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Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: 'The Mooch' donated to NH politicians

August 03. 2017 12:51AM

“The Mooch,” we hardly knew ya. But Anthony Scaramucci, the sacked White House communications director, knew a few New Hampshire politicians.

Federal Election Commission records show he donated $5,400 to U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s campaign in 2016. He supported former Sen. Scott Brown’s losing bid to upset U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, in 2014, via contributions of more than $10,000 to two separate PACs. The brash hedge fund manager, whose foul language and audacity led to his removal after just 10 days, also gave big to Brown’s Massachusetts campaigns in 2010 and 2012.

Perhaps the surprising thing, based on the many donations reported to the FEC, is that Scaramucci didn’t also donate to Shaheen or another Granite State Democrat.

The former asset manager of SkyBridge Capital, just like President Donald Trump, spread his dollars around the political landscape over the years. Scaramucci donated in the past to Hillary Clinton, former President Barack Obama, former President George W. Bush, former Sen. John Kerry, and Al Gore, the Democratic presidential nominee in 2000.

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SEN. SHAHEEN and Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, both voted to confirm Christopher A. Wray as director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Senate confirmed Wray 95-2 on Tuesday for a 10-year term to succeed James B. Comey. Citing President Trump’s firing of Comey, and ongoing investigations into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Hassan said, “It is essential that our next FBI director is able to demonstrate true independence from the political influence of this administration.”

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THE NATIONAL Governors Association on Wednesday called on the Trump administration to stabilize health insurance marketplaces by promising to fully fund cost-sharing reductions. It’s a short-term fix to give states and insurers more certainty, and offset rising premiums. Gov. Chris Sununu, R-Newfields, said he called for such action months ago. “We were one of the first states to come out and demand those cost-sharing dollars out of this administration,” he said in an interview Wednesday.

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GROW, which stands for Granite Staters Reaching Out to Women, is a new political action committee dedicated to helping Democratic Party women win elections. The PAC was announced this week by former House Speaker Terie Norelli, D-Portsmouth, and former state Democratic Party Chairman Kathy Sullivan, who is also a national committee member.

Other founding members include Judy Reardon, state Sen. Martha Fuller Clark, D-Portsmouth, Liz Purdy, and former Portsmouth City Councilor Stefany Shaheen. “GROW will provide both moral and financial support to progressive female candidates, and work to make sure women are represented at all levels of government in New Hampshire,” Norelli said in a statement. Norelli is also listed as treasurer of the DLCC New Hampshire, a political committee that registered with the Secretary of State’s Office last week. The Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee supports Democrats for the state Legislature in 2018, according to its filing.

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AFTER TRUMP’s failure to repeal and replace Obamacare, the White House is now targeting its proposed tax reform. Sen. Shaheen, as the ranking Democrat on the Senate Committee on Small Business & Entrepreneurship, joined Chairman James Risch, R-Idaho, in writing the Senate Finance Committee to take steps to help small businesses deal with compliance costs, lost productivity, and unnecessary tax code complexity. According to the Risch-Shaheen letter, small businesses spend 2.5 billion hours annually just complying with the tax code.

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THE PRESIDENT signed into law expanded sanctions against Russia in connection with interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The sanctions include Iran and North Korea. “We cannot tolerate Russia’s shameless attacks on the foundation of our democracy,” Hassan said. In a statement, Trump said that while he signed the legislation to punish and deter aggressive and destabilizing behavior, the act includes a number of “clearly unconstitutional provisions” that encroach on his authority to recognize foreign governments.

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Quick takes:

• Former state Rep. Jack Flanagan, a Republican candidate for the 2nd Congressional District, is the guest speaker for the Amherst GOP’s meeting Saturday at Joey’s Diner, 8 a.m. to 10 a.m. Flanagan is also set to speak to the Pelham Republican Committee at the Pelham VFW on Monday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m.

Corey Lewandowski, a Windham man who was campaign manager for Donald Trump before he was fired in June 2016, has endorsed state Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford, in his run for the 1st Congressional District.

Eddie Edwards, a Republican candidate for the 1st Congressional District, continues to call for the U.S. House of Representatives to go without its August recess. Unfinished business on health care and tax reform remain unfulfilled promises, he said. “With few accomplishments to account for, the House of Representatives has regrettably decided to quietly embark on a five-week break. How shameful,” Edwards said.

• U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH, toured the Shoals Marine Laboratory on the Isles of Shoals on Tuesday, in a visit closed to the press.

• Rep. Kris Schultz, D-Concord, was sworn in Wednesday. Sen.-elect Kevin Cavanaugh, D-Hooksett, is due to be sworn in on Aug. 23.

• The NH AFL-CIO has announced its annual Labor Day Breakfast for Sept. 4, at St. George Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Will Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., once again be a guest speaker?

• Governor Sununu will race a school bus Saturday night at the New England Dragway as part of a NH Lottery promotion. He’s gung ho to drag race Scott “RoadKill” McMullen, from “Greg and The Morning Buzz” radio show. Lottery Director Charlie McIntyre and Sununu will also recognize Tate Aldrich, the Teacher of the Year.

Dan Tuohy covers politics and government for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Email news and information to

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