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Granite Status: Lewandowski goes Ivy, his big fees get big headlines

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 06. 2017 10:23PM

Corey Lewandowski, President Trump’s embattled former campaign adviser from Windham, has gone Ivy League.

The Institute of Politics at Harvard University named Lewandowski a visiting fellow, joining the former governor of Kentucky and ex-president of the NAACP.

A New York Times investigative piece on Trump, his close inner circle of friends and access to him prominently featured Lewandowski.

“Lewandowski’s help did not come cheap. A typical boutique lobbying firm might charge $10,000 to $15,000 a month. A big lobbying or law firm, with teams of paralegals or assistants and high overhead, might charge twice that, with a three-month retainer. (Lewandowski’s firm) sometimes asked for as much as $50,000 a month — a top-shelf price on K Street — and Lewandowski on occasion tried to go higher. But there were plenty of takers: By midwinter, (the firm) had ‘‘more than a dozen, less than 50’’ clients, Lewandowski told me at the time,” reporter Nicholas Confessore wrote.

There apparently was no price too high, he went on to report.

“Many of the Trump-connected lobbyists told me they were turning away as much business as they accepted,” Confessore said. “One person offered Lewandowski $250,000 just to get the President to tweet about him. A lobbyist who worked on Trump’s inaugural committee told me of a billionaire who, within a week of the inauguration, offered a million dollars if the lobbyist could arrange for his picture to be taken in the Oval Office with the new President.”

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Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut will set the standard with the largest turnout to date when he speaks to the Right of Center New Hampshire group next Wednesday.

Americans for Tax Reform CEO Grover Norquist has the current high attendance mark — about 65 — for these meetings at the state headquarters of Americans for Prosperity.

The high-profile opposition on the left from Granite State Progress and Executive Councilor/possible Democratic candidate for governor Andru Volinsky of Concord helped pump up interest.

Meanwhile, Right of Center group co-founder and former House Speaker Bill O’Brien has authored an opinion piece hitting back at Volinsky and fellow Councilor Chris Pappas, D-Manchester, for attacking Edelblut’s acceptance of this engagement.

Rep. Steve Stepanek, R-Amherst, has told associates he’s open to inviting other Sununu administration department heads to speak.

Top prospects who may see their own invitations include Attorney General Gordon MacDonald and Health and Human Services Commissioner Jeff Meyers.

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As we first reported, Gov. Chris Sununu feels strongly about seriously exploring whether all public schools should start after Labor Day.

The Newfields Republican said he’s picked up that people are passionate about the topic as well, the overwhelming majority telling him it’s a good idea.

But even Sununu was surprised at the response to the New Hampshire Sunday News story on his thinking.

“This is the most viewed and commented piece on social media about me ever. I didn’t see that coming,” Sununu observed after learning about the reaction to it.

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Republicans won this week’s House special election to tie the post-2016 scorecard at two wins apiece but both parties had something to crow about.

Vincent Paul Migliore of Bridgewater won by 50 votes, 611 for him to 561 for Bristol Democratic activist Josh Adjutant of Bristol.

Libertarian John Babiarz of Grafton had 28 votes.

Migliore had been recruited by former longtime Rep. Fran Wendelboe of New Hampton and had signed AFP’s fiscally conservative pledge so conservative operatives supplied him with phone and mail support.

Adjutant worked very hard in his second bid for the same seat, knocking on doors. He said he will seek a recount because the outcome was so close.

No Democrat has won in this district since 2008.

Last November, Donald Trump won by 15 percent, former Sen. Kelly Ayotte by 12 percent and Chris Sununu by 9 percent.

Both sides are pointing to next Tuesday’s contest as one to watch though party registration does favor the GOP.

The winner replaces Laconia conservative Republican Robert Fisher who resigned after being linked to the controversial Red Pill blog.

The race features Democrat and Laconia Bike Week organizer Charlie St. Clair and Republican Steven Whalley, the brother of the late House Majority Leader Mike Whalley.

Both are from Laconia, but this one may be decided on who wins Belmont, also part of the district.

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