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John DiStaso's Granite Status: Guinta DC fund-raiser to feature House Majority Leader Cantor, Majority Whip McCarthy

By John DiStaso, Senior Political Reporter
November 07. 2013 1:02PM

THURSDAY, NOV. 7: BIG NAMES FOR FRANK. Former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta has landed two of the most powerful members of the U.S. House Republican majority for a Washington, D.C. fund-raiser next Wednesday.

The Granite Status has learned Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy will be "special guests" at a reception supporting Guinta's bid to return to the House next year.

The $500-a-person and $1,000-a-PAC fund-raiser will be held at the Capitol Hill Club.

Guinta last month had planned to have House Budget Committee Chairman and 2012 vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan appear at a fund-raiser for him in New Hampshire, but the event was cancelled because Ryan was unable to make it as a result of the government shutdown at the time. Guinta's campaign said it raised $200,000 from those who had purchased tickets for the event, anyway.

Guinta, a former Manchester mayor, served in the House in 2011 and 2012 with Ryan, Cantor and McCarthy before being defeated by Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter a year ago.

He now faces a GOP primary challenge from former UNH business school dean Dan Innis of Portsmouth.

It will be a busy fund-raising week for Guinta. The day after this DC fund-raisier, on Nov. 14 he will have a fund-raiser in Portsmouth with former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown as the featured guest.

(Earlier Granite Status reports follow.)

THURSDAY, NOV. 7: HE'LL BE HERE. Despite a recurrence of prostate cancer, Republican Oklahoma U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn still intends to be in New Hampshire Friday night for a state Republican Party event.

A New Hampshire GOP spokesman confirmed being assured by Coburn's office that the senator intends to make good on his commitment to attend a fund-raiser "Celebrating 160 Years of the Republican Party" in the Granite State.

The $75-to-$1,000 reception, also featuring Sen. Kelly Ayotte, will be held at Executive Court in Manchester.

Coburn's office announced earlier this week that he has been diagnosed with a recurrence of the disease, which he first fought in 2011, and that he was undergoing further diagnosis and treatment.

(Earlier Granite Status reports follow.)

THURSDAY, NOV. 7: PRO-IMMIGRATION REFORM. Three Republican-oriented pro-immigration reform groups have released a poll showing that Granite Staters support a comprehensive plan that secures borders but also allows young people brought to the United States illegally "an opportunity to earn citizenship."

The Partnership for a New American Economy, Republicans for Immigration Reform and Compete America commissioned Harper Polling for the survey that targeted 12 battleground states, including New Hampshire.

The New Hampshire poll included 507 likely voters, was conducted Oct. 21-22 and has margin of error of 4.3 percent. The sample's political breakdown was 38 percent independent, 32 percent Republican and 30 percent Democrat.

According to the poll 78 percent of Granite Staters believe the immigration is "broken."

Seventy percent supported, while 20 percent opposed, an immigration reform plan that "secures our borders, expands visas for high-skilled workers and farm workers, provides an employer verification program, allows young persons brought to the U.S. illegally by their parents an opportunity to earn citizenship and provides visas to live and work here legally to undocumented immigrants without a criminal record who pay penalties and back taxes."

Also, 73 percent favored and 28 percent opposed "an immigration reform plan that ensures undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S. pay a penalty, learn English, pass a criminal background check, pay taxes and wait a minimum of 13 years before they can be eligible for citizenship."

The poll also found that 79 percent said it was important that Congress enact immigration reform this year.

According to the poll, 59 percent said they would be more likely to vote for an elected official who votes for immigration reform and 10 percent said they would be less likely to do so, while 60 percent said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate who opposes immigration reform while 11 percent said they would be more likely to do so.

The New Hampshire poll results were similar to the national results.

(Earlier Granite Status reports follow.)

WEDNESDAY, NOV. 6: CHRISTIE AIDES COMING TO NH. Two Republican operatives who helped New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie get reelected are coming to New Hampshire to work for a congressional candidate and the New Hampshire Republican Party.

The Granite Status has learned that Republican 1st District congressional candidate Dan Innis has hired Nathan Lamb as his field director. Lamb was the Republican National Committee's regional field director in New Jersey helping Christie's reelection effort.

In 2012, Lamb was a field coordinator for Republican Ovide Lamontagne's gubernatorial campaign.

Earlier today, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee announced the hiring of former Christie campaign regional political director Matt Mowers as the party's new executive director. (See story elsewhere on

The party also hired Bobby Collins as state field director. Collins, a former NHGOP victory field representative, returns to the Granite State after serving as the field director of the Republican Party of Virginia.

Lamb is the Innis campaign's second staff hiring. Last month, Innis hired New Hampshire Young Republicans National Committeewoman Stefanie Webb as his campaign finance director.

The hirings of the Chistie-related operatives is sure to spark speculation about the New Jersey governor's presidential plans and the timing of his first post-election visit to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

(Earlier Granite Status reports follow and can be seen elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)

TUESDAY, NOV. 5: CHARLIE'S 'ENCOURAGEMENT.' Republican former U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass confirmed to the Granite Status Tuesday that encouraged former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown to run for the New Hampshire U.S. Senate next year when he spoke to Brown this past weekend.

Bass announced Monday he won't try to run for the seat held by Jeanne Shaheen, citing "personal and professional" responsibilities. But in an interview, Bass made it clear there was more to it than that, and that he was not willing to face "personal attacks" from Democrats for the next year.

Bass, who represented the state's 2nd Congressional District for seven terms, said, "This is the right time and I think it's the right year.

"But, frankly, I may not be the right candidate," he said.

The National Journal first reported that in a weekend telephone conversation, Bass encouraged Brown to run.

"That's right," Bass told us. "I didn't endorse him, but I called him to say that I had made a decision and to advise him that if he chose to run in New Hampshire, I think he'd be a good candidate."

Bass said he is not been "hung up on whether you've lived here forever. I'm the classic example of someone who has, and it doesn't seem to make much difference. My view is once you get past the claim that he's a carpetbagger, my response would be 'So what?'

"What's the election about? Is it about that or is it about one type of representation in voting versus another? I think he could be a strong candidate. And I just said, 'I'm not going to be in the race and I think you ought to consider it."

Bass said he has been on the ballot about 30 times in about 30 years, and, "The Democrats, when they are weak on the issues, tend to go after the personal issue. This whole thing about me and New England Wood Pellet there has never been any substance to it, but that's the kind of tactics they use."

New England Wood Pellet is a firm that was at the center of questions involving whether he unduly used his influence as a congressmen, which he strongly denied. He now has begun a new lumber firm, called Woodbrowser.

"The kind of candidate needed to take on Jeannie Shaheen is someone who can force the issue to be voted on her voting record and not be diverted into something different," he said.

"It's a little bit discouraging," Bass said, "because there are real issues that need to be aired in this election and the election ought to be about a referendum on where we are headed in America. It should not be an election about personal attacks and it was pretty clear to me that the Democrats' goal in this process, as it's been in the past, has been to try to figure out how to tear me down because they know they lose when they try to debate the issues."

"And besides, I've been through one tough election after the next and it's time for me to take a break and do something different."

He noted, "My grandfather ran unsuccessfully for the Senate in 1926 and my father ran unsuccessfully in 1962. I love the challenge and the debate, but it has to be about something other than me."

Brown confirmed in an email, "Charlie did call to let me know. I don't comment on private conversations, but Charlie is a good man who has served New Hampshire well. I wish him the best in whatever he decides to do next."

TUESDAY, NOV. 5: BIG FUNDRAISER FOR LAMBERT. Two key southern New Hampshire activist/donors are hosting a fund-raiser for Republican 2nd District U.S. House candidate Gary Lambert later this month.

A $100 to $250 a person luncheon at the Atkinson Country Club on Nov. 22 will be hosted by Steve Lewis of Atkinson, who owns a real estate firm and Bruce Breton of Windham, who is a former member of the board of selectman and is active with the Windham Taxpayer Coalition.

Lambert, of Hudson, is the only announced GOP candidate for the seat held by U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster. State Rep. Marilinda Garcia of Salem has been eyeing a possible candidacy.

(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)

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