The election in Senate District 16, formerly held by the late Sen Scott McGilvray, is heating up and former Senator David Boutin is already slinging mud with his new mailer. The most ironic part of Boutin’s mailers is that he is now pushing to have people “vote by mail.”
Last week Sen. Boutin sent out this mailer attacking Alderman Kevin Cavanaugh highlighting a variety of different issues that Cavanaugh has voted for in the last year. My favorite is the one where he highlights that Cavanaugh has “40%” of his campaign funding from “Special Interests.”
Because campaign finances are public record, it is easy to see who has supported Sen. Boutin in previous elections. According to FollowTheMoney.Org, Boutin’s 2014 campaign received 712 total donations from totaling $223,377. Boutin had 312 donations totaling $70,876 from individuals and 387 donations totaling $151,908 from corporations and PACs.
If my math is correct that means that 55% of his campaign funding came from “special interests,” funding more than two-thirds of his entire campaign. So it seems funny that Boutin would attempt to attack Cavanaugh for campaign donations, when the overwhelming majority of his campaign cash came from special interests.
The irony comes as Boutin is encouraging people to “vote by mail,” as the Republicans have continually voted down measures to allow more people to vote by mail. New Hampshire does not officially have “vote by mail” like Oregon but voters can always vote by absentee ballot, provided they provide an viable excuse for not being able to vote in person, which would allow them to mail in their ballot.
The absentee ballot process is somewhat restrictive as there are only certain “excuses” that can be offered to obtain an absentee ballot. NHPR explains:
Under the state’s current absentee voting law, those reasons include being out of town on the day of the election, or being prevented from getting to the polls because of a disability, a religious commitment or work.
Over the last few years there has been an effort to eliminate the excuses for absentee ballots and try to move New Hampshire to a vote by mail state. All of those efforts have failed.
However as NHPR reports this new push by Boutin to encourage absentee ballots may indicate that the NH GOP is ready to support expanding voting by mail.
The NHGOP, New Hampshire Democratic Party and the Cavanaugh campaign all said they support a move toward “no-excuse” absentee voting, which is an option in more than two dozen other states.
The Boutin campaign didn’t immediately respond to a follow-up question about his stance on the issue.
On his campaign website, Cavanaugh lists as one of his priorities, “ensuring access to the ballot box.”
“Kevin believes that all eligible voters should have full access to the ballot box and that New Hampshire must pass modern, common-sense voting laws that have been implemented and successful in a majority of other states.”
Cavanaugh wants to implement “no-excuse” absentee ballots, in-person early voting, and online voter registration.
Since winning the Democratic Primary, Cavanaugh has garnered some strong support from the local community, labor organizations, and elected officials. (Click here for a full list of endorsements.)
“We need leaders like Kevin Cavanaugh with fresh, new ideas who are focused on fighting the opioid crisis, supporting our schools, growing our small businesses and being a champion for working families,” said Senator Jeanne Shaheen, who helped Cavanaugh kick off his campaign over the weekend.
“I’m excited to announce my support for Kevin Cavanaugh for state Senate,” said Senator Maggie Hassan in her endorsement yesterday. “As a former state Senator and Governor, I know how crucial Kevin’s voice will be to standing up for Granite Staters and fighting for equal opportunity for families, workers, and students.”
“Throughout his career as a union worker, Kevin has shown that he understands the importance of protecting workers’ rights across the state. And as a Little League coach and father of three, he knows how critical it is that we support educational opportunities for all of our people. When Kevin sees a problem, he dives right in, and that’s exactly the kind of hands-on leadership we need in Concord,” added Hassan.
“Kevin Cavanaugh is clear in his commitment to advocate for the interests of New Hampshire’s working families. Whether it be providing affordable health care, ensuring equal pay for equal work, or maintaining NH’s commitment to providing and funding quality public education available to all, Kevin Cavanaugh will always prioritize the interests of ordinary New Hampshire citizens. AFT-NH shares that commitment with Kevin Cavanaugh, and we are proud to add our name to those who endorse and support his election to the NH Senate,” said AFT-NH President Doug Ley in their endorsement last week.