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GOP, conservative group take aim at Hassan over trip
Republican gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway launched a petition drive on his campaign website in the hope of blocking the trip, scheduled for June 20-27, with Hassan leading a delegation of eight business representatives and six state employees.
The conservative policy group Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire recently filed a right-to-know request for more details on the trip, and received a reply from Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of Resources and Economic Development, on May 30.
The Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists, known as TUSKON, is paying all of the costs for the governor and one member of the state police, according to Rose. The trade mission has been organized in partnership with TUSKON and the Turkish Cultural Center in Manchester.
“In early May, when state revenues were still $25 million above plan and before the (travel) freeze, the state and the businesses paid most of the upfront costs for the mission,” he wrote.
Money in DRED budget
“Trade missions are an important part of the governor’s role, but they can only be effective if they are part of a coherent strategy,” he said. “Companies will be asking what the governor’s plan is for bringing business to New Hampshire from other states. They might also wonder why Turkey was chosen over our more important trading partners, such as Canada and Mexico.”
“Turkey is currently our 12th largest trading partner, with potential for even more growth, particular as direct flights from Boston to Istanbul began this spring,” he wrote. “In addition, we were able to secure TUSKON as a partner, helping reduce the costs for our business and state government.”
The delegation of business representatives headed for Turkey includes Andrew White, president of Comptus Environmental Sensors of New Boston, and a company shareholder, Tracy White.
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