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September 26. 2012 11:30AM

Obama campaign also courting small business owners

HHS Secretary Sebelius to campaign 'in her personal capacity' for Obama in NH this week

MANCHESTER -- President Barack Obama's campaign will bring Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to the state on Friday and Saturday to speak at grassroots events in Durham, Portsmouth, Laconia, Concord, Nashua, Derry and Keene.

To avoid any legal issues, the Obama campaign has made it clear that Sebelius "will be speaking to the press in her personal capacity on behalf of Obama for America."

The campaign even asked the media to " refrain from using her official title at the event and in related press reports, and note that we will not be taking questions concerning her official responsibilities."

Sebelius was cited two weeks ago by the Office of Special Counsel for violating the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from campaigning while acting in an official capacity.

The OSC said Sebelius broke the law by saying in a February speech that it is 'imperative' to reelect President Obama. She also used the speech, delivered at a Human Rights Campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., to openly support the election of local Democrats.

Sebelius called the violation "technical and minor."

The OSC did not recommend any specific punishment.

The Obama campaign has also launched an effort this week to build support among small business owners in the state.

Massachusetts State Senator and Cape Air Founder and CEO Dan Wolf was in the state on Monday and met with small business owners in Nashua and Concord.

Today, the campaign announced the support of 75 Granite State small business owners.

Thursday, former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland will meet with small business owners in Littleton, Berlin, Conway and Laconia. He will also kick-off a grassroots event in Salem.

On Friday, he will speak at a “Politics and Eggs” event in Manchester.

On Saturday, U.S. Reps. Peter Welch of Vermont and Jim McGovern of Massachusetts will speak at a grassroots event in Keene and U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko of New York and Steve Rothman of New Jersey will be in Portsmouth.


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