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Election Integrity Commission Wants Access To Our Personal Voter Information, Sununu Agrees

The Presidential Advisory Committee on Election Integrity, led by Kansas Secretary of State, Kris Kobach just sent a letter to all 50 Secretaries of State to gain access to personal information on registered voters.   Kocach is also inquiring from the Secretaries of State to provide details of possible voter fraud cases, law changes to “protect voter integrity,” and how the commission can do to “support local and state election administrators with regard to information technology security and vulnerabilities.”

The letter, made public by the Connecticut Secretary of State, Denise Merrill, shows exactly what “personal information” Kobach is requesting.

“In order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly- available voter roll data for Connecticut, including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.”

The biggest catch is that “any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public” warned Kobach.

This idea is not sitting well with many people, including Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

“We fully condemn actions taken today by the President’s Election Integrity Commission seeking disclosure of data and personal information on virtually every voter across the country.  This meritless inquisition opens the door for a misguided and ill-advised Commission to take steps to target and harass voters and could lead to purging of the voter rolls.

We urge Secretaries of State who received a letter from Kris Kobach to reject this request and discourage state and local officials from participating in this Commission’s dangerous activities.

Today’s action underscores the fact that the Election Integrity Commission is operating in a reckless manner and its activities threaten to have a chilling effect on minority voters

We encourage the public to contact 866-OUR-VOTE to report complaints or any suspicious activity regarding the activities of the Election Integrity Commission.

We know that voting discrimination and voter suppression are the real threats to American democracy and we will resist the Commission’s attempt to divert federal resources and attention away from these problems.”

 

Multiple reports have concluded that in-person voter impersonation is extremely rare.  There have only been four cases in the last ten years of confirmed voter fraud with hundreds of thousands of votes cast. However this did not stop President Trump from claiming that millions voted illegally.

NH’s Secretary of State Bill Gardner has made clear—as recently as the February 14, 2017 edition of the Concord Monitor—that he has found no proof supporting President Trump’s baseless allegation that thousands of Massachusetts residents were bused to New Hampshire to cast ballots against him.  Secretary Gardner’s office also has repeatedly said—correctly—that there is no widespread voter fraud here.

Today on MSNBC, NH’s Governor Sununu said he would “comply” with the federal government’s Presidential Commission on Voting Integrity’s request for voter information.

 

The act of handing over certain confidential voter information is illegal under New Hampshire state law, specifically RSA 654:31-a. Since no individual instances of voter fraud are being investigated by the commission, state law prohibits Governor Sununu or Secretary of State Bill Gardner from disclosing birthdates or social security information, as Kobach requested. This information is maintained by the Secretary of State’s Office and the governor has no authority under state law to authorize its release.

“It is disappointing that Governor Sununu has chosen the Trump administration’s unwarranted request over the privacy of Granite Staters. He is once again falling in line behind President Trump and pledging to hand over our highly personal information to a federal government commission created at best to soothe the President’s ego, and at worst, undermine the integrity of our elections and disenfranchise millions of voters,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “It is outrageous that Governor Sununu is characteristically shooting from the hip rather than taking the time to understand what is best for the citizens of New Hampshire. Granite Staters will hold Sununu accountable for putting the privacy of our most personal information at risk to once again cozy up to the Trump administration and its dangerous effort to combat a problem that doesn’t exist.”

Gilles Bissonnette, legal director of the ACLU of New Hampshire, told the New Hampshire Union Leader, “there are strict state laws limiting how much information about voter files can be turned over or made public.”

“We expect that the secretary of state will not honor any request to produce information that is private and confidential. Any transfer of information must be in full compliance with all state disclosure laws. The Commission should not be able to obtain information that is unavailable to any ordinary member of the public.

Unfortunately, this Commission likely will be a pretext to enact new restrictions on the right to vote. Led by Mr. Kobach1, it is based on the false premise that there was widespread voter fraud last November. Yet New Hampshire conducts fair, honest, and democratic elections, and there is no evidence of significant voter fraud here. The Secretary of State’s Office2 and the Governor3 have both repeatedly acknowledged that there is no widespread voter fraud in the Granite State. Once again, our expectation is that, while on this Commission, Secretary Gardner will only join conclusions in the Commission’s final report that support voting rights and are based on actual proven facts.”

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) today urged New Hampshire to deny the Trump Election Commission’s request for personal voter data. In a letter to Governor Chris Sununu and to Secretary Gardner, who is a member of the Commission, Shea-Porter asked the state to join five others that have already denied the frivolous and intrusive request.

Shea-Porter wrote:

“I write to urge you to deny the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity’s request for the personal information of every registered New Hampshire voter. In a letter addressed to you, the Commission requested the name, last four Social Security digits, birthdate, political affiliation, address, military status, and voting history of nearly one million Granite Staters. Secretary Gardner, as a member of the Commission, it is imperative that you both deny this request and inform your fellow members that this misguided effort is unacceptable and deeply troubling.

“As you know, we Granite Staters greatly value our privacy rights. We are the “Live Free or Die” state, and this request is undoubtedly an assault on our freedom. This request violates the privacy of our state’s residents and represents an unprecedented intrusion by the federal government into our state’s electoral data. California, Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts, New York, Oklahoma, and Virginia have already refused this request. The New Hampshire Chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union has indicated that full compliance with this request would violate our state’s laws governing the public disclosure of voter information.

“In closing, I urge you to shield New Hampshire voters from this historic federal intrusion into law-abiding Americans’ right to privacy whose only “offense” was exercising their Constitutional right to vote. This could further dampen participation in our elections. Therefore, it is necessary for you both to publicly reassure our state’s voters that you will not comply with the Trump Commission’s demand.”

Contact Governor Sununu and urge him not to comply with Kobach’s request and to keep our personal information, private.

Kobach’s full letter to Connecticut Sec of State is attached below.


UPDATE 7-1-17

NHPR reports that Sec Gardner will comply with the request made by Kobach and the Election Integrity commission.

Faced with a flurry of questions from the press and the public about the state’s response, Gardner said he wanted to emphasize that some of the information mentioned in the letter — like social security numbers — won’t be provided to the commission because it’s not part of New Hampshire’s public voter checklists.

“What is public is what has been public for decades. In this state, every town and city clerk must keep every checklist they use in an election for at least five years so that any citizen can go in and look at the checklists,” Gardner said in an interview Friday afternoon in his office, where staffers spent the day fielding calls about the state’s plans to participate in the request.

“Checklists have always included names, addresses and party affiliation, if there is a party affiliation. So that’s all that’s being asked of us.”

PEIC Letter to Connecticut

Trump’s Sham Committee On Voter Fraud Brings In The Secretary’s of State From NH And KS

The NH Young Democrats and The Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law speak out against Trump’s new executive order to investigate unfounded claims of voter fraud.

Following the shocking news that President Trump signed an executive order establishing the “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” and that Secretary of State William Gardner will participate on the commission, House Election Law Committee member Representative Isaac Epstein released the following statement on behalf of the NHYD:

“Every voter in New Hampshire should be alarmed that President Trump has cooked up this sham commission. This is a clumsy distraction to justify the President’s ridiculous lies about fake voter fraud here in our own state. Serious leaders on both sides of the aisle, including Secretary of State Gardner, have all dismissed these absurd allegations.

We appreciate Secretary Gardner’s many years of service to the State of New Hampshire, but we have real concerns about his participation in this commission. Specifically, we are concerned by his outspoken support for Senate Bill 3 which was introduced to address the very perceptions of voter fraud that President Trump and Governor Sununu have fabricated.

If Secretary Gardner participates on this commission, we implore him to stand up for every Granite State voter and to reject the Trump administration’s lies about massive voter fraud. Further, we beg him to only support conclusions that are based in fact and reality. As a public servant, Secretary Gardner’s top priority should be to protect the most fundamental right of every American – the right to vote.”

Kristen Clarke, president and executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, released the following statement Thursday in response to alarming reports that President Trump will launch a commission to review his unfounded claims of voter suppression.

According to reports, the commission will be co-led by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a partisan advocate for voter suppression laws:

“In no uncertain terms we condemn the launch of this so-called Presidential Commission on Election Integrity.  President Trump is trying to create a distraction from actual threats to our democracy, such as ongoing voter suppression and Russia’s interference in the 2016 election.

“When Attorney General Jeff Sessions led a similar effort as a former prosecutor in Alabama, it had a chilling effect on the black vote.  Now, President Trump is seeking the counsel of Kansas Secretary of State Kobach, who has a proven record of advocating for discriminatory and burdensome policies that prevent members of minority communities from exercising their right to vote.”

Report after report has shown that there is no voter fraud in New Hampshire and that Trump’s accusations of voter fraud are completely unfounded.  What is real is the partisan attack on voting rights and access to the ballot as Republicans say they are “tightening up the laws.”  These new restrictions will block assess to the ballot and suppress the vote.

CNN Allow Man Convicted Of Election Fraud To Spread Lies About Busloads Of Out-of-state Voters In NH

Screenshot from CNN video

There is a major problem in the 24 hour news media world.  They need to actually start reporting news and stop letting random people spew baseless accusations, and outright lies on cable television.

Take for example the recent CNN interview with Trump supporters.  The interview was intended to be about how Trump supporters feel about how Trump is doing now that he is President.  However, it did not go that way at all.

CNN explains the interview (VIDEO available at this link):

Despite President Donald Trump’s lack of evidence for his claim that millions of votes were cast illegally in last year’s election, some of his supporters are standing by the conspiracy theory.

A CNN “New Day” panel featured a handful of die-hard Trump backers to assess their views on his performance more than two months into his presidency.

One New Hampshire Trump voter, William Baer, said he saw “busloads of people” coming into New Hampshire to vote illegally. He did not provide specific details or evidence, but said he thought they were either undocumented immigrants or US citizens coming from other states.

When further pressed by CNN’s Alisyn Camerota, Baer said he can’t cite the busloads he’s seen and where he’s seen them, but said he saw them on television.

Josh Youssef, another New Hampshire voter on the panel, said he wouldn’t characterize it as “busloads and busloads” of people, but rather said he saw cars with out-of-state license plates full of people coming to vote, though he couldn’t provide any more details about them.

By allowing both of these men to outright lie about this, completely fabricated story of “busloads of people” from out of state voting in New Hampshire, on television just continues to provide validity to this outright lie.  The other thing that CNN either did not know, or forgot to mention, is that Josh Youssef was actually convicted of “election fraud” for his actions during the 2012 elections.

Miscellany Blue reported on this in 2013:

“The state determined that Youssef violated RSA 666:6 “by creating a blog that lead viewers to believe that it was in fact Ed Mosca’s blog or gave the false impression that Ed Mosca endorsed” his campaign.”

Lies like the magical busload of out of state voters is fueling the NH Legislature to push for new legislation like SB 3 that would strip people of their legal right to vote.

“Republican State Sen. Regina Birdsell, who represents Derry, Windham, and Hampstead, argued that voter law must be re-examined, especially strengthening residency requirements. “Our same-day registration laws have been opened up to the point that it’s basically a highway between Massachusetts and our polling places as far as I’m concerned,” Birdsell said.” (Eagle Tribune, December 4, 2016)

Granite State Progress, a New Hampshire based advocacy group,  is calling on Governor Chris Sununu and Republican State Senate and House leaders to stop feeding Trump and Birdsell’s claims of magic buses of voters by denouncing SB 3.

“Governor Sununu is enabling Trump to make these baseless claims, while Senate Republicans passed SB 3 based on this same damaging rhetoric even though Senate President Chuck Morse readily admits there is no problem. Politicians shouldn’t pass bills that jeopardize fundamental voting rights because of propaganda or the rants of sore losers,” said Zandra Rice Hawkins, executive director of Granite State Progress. “Sununu and Republican leaders in the Senate and House can prove they respect the integrity of New Hampshire’s elections by once and for all making it clear President Trump is off-base and that there is absolutely no wide-spread voter fraud here. Promoting SB 3 amounts to nothing more than feeding the hype and is a thinly veiled political attempt to target real Granite State voters who might vote differently than these politicians want.”

We all know that the only reason Republicans are pushing SB 3 and other voter suppression bills to make it harder for people to vote, lowering the overall vote count in the hopes of giving them an edge in elections.

We need our media outlets, like CNN, to spend less time talking with “so-called experts” and more time doing real investigative journalism. We need them to do more research on the people they are putting on screen and doing more to ensure their lies are not allowed to make it to air.

Election Protection Coalition Pens Open Letter to Political Parties Concerning Voter Intimidation

76 Civil Rights, Voting Rights and Civic Engagement Organizations Sign-On

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 31, 2016 – Today, in partnership with 75 other national and state-based civil rights organizations, the Election Protection Coalition, the nation’s largest nonpartisan voter protection coalition, led by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee), sent an open letter to the leadership of the four political parties with presidential candidates in 2016, calling on them to denounce recent appeals to deploy observers and law enforcement against imagined voter fraud.

These actions are intended to depress voter turnout and participation, particularly among minority groups, and they run the risk of disrupting the conduct of elections, thereby causing chaos on Election Day. Election Protection will continue its work to ensure that all eligible voters are able to cast a ballot free from intimidation and harassment. Voters can call 866-OUR-VOTE year-round to be connected to trained volunteers for questions and concerns about voting.

To read the full letter in images below, or by clicking here.

Election-Protection-Letter-to-Party-Leadership2

Election-Protection-Letter-to-Party-Leadership2

ICYMI: Coalition of NH Taxpayers Once Again Found Making False Accusations of Voter Fraud

Ed Naile and the Coalition of NH Taxpayers have no idea how to read a voter file, continue to make false accusations based on shoddy research 

Concord, NH – In an unsurprising development, Ed Naile and the Coalition of NH Taxpayer’s latest “voter fraud” allegation has once again been soundly debunked. For the last month, Naile, CNHT, and the NH Tea Party have relentlessly alleged fraud by a former New Hampshire voter, using social media graphics and posts on Granite Grok and Girard at Large to defame an American citizen who did his civic duty to vote in every election. An in-depth article in The Cabinet this week, pasted below, gives the real story.

Quote from Zandra Rice Hawkins, Executive Director of Granite State Progress:

“It’s clear that Ed Naile and the Coalition of NH Taxpayers have no idea how to read a voter file, and that they have once again based false accusations on shoddy research. Any allegations they make should continue to be scrutinized carefully, because even the simplest fact check quickly debunks their statements.”

The Cabinet story is below.

——————————

The Cabinet: Illegal voting allegations out of Wilton

Thursday, November 6, 2014

By JESSIE SALISBURY
Correspondent

WILTON – According to an organization called Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, and as shown on their website www.cnht.com, resident Jared Cram voted twice in presidential elections in 2008 and 2012, both in Wilton and near Philadelphia.

The website refers to Cram as a “Democratic Philly Lawyer,” and displays a picture apparently taken from a Facebook page. It offers no proof of the charge.

The accusation was also made at a recent candidates’ forum by Frank Edelblut, a Republican candidate for the state house of representatives, in answer to a question from the floor about voter fraud. He used Cram and his alleged voting record as proof there is a problem in the state.

He said, “Right here in the town of Wilton.”

Selectman Kermit Williams rebutted that accusation then, and is still doing so, pointing out that the accusations are false, that Cram had moved to Wilton well before the election.

On Monday, Oct. 29, Town Clerk Jane Farrell outlined what she had done in response to the case for the Board of Selectmen.

After the accusations were made, she said she had received a call from the Secretary of State’s Office asking for copies of the checked voter lists for the primary elections in those years in order to verify Cram’s voting history.

“Unfortunately, 2008 was a year we purged the checklist (as required periodically by state law).”

Checklists are scanned for the archives, and one appeared to show that Cram had voted twice.

However, further checking found that the scanned copy was of Cram’s father’s name and that Jared had not voted.

“We corrected that record,” she said.

As for 2012, she said, “It was alleged that he had voted in two state primaries, and he actually did, but Pennsylvania holds their primary in April in connection with municipal elections.” Cram was living there at the time and voted.

During the summer, he moved back to Wilton, where his parents live, to recuperate from a medical problem, and voted in the primary and general election here.

“None of the three races (in 2012) covered the same people,” Farrell said. She noted that New Hampshire state statutes allow for voting in different states if the elections are held on different dates.

“This is casting aspersions on us and on our secretary of State’s office,” Farrell said, and the “Secretary of State is very annoyed.”

http://www.cabinet.com/cabinet/cabinetnews/1051004-308/illegal-voting-allegations-out-of-wilton.html#sthash.xGfMqGTk.VCZUtbQt.dpuf

NH-GOP GOV Candidate Walt Havenstein Has Major Eligibility Issues

Walt Havenstein Between a Rock and a Hard Place with Ballot Eligibility Questions

Candidate Pushed by Washington Republicans Either Ineligible to Run in NH or Committed Tax Fraud in MD 

walt havensteinConcord, NH–Yesterday, a front-page Nashua Telegraph expose outlined how potential NHGOP gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein took Maryland property tax breaks that required his principal residence to be in that state, raising a host of questions and putting his potential candidacy in doubt. But this much is clear: Havenstein either is ineligible to run in New Hampshire or he committed tax fraud in Maryland.

New Hampshire’s Constitution requires candidates for Governor to “have been an inhabitant of this state for 7 years next preceding.” The Telegraph uncovered that Havenstein “saved $5,354 from 2008-11 by getting a homestead exemption from local property taxes in Bethesda, Md. He also paid a lower state property transfer tax while buying the property in that state. To get both, Havenstein had to acknowledge that his $1 million condominium was his ‘principal residence.’”

Under Maryland law, ”Principal residence” has been defined to mean the “one dwelling where the homeowner regularly resides and is the location designated by the owner for the legal purposes of voting, obtaining a driver’s license, and filing income tax returns.”

A Maryland law was enacted in 2007 that requires all homeowners to submit an application stating that they meet the principal residence requirements, under penalty of perjury. According to the Telegraph, “Havenstein said he didn’t recall signing that form.”

“Despite Walt Havenstein’s selective memory, in order to receive the tax breaks he received, Maryland law required Havenstein to certify that his Maryland home was his principal residence, including for voting, paying taxes, driver’s license and car registration,” said Julie McClain, NHDP Communications Director. “That certification and Maryland law clearly makes Havenstein ineligible to run for state office under New Hampshire’s Constitution. For him to state otherwise is to assert that he was committing tax fraud in Maryland, raising a whole other set of legal questions for Mr. Havenstein.”

Havenstein admitted to the Telegraph that he did in fact register a car in Maryland, but continued to vote in New Hampshire, despite the requirement under his homestead property tax credit that he vote in Maryland. Havenstein did not indicate where he filed his income taxes.

McClain continued, “The questions surrounding Walt Havenstein’s actions are quite serious and could suggest misconduct. Why did Havenstein think it was acceptable to vote in New Hampshire when he was claiming his residence for voting purposes in another state? Does he realize that by continuing to vote in New Hampshire, he was likely committing tax fraud in Maryland? Was he also using New Hampshire as an income tax shelter, or did he file his taxes in Maryland as required? If Havenstein – the handpicked candidate of Washington Republicans – were to run for governor, he would have an extremely difficult time explaining his actions to the Ballot Law Commission and Maryland authorities, not to mention Granite State voters.”

NH Labor News 8/22/12: Prison Privatization Update, Voter ID, Medicare, RTW for Less, and Minimum Wage

Pension Privatization Update: House Committee Scopes Out Financial Services Firms | StateImpact New Hampshire: “Today, a legislative committee investigating pension privatization issued a request for information from companies that manage retirement funds.

After pension reform legislation failed to pass last term, House Speaker O’Brien requested that a committee convene over the summer to craft new legislation for next term. The committee will likely propose to move all new public employees to private, defined contribution plans — like a 401(k).”


Combat voter ID law with education | Concord Monitor: “Jack Saunders has the right idea. Saunders, who lives in Holderness, is the author of a letter to the editor published in the Sunday Monitor. He suggested that one good way to combat the cynical intent behind New Hampshire’s new voter ID law is to educate people about it so they’re not surprised or frustrated on Election Day.”


Feds still reviewing N.H. Medicaid care management plan – Fosters: “Federal health care regulators are still evaluating New Hampshire’s proposal to implement a new care management system for Medicaid beneficiaries.

Launching the new system will require a waiver from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).”


Success of Indiana’s right-to-work law disputed » Evansville Courier & Press: “Officials at 20 companies have said Indiana’s passage of a right-to-work law earlier this year was a factor in their decisions to bring more jobs to the state, according to Daniel Hasler, who leads the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

However, Nancy Guyott, a union leader and the state’s biggest right-to-work opponent, questioned the numbers.

The conflict occurred Monday after Hasler presented the information to the General Assembly’s Interim Study Committee on Economic Development. Hasler said companies have told the agency that right to work “does matter.””


» STUDY: States with Higher Minimum Wage Have Had Less Employment Loss During the Great Recession: “Because attempts to increase the minimum wage are being met head on by the GOP talking point that doing so would cause employers to cut jobs and hours, the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center looked at two decades of data in their recent report, The Minimum Wage and Job Creation.

The study found that minimum wage increases have not had a negative effect on employment in New England.

In Massachusetts alone, the minimum wage has increased six times since 1995. During this period, growth in industries with concentrations of high minimum wage earners has been higher than total employment.”


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Why We Must Act To Stop Voter ID Laws

Many Granite Staters are waiting for the Department of Justice review of the new Voter ID Law passed by the NH Legislature this year.  Many other states are talking about new Voter ID laws and how this is movement to restrict voters in a false claim of voter fraud.

Even Lynn Christensen, town moderator in Merrimack said, ” I don’t believe there’s widespread voter fraud. I don’t believe there’s fraud in this town”.  She continued  “There is not voter fraud however Voter ID laws will prevent good people from voting.”

According to the AFGE research:

  • 25% of African Americans do not have a state issued id.
  • 15% of people making less than $35,000 last year do not have a state issued id.
  • 18% of people between 18-24 do not have a state issued id with the correct address.
  • 18% of seniors do not have a valid state issued id.

These Voter ID could effect as many as 21 Million people nation wide.

We need to protect these people and their Constitutional right to vote.  If we do not then it will give the 1% more opportunity to push anti-worker legislation

 

For more information of AFGE and Protecting People’s Rights to Vote click here.

Video Link: AFGE Defends Democracy

NH Labor 2012 Elections News 7/1/12: Bass Distorts Truth, O’Keefe Back In NH, Medicare Changes, and more

PolitiFact New Hampshire | Charlie Bass goes on the attack and distorts opponent’s statement on debt limit: “Our ruling:

Bass said that Kuster said the debate over America’s debt limit is not an important issue of the day.

But a review of Kuster’s full remarks show that’s not what she said . As part of a longer comment about how Congress is dysfunctional, she complains that lawmakers are “bickering over the debt limits and they’re off on arguing about things that aren’t even the issues of the day.”

Her comments indicate she is unhappy with “bickering” over the debt, but she doesn’t go so far as to say the debt is not an important issue. We rate Bass’ claim False.”


James O’Keefe Returns to NH – Merrimack, NH Patch: “Republican gubernatorial candidates Ovide Lamontagne and Kevin Smith both signed the Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire pledge last week, committing to lower taxes and spending and reducing the size of government.

“We are very pleased with the initial response to our 2012 anti-tax pledge,” said Corey R. Lewandowski, state director of Americans for Prosperity-NH. “The pledge lets voters know where candidates stand on important economic issues. We hope that every candidate seeking office in New Hampshire this year will consider signing it.”

The pledge was authored by Tom Thomson, honorary chairman of Americans for Prosperity-NH, and commits candidates to cutting taxes, spending and the size of government as well as supporting Right to Work laws and upholding the New Hampshire and U.S. constitutions.”


Ruling gives NH options on Medicaid – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Democratic candidate Maggie Hassan, of Exeter, took the Lynch position of not committing to either side.
“There has long been a bipartisan interest in New Hampshire in helping ensure that working families can afford health insurance because it is right for families and because businesses are paying higher insurance premiums because of the shifting of the costs of the uninsured,” Hassan said.
“As governor, I will work with businesses and the legislature to determine how best to use the federal funds available to increase access to health insurance for all of our citizens and to help lower the growth in insurance premium costs for our small businesses.”
Democratic candidate Jackie Cilley, of Barrington, said that while she would continue to review the details, she expects she would move forward with expanding Medicaid.
“As governor, I’m confident that I’ll be able to work with the Legislature and our representatives in D.C. to make sure that all the ACA reforms, including Medicaid expansion, serve the citizens of New Hampshire,” Cilley said in a statement.”

NHLN NOTE: Both NH GOV GOP Candidates are against any form of medicare expansion. Ovide is also quoted as saying, “Opposing Obamacare is a top priority”.


Healthcare vote offers ‘opportunities’ for both parties in Nov. – NashuaTelegraph.com: “Ad attacks ‘tax’
The fiscally-conservative Americans for Prosperity group gets this week’s Rapid Response Award.
Less than 30 hours after the Supreme Court ruled in support of the Affordable Care Act, AFP bought ad time in New Hampshire and nine other swing states attacking the president on the law’s “new tax.”
AFP State Director Corey Lewandowski maintained the group has a $9 million budget for the ad.
“President Obama’s health care law is irresponsible and unaffordable. It is bad policy for our country, and if the Supreme Court will not rule it unconstitutional, then it is up to Congress to fully repeal the legislation,” Lewandowski said in a statement.
Before nightfall on Thursday, the liberal New Hampshire Citizens for Action had hosted its first post-decision rally at Veterans Park in Manchester.
Let the games begin.”


NHLN commentator and Defending NH Public Education creator, Bill Dunan is also running for Executive Council. He sent in this letter to the Seacoast Online about the changes to Medicare.

High-impact health care decisions | SeacoastOnline.com: “Laboring out of sight of most of us, New Hampshire’s Executive Council has worked hand-in-glove with the Legislature to create a health insurance market that will be complex and confusing for New Hampshire citizens. And, now, as a result of last week’s Supreme Court decision, the Council is in a position to do even more damage.

The five-member Executive Council plays a critical role in governing New Hampshire. It makes hundreds of decisions every month because the Council’s approval is required on all gubernatorial appointments and executive department contracts.

The Executive Council started down the wrong road on health insurance soon after it took office in 2011. The new tea party majority refused to accept federal funding to establish New Hampshire’s own Affordable Insurance Exchange. Then the Legislature followed through in HB 1297 by prohibiting the establishment of a New Hampshire insurance exchange.”


Nashua Dems Plan Candidate Forum – Nashua, NH Patch: “The Nashua Democratic City Committee will host a Candidate Forum on Monday, July 16 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. with New Hampshire’s Democratic Primary Candidates Jackie Cilley, Maggie Hassan and Bill Kennedy. The forum will take place in the City Hall Auditorium, 229 Main Street, Nashua.

The purpose of the event is to give Democrats and Undeclared voters a chance to view each candidate side-by-side so voters can better draw comparisons between the candidates, said City Democrats Chairman, David Tencza. The details of the forum will be released as they become available. Organizers do anticipate audience participation during a portion of the event and urge voters to come with questions for the candidates.”

Prosecute The Fake Voters!! Op/Ed from Granite State Progress

This is an Op/Ed from Granite State Progress and our friend Zandra Rice-Hawkins. It was also published today in the Concord Monitor.

My Turn: Prosecute the fake voters
By Zandra Rice-Hawkins

Conservative and ethically-challenged activist James O’Keefe is back in the news, once again manufacturing edited videos to make a case he can’t produce with existing facts.

On New Hampshire’s Primary Day, O’Keefe and crew committed voter fraud at polling locations in Manchester and Nashua by impersonating recently deceased New Hampshire voters – some of whom had only passed away days ago – and then illegally filming their interactions with New Hampshire poll workers without knowledge or consent.

Those interactions can be seen on a video sent around by O’Keefe’s group, Project Veritas, in an effort to bolster support for a photo identification bill that would require a limited number of ways to prove your identity at the polls. A bill proposed at the State House last year failed after a bipartisan effort called NH House Speaker Bill O’Brien’s favored version “unworkable” and “flawed” for its excessive reliance on a driver’s license or national identification, something seniors, low-income voters and the disabled would have a hard time producing.

Mr. O’Keefe’s decision to break the law and disrupt New Hampshire’s Primary is being met with the contempt it should. First and foremost, the stunt was incredibly disrespectful to families still grieving over the loss of a loved one – one clip uses the name of a New Hampshire veteran less than 10 days passed. That alone should give one pause as to the credibility of Mr. O’Keefe.

The video itself provides additional clues. Like many previous O’Keefe productions, it is edited to portray only the message he would like you to believe, not the reality of what took place.

For example, it appears that O’Keefe specifically chose older individuals to impersonate and listed the ages of the recently deceased voter to make it appear as if someone should have questioned a 20-something year old voting for an 88-year old. But New Hampshire doesn’t list birthdates or ages on the voter file – a potential public policy point O’Keefe could have made if he wasn’t focused on manufacturing stories of fraud.

The video also shows only select footage, and purposely leaves out a clip where a New Hampshire poll worker busts the O’Keefe team when she realizes whose ballot they are trying to obtain. That story was covered in the Boston Herald the day of the Primary, but is not highlighted in O’Keefe’s version.

If anything, all this video proves is that localities do not update their deceased voter information often enough. What it does not prove is that voter fraud is a rampant problem in New Hampshire, outside of the staged actions of the individuals in question.

In fact, it suggests quite the opposite. O’Keefe did not have his team actually cast ballots because they assumed that was the moment they could be charged with voter fraud. Unfortunately for them – and good for election protection – even impersonating a New Hampshire voter is considered voter fraud under state and federal law. But more to the point: O’Keefe’s decision not to cast a ballot is a sign that the system and penalties in place deter would-be offenders.

How many people would actually risk prosecution to commit voter fraud, a felony offense? Not many. And if some did, could they do it on a scale large enough to swing an election and remain undetected? Election law experts remain skeptical, if not downright derisive of such a theory.

It’s like saying that a bank could be robbed, then filming yourself robbing it to prove your point. The possibility of voter fraud, even with photo identification, is always possible. The question policymakers need to consider is how real a threat it is, and whether the suggested changes would make it more difficult for thousands of Granite Staters to vote.

Of course, O’Keefe and his team did break the law and did film themselves doing it, and for whatever “public service” or “citizen journalist” cover they want to try to plea, they should be held accountable. In fact, based on state laws and statements by the Attorney General’s office, O’Keefe and his team now face several potential charges of voter fraud and identify theft, in addition to illegally filming individuals without their permission. In essence: they could possibly lose their own right to vote as a result of their misguided actions.

To which we say: good. We agree with the NH GOP Chair who stated, “Anyone involved in voter fraud should be punished to the fullest extent of the law.”

James O’Keefe should be prosecuted, and the New Hampshire public officials and candidates who are endorsing his illegal activities should reconsider the message they are sending.

Zandra Rice Hawkins
Director, Granite State Progress

Granite State Progress is a progressive advocacy organization that addresses issues of immediate state and local concern. It can be found online at www.GraniteStateProgress.org.

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