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Campaign Monitor

Capital Beat: With primary closing in, campaigns get nasty

We knew the race between Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown would get nasty. It did so as soon as Brown entered the race and has only worsened in the months since. But that’s not the only race where the mudslinging is in full force. With less than two weeks to go until the Sept. 9 primary, federal and state level races across New Hampshire are starting to heat up. Some of the negative advertising is coming from outside groups such as Americans for Prosperity and 4

Negative mailers, debate over full-day kindergarten heats up District 15 primary

This week, the fliers dropped quietly into mailboxes across state Senate District 15. One asks: “Who will invest in every child and every family?” Flip it over to see the green check mark next to a photo of Concord attorney Dan Feltes – and the red X next to the photo of Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger. On the second mailer paid for by the Feltes campaign, the bold letters read, “Kass Ardinger led the successful push to stop full-day kindergarten in Concord.” Then 3

Law puts tighter limits on push polling

As the election season heats up in New Hampshire, so too does the barrage of polling and campaign calls. Ahead of this campaign cycle, the state has narrowed its definition of push polls, a phone call that sounds like a polling survey but instead is used to spread negative information about a candidate. The changes to the state’s existing law clarify the difference between push polls and research surveys and have been praised by pollsters and research firms alike. The newly updated law has been 2

Republicans Innis, Guinta, Kelly debate on radio program

Republicans Dan Innis and Frank Guinta took distinctly different views on spying by the National Security Agency and how to fund road and bridge projects during a debate yesterday on a Manchester radio station. Innis and Guinta are running in the Sept. 9 Republican primary for the right to challenge U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, the incumbent Democrat. They debated each other, as well as candidate Brendan Kelly, on the Jack Heath radio program on WGIR. Heath and New Hampshire Journal reporter John DiStaso moderated the 1

District 15 Democratic primary candidates set schedule for joint events

The Democratic candidates for the District 15 state Senate seat have agreed to four joint events in the next several weeks, but not without some debate about the schedule itself. Concord attorney Dan Feltes and Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger will be on the primary ballot to replace outgoing state Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years. The district includes Concord, Henniker, Hopkinton and Warner. Not all event details have been finalized, but the candidates are scheduled to appear together 1

With loophole in bylaws, New Hampshire Young Democrats endorse Dan Feltes for state senate

The New Hampshire Young Democrats group has endorsed Concord attorney Dan Feltes in the primary race for the District 15 state Senate seat. Feltes, 35, is competing with Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger to replace outgoing state Sen. Sylvia Larsen, who has held the seat for 20 years. President Theo Groh said volunteers from the Young Democrats will be joining Feltes’s canvassing this weekend. He cited Feltes’s position on issues such as student loan debt and affordable housing, as well as his age, as 5

Shaheen meets privately with VA secretary nominee McDonald

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen met privately yesterday with the president’s nominee to lead the Department of Veterans Affairs. Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid pressure in May after reports of mismanagement and faulty recording that led to long wait times at VA hospitals, sometimes resulting in veteran deaths. President Obama announced Robert McDonald as his nominee June 30 and McDonald has met with several senators since. McDonald is a former chief executive officer of Procter & Gamble who served five years as a U.S. Army captain. 4

A campaign season without Vermin Supreme? Hardly.

Does a campaign season feel incomplete without the dulcet tones of a man yelling “Brush your teeth” through a megaphone? Then you’re in luck. It might take some work to track down a copy, but a new documentary about perennial presidential candidate Vermin Supreme is complete. Supreme is the self-described “friendly fascist” from Gloucester, Mass., whose platform dictates mandatory oral hygiene and promises a pony to every American. He can be spotted outside events by more mainstream candidates, identifiable by his bullhorn and long gray 0

Shaheen campaign airs fifth TV ad

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s campaign is up with another television ad, this one focusing on her efforts to help college graduates refinance their student loans. This is Shaheen’s fifth television ad in her campaign for re-election. The other four ads focused on her efforts to help small businesses and bring a veterans clinic to Keene, as well as New Hampshire projects she’s helped secure money for and her work to help a constituent facing a home mortgage issue. This is the first ad in which 0

Capital Beat: When both campaigns tout support from veterans, what’s the point?

As Scott Brown released a new television ad and began his “Honoring our Veterans” tour last week, Jeanne Shaheen kept right up with his pace, holding her own “Veterans for Shaheen” event and creating a new web video highlighting veterans who have endorsed her. The message from both campaigns was clear: “I am the candidate who veterans support.” Rolling out endorsements from or focusing a message on a specific identity group is central to any campaign – see also “Women for Brown,” “Students and Young 0

N.H.’s federal delegation, candidates weigh in on border crisis

Pressure is growing on Congress and President Obama to take action to resolve what’s become a humanitarian crisis along the nation’s southern border. Since October, more than 50,000 children from Central America have entered the country, overwhelming the U.S. immigration system. Most of the migrant children are coming from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, and they’re either fleeing gang and other violence or seeking better economic opportunity. Children from Mexico or Canada caught at the border can be sent back immediately if they can’t prove 5

Republicans call for investigation into $25,000 contribution to Hassan

Correction: This story has been updated to remove an incorrect reference to a 2010 decision from the Attorney General about contributions in the gubernatorial campaign. This story originally stated the decision related to how much money candidate John Stephen accepted from PACs. The decision, however, related to contributions from individuals. It said campaigns can accept up to $5,000 from individuals during the period before they declare and up to $1,000 in the general election. It made no ruling on contributions from PACs to candidates. A 3

How Tom Steyer sees the New Hampshire Senate race

Billionaire environmentalist Tom Steyer sees a clear difference between Scott Brown and Jeanne Shaheen on the divisive issue of climate change. A difference so big, in fact, that he’s willing to spend a lot of money here to make sure Shaheen wins re-election to the U.S. Senate. “I don’t think we’d be in New Hampshire if Scott Brown hadn’t run,” Steyer said yesterday in an interview with the Monitor . Steyer is the founder of NextGen Climate, a super PAC that’s playing in seven races 5

Shaheen, Brown campaigns focus on veterans

Veterans issues took center stage of the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire yesterday, with incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen calling for passage of legislation that expands access to care for veterans and Republican challenger Scott Brown launching a new ad and kicking off an “Honoring our Veterans” tour. Care for veterans is a potent issue this campaign cycle given the news earlier this year that veterans across the country faced major wait times at Veterans Affairs hospitals and, sometimes, died while waiting for care. Shaheen 0

State Employees’ Association endorses Dan Feltes for District 15

State Senate candidate Dan Feltes has won an endorsement from the State Employees’ Association, the largest public labor union in New Hampshire. Feltes, a Democrat, entered the race last month for the District 15 seat, which represents Concord, Hopkinton, Henniker and Warner. He will face Concord School Board member Kass Ardinger in the September primary for the seat held by retiring state Sen. Sylvia Larsen for 20 years. Republican Lydia Harman also filed to be on the ballot in November. In a release yesterday, union 1