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Sununu Calls Campus Protesters ‘Useful Idiots’ for Hamas

Students protesting against Israel’s war with Hamas are “useful idiots” enabling a murderous terror organization dedicated to killing Jews, Gov. Chris Sununu said Thursday.

“This is a war… this isn’t a policy dispute. This isn’t some geographic border discussion. This is one group, a terrorist organization called Hamas that wants to wipe out every Jew on the planet. That’s like their written goal and they don’t shy away from that at all,” Sununu said during an appearance on Drew Cline’s WFEA radio show.

Hundreds of pro-Palestinian protesters have appeared on the campuses of the University of New Hampshire and Dartmouth College, as well as at town council meetings and city halls. Chanting “Long Live the Intifada” and “U.S., Israel, Go to Hell,” they’ve expressed their anger over both the actions of the Israeli government in Gaza, and the existence of the nation of Israel itself.

They are part of a national movement that began soon after the Oct. 7 terror attack, when Hamas members and Gaza civilians swarmed across the border into Israel and murdered, raped, and injured thousands of Israelis. Hamas still holds an estimated 128 hostages, among them five American citizens.

On May 1, a dozen protesters were arrested at UNH while trying to set up an illegal encampment on the campus. There were arrests at the Dartmouth campus in Hanover as well.

Sununu said the college students taking part in the protests are being used by groups with hateful intentions, like the Palestine Solidarity Coalition at UNH.

“They’re kind of using these students, as I would call them, useful idiots, frankly, to promote, ‘Oh, we’re just freedom fighters. This is genocide against Gaza.’ No, it’s genocide against the Israelis and it has been for 50 years now…” Sununu said.

There are numerous radical groups organizing the protests tied together by extremist ideology, and a willingness to work with governments hostile to the United States, according to research by the Network Contagion Research Institute.

Shut It Down for Palestine is an umbrella organization for several radical left-wing groups created on Oct. 11, days after the Hamas attack. Also known as SID4P, the group includes The People’s Forum, ANSWER Coalition, International People’s Assembly, Al Awda NY, National Students for Justice in Palestine, Palestinian Youth Movement, and it has working ties with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, a Marxist group dedicated to overthrowing the United States.

According to the NCRI report, the individual groups are part of an influence network tied to Neville Roy Singham, a far-left businessman who has allegedly disseminated Chinese Communist Party propaganda.

“The People’s Forum, IPA, and ANSWER Coalition serve as the conduit through which CCPaffiliated entities have effectively coopted proPalestinian activism in the U.S., advancing a broader antiAmerican, antidemocratic, and anticapitalist agenda. These three farleft SID4P Convenors are part of a network linked by close financial, interpersonal, and ideological ties to Neville Roy Singham and his wife Jodie Evans, a power couple within the global farleft movement with close ties to the CCP,” the NCRI report states.

Sununu said Thursday the college students getting caught up in the protest movement are easy targets for bad actors like SID4P groups, in part because they know so little about the history of Israel or the Middle East.

“When you don’t have good education in the classroom, the vacuum gets filled by social media and propaganda with these kids,” Sununu said.

Sununu isn’t alone in his view that the protests are being fueled by antisemitism. A Fox News poll released Wedensday found voters oppose the protests by a nearly 60-40 split. Large majorities of voters on both sides of the political aisle also decried the protests as both “pro-Palestinian” and “anti-Israeli.”

“About 6 in 10 voters say the protests are pro-Palestinian (62 percent) and anti-Israeli (58 percent). All other descriptions of the protests are under 50 percent, but not by much: anti-war (49 percent), antisemitic (46 percent), anti-American (43 percent), and pro-Hamas (42 percent),” according to the Fox News poll.

As More State College Systems Dump DEI Programs, UNH Still Spends Millions

In North Carolina, the state is transferring $2.3 million of spending at its flagship state university from its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) program to public safety and policing.

In Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed a law closing all DEI offices at state-funded colleges and universities.

The state of Florida, often viewed as a rival by New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu (R-N.H.), eliminated all positions associated with DEI in its state college system last month.

And yet the Granite State continues to spend millions on DEI employees and programs in the University of New Hampshire system, which includes UNH, the Franklin Pierce School of Law, Plymouth State University, and Keene State College.

Why?

“That’s a good question,” said state Sen. Sharon Carson (R-Londonderry), currently the frontrunner to take over the top spot in the Senate if the GOP holds its majority in November. (Senate President Jeb Bradley is retiring.)

The premise of DEI policies is that American institutions like universities are inherently racist or bigoted toward racial, sexual, and cultural minorities. Therefore, judging individuals based on merit is a mistake and should be rejected. Instead, hiring decisions should be based on identity politics in pursuit of collective justice.

“The University of Central Florida, in its ‘Inclusive Faculty Hiring’ guide, described merit in faculty hiring as a ‘narrative myth’ and advised employees to avoid using it in job descriptions and hiring materials,” DEI critic Chris Rufo wrote in The New York Times. “The guide also advocated explicit quotas of ‘minoritized’ groups in its hiring practices.”

Funding for the various DEI programs in New Hampshire’s higher education institutions is estimated at between $6 and $9 million, though that spending is scattered throughout various budget line items, making it hard to track. House Majority Leader Rep. Jason Osborne (R-Auburn) said the lack of transparency surrounding DEI is a problem.

“Members have long been asking for a breakdown of DEI funding for the University Systems and have yet to receive an adequate answer. Hearing that UNH alone spends roughly $2 million on DEI, clearly intervention is required. We look forward to addressing this in the state budget next year,” Osborne said.

And the timing may be fortuitous.

Washington State University Provost and Executive Vice President Elizabeth Chilton will take over the reins at UNH this summer, following the retirement of current President James Dean. Sen. Dan Innis (R-Bradford), who teaches at UNH, said this is the perfect time to reexamine the system’s DEI programming and funding.

Chilton, who spent 16 years at UMass Amherst, was a featured speaker at the 2021 Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice Summit at Washington State University, where she touted her work on DEIJ.

“One of the large ways that I have leaned in, in the past 15 months, is through the initiation of our faculty cluster hire in racism and social inequality [specializations] in the Americas,” Chilton said.

“Given the profile of the new UNH president, I think it is highly likely that we in the Senate will take action next year, perhaps as a part of the budget,” Innis said.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis has been an outspoken critic of taxpayer-funded DEI programs, and he helped usher through the higher education reforms that ended them.

“DEI is toxic and has no place in our public universities,” DeSantis said last month. “I’m glad that Florida was the first state to eliminate DEI, and I hope more states follow suit.”

But Sununu, who often touts the Granite State’s edge over Florida on issues of fiscal responsibility and personal freedom, is much more sanguine about DEI spending in his state’s budget.

Asked about the actions of North Carolina and Florida and whether New Hampshire should do the same, Sununu told NHJournal, “Obviously, any program — DEI included — would be looked at to say, ‘Okay, do we need to be funding this? Are the dollars appropriate? What are we getting for the return?’ We haven’t had any of those issues here in the state. None of that has been brought to my attention.

“If there was a concern, I would definitely look at it. But nothing has been brought to our attention. I’m simply saying those programs seem to be on a decent path, I suppose,” Sununu said.

However, several UNH trustees who spoke to NHJournal — on and off the record — said it was time to review DEI policies and spending, particularly as the college system is cutting staff and closing programs. On background, some trustees expressed concern that there is no scrutiny of DEI spending or its results.

New Hampshire Agriculture Commissioner and University System of New Hampshire trustee Shawn Jasper, however, willingly voiced the concern shared by many that the DEI programs operating at the state schools are ill-defined, with vague goals that can’t be measured in a meaningful way.

“There are several trustees concerned about what the goal is and how we measure the success of the program,” Jasper said.

According to Jasper, the DEI programs at UNH are less about addressing deep-seated societal problems and more about a marketing strategy. Nearly 60 percent of UNH students now come from outside New Hampshire, paying higher tuition rates than in-state students. DEI is part of the package advertised to the out-of-state student population, he said.

“I don’t have a problem funding those things if there’s an articulated problem that needs to be addressed. That doesn’t seem to be the case, it seems like they have to have it to compete with the out-of-state student market,” Jasper said.

If UNH is going to keep its DEI program, Jasper wants to see it deployed in such a way that it can be quantified.

“If we’re going to have programs like this at our universities — and I’m not saying they are not needed — we need to be very clear what we are trying to solve and I’m not sure, in New Hampshire, that’s been articulated,” Jasper said.

‘Pro-Hoe’ Activists and BLM Leaders Bring DEI to NH Public Schools

Rachael Blansett was hired in 2022 by the Oyster River School District in Durham, N.H., for a salary somewhere between $95,000 and $105,000.

Andres Mejia at SAU 16 in Exeter is getting paid a salary of more than $100,000.

But neither of them are educating students or maintaining schools. Instead, they’re both paid to make sure the teachers and staff are advancing the race-based cause of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in their local classrooms.

For the 2021-2022 school year, the New Hampshire Department of Education reported the average public school teacher salary was $62,695.

Driven by school committees and superintendents committed to the so-called “DEI movement,” some New Hampshire public schools are hiring professional DEI directors, some with little real classroom experience, to lecture teachers, staff, and students about equity.

Interestingly, they are frequently paid significantly more than most teachers.

DEI programs, sometimes known as DEIJ for those who include “Justice” in the acronym, became fashionable following the nationwide protests over George Floyd’s 2020 murder by police in Minneapolis. They are common on college campuses. The University of New Hampshire has its own DEI division with at least nine full-time positions and a seven-figure budget.

Blansett, who never worked as a regular classroom teacher before getting the Oyster River job, is responsible for “work(ing) with teachers, administrators, and students to integrate DEIJ throughout the district. (Blansett) will lead trainings for teachers, revise curriculums so they align with district values of equity and inclusion, and act as a resource for anyone in the Oyster River community to ask questions about DEIJ taught in a classroom,” according to the district.

When Blansett isn’t advocating for race and gender-based education in Durham schools, she’s providing “racial equity education” for the New Hampshire chapter of Black Lives Matter.

According to its website, “Black Lives Matter New Hampshire strives to bring education to the community by providing training on diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice within organizations, schools, and other local groups.” According to the biography linked to the page, Blansett’s “academic interests” include “challenging anti-Blackness and colonization ideology and theorizing/implementing accessible and liberatory practices.”

Rachael Blansett

And even before she came to New Hampshire, Blansett was speaking out for what she sees as racial justice. During a school board meeting in 2022, first reported by Granite Grok, it was revealed she recorded podcasts and posted comments on social media featuring messages like, “White people are not OK,” and “White people don’t wash their legs, and can’t dance.”

Blansett also raised eyebrows when photographed wearing a T-shirt with the slogan “Pro Black, Pro Queer and Pro Hoe.”

When hired, she explained the controversial podcast was a collaboration with a friend and pledged to discontinue the project. She also claimed her comments about White people were not made with racist intentions.

At SAU 16 in Exeter, Mejia also has little classroom experience. Mejia did work as a Teach for America teacher for several months before becoming DEI director. And like Blansett, Mejia is directly involved with Black Lives Matter, serving as vice chair of the state chapter.

Confronted about his membership in an organization that has advocated race-based public policies, called for the defunding of the police, and has been rocked by financial scandals, Mejia said he would not quit BLM.

“I am Black, and I can never separate myself from Black Lives Matter,” he told concerned parents in 2021. “My life matters.”

SAU 16’s DEI statement makes clear part of Mejia’s job is to help students understand their personal role in upholding systemic racism and bigotry.

“Part of our educational mission is to awaken our students’ awareness of their power and privilege so that they may view the world through a lens of equity and help eliminate unjust systems and practices,” the district statement.

Peggy Massicotte, an SAU 16 parent, says the baked-in bigotry animating the district’s DEI program and Mejia’s BLM leadership shows the whole position ought to be scrapped.

“We have to look at the way we’re teaching this to kids,” Massicotte told NHJournal.

Massicotte also mentioned BLM’s role in recent pro-Palestinian protests in which antisemitic and genocidal slogans are chanted, like “There is only one solution/intifada revolution.”

“He’s the [BLM] vice chairman,” Massicotte noted.

Mejia and Blansett are both NH Listen Fellows at the University for New Hampshire’s Carsey School of Public Policy, as is Tina Phillbotte, the Manchester School District’s DEI Director, who is paid close to $120,000 a year.

UNH recently underwent a punishing round of layoffs and cuts to save $14 million in the budget. While the university’s art museum and journalism program, which has produced Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters, were affected, there appear to be no cuts to the university’s DEI programs. UNH pays at least $1 million a year in salaries for the DEI program staffers.

Closing the art museum saves UNH about $1 million.

UNH Staffer Who Threatened Ramaswamy Targeted Two Other GOP Candidates

Prosecutors say the UNH staffer charged with threatening to “blow [GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy’s] brains out” also sent violent text messages to two other Republicans in the race. Now, he is facing three federal counts and up to 15 years in prison.

Tyler Anderson, 30, is charged with three counts of transmitting in interstate commerce a threat to injure the person of another for the messages to Ramaswamy and the two others.

Federal agents arrested Anderson on Dec. 9 after he allegedly sent grisly texts to Ramaswamy’s campaign. According to court records, Ramaswamy’s campaign team sent text invitations to a list of potential voters on the Seacoast on Dec. 8, ahead of a “Breakfast with Vivek” event slated for Dec. 11. 

Anderson got an invitation and allegedly responded with gruesome and obscene threats, according to investigators.

“‘Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!’ Anderson reportedly replied. He followed up with, ‘I’m going to kill everyone who attends and then f*** their corpses.’”

When he was arrested at his Dover apartment the next day, investigators found threatening texts targeting two other presidential candidates on his cell phone, according to court records.

The charging documents allege Anderson sent a series of threatening text messages to three separate presidential campaigns going back to November. In one, Anderson threatened to “impale” and “disembowel” a candidate. In another, Anderson threatened to blow the head off a different candidate and conduct a “mass shooting.” 

Each charge carries a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Anderson is currently free on personal recognizance bail with the condition that he remains employed and continues receiving mental health care treatment. His roommate is also required to remove his guns from their shared apartment.

A 2018 UNH graduate, Anderson recently started a new job as an administrative assistant at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. UNH administrative assistants typically earn between $35,000 and $45,000 a year.

UNH did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on Thursday.

UNH Staffer Charged With Threatening to ‘Blow Vivek’s Brains Out’ Ordered Released

The UNH staffer charged with threatening to kill Vivek Ramaswamy and at least one other GOP politician was ordered released Thursday.

Tyler Anderson, 30, had been jailed since his arrest Saturday at his Dover apartment after federal agents connected him to the threats to kill Ramaswamy at a Portsmouth event.

According to court records, Ramaswamy’s campaign team sent text invitations to a list of potential voters on the Seacoast on Friday, ahead of the “Breakfast with Vivek” event slated for Monday.

Anderson got an invitation and allegedly responded with grisly and obscene threats.

“‘Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!’ Anderson reportedly replied. He followed up with, ‘I’m going to kill everyone who attends and then f*** their corpses.’”

Ramaswamy isn’t the only GOP official Anderson has threatened, according to court records. Investigators found another series of alarming messages Anderson sent in response to another campaign text from a different candidate.

 “Fantastic, now I know where to go so I can blow that bastard’s head off.” “Thanks, I’ll see you there. Hope you have the stamina for a mass shooting!” “And then I’m gonna f*** (names) corpse.” “And don’t worry, (name), I’ll make sure to f*** yours too.”

The name of the other candidate is not being released. Anderson reportedly told investigators he had sent similar texts to other campaigns.

Anderson had no intention of following through on any of the threats, his attorney Dorothy Graham argued. He had no criminal record prior to the arrest.

Anderson is free on several conditions, including:

  • He has no contact with Ramaswamy or members of his campaign staff;
  • He stays away from all presidential campaigns;
  • He takes medication for mental health conditions;
  • His roommates’ guns must be removed from the apartment they share.

A 2018 UNH graduate, Anderson recently started a new job as an administrative assistant at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. UNH administrative assistants typically earn between $35,000 and $45,000 a year.

The University did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment.

No Bail for UNH Staffer Who Threatened Ramaswamy

Brought into court by federal agents and wearing the Strafford County House of Corrections’ inmate uniform, Tyler Anderson managed to stay quiet for Monday’s short hearing.

If he had mastered that same self-control before he allegedly started threatening GOP politicians, Anderson might not have been in court at all.

Anderson, 30, threatened to kill Republican presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy at a campaign event planned for Monday morning, U.S. Attorney Jane E. Young said in a statement. And days before that threat, Anderson allegedly threatened a mass shooting at a different Republican presidential candidate’s events and made threats to multiple other candidates, according to court records.

“I’m very grateful to local law enforcement here in New Hampshire, including a retired cop who has worked with our team, for their swift response,” Ramaswamy said when he sat down with NHJournal to record an episode of Diner Table Economics on Monday. “I continue to pray for everyone involved in this process.”

GOP presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy records an episode of Diner Table Conversations at the Airport Diner in Manchester.

Anderson, a Dover resident, is charged with allegedly sending two disturbing and threatening messages to Ramaswamy’s campaign. The threats came after Anderson received a text invitation to the “Breakfast with Vivek” campaign event in Portsmouth. 

Like many political candidates, Ramaswamy and his campaign use text messages to invite voters to campaign events. Anderson allegedly responded to one invitation with grisly and obscene threats.

“Great, another opportunity for me to blow his brains out!” Anderson reportedly replied. He followed up with, ‘I’m going to kill everyone who attends and then f*** their corpses.’”

Federal agents tracked Anderson to his Dover home on Saturday, placed him under arrest, and executed a search warrant. During the search, agents checked Anderson’s phone and found text threats to another GOP candidate, according to the affidavit filed in court. Again, Anderson allegedly sent the threats in response to a campaign text inviting him to an event.

“Fantastic, now I know where to go so I can blow that bastard’s head off.” “Thanks, I’ll see you there. Hope you have the stamina for a mass shooting!” “And then I’m gonna f*** (names) corpse.” “And don’t worry, (name), I’ll make sure to f*** yours too.”

When confronted with the text messages to one candidate’s team, Anderson told agents he sent more threats to many other candidates, according to the affidavit.

Anderson, 30, is a 2018 UNH graduate who recently started a new job as an administrative assistant at the UNH College of Life Sciences and Agriculture. UNH administrative assistants typically earn between $35,000 and $45,000 a year.

The University did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on Monday, but it is a safe bet Anderson won’t be at work for a while.

The government plans to ask that Anderson remain jailed pending a trial. Anderson will stay in custody until at least Thursday’s detention hearing.

Anderson faces a potential sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000.

Ramaswamy told NHJournal that while the threats were disturbing, his experience campaigning for president has been overwhelmingly positive.

“I think we’re far more united in our basic values than most Americans would believe from turning on social media or looking at the cable news media,” Ramaswamy said. “Eighty percent of us in this country share the same values in common. Meeting people in the [Portsmouth] diner this morning, we had a lot of warm conversations and made new friendships that I’m incredibly grateful for. And I think that’s a good thing in this country.”

Hate on Campus: UNH Professor Compares Hamas to Jewish Victims of Nazi Germany

Jewish students at the University of New Hampshire say they are feeling fearful as the anti-Israel slogan, “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free,” is heard across the campus and swastikas appear on the walls. The chant was also heard at an anti-Israel rally in Manchester on Saturday, along with attacks on Israel as an “apartheid state.”

Thus far, New Hampshire’s elected officials are largely standing with Israel. All four members of the state’s federal delegation have condemned the use of the “from the river to the sea” language, and Gov. Chris Sununu has declared the phrase “nothing short of requesting another Holocaust.”

But New Hampshire’s far-left activists denouncing Israel are getting support from some members of the UNH faculty, including a nationally-known progressive academic who is using her large social media following to attack Israel as an “apartheid state” and to compare Hamas terrorists to the Polish Jews who fought Nazi SS troops during the 1943 Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.

Assistant Physics Professor Chanda Prescod-Weinstein is paid close to $100,000 a year to teach physics and gender studies at UNH. In the wake of the Oct. 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel that claimed the lives of 1,400 people and injured another 3,400, Prescod-Weinstein has kept up a flurry of anti-Israel posts on the X social media site. Her feed, which has more than 115,000 followers, includes denunciations of what she calls Israel’s “setter colonialism” and defenses of antisemitic Rep. Rashid Tlaib (D-Mich.)

“Everyone harassing Rashida Tlaib — who is wildly popular with her constituents — looks like a complete *a**hole* attacking her while her people are facing *genocide*,” Prescod-Weinstein posted on X. “Complete a**hole. Cannot stress this enough.”

Particularly troubling, critics say, is her Nov. 9 tweet in which she appears to compare Hamas terrorists to Polish Jews during World War II.

Describing the current political conversation surrounding Israel’s military response to the Hamas terror attack, Prescod-Weinstein posted, “The people in charge are those who would have condemned the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising.”

Prescod-Weinstein did not respond to an email from NHJournal seeking clarification on her tweet. She has tweeted almost nonstop in support of Palestine, and in strong opposition to Israel over recent weeks. NHJournal could find no tweet or written statement from Prescod-Weinstein in which she condemned the Oct. 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

Asked directly by an X user if she is “saying that condemning Hamas is like condemning the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising?” Prescod-Weinstein responded cryptically: “If that’s what I wanted to say, that’s what I would have said. Instead, I said what I said.”

This isn’t Prescod-Weinstein’s first political controversy.

In the past, she signed a letter opposing a call for more free speech and intellectual diversity on campus. And she argues that human beings should rethink going to Mars over concerns of “colonialism.”

“Can we be trusted to be equitable in our dealings with each other in a Martian context if the U.S. and Canadian governments continue to attack indigenous sovereignty, violate indigenous lands, and engage in genocidal activities against indigenous people?” Prescod-Weinstein asked at a 2018 symposium on “Decolonizing Mars.”

 And according to a January 2020 story by Campus Reform, Prescod-Weinstein wrote posts claiming Black people cannot be anti-semitic. Prescod-Weinstein describes herself as an “agender queer” Black feminist. She grew up in Los Angeles with a Black mother and a White Jewish father.

“Antisemitism in the United States, historically, is a White Christian problem, and if any Black people have developed antisemitic views, it is under the influence of White gentiles,” she wrote. “White Jews adopted whiteness as a social praxis and harmed Black people in the process … Some Black people have problematically blamed Jewishness for it.”

In June, UNH rewarded Prescod-Weinstein with her tenure. A university professor with tenure can only be fired for cause, or under extraordinary circumstances. 

After news of the “river to the sea” chants at UNH, Sununu told NHJournal he hoped “the leadership over at UNH was swift and firm to condemn this language.”

Instead, the university released a statement merely acknowledging the phrase is “hurtful” to many.

“The university is proud of its record of protecting free speech on campus, including speech that may be objectionable,” UNH said in a statement. “The individuals in the video participated in an assembly to speak out on an issue, as is their right. We understand the phrase used in the video has deep and hurtful meaning to many. Neither these individuals nor anyone exercising their free speech rights on campus speak on behalf of the University of New Hampshire.”

Within hours of the pro-Palestinian protest on campus, students reported finding fresh swastika graffiti. Student Mark Rittigers found a swastika drawn on the bathroom tiles in his dorm.

“It’s gross; no one wants to see that in their bathroom,” he said.

The 18-year-old said there is a sense of hostility on campus when it comes to Israel. The pro-Palestine rally was an effort to direct hate at Jewish people and those who support Israel, he said. Rittigers is not Jewish, but he supports Israel’s right to exist and defend itself. Those are not opinions he is always comfortable expressing on campus.

“It feels unsafe,” he said. “There are people who I am sure would get violent over this. There are people who are quite passionate about their beliefs and more than willing to use violence.”

UNH did not respond to NHJournal’s request for comment on the swastikas. 

 

No Answers in NHGOP Activist’s Slaying

It has been almost two months since GOP activist Alex Talcott was killed in his Durham home, and there are still no answers about what happened.

Talcott, 41, was stabbed in the neck and killed in the early morning hours of Aug. 26. His body was found by police in his garage, and the death is considered a homicide.

Talcott’s violent death made national news as those who knew and worked with him in politics publicly grieved. Former House Speaker William O’Brien, state director of the New Hampshire chapter of the Republican National Lawyers Association, and Chris Ager, current Chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, both eulogized Talcott soon after the death was announced.

“He came to me many times just asking, ‘Hey Chris, how can I help?’ Never asking for anything in return. He was that kind of person. We’re really going to miss him a lot,” Ager said.

But in the weeks that have followed, officials have said nothing about the case. Republicans, particularly in the seacoast area, have filled the void with rumors and speculation, angering friends of Talcott and his family.

“Alex was a friend. He’d been a guest in my home. I’ve run past his house many times,” said former NHGOP state chair Fergus Cullen. “I have emails and text messages and even a voicemail from him on my phone. Something went terribly wrong. We shouldn’t be left to wonder what that was.”

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s Office told NHJournal the case is still under investigation. Michael Garrity, the spokesman for the state Department of Justice, said there will be a public report about Talcott’s death once the investigation is done, but he could not give a timeline on the investigation or report.

“At this point, the investigation into Mr. Talcott’s death remains active and ongoing, and it includes whether the person who stabbed Mr. Talcott acted in self-defense,” Garrity said.

Police and Garrity have said there is no danger to the community stemming from the case. No arrests have been made, and police know who stabbed Talcott.

Under New Hampshire law, a person may legally claim self-defense when using deadly force if they are faced with an aggressor who reasonably poses a deadly threat to that person or another third party. The state generally does not prosecute cases where self-defense is credibly raised as a possible explanation, avoiding trials in such instances. Whoever stabbed and killed Talcott may never be charged.

Since his death, little has been said publicly about Talcott. Friends and associates contacted by NHJournal have been reluctant to talk. Even information about his funeral and burial arrangements is not known. That is typically published in an obituary, though an internet search did not find one for Talcott. Obituaries are generally written by family members or by a funeral home employee with input from the family.

Talcott lived at the home with his wife, Kristin Talcott, and their three children.  

Kristin and Alex Talcott both graduated from Dartmouth College. Alex Talcott went into corporate law and was the CEO of New Constellation Capital Residential Real Estate and Venture Capital Investing, as well as an adjunct instructor in business law and finance at the University of New Hampshire Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics. 

A long-time GOP activist, Alex Talcott, made an unsuccessful run for state representative in 2022.

Kristin Talcott is a clinical social worker and therapist. 

Vivek 2024 Campaign Sues DOJ Over Trump Jan. 6 Docs

Gaining in the latest polls, entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy’s presidential campaign unveiled a new tactic — suing the Department of Justice over former President Donald Trump’s prosecution.

Phillip Gordon and Stephen Roberts, lawyers for Vivek 2024, filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in the District of Columbia last week, claiming DOJ and FBI officials are ignoring their Freedom of Information Act requests for documents connecting Trump’s Jan. 6 prosecution to President Joe Biden’s reelection plans.

The lawsuit was first reported by Court Watch.

Ramaswamy, 38, is a first-time candidate who transformed himself into an anti-woke crusader and Trump apologist. That message has moved him into third place in the ReallClearPolitics polling average.

During a July speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, Ramaswamy laid out his plan to completely eliminate the Federal Bureau of Investigation, in part as a response to what he sees as the agency’s politically motivated targeting of Trump. He has also pledged that, if elected, he will pardon the former president, and he has challenged the rest of the GOP field to make the same commitment. 

“Each of our paths to electoral success would be easier if President Trump were eliminated from competition, but that is the wrong result for our country. The fact that we are running against Trump gives us credibility to denounce this politicized prosecution,” Ramaswamy wrote to the other candidates in June.

Trump is facing more than 90 criminal charges in four cases filed this year, but Ramaswamy’s campaign focuses on the Jan. 6 indictments. On Aug. 1, Special Prosecutor Jack Smith unveiled four indictments about Trump’s alleged attempt to overturn the 2020 election. Those charges are conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an attempt to obstruct an official proceeding and conspiracy against rights. 

The day after the indictments were made public, Ramaswamy’s campaign filed a FOIA request with the DOJ seeking documents that could link the prosecution to Biden’s own political campaign. Ramaswamy’s campaign asked for things like memos, transcripts of conversations, or any other plans in which the DOJ or any other federal agency employee discuss how the prosecutions will impact Biden’s chances and the chances of Democrats in general as well as any communications with outside political organizations.

Ramaswamy’s FOIA covers January 2021 to August 1, 2023. While there is no direct evidence the documents Ramaswamy’s team is seeking actually exist, it’s based on the presumption that Trump’s prosecution is being directed — or at least being done to benefit — Biden and the White House.

“We’re skating on thin ice, and we cannot set a precedent where the party in power uses police force to indict its political opponents. It is wrong, the weaponization of justice in this country,” Ramaswamy said during last month’s presidential debate. 

The lawsuit claims the DOJ, FBI, and the Office of Inspector General (OIG) are breaking the law because they have not provided the documents within the statutory timeframe.

Earlier this month, the DOJ told Ramaswamy’s camp that due to the “unusual circumstances” surrounding the request, it would take longer than the statutory limits to search for the records and respond to the request. According to the lawsuit, that was the last Ramaswamy heard from the DOJ.

The OIG response letter from Aug. 17 promised to respond “as quickly as possible,” but that must be on government time. According to the lawsuit, OIG has gone silent about the request since.

Only the FBI has given Ramaswamy a definitive answer. It said, “No.”

“On August 17, 2023, FBI sent a letter to the Campaign indicating that the portion of the Campaign’s FOIA Request that had been forwarded to the FBI was being closed for being ‘overly broad’ and ‘not provid[ing] enough detail to enable FBI personnel to locate records with a reasonable amount of effort,’” the lawsuit states.

In another federal case, Trump is facing 40 indictments alleging he took classified documents from the White House when he left office, hid them at his Mar-a-Lago Club in Florida, and lied to FBI agents about the documents.

There are another 34 charges filed against him in New York over the alleged scheme to pay off his mistress, pornstar Stormy Daniels. 

In Georgia, Trump is charged in a RICO case alleging he and others, like former New York City Mayor Rudy Guiliani, conspired to overturn election results in the Peach State through a campaign of intimidation and overall criminality. 

Despite his legal jeopardy, Trump has a solid lead in the GOP primary race and is favored to win the nomination. Two new polls were released Sunday, one from The Washington Post and ABC News, another from NBC News. In the latter, Trump had the backing of 59 percent of GOP primary voters nationwide. In the former, Trump is at 54 percent with the GOP and beat Biden in a head-to-head match-up of 52 to 42 percent.

Meanwhile, Ramaswamy’s fortunes appeared to be fading. He was at just two percent in the NBC News poll and three percent in the Washington Post/ABC News poll.

UNH 3rd in Free Speech Rankings While Dartmouth Among America’s Worst

Granite State college students enjoy greater freedom of speech at the University of New Hampshire than their peers at the prestigious Ivy League school, Dartmouth College.

The annual college rankings released this week by the Foundation for Individual Rights and Expression, or FIRE, puts UNH third nationally, trailing only Michigan Tech and Auburn.

UNH President James W. “Jim” Dean Jr. said the school takes its responsibility to foster speech seriously.

“Free speech is one of the most fundamental American constitutional rights. As a public university, UNH protects and promotes this value by ensuring our students can be exposed to new and different ideas that will hopefully inspire growth and intellectual curiosity,” Dean said. “This new report from FIRE validates the work we have done and will continue to do to foster an environment where free speech can flourish.”

Meanwhile, Dartmouth, one of the most exclusive — and expensive — colleges in America, ranks near the bottom: 240 out of 248.

That’s a major drop-off for Dartmouth, which came in at 63 in 2021 and 83 in 2022.

According to data compiled by FIRE, a big reason behind that wide gap is UNH students don’t think it is acceptable to shut down controversial speakers, while Dartmouth students are OK with censorship.

FIRE’s Director of Polling and Analytics, Sean Stevens, said students at elite schools like Dartmouth, Harvard University (248), Northwestern (242), and Georgetown (245) are more inclined to prevent speakers they don’t like from being heard on campus The common denominator is those schools are predominately liberal

“There’s this elite culture to be tolerant, but most of those schools do poorly on the disruptive conduct survey,” Stevens said. 

As part of the review process, students were surveyed about how comfortable they felt speaking about controversial topics on campus and in class. They were also asked if shutting down speakers through protest, disruption, or even violence was ever acceptable.

“As you get more and more liberal on the spectrum (the students) are more likely to say those things are at least rarely acceptable,” Stevens said.

One of the findings: Many college students think shouting down a speaker is acceptable behavior, even at schools that rank highly. At UNH, just 44 percent of students said shouting down a speaker to prevent them from speaking on campus is always unacceptable. 

At Dartmouth, however, that dropped to 26 percent, meaning most students believe in stopping speakers they don’t like. That comes as no surprise to center-right students at Dartmouth. 

Last year, conservative journalist Andy Ngo’s scheduled in-person appearance at Dartmouth was canceled after a deluge of online threats from leftwing opponents. In 2020, more leftist threats of violence forced the cancellation of Republican U.S. Senate candidate Corky Messner’s scheduled speech on the need for border security to halt the flow of opioids into the U.S.

Stevens cited the Ngo and Messner events as reasons for Dartmouth’s poor ranking.

“They can’t undo the disinvitations, but they can do better,” Stevens said.

In contrast, UNH stood by a controversial group over objections from liberal students, Stevens said. In March, students staged a walkout after the Christian Legal Society student group planned a vigil for victims of a Tennessee school shooting. UNH liberal activists accused the Christian group of engaging in anti-transgender hate. The Tennessee shooter identified as transgender.

UNH also announced Wednesday that Dean is retiring as president on June 30, 2024.