porter in 2010; he met a second time with the NRCC about the race. He's still likely to face a primary battle against John Stephen, who barely lost to Jeb Bradley in the 2008 primary and seems to be planning to try again.
"New Hampshire: Guinta Meets With NRCC About 1st District"
By Shira Toeplitz, Roll Call Staff, March 26, 2009
Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta made his second visit to the National Republican Congressional Committee this week to discuss challenging Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) next year.
Guinta met with top officials at the NRCC on Tuesday. Those familiar with the meeting say the NRCC is reaching out to Guinta and urging him to consider a bid, but the Republican might also run for re-election or for governor in 2010.
Shea-Porter announced last week that she would not run for Senate in 2010, instead opting to stay in her competitive House district. She defeated former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) in an upset victory in 2006, then defeated him again by a larger margin in their 2008 rematch.
The 1st district had historically been a fairly safe district for Republicans until 2006, and the GOP will need to target incumbents like Shea-Porter if they are to regain some of the ground lost over the past two elections. The district voted for former President George W. Bush in 2004 and 2000 with 51 percent and 49 percent, respectively, but President Barack Obama carried the district with 53 percent in 2008.
NRCC Chair Guy Harrison, meanwhile, named freshmen Reps. Frank Kratovil (MD-01) and Alan Grayson (FL-08), as well as Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) as seats his cmte was actively targeting. Kratovil is a no-brainer, since he sits in a heavily GOP CD; Grayson, whom Harrison termed a "walking quote machine," has made headlines for his outspokenness early this cycle, and sits in a marginal CD. Shea-Porter sits in a Dem-leaning seat and would normally be favored, but may draw a top-tier challenger in Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta (R), who was back in DC last week for meetings with the NRCC.
Source: "Friday House Cleaning: Tie-ing Up Loose Ends", April 3, 2009, 5:07 P.M., hotlineoncall.nationaljournal.com
"Guinta for Congress" Blog link:
"Guinta 'humbled' by Democrats' interest"
By JOHN DISTASO, Senior Political Reporter, NH Union Leader, April 10, 2009
MANCHESTER – Mayor Frank Guinta is "humbled" that an affiliate of the national Democratic Party wants to get to know more about him and his activities in office.
Guinta, a Republican who is eyeing a possible candidacy for the 1st District U.S. House seat in next year's election, was slapped with a right-to-know request by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee this week. Guinta says he intends to comply.
The DCCC is the arm of the Democratic Party that funds and coordinates candidacies of Democratic congressional candidates. Looking ahead to the possibility of Guinta facing incumbent Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, the DCCC issued the request in an apparent effort to get started on opposition research.
In a two-page letter that arrived at the Manchester City Clerk's office this week, DCCC researcher Kevin McKeon seek information on a long list of items. They includes travel records of Guinta, senior policy adviser Sean Thomas, public affairs adviser Mark Laliberte, mayoral assistant Nick Vantine and Georgie Reagan, the mayors assistant to the arts.
The DCCC asks for all correspondence between Guinta and a long list of national and local Republicans, including former President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former Rep. Jeb Bradley, former Sen. John Sununu, Sen. Judd Gregg, U.S. House Minority Leader John Boehner and other House GOP leaders, and former Govs. John H. Sununu and Craig Benson.
The Democrats also ask for all audits of the city's finances since 2006, a list of city vehicles, a list of city employees who have been issued gasoline credit cards, the mayor's daily schedules since taking office, all editions of the mayor's newsletters since 2006 and an email log showing all emails to and from Guinta.
"As provided by the open records law, I will expect your response within five business days," McKeon wrote.
Guinta has been considering whether he will run for a third term as mayor or for higher office. He has made two visits to the DCCC's Republican counterpart, the National Republican Congressional Committee, in the past month and attended its annual dinner.
Shea-Porter had considered leaving the seat open to run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Gregg, but announced last month that she will instead run for a third term in the House.
Other Republicans considering running against Shea-Porter include businessmen Jim Wieczorek of Manchester and Robert Bestani of Newmarket, former state Republican chairman Fergus Cullen of Wolfeboro and former state Commissioner of Health and Human Services John Stephen, also of Manchester.
Guinta said yesterday he was not surprised by the right-to-know request, noting that the Democratic Party made a similar request last year, when he briefly toyed with the idea of running for governor.
"I'm not even an announced candidate and I haven't even announced that I'm exploring a run," said Guinta. "Yet, the DCCC thinks it is important to have this information and background.
"Obviously," he said, "they think if I were to run I'd be a credible candidate. I'm certainly humbled by it."
He said that his office will comply "so long as everything they are asking for is a matter of public record, and it appears that everything is."
Guinta will run for Congress, and will beat Porter and Buckley and his pink militia are already worried about it. Guinta shouldn't turn over anything to those democrat slugs in D.C. This is incredible, what a bunch of slugs.
- joekelly, manchester
"They think I'd be ... a credible candidate" -- funny how he'll give Democrats credit when it serves a self-aggrandizing purpose!
- Tom, Manchester
Please oh please oh please oh please, run for Congress. Ah, but you won't because the low polling numbers and sources for fund raising will convince you that its best not to take the risk of losing what you currently have...the corner office in ManchVegas.
- Al Rouilette, Manchester
Apparently you forgot the fact that Guinta must deal with 11 Democrats on the Board of Aldermen. There is your reason for so-called "overspending".
His fiscal conservatism is continuously overwhelmed by 11 aldermen. He is a great choice to replace Shea-Porter, who will be ripe for removal after another term of rank and file gross overspending in Washington.
- Stuart Dunmeyer, Manchester
Frank will make a great congressman. The the other good news is that that will open the door fro Bob Tarr to run for mayor. Bob and Frank will be shoe ins. With the Democrats srewing up everything everywhere two Bush/Reagan style republicans like them will make big changes in goverment. Lets hope they don't get caught up with the Freestater Movement problem. These guys are true patriots.
- Teddy, Manchester
First off, I hope he doesn't run because he hasn't done anything to improve Manchester. He has overspent and run business out of the city. As well, crime seems to have increased under his watch. A strong candidate is going to need to run against Shea-Porter and it isn't Guinta. On a different note, this is coming from the national democratic party NOT the state. He is being given 5 business days to respond and I'm sure he isn't the one doing the work. So give me a break if you feel he cannot still focus on the budget. I agree this is a ridiculous request, but I guess it is part of politics.
- Mike, Litchfield
"Humbled?" Nah, that will come when he gets clobbered for whichever office he seeks.
What would he, or any, expect. It's no secret this mayor has his sights on a higher office, evidenced by his recent forays to DC.
When he decided not to run for governor he stated it was because he had a job to finish here in Manchester. Of course, had nothing to do with polls that had him losing big in a match against Lynch. Well, if there ever was a job to 'finish' it is now, during these trying economic times.
The guy is a phony and lacks the leadership skills most seek and want in elected officials. I'm embarrased I voted for! Not again, however, for any office.
- Jack, Manchester
Sandy if he were to "pound sand" as you so eloquently put it, he'd be breaking the law. Come to think of it I wouldn't mind that happening, perhaps it would get him out of office.
- Tim, Manchester, NH
Please go run for Congress. You have no shot at winning re-election and getting your ego out of the city ASAP is whats best for manchester.
Don't forget to pay your taxes though, they might frown upon that in Concord.
- James, manchester
Actually it's interesting that Carol Porter (the outsider candidate) has learned to play politics like one of the good old boys. I guess it shouldn't suprise us when you see how she reacts to someone sending her a tea bag in the mail. She wanted to send the dentist to Guantanamo.
- Doug, Manchester
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee thinks nothing of tying up city staff to fill out their request for "information". We should send them a bill for the time spent compiling their request.
- Doug, Manchester
Actually I think he should tell them to go pound sand. He's the Mayor and he has a job to do. And he is not a formally announced candidate for anything at this point. This state Democratic party is the party of destruction - of personal destruction of anyone who may be perceived to be in their way to completely destroy the state of NH. Which they are doing a fine job of, by the way.
- sandy, thornton
Actually I think he should tell them to go pound sand. He's the Mayor and he has a job to do. And he is not a formally announced candidate for anything at this point. This state Democratic party is the party of destruction - of personal destruction of anyone who may be perceived to be in their way to completely destroy the state of NH. Which they are doing a fine job of, by the way.
- sandy, thornton
I hope he makes them them respond in kind and promptly.
- Deirdre, Goffstown
...and right in the middle of budget season. My guess is that it's not about opposition research, but more of a stall tactic to distract our mayor's attention from the critical issues that face this city.
I would not be surprised if many more of these requests started coming out of the woodwork. What better way to slow the wheels of government than to bury it in paperwork?
- David R, Manchester
Nice try you self-serving fathead. They do this on anyone who's breathing who might run.
- mike, manchester
"Manchester, NH, mayor to seek higher office"
Associated Press - April 12, 2009
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - The mayor of New Hampshire's largest city says he will run for higher office next year instead of seeking a third term.
Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta told the New Hampshire Sunday News that he will announce by the end of the month which office he will seek. He says he's been asked to run for governor, Congress and the Senate.
The governor's office and congressional seat in Guinta's district are currently held by Democrats. The U.S. Senate seat, now held by Republican Judd Gregg, will be an open race next year since Gregg has said he won't seek re-election.
Frank Guinta, a 38-year-old Republican, has been mayor since in 2006.
NRCC HITS CAROL. Interesting timing here. A day after the New Hampshire Sunday News reported that Republican Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta will not seek reelection as mayor and will pursue "higher office" (unofficially, the 1st District U.S. House seat), the national Republican Party began taking aim at Democratic U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
The 60-second radio ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee links Shea-Porter and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (surprise!) and says they authorized $1.2 trillion in spending in less than two months.
That's "24 billion per day. A billion dollars every hour," the ad says, leaving "mountains of debt for our grandchildren to pay."
Is the NRCC working with Guinta?
No, but according to committee spokesman Paul Lindsay, there is no longer a policy at the NRCC forbidding involvement in party primaries.
"The previous chairman (Rep. Tom Cole of Oklahoma) had a policy of not getting involved in primaries," Lindsay said. "But with the new chairman (Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas), our official policy is that we have no policy."
SOURCE: John DiStaso's Granite Status: "Momentum shifts as GOP goes on attack" (The NH Union Leader, April 16, 2009)
As a candidate, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) has lived a charmed life. (Photo: AP)
"Is third time the N.H. GOP's charm?"
By ALEX ISENSTADT - politico.com - 4/23/09
As a candidate, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-N.H.) has lived a charmed life. A long shot for her seat in 2006, she rode into office on a Democratic tidal wave generated by opposition to George W. Bush. In a 2008 rematch with the former incumbent, Shea-Porter had the strong wind of Barack Obama at her back.
But without the specter of Bush, or the enthusiasm generated by the Obama campaign, Shea-Porter’s bid for a third term could prove to be her toughest yet.
“I think that, this time around, the winds are actually in her face. It’s going to be more difficult for Carol Shea-Porter,” said Andrew Smith, an independent New Hampshire pollster. “She’s not going to have the benefit of the top of the ticket. There’s no Barack Obama running. There’s no [Democratic Sen.] Jeanne Shaheen running. So she’s running on her own.”
“In 2006, if you were a Democrat, ... [you] were going to win no matter what office you were running for. And in 2008, you had Barack Obama on the ticket,” added state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, a Democrat who ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2002. “I think everything will be much more wide open for Democrats in 2010 than in the last two cycles.”
Shea-Porter’s competitive district, which includes Manchester and the Seacoast, is an obvious target for Republicans in 2010. The 1st District is considered the more conservative of the state’s two Democratic-held congressional districts — Bush narrowly carried it in 2000 and 2004.
And Shea-Porter’s poll ratings are worrisome to Democrats. A late February University of New Hampshire survey showed Shea-Porter with a weak 38 percent favorability rating among all voters — dangerous territory for an incumbent. While she remains popular among Democrats, just 34 percent of moderates view her favorably. Among Republicans, her standing is even worse: Just 15 percent view her favorably, compared with 54 percent who view her unfavorably.
Republicans say Shea-Porter’s voting record is far more liberal than the district — and that her support this year for the economic stimulus plan, omnibus spending package and $3.5 trillion budget proposal provides them with early fodder for attacks.
“She has a pattern of taking votes that are far to the left,” Republican Frank Guinta, the Manchester mayor who is pondering a challenge, said in an interview with POLITICO. “The pattern of votes that she takes represents a far left base of her constituent support.”
Guinta isn’t the only Republican thinking of running. Former state Health and Human Services Commissioner John Stephen and state Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney, both of whom ran unsuccessfully for the seat in 2002, are also mentioned as potential challengers.
Shea-Porter, however, isn’t likely to moderate her views. The two-term Democrat is an unapologetic progressive who refuses to back down in the face of criticism that her voting record is out of sync with the district.
In an April 2007 interview with the Concord Monitor, Shea-Porter explained her views: “And so far I have voted, I think, 100 percent of the time with [Democratic leaders] because frankly I think they’re 100 percent right,” she said.
Democrats say that voters have come to appreciate Shea-Porter’s straightforward style.
“She is not a kind of slicked, D.C.-packaged kind of person,” said former Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand. “Whether or not you agree with her on issues, she is a real person.”
“What nobody in Washington, D.C., seems to understand is that Carol Shea-Porter has a connection with the voters of New Hampshire,” said Ray Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.
But as the 2010 cycle gets under way, Republicans are nevertheless drawing a bead on Shea-Porter, in part because of her fundraising performance.
Never known as a strong fundraiser— Shea-Porter raised less than $400,000 in her 2006 upset win — her $130,000 haul during the first quarter was the smallest of any of the 40 endangered incumbents on the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s Frontline program. Her $121,000 cash-in-the-bank total at the end of the quarter also put her at the bottom of the heap.
In an interview with POLITICO, Shea-Porter attributed her weak fundraising to her refusal to take contributions from business political action committees and explained that it was therefore unfair to compare her performance to that of other Democrats.
The fundraising “doesn’t indicate support or lack of support,” she said. “We don’t worry about that.”
She dismisses the idea that her past victories were due to factors other than her connection with middle-income voters who view her as a staunch defender of their cause.
“I’ve always had to stand on my own two feet,” she said.
Still, New Hampshire-based GOP strategist Greg Moore said Shea-Porter’s first-quarter haul would spark considerable interest among prospective Republican challengers.
“I don’t think she set the world on fire with her quarter-one fundraising, so I think some people will sense that she is vulnerable,” said Moore.
Manchester, N.H., Mayor Frank Guinta highlights results of a GOP-sponsored poll.
"NRCC touts N.H. poll"
By JOSH KRAUSHAAR - politico.com - 4/29/2009
As he prepares to run for Congress, Manchester, N.H., Mayor Frank Guinta is highlighting results of a GOP-sponsored poll that shows him trailing Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter by 9 percentage points.
The poll, commissioned by the National Republican Congressional Committee, shows Shea-Porter leading Guinta 43 percent to 34 percent, with 24 percent undecided. Republicans are encouraged that the two-term congresswoman is polling below 50 percent, but Guinta’s 34 percent total is somewhat underwhelming, since he’s a well-known official in the district.
House Republicans expect to land Guinta as one of their first leading recruits this election cycle and are bullish about picking up Shea-Porter’s seat. Her district is the more Republican of New Hampshire’s two House seats, but it gave Barack Obama 53 percent of the vote last year. Despite being a top GOP target, Shea-Porter won 52 percent in her reelection bid.
The mayor of the state’s largest city, Guinta has touted his success revitalizing the city while keeping taxes low. He served as a policy adviser for former Rep. Jeb Bradley (R-N.H.) before being elected mayor in 2004.
Friday House Cleaning: Recruiting Update
House Race Hotline editor Tim Sahd takes a look each Friday at the top five House stories of the week. Here are this week's big newsmakers, brought to you by Friday House Cleaning. May 8, 2009
NH-01: You Are The Manchester
GOPers may be most excited about their candidate against Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D) -- Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta (R) -- who will likely formally announce his bid in a 5/11/(2009) conference call. This week, though, he filed paperwork with the FEC to declare his candidacy.
Shea-Porter has always been seen as vulnerable, and has never raised enough money to be seen as invincible in this Dem-leaning CD. But she has twice defeated ex-Rep. Jeb Bradley (R) after being counted out. Still, Dems know this will be a top-tier race, and are already hitting Guinta over his stewardship of the Manchester economy. There's a long way to go here, but this race will likely come down to the wire.
- Jonathan Melle
- Amherst, NH, United States
- I am a citizen defending the people against corrupt Pols who only serve their Corporate Elite masters, not the people! / My 2 political enemies are Andrea F. Nuciforo, Jr., nicknamed "Luciforo" and former Berkshire County Sheriff Carmen C. Massimiano, Jr. / I have also pasted many of my political essays on "The Berkshire Blog": berkshireeagle.blogspot.com / I AM THE ANTI-FRANK GUINTA! / Please contact me at email@example.com
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