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Dan Tuohy has covered politics in the Granite State since 1993 and has reported from the Statehouse. A New Hampshire native, Tuohy is a past president of the New Hampshire Press Association.
August 13. 2014 9:18PM

Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Shaheen calls for bigger childcare tax credit

U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is touting legislation to expand the childcare tax credit. Her latest television ad notes the Helping Working Families Afford Childcare Act, which Shaheen introduced, proposes doubling the tax credits and making sure the costs account for inflation.

Shaheen says in the ad: "It's hard to keep up with kids; even harder to keep up with rising costs, like childcare. "I’m working to change that. My bill would increase tax credits for childcare and could save families thousands of dollars. Savings could more than double for some." Her campaign cites a Pew Research Center report that indicates weekly childcare costs rose 70 percent from 1985 to 2011 for families with working mothers.

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A POLITICAL ACTION Committee supporting Texas Gov. Rick Perry is urging conservatives to unite behind Perry after last week's indictment for alleged abuse of power. The indictment centered on Perry's veto of funding for the Travis County District Attorney Rosemary Lehmberg, in connection with his call for her to resign after a drunken driving arrest in 2013. RickPAC released a video, "Setting the Record Straight," which shows Lehmberg's arrest and time in jail.

It concludes with Perry, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, saying, "I wholeheartedly and unequivocally stand behind my veto." He's also standing behind his scheduler: Perry has at least six stops in New Hampshire this Friday and Saturday.

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THE CHICKEN puns have been flying since a man wearing a chicken costume was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct at the Londonderry Old Home Day Parade last Saturday. He was there as part of the state GOP bird-dogging of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), and the GOP's town hall ticker on its website that marks the days, hours and minutes since New Hampshire's senior senator held a town hall. ICYMI, here's the story.

POLITICAL CALENDAR: The candidates are blasting out last-minute pitches for campaign donations ahead of a state filing deadline. Tomorrow, Aug. 20, is the first report due for political committees of political parties and committees of the candidates. It's also the second report of receipts and expenditures due for political committees.

Email political news items and tips to dtuohy@unionleader.com and follow on Twitter: @tuohy

MONADNOCK DEBATES: The congressional candidates running for the Republican nomination in the 2nd District will participate in the Monadnock Debates tonight, Aug. 19, at Franklin Pierce University. The debate is scheduled to start at 6 p.m.

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WOMEN'S ECONOMIC AGENDA: While Republican hopeful Scott Brown appeared with Sen. John McCain, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) campaigned with Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) to discuss the "women's economic agenda." Mary Jo Brown, of Brown & Company Design, hosted about 60 people at her business Aug. 18 in Portsmouth. The priorities discussed included: equal pay, increasing the minimum wage, health care access, and support for women-owned businesses. Stephanie Kuhn, a student at the University of New Hampshire, and Jessica Hayes, a mother of young children facing high child care costs, shared their experiences, according to the campaign.

The campaign also noted Shaheen introduced bills to expand childcare tax credits and to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court's "Hobby Lobby" decision to ensure companies cannot deny female employees coverage for contraceptive care services.

Brown said Shaheen "understands the unique challenges that female entrepreneurs face in this competitive and changing market."

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THE STARK CONTRAST? The Stark360 PAC announced it has endorsed Andrew Hemingway for governor and Marilinda Garcia for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. The new PAC seeks to support pro-liberty candidates, and it celebrated its first endorsements as "millennial candidates." "We need leaders, not administrators, bold solutions, not stale political rhetoric and the status quo," Stark360 Chairman Aaron Day said in the announcement.

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 (The Granite Status column for Aug. 14 is below:)

THE CAMPAIGN MAILER states: “Marilinda Garcia. Soft on illegal immigration.”

It attacks Garcia, who has Hispanic heritage, as a pro-amnesty politician. Her campaign condemned it as a glossy pack of lies, courtesy of Gary Lambert, a fellow Republican running for Congress.

In case you’re just returning from a summer vacation, welcome to what is arguably the hottest race in New Hampshire.

The two have been at it for months as they battle for the nomination in the Second Congressional District. And they keep throwing more gas on the fire.

The specific issue: A resolution Garcia co-sponsored last year at the National Hispanic Caucus of State Legislators that advocated for the “legalization of undocumented immigrants.’’

Garcia doesn’t deny the vote, but spokesman Kenny Cunningham said the Lambert campaign “has devolved into nasty politics.”

“Marilinda has always opposed amnesty because it undermines the rule of law and compromises our legal immigration process,” Cunningham said.

Garcia is a state representative from Salem. Lambert is a former state senator from Nashua. A third GOP candidate, former Rep. Jim Lawrence of Hudson, is also jockeying for the chance to challenge U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a Democrat from Hopkinton, in the general election. (The New Hampshire Union Leader has endorsed Garcia).

The Garcia campaign also responded to counter reports that Lambert will air a television ad on WMUR-TV with a similar charge that Garcia is "soft" on illegal immigration.

"The resolution cited in the ad is simply an effort by Marilinda to put a solution on the table - a solution that does not include amnesty," Cunningham said in a statement. "She believes the fact that millions of people are in the U.S. illegally, making money, not paying taxes, and often receiving taxpayer funded benefits, is a real problem. Figuring out how to deal with this problem – starting with getting them to pay their taxes - is her goal."

Another Lambert mailer accuses Garcia of supporting $150 billion in new taxes based on a comment she made in the spring about closing tax loopholes. Cunningham rebuked that one, too. He said Garcia opposes any new tax increases and wants to lower overall corporate tax rates while eliminating tax loopholes that benefit special interests. Josh Davidson, Lambert’s campaign manager, said it’s not a zero-sum game for taxpayers. His 2 cents: You nix a tax break, you net a tax increase.

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LABOR PICKS: The New Hampshire AFL-CIO has endorsed the top of the Democratic ticket: Gov. Maggie Hassan, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter (District 1) and Ann McLane Kuster (District 2). Union President Mark MacKenzie said the AFL-CIO would mount an “aggressive field campaign to turn out voters in support of these working family champions.” In his announcement, MacKenzie cites efforts to protect Portsmouth Naval Shipyard jobs from furloughs under sequestration.

The NH AFL-CIO has about 30,000 active and retired members.

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A STATE SENATE RACE TO WATCH: Manchester attorney Maureen Raiche Manning announced Wednesday that she is running for the Democratic nomination for state Senate in District 16, which encompasses Bow, Candia, Dunbarton, Hooksett and Manchester wards 1, 2 and 12.

“I have truly been humbled by the outpouring of support of citizens across the District 16 communities urging me to run for the state Senate,” she said in a statement. “I am running for the state Senate to work across party lines to keep New Hampshire’s economy moving forward, fight tirelessly to expand opportunity for middle-class families and solve problems by bringing people together.”

Manning, owner and operator of legal firm Manning and Zimmerman, PLLC, previously served three terms in the N.H. House after first being elected at 19. She and her husband, Donald, have three sons.

State Sen. David Boutin, R-Hooksett, is facing a Republican primary challenge from Jane Cormier of Hooksett. The state primary is Sept. 9

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When the Mayday PAC endorsed U.S. Senate Republican hopeful Jim Rubens, he embraced the support. The “Super PAC to end all Super PACS” has since endorsed Shea-Porter. She has maintained opposition to Super PACS. Earlier this year, she challenged Republicans Frank Guinta and Dan Innis to take a “People’s Pledge” against third-party ads and the like. But the Mayday PAC? Her campaign declined comment.

Guinta’s campaign manager, Jay Ruais, blasted out an email calling the PAC support “stunning hypocrisy.”

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DAN INNIS has played the underdog to former Congressman Guinta in the race for the GOP nomination, but his campaign has just won some notable endorsements. Belknap County Sheriff Craig Wiggin called Innis a friend of law enforcement.

“Dan understands the importance of our core values — excellence in service, professional integrity, working with a collaborative approach and accountability to the public,” Wiggin said.

Innis will also land the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire endorsement on Thursday. "Firefighters risk their lives with every call and we need to make sure that we keep our promises to them," Innis said in a statement. "I am proud to have earned the support of the Professional Fire Fighters of New Hampshire. In Congress I will work closely with them to make sure that firefighters have the resources and the support that they need to continue to protect our communities."


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Quick takes:

• U.S. Senate Republican hopeful Bob Smith will have “flash sign waves” this weekend in Concord, Meredith and Weirs Beach. Smith will attend a right-to-life rally at the State House plaza Sunday from 2 to 4 p.m. And after the rally, there’ll be another “flash wave” nearby.

• BitBomb603 kicks off Thursday at 6:03 p.m., and Republican gubernatorial hopeful Andrew Hemingway’s fundraising solicitation via the digital currency Bitcoin will go for six days and three minutes. Hemingway’s fundraising goal is $100,000.

• A man wearing a yellow chicken costume stood outside a Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-NH, campaign stop Tuesday in Concord with a sign, “Jeanne Shaheen too chicken for town halls.” Now the Republican State Committee has a “town hall ticker” on its website that it says is the last time the incumbent held a town hall meeting.

• At Scott Brown’s town hall meeting in Nashua this week, he fielded a question from “Dave,” a Bay Stater who, incidentally, attended and asked a question at Brown’s first town hall in Salem.

Communities along the border have generations of ties that bind. Speaking of state border politics, it was only two years ago that a short-lived bill in the New Hampshire House of Representatives proposed posting signs on roads that cross the border into Massachusetts with a warning: “Massachusetts border 500 feet.” Footnote: One of the bill’s co-sponsors was Rep. Mary Griffin, R-Windham, who has endorsed Brown for Senate.

• Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jonathan Smolin of Alton is embracing the challenge of running his first bid for office on a shoestring budget. A surgical assistant, he said in an interview he is running to represent the middle class and promote job-creating policies. He opposes an income tax, supports expanded gambling and favors legalizing recreational marijuana.

Dan Tuohy is covering politics and government for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Email news and information to dtuohy@unionleader.com.


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