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Campaign Monitor

Shaheen, Brown face off in final debate

The state’s U.S. Senate candidates met last night for their final debate, where just days before the election they underscored contrasting stances on health care, the economy and foreign policy – as well as their knowledge of New Hampshire. A question on the economy in Sullivan County proved to be one of the debate’s tensest moments after panelist James Pindell of WMUR asked Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Scott Brown about the county located along the Vermont border. After Brown listed tourism and 0

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster pushes constituent services to bolster bipartisan credentials

In 2012, U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster campaigned for Congress on two major promises: to end tax breaks for corporations that ship jobs overseas, and to freeze congressional pay until the budget is balanced. Did she fulfill those pledges? It may be unfair to evaluate any member of the 113th Congress on their accomplishments, considering all sides agree Congress has become paralyzed by partisanship. Kuster co-sponsored bills that could have achieved those promises she made two years ago, but most are still languishing in committees. She 0

Garcia’s conservative record a study in contradictions with her moderate reputation

As a first-time congressional candidate, state Rep. Marilinda Garcia has spent much of the past year introducing herself to voters, and defining who she is and what her candidacy means. At 31 years old, with little professional experience, she points to her four terms in the State House, where, she says, she’s worked with health care administrators and colleagues regardless of their party affiliation to move New Hampshire to a more consumer-oriented innovative health care model. House records show Garcia, a Republican, has sponsored five 0

U.S. Senate, gubernatorial races breed big ad spending

Wondering how much your vote is worth? If you live in New Hampshire, have access to a television and are eligible to cast a ballot in Tuesday’s election, the magic number – at least in the U.S. Senate race – is about $12. That’s according to an analysis from the Center for Public Integrity, which tracks the estimated amount of money politicians, political parties and outside groups are spending on ads in this year’s election. The nonprofit is one of several entities trying to keep 0

Democrats criticize Havenstein on raises amid scam probe

Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein knew about 5 percent raises given to consultants associated with a massive fraud scandal involving a company he led, his campaign said yesterday. He did not stop the raises from going into effect because he did not want to jeopardize an ongoing federal investigation into the fraud, spokesman Henry Goodwin said. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan brought up the pay raises for the first time during Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate. For months, she has sought to discredit Havenstein’s business record by pointing 0

Want to buy a New Hampshire election ad? Good luck

A Democratic super PAC wanted to run a 30-second ad during a Friday evening newscast on WMUR – and was even willing to shell out the $10,000 that the station demanded. Hours before it was set to run, however, WMUR had to revise its contract with Senate Majority PAC and credit the group’s account. The reason: “Oversold inventory.” Such is the life of even a deep-pocketed political action committee at this late stage of the 2014 campaign. Many of these groups want to keep spending 0

AFP, NEA targeted in campaign finance complaint

The New Hampshire-based Coalition for Open Democracy has filed a complaint against two out-of-state organizations, accusing them of violating the state’s campaign finance law. In a complaint dated Oct. 23, the coalition said Americans for Prosperity and the National Education Association Advocacy Fund did not register with the New Hampshire secretary of state as required by state law and did not report campaign expenses on time. Both organizations maintain state-level chapters, but the complaint targets their respective headquarters, both based in the Washington, D.C., area. 0

Hassan, Havenstein get in last-minute jabs during final televised debate

New Hampshire’s gubernatorial candidates met for their final televised debate last night, underscoring now well-established contrasts on economic and other issues. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Walt Havenstein, her Republican challenger, traded a familiar chorus of criticisms against each other. Both of them characterize the other as an ineffective leader whose vision would harm the state in the long run. In Hassan’s view, Havenstein’s economic proposals would threaten funding for key state institutions and programs, which in turn would harm New Hampshire residents who rely 0

Marilinda Garcia stumps at the Barley House in Concord

State Rep. Marilinda Garcia met some new faces last night at the Barley House in Concord, where she hosted a town hall meeting, taking questions from the crowd through Merrimack County GOP Chairman Bryan Gould. Garcia, the Republican running for the 2nd Congressional District seat, positioned herself as a moderate in style and on several issues, saying she never wanted to run a campaign of empty slogans. “When I started this campaign, I really didn’t want to resort to those kind of things that people 0

Three candidates vie for one seat on the Concord School Board in District B

Two current members and one newcomer are vying for one seat to represent District B on the Concord School Board. All three have similar concerns about the district – such as a lack of communication and involvement between Concord residents and the board – but approach the board with diverse professional backgrounds and experience. Barb Higgins and Patrick Taylor, both current board members, are being challenged by Nathan Fennessy. Higgins was elected to the board in 2011, while Taylor was appointed to the board this 0

Elementary school teacher, college professor compete for District C school board seat

Either a college professor or a second-grade teacher will hold the open District C seat on the Concord School Board. Alana Kimball, a teacher at Hillsboro-Deering Elementary School, and Shawn Hackshaw, coordinator of the undergraduate math education program at Plymouth State University, are competing to represent Wards 8, 9 and 10 on the board. When Kimball and Hackshaw realized few had filed to run for the school board, they each decided to join the race. Kimball, who lives on Pembroke Road, said her roles as 0

Small business, energy highlighted in Senate race

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen emphasized her efforts to help small businesses while visiting a Manchester company on Wednesday, as her Republican challenger Scott Brown headed to a nuclear plant to highlight his energy plan. Shaheen met privately with workers at Dyn Inc., which provides a range of services to help ensure Internet traffic is delivered quickly and reliably. She and the company’s chief operating officer told reporters afterward that legislation she helped craft helped the company expand from 20 workers to 400 in recent years. 0

Senate District 6 candidates are clearly divided

Voters in Barnstead and towns to its east have two clearly divided candidates to choose between for their next representative in the state Senate. The race for state Senate District 6 is a rematch from 2012 between incumbent and retired nuclear engineer Sam Cataldo, a Republican, and challenger and full-time pharmacist Richard Leonard, a Democrat. Leonard, of New Durham, said he approves of Medicaid expansion and the Affordable Care Act, raising the minimum wage and the Common Core curriculum. Cataldo, 77, of Farmington, said he 0

Shea-Porter: Guinta takes pride in blocking legislation

While her opponent says she doesn’t have much to show for her six years in Congress, U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter contends that it’s “nothing short of miraculous” that Democrats in the House have accomplished what they have. She said House Republicans – including former U.S. representative and Manchester mayor Frank Guinta, who served the 1st Congressional District between 2010 and 2012 – have adopted a mantra that they don’t want to pass legislation. “They said, ‘You should judge us not by the laws we pass, 0

Kuster, Garcia debate with one week left to Election Day

The candidates in New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District race have criticized each other since the very night of the primary, and both stuck to their tried and tested jabs during the final televised debate before Tuesday’s election. Incumbent U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster and challenger state Rep. Marilinda Garcia chided each other for missing votes and committee hearings. Garcia brought up Kuster’s delinquent property tax payments from 2010, and Kuster called the 31-year-old Garcia and her positions “naive.” Kuster criticized Garcia for opposing increases to the 0