Miscellany Blue - New Hampshire Politics

Someone who says Tea Party is going to ‘save our nation’

Charlie Bass isn’t just another Republican. No, he’s someone who says the Tea Party is going to ‘save our nation.’ He called his vote for the Ryan budget, which slashed nutrition assistance for children and gutted Medicare, a ‘great statement of principle.’ With those kinds of extreme views, Bass is the very prototype for a candidate Karl Rove and extremist Super PACs will spend millions supporting.

— Fundraising email from Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, following news reports that former Congressman Charlie Bass is “seriously considering" a race to unseat the incumbent senator

Quote of the day: A long shot

Though a Charlie Bass challenge to Sen. Shaheen would have to be considered a long shot, expect the party leaders to pull out all the stops to get him into the race. It is likely that a Bass candidacy would be the strongest the Republicans’ could field, despite the odds of achieving victory being very long.

Jim Ellis, Republican consultant, on GOP efforts to unseat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Senate hopeful Karen Testerman says Scott Brown and Hillary Clinton are ‘birds of a feather’

It’s hard to imagine that a candidate more conservative than Karen Testerman will enter the Republican primary to take on Sen. Jeanne Shaheen. Nevertheless, in a letter to the editor of the Laconia Daily Sun, Testerman moved to secure her right flank and attacked potential competitor Scott Brown by linking him to Hillary Clinton:

Former Senator Scott Brown thinks that you’re the problem if you are a conservative. Brown argued on Fox News that Republicans should cut more deals with Democrats in Washington and shouldn’t fight so much for conservative policies.

Brown, might play games and pretend that he is a Granite Stater — just like numerous out-of-state Democratic campaign staffers and students did in 2012. This smells like Hillary’s carpetbag move in New York for her Senate seat. Birds of a feather?

State Rep. endorses Canadian citizen for U.S. Senator


State House Rep. Glenn Cordelli (R-Tuftonboro) has endorsed conservative commentator Mark Steyn for the U.S. Senate. “We need a US Senator from NH who understands the situation our country faces,” he wrote. “We need Mark Steyn to beat Shaheen.”

As we noted before, Steyn is a Canadian citizen and is constitutionally ineligible to serve as a U.S. senator.

Search for Shaheen opponent turns to Canada

With the New Hampshire Republican Party seemingly unable to find a suitable candidate to oppose U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in her reelection bid, the search has broadened.

Massachusetts resident Scott Brown helicoptered in (literally) to signal his interest, as did Florida resident Bob Smith, who briefly left the party before then leaving the state.

Given the lack of enthusiasm those out-of-staters generated, conservatives have now initiated a campaign to draft commentator Mark Steyn, a New Hampshire resident who occasionally guest hosts for Rush Limbaugh.

Last week, talk show host Hugh Hewitt announced the launch of SteynforSenate.com, where visitors can sign a petition encouraging the conservative commentator to run for the U.S. Senate seat. Appearing on Hewitt’s radio show, Steyn didn’t quite take the bait, but he did express his disdain for the current crop of Republican hopefuls.

My heart sank somewhat when I read in the Union Leader, I think it was the other day, about those who were preparing to run against Jeanne Shaheen for the U.S. Senate seat,” Steyn said.

"I wish this state was the way it was 20 years ago, but the New Hampshire Republican Party was too often was content to be in office rather than in power," he complained.

There is one small problem. Steyn is a Canadian citizen. Article I, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution requires U.S. Senators to have been a U.S. citizen for at least nine years.

Hewitt claims the 17th amendment eliminated that requirement, a position that doesn’t seem to be shared by constitutional scholars.

U.S. Senate hopeful Testerman ‘pretty far to the right’

In her statement announcing an exploratory campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, conservative activist Karen Testerman declared, “America’s strength lies in her people when they are free to be creative, to make choices, to succeed or fail.”

Her appreciation for Americans exercising their free will doesn’t extent to those who voted for Pres. Obama, however. Those Americans, she says, “voted against the Creator.”

In a gross understatement, UNH political scientist Dante Scala told Ben Leubsdorf that Testerman is “pretty far to the right among New Hampshire Republicans.” Here are a few examples of Testerman’s pretty extreme rhetoric:

On gun violence prevention:

The current attack on our 2nd Amendment Rights by the Obama Administration is a precursor to total gun confiscation and the final nail in the coffin to total serfdom.

On marriage equality:

Creating an unnatural class like counterfeit marriage denies the rights of others.

On Girl Scout cookies:

When the public hears about the open policy to admit transgender boys, the promotion of abortion to our innocent children, and the close association with Planned Parenthood, is it any wonder that annual cookie sales of the Girl Scouts USA are down?

Cornerstone laments lack of GOP challengers

In a moment of honesty today, the executive director of Cornerstone lamented the lack of top-tier challengers to take on Democrats for the 2014 midterm election. Just 15 months before voters head to the polls, no Republicans have officially entered the races to face Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, Congresswoman Ann Kuster or Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Rothenberg Report: N.H. Dems favored in 2014 races

Three of New England’s top five congressional races to watch are in New Hampshire, writes Nathan L. Gonzales in Roll Call. And the deputy editor of the Rothenberg Political Report says Democrats are favored — albeit by varying margins — in all three:

Senate: Republicans don’t have to defeat Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to get to the majority. And that’s a good thing for the GOP, since it doesn’t have a candidate. … Democrat Favored.

1st District: Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is the GOP’s main target. If former Rep. Frank Guinta runs to reclaim his seat, the district is almost guaranteed another close race. Toss-Up/Tilt Democrat.

2nd District: As the more Democratic district in the state, this isn’t a great opportunity for Republicans. … If Republicans nominate a candidate with broad appeal, they could challenge Rep. Ann McLane Kuster. Wait and see. Lean Democrat.

Dean Barker: Elected officials failed Granite Staters

Dean Barker reviews the responses of New Hampshire’s top elected officials to gun safety proposals and concludes “only President Obama and Rep. Shea-Porter advocated on behalf of the majority of Granite Staters when it mattered:”

When President Obama unveiled his plan for commonsense gun safety in the wake of 20 murdered children, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter immediately responded with support for it. She was vindicated in her leadership on this by two subsequent polls (UNH, NEC) showing clear majority support in New Hampshire for the key elements of the President’s plan.

Senators Shaheen and Ayotte, Rep. Kuster, and Gov. Hassan (who, it will be remembered, made a very publicized choice to be speak out on the federal issue of DOMA) were all silent on the President’s plan unless pressed by reporters.

"Rule it out, Scott. Say die already.’

Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown ignited a firestorm last night when he refused to rule out a race against the senior senator from New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen.

David Bernstein, who covered politics for the Boston Phoenix until its untimely demise, thinks a Brown campaign in the Granite State would be plausible:

He’s a good fit up there — he can smooth over the intra-GOP divide, and then really appeal to the general electorate. The amount of money he can raise now … would give him a huge edge in New Hampshire. And, this is a retail politician with an amazing will and ability to drive himself around and charm voters one by one in every nook and cranny of whatever area he’s running in.

But citing Brown’s commitments to his new law and lobby firm, Bernstein concludes it’s a big tease. ”It’s realistic enough to get him some additional buzz and public interest,” he writes, “so he’s using that to keep his market value up.”

Not even plausible, counters Charles P. Pierce:

Scott, baby, she’s enormously popular and used to be governor up there, and she started out organizing the state politically 40 years ago. You’re a one-term loser who got elected in a fluke and then lost to a woman who never had run for anything before because you ran the worst campaign in the history of man…. Rule it out, Scott. Say die already.

N.H. senators targeted in gun safety ad campaign

New Hampshire is one of 13 states targeted by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s anti-gun violence group in an upcoming $12 million ad campaign.

Mayors Against Illegal Guns will begin running the ads on Tuesday when senators are home for the congressional Easter recess. The campaign is focused on lawmakers who Bloomberg believes might be persuaded to support the Senate’s package of gun safety legislation.

The campaign also includes more than 100 grassroots events across the country on Thursday, March 28 as part of a National Day to Demand Action. Gun safety advocates are organizing events, petition drives and phone calls to congressional offices.

“The N.R.A. has just had this field to itself,” Bloomberg said. “It’s the only one that’s been speaking out. It’s time for another voice.”

Emily’s List endorses Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

In its first endorsement of the 2014 electoral cycle, Emily’s List threw its support behind Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, calling her a “truly remarkable leader" who has been a "champion for women, working families, and veterans."

Stephanie Schriock, Emily’s List president, said the 2012 election proved women voters want leaders like Shaheen who will fight for equal pay and violence prevention legislation. “Republicans, she said, “haven’t gotten the message, and are doubling down on their anti-woman platform" that would "roll back the clock on women’s rights and opportunities." That’s why Emily’s List is determined to send Shaheen back to Washington, she said.

In the 2011-2012 cycle, the group supported Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter and Ann Kuster and Gov. Maggie Hassan, raising over $540,000 for the three candidates and spending $550,000 in independent expenditures.

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