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My Turn: Havenstein is allowed to run, but he shouldn’t be

Walt Havenstein

Walt Havenstein

I attended the New Hampshire Ballot Law Commission hearing on June 30 regarding Walt Havenstein’s eligibility to run for governor.

The New Hampshire Constitution states that you cannot run for (or serve as) governor unless you have been an inhabitant of our state for the past seven years.

I personally believe that there is ample evidence that Havenstein was an inhabitant of Maryland for at least some of the years between 2007 and 2012.

I was not shocked, however, that three of the five members of the commission gave him the benefit of the doubt and voted to keep him on the ballot.

In January 2007, Havenstein and his wife, Judith, bought a luxury condo in downtown Bethesda, Md., just as he was taking a new job as the chief executive of defense contractor BAE Systems’ U.S. operating division.

Havenstein and his lawyer described the condo, with only unintentional irony, as “very spartan.” C-Level executives earning $5 million or so a year generally live in fancier dwellings, but this was nevertheless a spacious two-bedroom apartment in a great location, with two parking spaces, in a fancy new building.

The Havensteins took a property tax deduction available only to residents of Maryland who are using the home as a principal residence, which saved them between $1,000 and $2,500 per year.

The Havensteins continued to own a house in Alton, which they built in 2004, and Judith Havenstein continued to live in New Hampshire full time.

Judith Havenstein is definitely eligible to run for governor of New Hampshire, but she is not the candidate. Like millions of other happily married couples, they maintained separate residences between 2007 and 2012 (the year Havenstein retired somewhat abruptly at the end of three difficult years as the CEO of one of BAE’s competitors, SAIC.)

While living in Maryland, Havenstein did visit his wife in Alton as frequently as he could, and he even continued to vote in Alton.

The tax deduction, however, is just one of many indications that he was in fact an inhabitant of Maryland.

He was active in many civic activities around the Washington, D.C., area. He frequently referred to himself in various forums as a resident of Bethesda (which happens to be the town where he grew up). He has been a leading spokesman for the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development’s ongoing “” campaign, which encourages businesses to locate in that state.

By his own admission, he even got a Maryland driver’s license in 2009.

In case anyone is wondering about my qualifications to run for my own current elective office as a state representative from Durham, I have lived in town since 2001.

I grew up in Durham, and I moved away to New York and California while going to school and doing the other things that young people typically do in their 20s.

I moved back to New Hampshire for good in 1984. So, I am well beyond the constitutional requirement of two years as an inhabitant of New Hampshire.

(Rep. Timothy Horrigan lives in Durham.)

Legacy Comments13

Nobody is happier about Havenstein's eligibility than Maggie Hassan, who probably dropped down on her knees and thanked God upon hearing the news. Oh, she could be ousted...for sure, but not by this guy. Why the GOP continues to run empty suits out there is the real mystery. They just don't seem to get it.

Larry, Both parties are made up of are "empty suits", or what I call A.W.O.L. s. At least Hassan has until Mon., July 14th @ 4:00 p.m. to file her Appearance and Answer in the Ed Brown lawsuit against her from his * * Maryland * * Prison cell in Case #297 at the Merrimack County Superior Court, him a New Hampshire Article 12 "inhabitant"-in-exile with the "intent" to return to his RSA Ch. 480:1-9 homestead, having been educated to the truth in the FCI's of "Uncle Sam" that the two Democrats of Lynch and now Hassan have FAIL-ed and did REFUSE to do their Article 51 duty to the penalty pre-scribed in Section 2 of the 14th Amendment since we and ten other states do not elect our "Judicial officers" and so the representation in Congress from here "shall" be reduced. The 4 4 = 8 Republican candidates for Districts #1 2 have been e-mailed by me on Tue., July 1st @ 9:47 p.m. about this one and only lawful seat as RSA Ch. 662:1 [ ] is currently (in the present tense ) unconstitutional, of my Invitation to them now extended to the two Republican candidates for N.H. governor of my welcome to each or both and all of them to file an individual or joint Republican Amicus Curiea / Friend of the Court Brief, and to any Independent or Libertarian party candidate too as having filed that Declaration to run in the General Election in November. This a test of leadership in a "What Would They Do?" or to await the judge's decision on this conflict of opinions.

I am not sure that Haverstein can win, much less should he run but no one was upset when Hillary did the same exact thing, progressives called her the next best thing to sliced bread. The question begs, if a person has a history of say, 25 jobs in as many years from retail clerk to shuttle bus driver and can't hold down a job, should we trust them to do their job in any elected office? What if they were born here, moved back here but always, owned land here, should you be allowed to run? I think so to the latter.

The Homestead Act in MD requires you live in MD for 6 months or more to get that tax credit. MD is notorious for pulling folks over with out of state DLS and International DLS. So if your there working, you would be smart to get a MD DL. Evidently this panel agreed that he is a NH resident because he pays taxes here, votes here etc. Now if someone who lives in NH takes a job out of state for a period of time, does that mean they give up their NH residency? If you want residency requirements to mean you cannot live anywhere else for a period of time, then those residency laws need to be changed. Not sure why the cost of his condo is an issue. I also thought one Dem sided with the reps on this decision. Seems to me this all about politics as usual.

According to: " There shall be a ballot law commission consisting of 5 members. Two members shall be appointed by the speaker of the house of representatives, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. Two members shall be appointed by the president of the senate, one from each of the 2 major political parties in the state based on votes cast for governor in the most recent state general election. " Plus Manchester attorney Brad Cook, the Chairman who split the tie party vote: " One member shall be appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the council, and shall be a person particularly qualified by EXPERIENCE in election procedure. " (emphasis ADDed as the key word is "intent" of Havenstein always was like a homing pigeon.)

and the left does not mention one NO voting member was appointed by Hassan just a few months ago - talk about a bought vote - yikes

the only good thing to come of this is democrats have discovered NH has a constitution.....and are actually reading it

At least we can read.

Read yes..follow..not so much

This is an interesting letter. I would add a couple of specifics to the points that Rep. Horrigan makes. Mr Havenstein did apply for and receive a Maryland drivers license. He was not required to do so by law, but he chose to do so. Under Maryland law he was required to turn in his NH license, and to declare and prove that he was a resident of the state of Maryland. While he voted in NH, he did so in the even year elections, and on more than one occasion he voted by absentee ballot. No evidence was offered concerning his attendance at town or school district meetings.

Here's a little thought experiment: How might the same facts be spun if Havenstein were contemplating a run for political office in Maryland?

If for governor, according to: " You must be 30 years of age and have been BOTH a resident AND registered voter for a period of 5 years. " (emphasis ADDed, of Havenstein could have IF he voted down there.) - - - - - Plus Peter: Maybe WHY he didn't attend the "school district" meetings was because he RSA Ch. 80:61 opted out of such implied consent as to non-commit his property to be tax in rem because there was no representation therein the district is territorial and applicable to the person. Or is he so $ rich as to pay that slice of the property tax pie ex gratia of it not worth the fight for the cause?

Typical liberal - always trying to suppress the speech and campaigns others - I guess Walt has them quaking in their boots.

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