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Capital Beat

Capital Beat: A senator, a blogger and an engine repairman wander into a presidential campaign . . .

Sunday, December 15, 2013

A down-on-his-luck U.S. senator isn’t getting much traction in his presidential campaign – until a chance encounter with an Iowa engine repairman provides him with homespun wisdom that helps him get his groove back. Rick Santorum? John Kerry? Try Pennsylvania Republican Sen. Phil Granby, who vaults from the back of the pack into a dead heat with the GOP front-runner, Florida Gov. Bob Morgan. But while the presidential campaign moves …

NRCC radio ad targets Rep. Shea-Porter over Obamacare; she calls attack false

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter represents one of the nation’s swingiest swing districts, and the National Republican Congressional Committee is trying to soften her up even as Frank Guinta and Dan Innis gear up for a contested GOP primary in the 1st District. The NRCC today began airing a 60-second radio ad featuring a woman who says the health plan used by her and …

Capital Beat: Bob Smith is far from the first in N.H. to seek a political comeback

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Bob Smith isn’t the first former U.S. senator from New Hampshire to attempt a later-in-life political comeback.  In fact, Smith – who announced a week ago he’ll run against Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014 – won the first of his two terms in the Senate in 1990. His opponent that year: Democrat John Durkin, who was attempting to return to the U.S. Senate a …

Casino opponents gearing up for a renewed fight at N.H. Legislature

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Casino opponents and supporters are gearing up for a renewed fight next year over expanded gambling in New Hampshire. The Senate in March voted 16-8 to pass a bill allowing a single casino in the state. It was backed by Gov. Maggie Hassan, but the House in May …

Capital Beat: In old academic paper, a less-than-flattering portrait of the N.H. Legislature of 1913

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Granite State politicos this year celebrated the 100th birthday of New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary, and honored the 1913 Legislature that a century ago passed the law creating it. But a less flattering – and strikingly sarcastic – portrait of that year’s lawmaking emerges from a 90-page document …

GOP’s Brad Cook won’t run for N.H. governor in 2014

Friday, November 29, 2013

Brad Cook won’t run for governor next year. The Manchester attorney said in September he was considering a run for the Republican nomination in 2014 to face first-term Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan. He announced this morning, though, that he’s out. “I want to thank all those who encouraged …

Capital Beat: Collapse of Medicaid session could portend a nasty 2014 at State House

Sunday, November 24, 2013

It wasn’t exactly the Era of Good Feelings. There were any number of floor fights, procedural stunts, bruised egos and partisan attacks. All in all, though, 2013 was a pretty calm year at the State House. The lines of communication were open among House Democrats, Senate Republicans and …

Capital Beat: Obamacare rollout woes a bummer for Shaheen, Shea-Porter and Kuster

Sunday, November 17, 2013

How much of a bummer for Democrats is Obamacare’s buggy rollout? Just look at the three members of New Hampshire’s congressional delegation up for re-election in 2014. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, Rep. Carol Shea-Porter and Rep. Annie Kuster are …

Tributes pour in for N.H. political icon Ray Burton, dead at 74

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Gov. Maggie Hassan has ordered flags to half-staff across New Hampshire in one of the many tributes this morning to longtime Executive Councilor member Ray Burton, who has died after a months-long battle with kidney cancer. Burton, a …

Capital Beat: Scott Brown speculation heats up, but is it fantasy or reality?

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Is it a bubble, a symptom of wishful thinking and electoral anxiety? Or is it real, a groundswell that could upend conventional wisdom and the political state of play? Could he do it? Would he do it? For seven months now, former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown has been …

Bass says he won’t challenge Shaheen for Senate seat in 2014

Monday, November 4, 2013

Former congressman Charlie Bass will not run against Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in 2014, he announced this morning. “Though I am confident that a strong Republican nominee will defeat Democrat Jeanne Shaheen next year, my current personal …

Capital Beat: Senator’s bill would make N.H. the 43rd state to observe “Juneteenth”

Sunday, November 3, 2013

It took 20 years of legislative battle for New Hampshire to recognize the late civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. with a state holiday. Sen. Martha Fuller Clark hopes it won’t take that long for New Hampshire to join the 42 states (and counting) that observe Juneteenth, …

Tributes pour in for ailing N.H. Executive Council member Ray Burton

Monday, October 28, 2013

Tributes are pouring in for Ray Burton, the longtime member of the Executive Council from New Hampshire’s North Country, who announced Sunday he would not seek re-election in 2014 due to a return of his cancer. Below are …

Capital Beat: Threat of cyber attacks on N.H. infrastructure may spur legislative action

Sunday, October 27, 2013

It’s a scary scenario: hackers launching cyber attacks against the power grid, natural-gas distribution systems, cell towers, chemical plants, airports, dams and other so-called “critical infrastructure.” A terrorist plot from the seventh season of 24? Yes. But it isn’t just fiction: President Obama in February issued an executive …

Sorry, N.H. Young Republicans: Sanborn isn’t running for the U.S. Senate

Monday, October 21, 2013

No, state Rep. Laurie Sanborn isn’t running for the U.S. Senate. The New Hampshire Young Republicans held their annual lobster bake and straw poll Saturday, and Sanborn — a Bedford Republican now serving her second term in the House – was the runner up for the U.S. Senate …