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Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: Garcia to air her first TV ad

August 27. 2014 7:49AM

Marilinda Garcia, one of the Republican candidates running in the 2nd Congressional District, will air her first television ad, "Trust," on Thursday, according to her campaign. In the ad, she mentions the Internal Revenue Service, Benghazi, the Veterans Affairs scandal and "Obamacare's broken promises."

"It's no wonder taxpayers are losing trust in government," Garcia says in the ad. "We need a new generation of conservative leaders to challenge the status quo."

The ad also shows images of President Obama and U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, the Democrat Garcia hopes to challenge in the general election. Garcia faces Gary Lambert and Jim Lawrence in the state primary on Sept. 9.

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(A Granite Status update from Aug. 26 is below:)

Long-time supporters of Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's re-election are attacking Senate Republican hopeful Scott Brown for accepting more than a quarter million dollars as a board member of a company that shipped jobs overseas.

"I'm very disappointed that he would be part of a company that would be part of that," said George Bald, a former commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Kadant Inc., of Westford, Mass., is the company in question. The Nashua Telegraph first reported that Brown earned $270,000 as a member of the company's board of directors and that "outsourcing" was one aspect of the company plan to strengthen its bottom line in America. The Breitbart news network portrayed the Telegraph story as a partisan hit-piece. (Judge for yourself: here's the Telegraph story link.)

Berlin Mayor Paul Grenier and state Sen. Bette Lasky, D-Nashua, joined Bald on a Shaheen campaign conference call Monday to criticize Brown in connection with the story. "Brown has had a pattern of putting his personal interests first," Lasky said. Grenier, citing loss of paper mill operations and manufacturing jobs in Berlin and the North Country, said U.S. jobs represent everyday, hard-working Americans, and they are not mere statistics.

Elizabeth Guyton, spokeswoman for Brown, responded that, "Scott Brown has never outsourced any jobs, unlike Jeanne Shaheen who outsourced jobs as the governor of New Hampshire."

State GOP Chairwoman Jennifer Horn also issued this statement:

"Jeanne Shaheen is a hypocritical Washington politician who approved a state contract that outsourced jobs and takes large donations tied to companies that outsource jobs. As governor, she said and did nothing as a portion of the state's food stamp program was outsourced to India. If Jeanne Shaheen is actually upset about companies that outsource jobs she should put her money where her mouth is and immediately return her contributions from companies that outsource jobs. If she doesn't return the money, Shaheen will prove that she is a phony Washington politician who is desperately trying to distract from her record of voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time."

Lasky was asked Monday to respond to the food stamp program contract. She replied that Shaheen cannot be blamed for a third-party transaction (the administrator subcontracted some of the work to India, she means). "It's certainly reaching," Lasky said of any comparison between Brown at Kadant Inc. and Shaheen's link to the food stamp program.

(Updated Tuesday afternoon with a comment from Brown's spokeswoman.)

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Gun Owners of America has endorsed Republican hopeful Bob Smith in his bid to return to the U.S. Senate. "We believe the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race is imminently winnable," Tim Macy, vice chairman of Gun Owners of America, says in the endorsement. "We saw with former Virginia gubernatorial candidate Ken Cuccinelli how dishonest leftist polls are used to try to destroy conservative campaigns. We cannot let that happen with Bob Smith. We cannot spend the next decade wondering why no GOP senator will stand up to the anti-gun juggernaut."

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"KELLY." U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) stars in a new television ad for Senate Republican hopeful Scott Brown. Ayotte endorsed Brown back in May. In the ad, she says she is supporting Brown for fiscal responsibility and his opposition to the Affordable Care Act. "He'll give everything he's got for New Hampshire," Ayotte says. The ad does not mention U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH).

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(A Granite Status update from Aug. 23 follows below:)

The Democratic National Committee is supporting Feb. 9, 2016 as the date of New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

Saturday's DNC vote on the calendar would put New Hampshire's lead-off primary 11 days before the Nevada primary.

Gov. Maggie Hassan, D-Exeter, applauded the schedule and the Granite State as a proving ground for presidential hopefuls.

"As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire presidential primary, I applaud the Democratic National Committee for protecting our First In The Nation Primary status in 2016, with ample time separating it from the Iowa caucus and Nevada primary," Hassan said in a statement.

New Hampshire's tradition is carefully protected by Secretary of State Bill Gardner, as well as leaders from both parties. State law requires that the primary be held at least seven days before a similar election.

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Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal returns to New Hampshire to be the keynote speaker Sept. 6 at the Hillsborough County Republican Committee's "Primary Gala" in Nashua.

Ray Chadwick, chairman of the Hillsborough County Republican Committee, announced the line-up Aug. 22. It includes an opening address from Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. Coming three days before the state primary, the event at the Crowne Plaza will also feature numerous GOP candidates.

"It is an honor to have Governor Jindal as our keynote speaker," Chadwick said in a statement. "We are especially fortunate to hear from one of the excellent Republican governors working to expand job opportunity, cut spending and taxes, raise educational standards, improve private business environment and bring solutions to the challenges facing their states."

THE HISTORIC TOWN HALL in Exeter, the birthplace of the Republican Party, will host debates Saturday night for GOP candidates running for governor, Congress and U.S. Senate. The Republican candidates for governor are first up, starting at 5 p.m., followed by Republicans vying for their party's nomination in the 1st and 2nd Districts, then the U.S. Senate contest. The Republican Town Committee, Rockingham County Republican Committee and Seacoast Republican Women are sponsors of the debates.

Follow @tuohy for Tweets and debate updates.

THE HEADLINE HE WANTED: Senate Republican hopeful Scott Brown is smiling at the latest UNH Survey Center poll, which found his campaign closing on Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen. ICYMI, here's the Union Leader story: Poll: Brown makes gains on Sen. Shaheen

(The Granite Status column published Aug. 21 is below:)

How many town halls did Daniel Webster hold? How about Norris Cotton? Or the late Warren Rudman?

The ask-me-anything nature of the New Hampshire town hall meeting may be more of a modern expectancy, but Republican challengers sure are fashioning it as a political tradition as old as our granite.

Sen. John McCain expertly used the “town hall” to capture two New Hampshire presidential primaries. He has held court at more than 310 such meetings since 2000, according to a social media post by Steve Duprey, a Republican National Committeeman who was among those welcoming McCain back to the state this week.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), as she introduced McCain at Republican hopeful Scott Brown’s town hall in Derry, said she has held more than 40 such meetings.

“Listen,” she said, “I’ve had some tough town halls. I’ve had people yelling at me and asking me tough questions, but that’s what town halls are all about, right?”

The GOP continues to plug away at Democrat incumbents — Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster — for not holding such meetings this August recess.

The town hall meeting is seen as something spontaneous, but the candidates, special interest and opposition groups try to “game it” as well, says Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire.

There is the emphasis on staging, the marketing of the image of the candidate having direct contact with voters. There’s a reason why some of these events look like campaign commercials in the making: they sometimes double as that.

The rise of “trackers” videotaping away in the hope of a “gotcha moment” adds a new twist to these meetings, according to Scala.

“I suspect a lot of them look at them as potential hornets nests,” he says.

CAMPAIGN CASH: Gov. Maggie Hassan raised more than $2 million from 3,300 contributors, her re-election campaign announced. The Exeter Democrat says more than half of those contributors gave $100 or less. Of the Republican challengers, Walt Havenstein said Wednesday he had raised just shy of $2 million (about $1.4 million of which he loaned his campaign).

WOMEN VOTERS: New Hampshire Democrats held yet another event to contact women voters. Its “women to women” phone bank Wednesday was to feature women reaching out to others to discuss equal pay, increasing the minimum wage, and access to preventative health care choices, according to the state Democratic Party.

THE CONGRESSIONAL races appear to be getting close. In the 1st District, Democrat Rep. Shea-Porter and Republican Frank Guinta are “locked in a tight contest,” while Republican hopeful Dan Innis remains close, according to the UNH Survey Center’s latest poll. The hypothetical match-ups: Guinta 45 percent to Shea-Porter 41 percent; Shea-Porter 44 percent to Innis 37 percent. The 2nd District looks even closer. Democrat Rep. Kuster’s favorability ratings sagged: 29 percent favorable, 30 percent unfavorable. The match-ups with the Republicans running: Kuster 39 percent to Marilinda Garcia 36 percent; Kuster 41 percent to Gary Lambert 35 percent; and Kuster 40 percent to Jim Lawrence 32 percent.

THE GOVERNOR’S matchups aren’t that close. Although under 50 percent, incumbent Democrat Hassan leads Havenstein 49 percent to 32 percent in a matchup; she moves to 51 percent to 31 percent against Andrew Hemingway. UNH didn’t say, last night, who might be ahead among the two Republicans.

THAT WAS THEN, THIS IS NOW: In the GOP race for the Executive Council District 4, Bedford businessmen Rich Ashooh and Chuck Rolecek have endorsed Jim Adams. So has former Manchester Mayor and Executive Councilor Ray Wieczorek. Two years ago, Wieczorek endorsed Robert Burns in the general election for District 4. In this primary, the Wieczorek is decidedly in Adams’ camp — despite an old quote that Burns features on his website

And, this just in: former U.S. Sen. John E. Sununu has endorsed Adams. Here’s what Sununu had to say: “Jim is tough, conservative, and a proven leader. He’s exactly the kind of voice we need in Concord today.”

RIGHT, LEFT, RIGHT?: “Two liberals for amnesty. Too liberal for us.” That’s the dig of former state Sen. Lambert’s ad attacking state Rep. Garcia as they battle for the GOP nod in the 2nd Congressional District. Now comes the New Hampshire Democratic Party, which calls her a “Bill O’Brien protégé” and a Koch Brothers-backed “Tea Party extremist” with radical views. So she’s not a liberal?

ABOUT THAT TEA PARTY: Kuster was among the candidates sending out emails seeking donations before a finance filing deadline. The emails warn about “shady GOP groups” and cites a new poll that shows the attacks are taking a toll on the first-term congresswoman.

ONBOARDING: Republican gubernatorial hopeful Havenstein announced more than 200 Hillsborough County supporters, including Wieczorek, former Republican State Committee Chairman John Stabile, former gubernatorial nominee John Stephen and state Sen. Andy Sanborn, R-Bedford.

PLEDGE POLITICS: Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith is calling out fellow Senate Republican hopeful Scott Brown on the Americans for Prosperity-NH candidate pledge to oppose raising taxes, among other conservative priorities. “This says an awful lot of Scott Brown’s priorities,” Smith said. “I have a direct question for you, Scott Brown: what are you afraid of? Why won’t you sign the pledge?”

Well, that’s not going to happen.

Brown communications director Elizabeth Guyton responded: “Scott Brown isn’t signing pledges this election cycle. His lifetime record opposing tax increases speaks for itself, and the people of New Hampshire know that he is a fiscal conservative who will fight to preserve the New Hampshire advantage.”

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

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