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Fake ‘Biden’ Robocall Targets Dem Voters, But Who Benefits?

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella is investigating an AI-generated robocall that appears to feature President Joe Biden telling Democrats to skip the First in the Nation presidential primary.

Formella’s office says the calls “appear to be an unlawful attempt to disrupt the New Hampshire Presidential Primary Election and to suppress New Hampshire voters.” Gov. Chris Sununu called the messages “voter impression and illegal,” and he said he’s spoken to Formella about prosecuting the responsible parties “to the fullest extent of the law.”

But who is behind the calls? The message doesn’t include a disclaimer. And what is their motive? Are they trying to keep Democrat-leaning unaffiliated voters from voting for Nikki Haley in the Republican primary? Or is the goal to keep registered Democrats at home rather than voting in their own party’s primary, where Biden needs write-in votes to prevent an embarrassing outcome?

“This coming Tuesday is the New Hampshire presidential preference primary. Republicans have been trying to push non-partisan and Democratic voters to participate in their primary. What a bunch of malarky,” the fake Biden voice voice says. “We know the value of voting Democratic when our votes count. It’s important that you save your vote for the November election.”

White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre confirmed Monday that the voice on the call is not President Joe Biden.

The robocall spoofed the cell phone number associated with former New Hampshire Democratic Chair Kathy Sullivan, who is leading the “Write In Biden” campaign. (Biden refused to allow his name to appear on the New Hampshire ballot after failing to force Granite State Democrats to give up their “First in the Nation” status.)

Sullivan would not respond to requests for comment from NHJournal, but she told NBC News, “It’s obviously somebody who wants to hurt Joe Biden.”

Discouraging unaffiliated voters who lean Democrat from participating in the GOP primary might hurt Nikki Haley and help Donald Trump. But how would it hurt Biden? Targeting registered Democrats would have no impact on the GOP primary at all since they cannot vote in the Republican contest.

Depending on who is targeted, notes veteran GOP strategist Dave Carney, it’s just as likely that phone calls trying to keep Democrats from voting on Tuesday would help Biden.

“It’s impossible to know who did it — it could be some hacker in his basement. But if you ask who benefits, it’s Joe Biden,” Carney said.

Efforts to rescue Biden from his decision to skip the First in the Nation primary could suffer a setback if enough fed-up Democrats follow the example of North Country progressive Theodore Bosen. He received the fake call, and he tells NHJournal he plans to vote in his party’s primary for U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-Minn.)

“Half the reason I’m voting for Phillips is how pissed off I am over what the DNC and Biden have done to the First in the Nation primary,” Bosen said. “It’s terrible for the whole process –we are the best state, historically, to vet the candidates, particularly Democrats.”

Bosen also said he is motivated by his opposition to Biden’s support for Israel in its ongoing war against Hamas inside Gaza. “What’s going on in Gaza with our money and our support is a war crime,” Bosen said. “And there isn’t a viable candidate who is even talking about it.”

If anger with Biden over the First in the Nation primary state or his Israel policy drives Democrats to the polls, the write-in effort has to match those numbers to keep Biden from being embarrassed in his party’s primary. The write-in effort isn’t organic; it’s organized. So the fewer Democrats that show up, the larger a percentage of the total the write-in will be.

The latest University of New Hampshire Survey shows the percentage of Democrats who say they plan to write in Biden has been slipping and now is down to the low 60s.

“Low turnout makes their write-in votes a bigger slice of the pie,” Carney said. 

But Democrats like Sullivan and U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan insist Biden was the target.

“I urge Granite Staters to make sure their friends and neighbors know the truth and turn out in even bigger numbers to write in President Biden’s name,” Hassan said in a statement.

Bosen agrees.

“I thought it was Trump, in part because [the fake Biden] talks about Democrats and independents taking part in the Republican primary,” Bosen said. “Only Trump thinks Democrats can vote in the Republican primary. He’s said it about five times in the last week.”

Bosen thinks the call has less to do with Biden than former Ambassador Nikki Haley. Haley’s push to take on Trump in the GOP primary is going to need all the undeclared voters it can get. The call is probably a Trump trick designed to keep those undeclared voters from helping her win, Bosen said.

“We all know independents are her only shot,” Bosen said. 

If the call did come from a Biden ally, Bosen believes, it’s because the campaign sees numbers that are not so good for the incumbent president, and they’re feeling pressure from rising support for Phillips.

“It’s a schizophrenic strategy,” Bosen said. “Biden’s biggest blunder was for him to condone the write-in. (He) is screwed if Phillips does well.”

State Rep. Steve Shurtleff (D-Penacook), former Speaker of the House, is also backing Phillips.

“Dean Philips has the educational and business experience to be an outstanding president. As President Kennedy said at his inauguration, “Let the word go forth to friend and foe alike; the torch has been passed to a new generation …”

“As a senior citizen, I say it’s time for us to pass the torch. Pass it to the congressman from Minnesota, Dean Phillips.”

Formella’s office confirmed to NHJournal that it is investigating the almost certainly illegal calls. However, the Attorney General’s Office has spent more than a year investigating tens of thousands of dollars of illegal mail sent by Massachusetts Democrats to interfere with the 2022 GOP primary in the Second Congressional District. Formella and his office have taken no action or filed any charges.

Anonymous Call to Fire Chief Targets Haley Event in Keene

An anonymous caller tried to get Nikki Haley’s campaign rally in Keene shut down Saturday, telling the city’s fire department her crowd at the Keene Country Club was over capacity.

Fire Chief Donald Farquhar told NHJournal the caller complained too many people showed up Saturday morning to see Haley as she hopes to win an upset victory over former President Donald Trump in the state’s First in the Nation GOP presidential primary.

The ballroom area at the Keene Country Club lists a maximum capacity of 350 people. Farquhar said the space was well over capacity. He worked with Haley’s staff to keep exits clear, and he and other fire department staffers conducted a patrol during the event. Farquhar praised Haley’s team for its response to make sure the event could continue safely.

“Her staff was on point,” Farquhar said.

With Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) polling in the single digits, Haley has emerged as Trump’s only viable competitor in the Granite State primary. In recent days, Trump has directed his ire, and that of his legion of MAGA fans, at her. About a dozen Trump supporters demonstrated on the road outside country club property.

There’s no evidence the call to the fire department came from Trump’s campaign or its supporters.

Even before the call came in, Haley’s campaign appeared on alert for possible mischief at the event. Her staff scrutinized press credentials and directed attendees to an overflow area.

Keene Mayor George Hansel introduces Nikki Haley at a FITN primary event on January 20, 2024.

As for the candidate, Haley played it safe during her appearance. After an introduction from Keene Mayor George Hansel, she stuck to her stump speech and did not take questions from the audience.

The crowd was friendly and positive toward Haley, if not showing the same tent-revival enthusiasm seen at Trump events.

Haley didn’t shy away from criticizing Trump. While she voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020, Haley said he is too old now for the job, as is current President Joe Biden.

“Do we really want to go into this election with two fellas who are gonna be in their 80s?” Haley asked.

She also referenced a moment from Trump’s rally in Concord Friday when, while discussing the lack of security on Capitol Hill the day of the January 6, 2021 riots, he confused Haley with former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

“You know, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, Nikki Haley, you know they– do you know they destroyed all of the information and all of the evidence?” Trump said. “Everything. Deleted and destroyed all of it. All of it because of, lots of things. Like, Nikki Haley is in charge of security. We offered her 10,000 people.”

Haley said Trump’s flub is another sign Trump is not fit for the job.

“They’re saying he got confused,” Haley said. “I’m not saying anything derogatory, but when you’re dealing with the pressures of the presidency, we can’t have someone else where we’re [questioning] whether they are mentally fit.”

Trump’s expressions of admiration for despots like Chinese President Xi Jinping, North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, and Russian President Vladimir Putin show he’s not the leader America needs, she said.

“Donald Trump has got to stop praising these dictators,” Haley said. “I had to sit down and have a conversation with him because he was having too much of a ‘bromance’ with Putin.”

Trump consistently leads all comers in primary polls, but Haley has been gaining ground. Part of her pitch in the Granite State is her electability in a race against Biden. Polls consistently show her beating Biden by as much as 17 points, while Trump runs neck and neck with the current president. 

Even with Biden clearly in decline, Trump is not a sure bet to beat him in November, she said.

“Here’s something that should send a chill up your spine: President Kamala Harris,” Haley said. 

Keene Mayor George Hansel told the crowd they would regret not voting for Haley on Tuesday, thereby handing the nomination to Trump. It’s time for the country to move past Trump and his chaos, Hansel said.

“For the first time in a long time, you and I have the opportunity to vote for someone we believe in,” Hansel said.

‘Nice Guy’ Dean Phillips Draws Crowd in Concord

Dean Phillips and his insurgent Minnesota Nice campaign could be a problem for President Joe Biden, based on the upstart congressman’s packed house in Concord Friday.

Phillips is the only elected Democrat running to unseat Biden in the primary, saying he got into the race out of concern for the 81-year-old incumbent’s age and poor poll numbers.

“I did not intend to be here, but I am running to be president of the United States,” Phillips told the standing-room crowd at Brothers Cortado, a downtown coffee shop.

About 150 people came out on a frigid night, squeezing into the coffee shop for a chance to hear him. At times defiant, in a nice way, Phillips said his campaign is the last thing the Democratic Party wants in the state the party tried to cancel.

The Democratic National Committee’s attempt to strip New Hampshire’s first in the nation primary in order to protect Biden appears to have backfired. Biden supporters have launched a write-in campaign to save Biden from the embarrassment of losing a primary in his own party. Phillips has been running a proactive retail campaign, and best-selling author Marianne Williamson is pushing hard as well.

“The Democrats tried to tell you this is ‘meaningless,’” Phillips said, referencing a statement from the Democratic National Committee. “There is nothing more antithetical to our democracy than telling you your votes don’t count.”

“Tell the DNC they can’t do this to you,” Phillips said.

Phillips’ message of reaching for pragmatic solutions and finding a middle ground with opponents struck a chord with the Concord crowd. Phillips said he wants a national healthcare system so that people caught in the trap of drug addiction can get care and recovery. He wants to reduce gun violence by focusing on mental health solutions and not gun bans. And he wants to shore up social security by lifting the earnings cap for wealthy Americans.

The reason the congressional Democrat is taking on his party and possibly destroying his own future in politics is the fact he does not think Biden is up to the job. Trump, who Phillips said ought to have been impeached after the Jan. 6, 2021, U.S. Capitol Riot, is too dangerous to be let back in the White House. Phillips does not think Biden can beat Trump in a matchup.

Phillips tried to deliver this theme in as nice a way as possible.

“We all love Joe Biden, but we know he’s in decline,” Phillips said.

Phillips delivered his stump speech and answered questions with his “aw shucks” demeanor. At times joking, occasionally serious, but always striving to be nice. His big idea for the White House is hosting regular Americans of all political persuasions for “common ground” dinners. 

Even with the sign of a late surge, Phillips said his campaign might be further along now if he changed his personality.

“I could have been in a much better position now if, when I started this run, I had been willing to do one thing, be a total jerk,” Phillips said.

Phillip’s campaign may not last beyond Tuesday, but he said Granite Staters have the chance to shock the DNC and the country. Phillips is making a big bet on New Hampshire, and he faces a long shot on Tuesday, almost as big a long shot as getting a nice guy into the White House.

Volinsky’s Anti-Israel Org Wants NH Dems To Write In ‘Ceasefire’ on FITN Ballots

President Joe Biden has competition for his ‘meaningless’ write-in campaign.

Former Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky is asking his fellow Granite State Democrats to skip writing Biden’s name on their ballots and instead take part in his anti-Israel write-in campaign called “Ceasefire.”

Announced Wednesday with a Zoom press conference, Ceasefire is Volinsky’s campaign pushing New Hampshire voters to write in the word “Ceasefire” on their ballots in Tuesday’s Democratic presidential primary. The plan, which may cause headaches for town clerks and election moderators across the state, is meant to protest Biden’s support for Israel in the war with Hamas.

“Vote Ceasefire aims to get N.H. voters to voice their anger and pain at the polls. Politicians listen to votes, and the people want a ceasefire,” the group said in a statement.

 

 

Leading Granite State Democrats like former state party chair Kathy Sullivan, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster are supporting a write-in effort on behalf of Biden. The effort, funded largely with out-of-state money, is necessary because Biden tried to kill the Granite State’s long-standing First in the Nation presidential primary and refused to allow his name to appear on the ballot.

Biden said moving New Hampshire from its place at the front of the line is necessary in the name of diversity, and prominent progressives have long argued New Hampshire Democrats are “too White” to be entrusted with this important primary.

Critics of the state Democrats’ write-in effort say it’s a mistake to reward Biden for his insult to his party’s primary voters by helping him win an election he tried to cancel.

Volinsky and fellow progressive peace activists Bill Maddocks and Morgan Brown focused their criticism on Biden and his Israel policy.

“I think about this in terms of ending the regional conflict and stopping the annihilation of the people of Gaza,” Volinsky said.

Brown, a self-described community activist, was more blunt: “The United States has been funding genocide in Gaza.”

Brown also claimed without evidence that Israel has killed hundreds of thousands of civilians in Gaza, a figure that far outpaces even the numbers reported by the Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry.

For Brown, writing in Ceasefire is not an empty gesture but a way to pressure Biden to stop standing with Israel.

“I want Democratic leaders to see the American people are taking a stand against the bombing of civilians,” Brown said. “The bombs being used in their genocide are coming from the Democratic Party.”

Notable by its absence: Any mention of the Oct. 7 Hamas terror attack by Volinsky or the other press conference speakers. Hamas terrorists killed more than 1,200 people, including women, the elderly, and children. They also took some 240 hostages. As of Jan. 13, Hamas was holding 132 hostages in its network of tunnels beneath Gaza. Six of them are U.S. citizens.

Maddocks, a peace activist and UNH professor, said the write-in campaign is a last resort after elected officials ignored calls to abandon Israel.

“Our words, our letters, our texts, our calls are not being heard,” Maddocks said.

NHJournal participated in the Zoom press conference, though its question asking why no one in the Ceasefire conference publicly condemned the Oct. 7 atrocities was ignored by the organizers. Reached later in the day via Facebook, Volinsky again declined to answer, instead responding with a heart emoji.

Volinsky claims he came up with the idea for the campaign after getting positive feedback on a letter to the editor he sent to the Concord Monitor. Volinsky sought the Democratic Party’s nomination for governor in 2020, losing the primary to then-state Sen. Dan Feltes (D-Concord).

“Vote Ceasefire New Hampshire is an informal group of concerned citizens encouraging New Hampshire Voters to register to vote and write-in ‘ceasefire’ on the Presidential Primary ballot on Tuesday, Jan. 23,” the group’s disclaimer reads. “The movement aims to get the attention of President Joseph R. Biden and other political leaders and demand they redirect their care for their campaign efforts towards an immediate ceasefire.”

Meanwhile, Shaheen is one of a dozen or so Senate Democrats pushing an amendment to make it harder for the Biden administration to send military aid to Israel. It would prevent the White House from skipping congressional review of arms transfers to Israel.

“The administration has utilized waivers allowing it to bypass congressional review for recent arms sales to Israel, prompting outrage from progressives,” Jewish Insider reports.

Michigan Official on New Trump Tape Threatened by NH Woman

There is a Granite State connection to the latest story of then-President Trump trying to pressure election officials into rejecting the outcome of the 2020 election.l

One of the Michigan election officials who reportedly gave in to pressure from Trump to not certify his election loss in 2020 became the victim of a New Hampshire woman’s violent threats as a result.

Monica Palmer, one of the two Republican members of the Wayne County Board of Canvassers called by Trump Nov. 17, initially refused to sign the certification that President Joe Biden won. In the firestorm that followed her decision, Palmer became the target of deranged and violent text threats from Katelyn Jones.

Jones, 26, was arrested at her mother’s home in Epsom and she pleaded guilty this year to threatening Palmer.

According to new reporting by the Detroit News, Trump and Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel called Palmer and GOP canvasser William Hartmann on Nov. 17, 2020 in a bid to stop them from signing off on the election results. A recording of that call came to light last week.

“We’ve got to fight for our country,” Trump is heard saying. “We can’t let these people take our country away from us.” 

Trump and McDaniel are also heard assuring Palmer and Hartmann that attorneys would be provided if they did as Trump wanted. After voting to certify the election, Palmer and Hartmann then refused to sign off on the results, and they tried unsuccessfully to rescind their votes.

Wayne County was eventually certified for Biden, despite the attempt.

Soon after Palmer tried to rescind her vote to certify the results for Biden, she began getting violent online threats, including bloody photographs of nude women along with threats against her daughter. These threats would later be traced to Jones.

“F**king with our election is TERRORISM, and us Americans clearly don’t tolerate terrorists so yes you should be afraid, your daughter should be afraid, and so should (name of the victim’s husband,)” Jones allegedly wrote in one of the messages.

Jones allegedly did not appreciate Palmer’s move to not certify the results for Biden sent her violent texts via cell phone and Instagram accounts. Jones used to live in Michigan, but allegedly created the accounts she used for the threats at her mother’s house in New Hampshire where she was living at the time, according to the court records.

When confronted at her mother’s house, Jones reportedly acknowledged to FBI agents that she had sent the messages. The threats include violent photos as well as threats against Palmer’s daughter.

“Hmmmm I’d be a shame if something happened to your daughter at school,” Jones wrote to Palmer via Instagram.

Jones reportedly told the agents she made the threats and called Palmer a terrorist and a racist because she was upset with Palmer because of the election certification, according to the affidavit.

Trump’s alleged efforts to prevent Michigan’s 2020 election results from being certified are part of one of the many criminal investigations the former president is now facing. Trump is indicted on four counts of criminal conspiracy to defraud the cited States, in part for trying to stop the Michigan certification. Biden won the state by 154,000 votes.

Steven Cheung, a Trump campaign spokesman, told the Detroit News Trump did nothing wrong when he called Palmer and Hartmann.

According to Cheung, Trump’s actions “were taken in furtherance of his duty as president of the United States to faithfully take care of the laws and ensure election integrity, including investigating the rigged and stolen 2020 presidential election.”

There is no evidence to support Trump’s repeated claims that the 2020 election was stolen.

Illegal Immigrant Pleads Guilty in Dover Burglary Bust

According to investigators, a young Dover girl hid under her bed, scared for her life, as Jheisson Rizo Suarez broke into her home during a burglary.

Now, Suarez, 39, from Colombia, is facing his second deportation after pleading guilty in U.S. District Court in Concord to one count of reentry after deportation.

Suarez is the third high-profile illegal immigrant arrested in New Hampshire in recent months, including a convicted mass murderer and an alleged human smuggler. It is part of a national crisis that has reached from the U.S. border in Texas and Arizona to New Hampshire’s border with Canada.

Some seven million undocumented migrants have poured into the U.S. since President Joe Biden took office, But Democrats like Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), who sits on the Homeland Security Committee, have declined to take any action.

Suarez was arrested in 2021 in connection with the burglary. Police responded to the residence when the girl, alone at the time of the break-in, called 911. According to a statement from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for New Hampshire, she reportedly whispered to the 911 operator that an unknown person or persons had forced their way into her home.

Dover police officers soon had Suarez in custody and discovered it wasn’t his first sojourn to the United States. Suarez had been previously deported in 2013, according to prosecutors.

Suarez, due to be sentenced in January, faces up to 10 years in federal prison. His plea comes weeks after Mexican national Reynaldo Velasco-Velasco, 36, was arrested at the Canadian border for allegedly smuggling people into New Hampshire.

Velasco-Velasco had already been deported from the U.S. in 2011 when U.S. Border Patrol agents caught him this month. According to court records,  Velasco-Velasco was illegally leading four other Mexican nationals across the northern border into New Hampshire. 

The smuggler allegedly had two cars ready for the people he was bringing through, and Border Patrol agents stopped the cars as they were trying to flee the border region.

And last month, federal agents raided a home construction site in Rye to arrest wanted killer Antonio Jose De Abreu Vidal Filho, 29. According to federal sources, Filho was in the U.S. illegally after overstaying his visa. The former Brazilian military police officer entered the country legally in 2019, even though he was fleeing prosecution for his role in the Curio Massacre.

According to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Filho was recently convicted along with three other military state police officers of 11 murders, plus charges of attempted murder and physical and mental torture, for his role in the 2015 massacre in the Curio neighborhood in Fortaleza.

El Globo, a Brazilian news outlet, reported the murders had been retaliation for the death of a Brazilian police officer in Fortaleza. Four of the 11 people murdered were teens under age 18; three were between 18 and 19, according to El Globo.

Filho was ordered to serve a 276-year prison sentence for his part in the massacre.

The arrests come as New Hampshire’s northern border is in crisis. This month, Chief Patrol Agent Robert Garcia of the U.S. Border Patrol’s Swanton Sector — which includes the New Hampshire border with Canada — announced more apprehensions in the past year than in the previous decade.

“Over 6,100 apprehensions from 76 different countries in just 11 months, surpassing the last ten years combined. Swanton Sector Agents are resolute and determined to hold the line across our 295 miles of border in northeastern New York, Vermont, and New Hampshire,” Garcia said via social media.

Gov. Chris Sununu has been raising the alarm for months and keeps getting turned down when he asks President Joe Biden’s administration for help. This month, Biden’s team rejected Sununu’s request that the federal government restore millions of dollars in border security funding New Hampshire received during the Trump administration. The funding, through Operation Stone Garden, gave the state resources to backstop federal border enforcement actions.

Sununu has not gotten any help from New Hampshire’s all-Democratic federal delegation. Sens. Maggie Hassan and Jeanne Shaheen, as well as Reps. Annie Kuster and Chris Pappas have been MIA, according to Sununu.

“I haven’t heard from them. I haven’t heard of any action that they’ve taken with the administration. I haven’t heard of any actual action or results that they have even attempted to bring to the table,” Sununu told NHJournal after the latest Biden rejection.

Asked Monday by NHJournal what they planned to do about the border chaos,  Shaheen, Hassan, Kuster, and Pappas all declined to respond.

While prominent elected New Hampshire Democrats have been silent, state party Chairman Ray Buckley spoke for them, reposting a social media message calling Ayotte a “fascist fearmonger” for focusing on the border.

Presumably, Buckley was not hiding under a bed when he posted that message.

Trump NH Campaign Official Said Jan. 6 Cops Should Kill Themselves

Donald Trump’s New Hampshire second-in-command was at the January 6, 2021, riot on Capitol Hill, and he recorded a message for law enforcement protecting the Congress.

Go kill yourselves.

“I have a message. If you are a police officer and you are going to abide by unconstitutional bullsh*t. I want you to do me a favor right now and go hang yourself,” said Dylan Quattrucci, currently New Hampshire Deputy State Director for Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign.

“Cuz you’re a piece of sh*t. Go f*** yourself,” Quattrucci said in the video, originally posted to his mother’s Facebook account. 

The video was shot on the evening of January 6 as members of the mob were being turned out of the Capitol Building by police officers after hours of violence. In the months that followed the attack, four of the police officers who responded to the Capitol to protect members of Congress and Vice President Mike Pence would end up taking their own lives.

Pat Sullivan, executive director for the New Hampshire Association of Chiefs of Police, has not seen the video but is not a fan of Quattrucci’s Jan. 6 message.

“It doesn’t sound like a message anyone should be putting out,” Sullivan said. 

The mob had failed to stop Vice President Mike Pence from certifying the election for Joe Biden, which would have been unconstitutional. Quattrucci’s subsequent rise in state politics, however, went unhindered. The young activist is now an active figure in the Trump campaign, taking the post shortly after he graduated from law school.

Quattrucci did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment.

NBC News reports that campaign finance records show he began working for the Trump campaign in May and made $6,500 in June, the most recent records available.

Matthew Bartlett is a Nashua, N.H. native who worked for the Trump administration and resigned on January 6 in response to the day’s events. He called Quattrucci’s video “one of the most disgusting messages I have seen from one of the most disgraceful days in our country’s history. This person should not be embraced in politics or public discourse, he should be deeply ashamed.”

Trump faces 91 criminal indictments in multiple venues, many connected to an alleged scheme to steal the election. Despite that, Trump remains far and away the most likely GOP candidate to win the nomination for president. Many in the party fear his wrath, and seemingly his operatives like Quattrucci. GOP insiders contacted about the video by NHJournal declined to publicly criticize Quattrucci.

Salem Police Officer Mike Geha, president of the New Hampshire Police Association, said his members work every day to keep Granite Stater’s safe and generally do not pay attention to political noise. While Geha would rather stay out of politics, he also had little time for Quattrucci’s comments.

“I can’t defend him for what he said,” Geha said.

If there is missing context for Quattrucci’s statement that police officers should kill themselves, he should come out and make that clear, Geha said.

Quattrucci has been dodging questions about his presence at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 for weeks since WMUR first reported on his now-deleted tweets from the riot. None of the tweets and photos appeared to be coming from inside the Capitol Building, but Quattrucci seemed to get close.

One tweet included a photo of the crowd outside the building from a raised vantage point, like the top of the steps outside the entrance. “We’re not gonna take it,” Quattrucci wrote, possibly referring to Twisted Sister’s metal anthem from the 1980s.

Other Quattrucci tweets from Jan. 6  included, “Mike Pence is a traitor to America” and “I’m bleeding for my country. You’ll have to kill me to stop my #FightForTrump.” That last tweet accompanied a photo presumably showing Quattrucci’s hand with a minor cut on a finger. 

COVID, Conspiracies, and Cannabis: RFK Jr. Does PorcFest

It was a hot Thursday morning at the PorcFest Pavilion in Lancaster, and as hundreds waited in the sun to see Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the air was thick with excitement.

And pot.

And the scents that come with the presence of a large number of dogs.

It also didn’t help that the central bathroom with showers, located near the Norse pagan spiritual village, was out of order. The adjacent port-a-potties were also shut. It was hoped that would all be fixed before Thursday night’s scheduled free couples shower event. 

This was the environment RFK Jr. stepped into when he showed up for Porcfest, the Free State Project’s annual gathering in the White Mountains. Once he took the stage, the air was full of something else familiar at FSP gatherings: Anti-government conspiracy theories.

Kennedy’s appearance at this libertarian event upset Democrats like New Hampshire state party chairman Ray Buckley, who sent the Democratic presidential candidate a plea not to participate.

“Free Staters are nearly universally Republican primary voters; they are highly unlikely to vote in the Democratic Primary,” Buckley wrote. “Free Staters view with hostility our candidates, elected officials, values, and our party as a whole.”

Given the hostility Kennedy’s candidacy has received from his fellow Democrats — including candidates and elected officials — that latter point may have been moot.

And if the state Democratic Party wasn’t thrilled by RFK Jr. showing up at PorcFest, not every Free Stater was happy about it, either. Kennedy’s security requirements involved a ban on firearms in the Pavilion, no small feat at an event that often appears to be a walking gun show.

Guns are everywhere at PorcFest. People brought their AR-15s to the dog meet-up (though there was a conspicuous lack of doggie clean-up bags). They wore rifles on slings when grilling burgers or buying tacos. And so, while Kennedy spoke, there was a small pro-gun protest about 100 yards away at the self-declared “grassy knoll.”

It was a joke that could be considered offensive to a Kennedy family member, except that RFK Jr. believes a government-backed conspiracy murdered his uncle.

And while Kennedy and the FSP crowd may have disagreed on guns, they found plenty of common ground on the overall premise that government is a major part of America’s problems.

In his speech, Kennedy rolled through a tale of CIA operations to create bioweapons, totalitarian attempts to subvert the Constitution, Microsoft founder Bill Gates working behind the scenes with Dr. Anthony Fauci to create a fake vaccine — with a couple of side trips through the dangers of the Patriot Act.

And, because he is Kennedy, there was a long discourse on environmental law administrative proceedings.

Kennedy’s appearance was largely a hit with the crowd. Suffering from spasmodic dysphonia, a rare voice disorder,  he delivered his stump speech like a raspy internal monologue that appeared to start in the middle of a conversation he was already having. He soon got to the FSP applause lines: Vaccine conspiracies, promises to free Julian Assange and Edward Snowden, and support for cryptocurrency.

The crowd quieted quickly, however, when Kennedy was asked about his support for the Second Amendment.

“I support a less than expansive view of the Second Amendment,” Kennedy confessed. “But, I’m not going to take away anyone’s guns as president of the United States.”

Jim Babb, one of the libertarians attending, said Kennedy’s views on gun rights are somewhat disturbing.

“I thought that was very weak. He talks about wanting to respect the Constitution, but I’m more interested in the fundamental right of self-defense,” Babb said. “He doesn’t really seem committed to human rights.”

Free Stater Tom Schnaidt first became interested in Kennedy at the start of the COVID pandemic and said he is still interested in his fight against the pharmaceutical industry. Schnaidt applauded Kennedy for telling the truth about his gun views, even if it did not appeal to the crowd.

“He’s running for president of the United States. New Hampshire is one of 50 states and one of just 13 that allows open carry,” Schnaidt said. “This audience would have sniffed him out if he got up there and made promises that were undeliverable.”

Tim Storrs is less concerned about Kennedy’s position on guns as he is that Kennedy did not address issues like the truth of the 9/11 attacks, the real origins of the Patriot Act, and how viruses are not real.

“The idea that viruses don’t exist whatsoever is not something that he admits very readily, and I don’t expect him to necessarily, and he’s already talked about this as something that divides the medical freedom community,” Storrs said.

Kennedy ended his talk by hailing the courage of New Hampshire Revolutionary War hero Gen. John Stark, who gave the Granite State its iconic “Live Free or Die” motto.

His wife, Molly Stark, viewed by some as equally courageous, might also have been worth a mention.

Molly Stark nursed her husband’s troops suffering from a smallpox outbreak during the war, turning the Stark home into a hospital. She petitioned New Hampshire for permission to inoculate her family from the dreaded disease but was denied.

Inoculation was considered too experimental and dangerous at the time.

Formella Joins Lawsuit Targeting TikTok, Says Children’s Health at Risk

New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella says he believes the TikTok app is hurting children and teens and adding fuel to the nation’s youth mental health crisis. Now he has joined a national effort by his fellow attorneys general demanding more transparency from a company known for its ties to China’s communist regime.

Last December, Gov. Chris Sununu signed an executive order banning TikTok from state-issued smartphones.

On Monday, Formella joined 46 other state attorneys general in asking a Tennessee judge to order the company to open up its internal communications for review. 

Our youth spend hours on social media platforms each day. We already know that on TikTok they are being exposed to harmful content including, but certainly not limited to, potentially deadly viral challenges, bullying, and graphic content showcasing sexual images and drug use,” Formella said. 

The Tennessee lawsuit has become a national fight as evidence mounts that too many children and teens are ending up with mental health disorders because of social media addictions enabled by the tech giants. Parents and communities need to act to protect children, and states need to get involved, too, according to Formella.

Attorney General John Formella

“As we work to help parents better protect their children online, we must be able to thoroughly investigate and understand the methods and techniques utilized by TikTok to boost young user engagement, including how the company specifically works to increase the duration of time spent on the platform as well as the frequency of engagement with the platform,” he said.

The attorneys general want to review internal TikTok communications to see if the company engaged in deceptive, unfair, and unconscionable conduct that harmed the mental health of TikTok users, particularly children and teens. The company has been stalling, handing over useless data and even deleting records, according to claims made in court documents.

The amicus brief signed by Formella and his counterparts claims TikTok employees use a messaging system called Lark for internal communications, and that the employees have the app set to erase the content.

“TikTok has flouted its duty to preserve communications and provide them in an unusable format. They have instead continued to allow employees to send auto-deleting messages over the Lark platform after the start of the investigation and have provided messages to the states in a format that is difficult to use and navigate,” according to Formella’s statement.

 Congress could move this week to give President Joe Biden the authority to institute a national ban on the app, which is considered a national security threat.

“TikTok is the Chinese Communist Party’s backdoor into American phones,” Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul, the House Foreign Affairs Committee chair who is behind the law authorizing Biden to ban apps and software nationally.

TikTok is owned by the Chinese company ByteDance, which has ties to China’s Communist government. There are concerns about TikTok gathering intelligence data on Americans, as well as the app giving an authoritarian and hostile China the ability to easily disseminate misinformation.

FBI Director Christopher Wray considers the app a potential threat.

“All of these things are in the hands of a government that doesn’t share our values, and that has a mission that’s very much at odds with what’s in the best interests of the United States. That should concern us,” Wray said.

Formella is focusing on the impact TikTok is having on teens and preteens, especially girls. 

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released findings demonstrating a startling increase in challenges to youth mental health, youth experiences of violence, and suicidal thoughts and behaviors among teenagers, especially teenage girls. This includes a finding that nearly one-third of teen girls seriously considered suicide in 2021, a nearly 60 percent increase from a decade prior,” Formella said in the statement.

A TikTok spokeswoman noted Congress passed a ban on the app from federal devices in December, dismissing it as “little more than political theater.”

“The swiftest and most thorough way to address any national security concerns about TikTok is for CFIUS to adopt the proposed agreement that we worked with them on for nearly two years. These plans have been developed under the oversight of our country’s top national security agencies, and we are well underway in implementing them to further secure our platform in the United States,” she said.

Some analysis finds TikTok is replacing Google as a top source for information, including news, among Gen Z consumers.

New Hampshire Is King of the Road

Start your engines and get ready to roll: New Hampshire has been rated with the best roads in the country at one of the lowest costs per mile.

Moneygeek, a personal finance website, looked at road conditions throughout the country using data from the United States Department of Transportation and other sources and found New Hampshire is king of the road.

Gov. Chris Sununu was quick to take a victory lap, saying good government and smart investments are responsible.

“New Hampshire has made smart investments in our infrastructure, and we’ve returned over $100 Million to cities and towns across the Granite State for roads and bridges,” Sununu said. “It’s with that sense of smart fiscal management that we’ve paved the way to be ranked the #1 state for taxpayer return on investment.

New Hampshire also has one of the lowest road costs, spending $9.63 per mile, according to the study. 

California, Rhode Island and Nebraska have the roughest roads in the country, despite California and Rhode Island outspending the Granite State by miles. California spends $23.16 per mile and Rhode Island spends $42.37. Nebraska’s rough roads at least come cheap, with Cornhuskers spending $5.66 per mile.

Road conditions are vital to economic growth and personal finances. Better roads mean it is easier to ship goods, making it possible for businesses to grow and flourish. At the same time, good roads make it possible for residents to take part in the economy while spending less to maintain their own care.

“The roads sector is critical for local, national and international transportation of goods and services. More than ever, roads are essential in supporting economic growth, enabling socially distant travel and connecting communities,” said Murray Rowden, Americas Managing Director and Global Head of Infrastructure at consulting firm Turner & Townsend.

Jerry Wilson, Chief Editor at Complete Auto Guide, said good roads don’t just happen. They represent one of America’s greatest achievements.

“Anyone who thinks that good roads and infrastructure are God-given and not one of the United States’ greatest achievements should move their eyes to other countries and see how the lack of infrastructure keeps them in poverty. You won’t be able to jumpstart an economy when a 20-mile trip is a big ordeal,” Wilson said.

State and local government spending accounts for nearly 75 percent of the funding for roads and highways, with the federal government making up the rest. New Hampshire maintains its 17,000 miles of roads mostly with gas tax and motor vehicle registration revenue.

New Hampshire has managed to keep its roads level despite getting some of the lowest federal funding for roads and highways. In 2021, the Biden Administration set aside $1.1 billion for New Hampshire’s roads in the trillion-dollar infrastructure bill, the least amount of funding any state received. 

New Hampshire Department of Transportation Commissioner Bill Cass said New Hampshire can thank its many professionals who make sure everyday people can get there from here, even without tons of help from the feds.

“New Hampshire is blessed with a dedicated team of professionals that works hard to build and maintain our transportation system and I’m honored that we are being recognized for our work. I credit their commitment to our asset management strategy and sustained investment to our success,” Cass said.

Meanwhile, Granite State Democrats are pushing for an $800 million commuter rail proposal, approximately half of which would come from state and local taxpayers. Transportation officials fear siphoning off hundreds of millions in transportation funds for a rail system only a few Granite Staters would use could leave roadways underfunded.

“It’s a terrible idea,” Sununu said of the commuter rail proposal during a WGIR radio interview Thursday morning.