WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3: RAND MAKES THREE. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul has added a third event to his Sept. 11 and 12 visit to first-in-the nation primary state New Hampshire.
Paul, we’ve learned, will be the guest of state Sen. Andy Sanborn of Bedford at business roundtable fundraiser on on Sept. 12. The location is not yet set but the event is expected to take place at mid-day.
Sanborn was a state co-chair of the 2012 presidential campaign of Paul’s father, Ron Paul, who finished second to Mitt Romney.
Rand Paul will be the third potential 2016 presidential candidate to visit the first-in-the-nation primary state within a week’s time.
Paul will be the featured speaker at the state Republican Party’s “Unity Breakfast,” next Friday, Sept. 12 at the Executive Court in Manchester.
He will deliver remarks before Sen. Kelly Ayotte gives the keynote address.
Also, on Thursday, Sept. 11, Paul is scheduled to be the featured speaker at an event sponsored by Generation Opportunity, the Koch brothers youth advocacy nonprofit organization. The event is slated for the World Sports Grille in Manchester.
Paul’s visit will follow visits during the weekend by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Texas Sen.Ted Cruz.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3: MAGGIE FAR AHEAD IN CAMPAIGN CASH. With no party primary to speak of, Gov. Maggie Hassan is financially far ahead of the two main Republicans looking to unseat her.
Campaign finance reports filed on Wednesday show that Hassan raised nearly $79,000 since the prior filing on Aug. 20, for a total $2.17 million, and has $1.12 million on hand.
Republican candidate Walt Havenstein raised $36,400 since Aug. 20 and $552,000 since the beginning of the campaign but he has also given an additional $1.4 million to his campaign. He reports cash on hand of $787,000.
Republican candidate Andrew Hemingway raised $6,657 since Aug. 20, for a total of $107,000 since the campaign began and has $37,400 on hand.
Also of note, the state Senate GOP PAC reported having $160,606, which, a spokesman said, “is the most cash-on-hand for not just for any New Hampshire Republican Senate PAC at this stage of the political cycle, but any party’s Senate PAC ever.”
(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)
TUESDAY, SEPT. 2: VETERANS’ VISION FOR GUINTA. sRepublican 1st District U.S. House candidate Frank Guinta has won the endorsement of Veterans’ Vision, a national advocacy group for veterans causes. Its publication has long been known for its relentless ng advocacy of those causes.
For Guinta, it is the 27th consecutive week of endorsement releases he has issued since the first week of March.
Frank Guinta said, “Those who would give their lives on our behalf in defense of the ideals upon which this nation was founded deserve nothing less than the very best care we have to offer. It is entirely unacceptable that New Hampshire veterans face extended wait times and significant hurdles with regard to their health care. As your next Congressman, I will fight to house those without homes, employ those without jobs and provide health care for those without access.”
Veterans’ Vision cited legislation Guinta has sponsored and job fairs he has organized for veterans in its endorsement. See the full endorsement here.
TUESDAY, SEPT. 2. NEA-NH BACKS HASSAN. The National Education Association-New Hampshire (NEA-NH) on Tuesday announced its expected endorsement of Gov. Maggie Hassan for reelection.\
The board of the state’s largest educator and public employee union is asking its more than 16,000 members and their families to support Hassan during the campaign and on Election Day.
NEA-NH president Scott McGilvray called Hassan “a tireless advocate for public education” and said Republicans Walt Havenstein or Andrew Hemingway “would be a disaster for public education in this state, taking us back to the devastating cuts of the Bill O’Brien era. For the sake of our children’s future, we cannot afford to put either one of them in the Governor’s office. From freezing in-state tuition to protecting K-12 funding to modernizing STEM education, Governor Hassan has proven time and again that she will fight to ensure the success of every child and champion the interests of our students and their parents.”
(Earlier Granite Reports follow.)
FRIDAY, AUG. 29: STRUCK A NERVE? Sen. Jeanne Shaheen is striking back at a television ad by supporters of Scott Brown that contends her personal wealth “surged” while she has been in the U.S. Senate.
The Ending Spending Action Fund, led by billionaire Joe Ricketts, had to edit its ad to include an additional specific citation, but it never did pull the ad, despite reports to the contrary.
However, the Shaheen campaign is releasing its own television saying that Brown “ought to be ashamed” because “his out-of-state supporters are running ugly attack ads questioning the integrity of our Senator.”
The ad continues, “The charges are false and outrageous. Jeanne Shaheen has never profited from her public service and official records prove it.”
The ad goes on to show Shaheen supporters praising her integrity.
The Ending Spending ad was based on news reports earlier this year focusing on her personal financial disclosure reports and her vote for the stimulus bill while her husband had invested in a company that received a small amount of funding, about $78,000, from the nearly $800 billion program.
Shaheen’s lawyers said the Ending Spending ad falsely claimed her wealth surged since she has been in office because while her assets grew from between $3.4 million and $7.2 million in 2008 to between $3.7 million and $7.8 million in 2013, so did her liabilities.
The Shaheen campaign lawyers said that as a result of increasing liabilities – apparently due to 10 mortgages taken out during the period – her net wealth actually decreased, from between $2.4 million and $4.6 million in 2008 to between $1.7 million and $3.6 million in 2013.
The campaign called the ad “false, misleading and deceptive.”
Ending Spending’s lawyers countered that the Shaheen camp was using “misleading math” and a definition of wealth not found in dictionaries or “one that certainly does not comport with the average New Hampshire voters’ definition of the term.”
Brian Baker, Ending Spending president, said, “It’s clear that the accurate information contained in the Ending Spending Action Fund ad struck a nerve with Sen. Shaheen. Despite her heavy-handed attempts to deny New Hampshire voters information about her flawed record, Ending Spending will continue to educate the voters of New Hampshire about her record. Therefore, we have decided to increase the buy so that more New Hampshire voters receive this important information.”
On the other hand, FactCheck.org called the Ending Spending ad “scandalous.”
We first reported on the Ending Spending Action Fund ad in last week’s Granite Reports.
NEW POLL: SHAHEEN UP BY SIX. While Republicans were rejoicing – and the media was buzzing — after last week’s UNH’s WMUR Granite State poll showing that Scott Brown had pulled to within two percentage points of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a new poll Friday showed Shaheen with a six point lead.
Public Policy Polling — accused often by Republicans of being biased in favor of Democrats, a charge the firm strongly denies — conducted a poll of 766 likely voters Aug. 27 and 28. The breakdown, it said, was 41 percent independents, 32 percent Democrats and 27 percent Republicans.
(In the UNH poll, 50 percent of the sampling were registered independents, or undeclared; while 26 percent were Republicans and 24 percent were Democrats.)
The PPP poll, conducted for the League of Conservation Voters, found Shaheen leading Brown 50 to 44 percent with 6 percent undecided. The poll listed a margin of error of 3.5 percent.
It’s worth noting that between during July the League of Conservation Voters spent nearly $370,000 in ads attacking Brown.
And Republicans point out that in an initial PPP poll for LCV back in April 2013 had Shaheen leading Brown by 11 percentage points. In February 2014, a PPP poll for the League had Shaheen over Brown by 8 percent.
So, they say, even their own polling shows Brown closing the tap.
In the new poll, Shaheen had a favorable rating of 52 percent, while 42 percent viewed her unfavorably. Brown was “under water,” viewed favorably by 42 percent and unfavorably by 49 percent.
The poll showed that 50 percent of those polled believe climate change is occurring and “is mostly caused by human activity,” while 35 percent disagreed with that it is mostly man-made.
The poll noted that Brown recently said the theory of man-made climate change has not been scientifically proven. Nearly half (48 percent) said his position made it less likely that they will vote for him, while 21 percent said it made voting for him more likely and 28 percent said it made no difference.
The pollster concluded that Brown’s comment on climate change “has the potential to really hurt him in this election” and probably will not help him “make a comeback.”
As most polls have, the PPP poll showed a huge gender gap. Shaheen led among women, 52 to 42 percent, while men were split, with Shaheen leading 47 to 46 percent.
CANDIDATE FUNDRAISING. In pre-primary receipts and expenditure filings with the Federal Election Commission, Rep. Ann Kuster continues to hold a huge lead in fund-raising.
The reports, which were due on Aug. 28, covered the period from July 1 to Aug. 20.
During those eight week, Kuster raised $283,000 bringing her total for the cycle to $2.6 million. She reported $1.6 million on hand.
Among her potential 2nd Congressional District Republican challengers, Marilinda Garcia raised $72,331 during the period, for a total of $262,294 since the beginning of her campaign, and had $117,974 on hand.
Gary Lambert raised $13,339, for a total of $437,538 during the period and showed $210,547 on hand, while Jim Lawrence raised $8,850 and $14,077 during the cycle and had $13,557 on hand.
In the 1st District, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter reported raising $119,000 during the period and $1.08 million so far in the cycle and had $653,000 on hand.
Republican Frank Guinta raised $34,279 during the period, had no cycle-to-date total listed but reported $187,000 on hand.
And Dan Innis reported raising $22,890 during the eight-week period, and $278,383 since becoming a candidate, with $66,824 on hand.
SECOND AMENDMENT RATINGS. With primary election day less than a week and a half away, the candidates in the Republican U.S. Senate race are rolling out their support from key pro-Second Amendment group, or at least two of them are.
On Thursday, Jim Rubens reported that he earned an “A” rating from Gun Owners of New Hampshire, which called him “strong pro-freedom.”
It noted he has a Second Amendments issues page on his campaign website with detailed answers to key questions.”
Bob Smith, meanwhile, won the endorsements this week of the Gun Owners of America, and earned an “A+” rating from GONH, meaning that he showed “legislative leadership or significant contributions to promote or defend the Second Amendment.”
Scott Brown received a “C” rating from GONH. Unlike Rubens and Smith, he did not complete the GONH questionnaire, although he did meet with the group. GONH noted that he has a “single statement” on his web saying that he “strongly supports” the Second Amendment.
Not surprisingly, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen received an “F.”
In the 1st District congressional GOP primary, Frank Guinta received an “A” rating while Dan Innis received a question mark and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter received an “F.”
In the 2nd District, Jim Lawrence received an “A+” rating while Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert received “A” ratings and Rep. Ann Kuster received a “C.”
Among the candidates for governor, Andrew Hemingway and Walt Havenstein each received “Aq” ratings. This means the rating is based solely on their answers to the GONH questionnaire and that they have no official record because they have never before held public office. Gov. Maggie Hassan received a “D.”
In two Executive Council races covered by the voting guide, in District 4 Republicans Jim Adams and Robert Burns each received an “A,” while Democratic incumbent Chris Pappas received an “F,” and in District 5, Republican David Wheeler received an “A+” while Democratic Jennifer Daler received a “D.”
Republican Steve Hattamer and Democrat Diane Sheehan did not participate and received question marks.
In state Senate races, in District 11, among Republicans, Gary Daniels and Maureen Mooney each received an “A” while Dan Dwyer received an “A-” and Dan Hynes received an “Aq.”
In Senate District 12, among Republicans, Kevin Avard received an “A,” while Michael McCarthy received a “B+.”
In Senate District 16, among Republicans, Jane Cormier received an “Aq,” while David bourtin received a “B+.”
In Senate District 18, among Republicans, George Lambert received an “A,” while Robyn Dunphy received an “Aq.”
In Senate District 19, among Republicans, Frank Sapareto received an “A,” Regina Birdsell received an “A-“ and Jim Foley received a question mark.
In District 2, among Republicans, Jeanie Forrester received an “A-,” while Timothy Condon received an “Aq.”
In District 21, three Republican candidates Denis Lamare, Peter Macdonald and Phil Nazzaro all received question marks.
In District 24, Steve Kenda received an “Aq,” while Nancy Stiles received a “C-.”
In Senate District 8, among Republicans, Jerry Little and J.P. Marzullo each received an “A-.”
ATTACK MAILER. With Republican 1st District U.S. House hopeful Dan Innis receiving an endorsement by the New Hampshire Union Leader, Guinta went after him a day later with a mailer that ties him to President Barack Obama.
The mailer contains a photo of Innis’ and Obama’s heads popping out of a pile of money and says, “President Obama has spiked our national debt to 17 trillion dollars but Dan Innis says he’s willing to write Obama more blank checks.”
It says Innis “may” oppose a Balanced Budget Amendment to the Constitution,citing comments by Innis at a candidates’ forum in May and “may” oppose a firm debt ceiling limit, citing a February story on the WMUR-TV web site.
“No more blanck checks,” the mailer says. Yes, “blank” is misspelled. “No Dan Innis.”
The Innis campaign declined to comment on the mailer.
TEA PARTY VIEWS. Although last Saturday’s GOP series of debates in Exeter was a no-cameras-allowed event, there was audio. And Carol Shea-Porter was listening.
“Frank Guinta doubled down on his extreme Tea Party views, taking advantage of the no-cameras-allowed event to voice his far-right beliefs,” the Shea-Porter campaign said.
The Shea-Porter campaign noted that at one point in the debate, Guinta said that the IRS should be abolished. At another point he said the theory of man-made climate change has not been scientifically proven. He also voiced support for what Shea-Porter called the “extreme” Rep. Paul Ryan budget and supports repeal of the Departement of Education.
“The extreme Tea Party views Frank Guinta defended at this weekend’s debate show just how out-of-step he is with New Hampshire voters,” said Shea-Porter spokesman Marjorie Connolly.
LYNCH ON THE TRAIL. Former Gov. John Lynch will emerge on the campaign trail next Wednesday, Sept. 3.
Lynch is the headliner at a $20-a-person fundraiser for Executive Councilor Chris Pappas at Pappas’ Puritan Conference Center in Manchester.
BIDEN BACK. Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to return to New Hampshire on Wednesday for an event at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard.
Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Rep. Carol Shea-Porter are scheduled to be on hand, possibly along with Rep. Ann Kuster and Gov. Maggie Hassan.
The state Democratic Party has called on Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte to “put politics aside” and attend, given that the venue is the naval shipyard.
FIRST IN? Republican Ohio Sen. Rob Portman, who was in New Hampshire this past week, reportedly will form a presidential exploratory committee following the November election.
The Columbus Dispatch reported Thursday that the move will allow Portman to spend some or all of the more than $5 million he raised for his 2016 re-election campaign.
It is the first major move made pro-actively by a presidential candidate in either party. “Ready fpor Hillary” is not officially affiliated with Hillary Clinton.
PARTY FUNDRAISING. In both their federal accounts, the New Hampshire Democratic Party far outraised the state GOP from the beginning of 2014 through July 31.
According to the most recent filings with the Federal Election Commission, the NHDP raised $706,000 while the NHGOP raised $428,000.
In its state account, the NHDP reported on Aug. 20 having raised $895,000 with a balance forward from 2012 of $221,000 for total receipts of $1.1 million.
The state GOP did not file a state report on Aug. 20.
SECOND MARRIAGE OF THE SUMMER. Scott Brown’s daughter, Ayla, is getting married this weekend in Tennessee. It is the Brown family’s second marriage of the summer. Daughter Arianna was married in Lee on July 13.
(John DiStaso is news editor of the New Hampshire Journal and the most experienced political columnist/reporter in New Hampshire. He has been reporting on Granite State politics since 1982. Watch for updates of his Granite Reports column and of course separate stories on NHJournal.com as news breaks. He can be reached at email@example.com and on Twitter: @jdistaso.)