The Union Leader’s Futile Crusade

After John DiStaso left the Union Leader for the now defunct New Hampshire Journal, Drew Cline began writing a weekly political column.

This week’s, which came out yesterday, is titled Drew “Frank Guinta victimized the very people who supported him -”

The column is described and placed in context quite pithily by this tweet from AP’s Kathleen Ronayne:

Ronayne.21MAY15

Hence the title of this post.

As for Cline’s column, he blames the continued GOP support for Guinta -presumably he has in mind the NH1 poll putting it at over 60 percent– on the hoi polloi not really being deep thinkers and just being familiar with Guinta:

IN ORCHESTRATING Virginia’s ratification of the Constitution, James Madison spent weeks recruiting Gov. Edmund Randolph, who had waffled between the Federalist and Anti-Federalist positions. He reasoned that he needed the well-known Randolph because people’s views on ratification “will be governed by those with whom they happen to have acquaintance.”

And so Madison explains why so many New Hampshire Republicans continue to believe Frank Guinta’s story …

Wow!

Cline goes on to pronounce, “On social media in the past week, there was little that would pass as a defense of Guinta’s behavior … .”  But as I have pointed out, after July, 2010 the money could have gone to a Super-PAC to support Guinta, so we are talking at most about a technical violation of the election laws.  And Cleta Mitchell, Guinta’s lawyer, has argued that even if you assume the money was Guinta’s parents, restricting contributions from Guinta’s parents would have been unconstitutional.  Cline does not address either point.

Instead he argues that the sum and substance of the “defense” is “the argument that Republicans must stand up for Republicans as Democrats so often stand up for Democrats … [which] is a mystifying position for New Hampshire Republicans, for they, not Democrats, are the victims of Guinta’s transgressions.”

More specifically, Cline asserts that the money in issue won the primary for Guinta:

Recall that in 2010 Republicans had three credible candidates for Congress: Frank Guinta, Rich Ashooh, and Sean Mahoney. Guinta fueled his primary victory with the illegal campaign loan. He deposited the last of the $355,000 into his campaign account only four days before the primary. The money bought ads that helped him eke out a narrow victory of 2,819 votes.

There is no way of knowing that.  At best, at best, this contention is purely speculative.

The Third Crusade ended when Richard the Lionheart realized that despite the Crusaders military successes  they would be unable to expel Saladin from Jerusalem.  Richard and Saladin reached an accord that left Jerusalem in Saladin’s control but allowed  Christians to pilgrimage to Jerusalem.

Unlike the Lionheart the Union Leader will not accept that it cannot force Guinta out of Congress.

Analysis of Rockingham 32 Special Election

So here are the results from yesterday’s Special Election in Rockingham District 32:

Rock.32.Results

Yvonne Dean-Bailey received approximately 52.4 percent of the vote.

Unsurprisingly, the Democrats are pooh-poohing the results, claiming that the District is heavily Republican and that the Kochs bought the election and that the hoax email from Mann’s social-media director Gibson hurt Mann.

But the Democrats poured over $9,000.00 into the district, a huge sum for a State Representative Race in New Hampshire, where there are 400 such seats:

Maureen.Mann.13MAY15.report

And it was clear from Twitter, as well as from the money contributed to Mann, that the Democrats were all in on this one.

And Mann actually won the district in a special election in 2008:

Maureen.Mann.20MAY15

It is noteworthy, however, that in 2008 Fergus Cullen was the State GOP Chairman.  Cullen is considered by many in New Hampshire politics to have been one of, if not the most, ineffective Chairman of the State GOP.

So how did Dean-Bailey do?

Well in Candia, she prevailed 60 percent to 40 percent, which is just slightly less than Governor Romney’s 61 percent in 2012.  It bears noting that there was some confusion about polling hours in Candia –more particularly, the polls were originally not scheduled to open until 9:30 AM– which may have effected turnout.

In Deerfield, she only received 47 percent of the vote, far weaker than Romney’s 56 percent.  But Deerfield was Mann’s hometown.  The turnout in Deerfield bears noting.  While Deerfield (population 4,280) has about 400 more residents than Candia (3,909), 867 voters turned out in Deerfield, compared to only 484 in Candia – or (in terms of population not registered voters) a 20 percent turnout versus a 12 percent turnout.  The turnouts in Northwood (population 4,241) and Nottingham (4,785), respectively, were 622 (15 percent of population) and 619 (13 percent).

So Deerfield appears to be an anomaly. (Perhaps same-day voter registrations need to be looked at.)

In Northwood (Dean-Bailey’s hometown), she pulled in about 52.3 percent of the vote,  exceeding Romney’s 48.6 percent.

And in Nottingham, she earned a healthy 54.6 percent of the vote, again outperforming Romney who received only 49.2 percent.

I am going to focus on Northwood and Nottingham, for the reasons I set forth above.  Based on the results in these towns, it appears that the GOP has improved its get-out-the-vote operation and/or that Dean-Bailey’s positions on the issues resonated with the voters in Rockingham 32.

Establishment’s Shock-and-Awe Campaign Against Guinta Fails

Shock-and-Awe is a military strategy that involves throwing everything you have at the enemy all at once in order to destroy his will to fight.

And that’s what the New Hampshire GOP establishment attempted yesterday with Congressman Frank Guinta.

Do you really think that it is coincidental that on the same day, spaced a few hours apart, the Union Leader, then Senator Kelly Ayotte, then Senate President Chuck Morse, then House Speaker Shawn Jasper, then Executive Councilor Chris Sununu all called for Guinta to resign?

This was a preplanned effort to break Guinta.  The problem for the GOP establishment is that Guinta didn’t break.  He offered a measured response to Ayotte’s call for him to resign and ignored the others.

So specifically who was behind it?  Well, as far as I can tell the local press hasn’t asked anyone if his call for Guinta’s resignation was solicited or coordinated.  But Roll Call had this yesterday:

Multiple Republican operatives told CQ Roll Call if Guinta remains in Congress, he’ll be an unwanted distraction who could make things more difficult for their party’s nominees up and down the ticket. He also could serve as a boogeyman for Democrats, who have delighted in his recent troubles and consider his seat among their most winnable.

“Here’s the problem: This isn’t Missouri, this is the first in the nation primary in the 2016 cycle. It’s the worst possible time for this to be happening, at least from the presidential standpoint,” said one national GOP operative who has worked on House races in New England. “Ayotte protected herself, I think she’s fine, but it’s something that if it’s not taken care of now, it’s going to drag on.”

If this line of thinking looks familiar it’s because it is.  It’s exactly why the establishment intervened in the Speaker’s race back in January in an attempt to get the House GOP Caucus (the GOP controls approximately 60 percent of the seats in the New Hampshire House) to nominate Gene Chandler, not Bill O’Brien, as its choice for Speaker.  An excerpt from “the letter”:
Chandler.Endorsement.Letter.1

The signatories:

Chandler.Endorsement.Letter.2

So I would say it’s a good bet that at a minimum Ayotte and Sununu were behind yesterday’s Shock-and-Awe.  Ayotte obviously is up for reelection in 2016, while Sununu also has a dog in the fight as his son, Chris, is rumored to be interested in running for higher office.   And I would also be willing to bet that the Union Leader was in the loop.

I was alright with Ayotte issuing a call for Guinta’s resignation.  Not happy with it, but could live with it as a necessary step to inoculate her against attacks from the Democrats in 2016.  But asking Guinta to resign in order to take an issue off the table for the 2016 election and putting together a Shock-and-Awe campaign to take down Guinta are two very different things.

I’m not alright with yesterday’s Shock-and-Awe.  The charges against Guinta are not enough to overturn an election and likely hand the seat to the Democrats.

As for the FEC violation, assuming for the sake of argument that the money was technically Guinta’s parents’  money, how is money contributed to Guinta’s campaign from Guinta’s parents going to affect the way that Guinta votes?  The Guinta-must-resign chorus hasn’t told us.  And as for any claim that the money swung the primary or the general, the money could have gone into a super-PAC.

And as for the “he lied” meme.  Assuming for the sake of argument that Guinta didn’t believe that the money in an account his parents were keeping for his benefit and to which he contributed was his money, that’s a career-ending offense when repeating over and over again during the 2008 Presidential campaign that Obamacare will reduce premiums by $2,500 and that you can keep your doctor and plan, when you know both are total falsehoods isn’t?

More Than 80 Percent of Money Raised by Maureen Mann Came From Outside the District

On May 19, 2015, a Special Election will be held to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running. While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

One of Maureen Mann’s campaign themes has been that Dean-Bailey is being financed by “outside money.”  We investigated Mann’s finances and found that over 80 percent of her funding came from outside Rockingham 32.  More particularly, only a little more than 16 percent of her prodigious $9,221.00 campaign war chest came from Candia, Deerfield, Northwood or Nottingham.

So who is funding Mann?  Well she received nearly as much from PACs, $1,375.00, as she did from inside the district, $1,516.00.

Notable individual contributors from outside Rockingham 32 include Marc Goldberg, Governor Hassan’s Communications Director, Michael Vlachich, a top Jeanne Shaheen operative, and Attorney Andru Volinsky, the attorney who brought the Claremont lawsuit and a longtime advocate of an income tax.

Campaign Staffer of “Business-Friendly” Maureen Mann Part of “Occupy” Movement and Manipulated GE Stock

On May 19, 2015, a Special Election will be held to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running. While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

Mann’s campaign recently was linked to a bogus email announcing that Dean-Bailey had withdrawn from the race:

Mr. Reid has just reported that the perpetrator has confessed. Carl Gibson, who handled social media for the Maureen Mann campaign has admitted that he sent the bogus email.

Gibson has attempted to distance himself from Mann, claiming that he had left the campaign because she wasn’t far enough to the left.  This is hard to believe.  You don’t get much further to the left in New Hampshire than Maureen Mann.

As I discussed previously discussed, she’s for an income tax and apparently would ban hunting.  Her top issues appear to be outlawing GMO foods and overturning the United States Supreme Court’s Citizen’s United decision.

But Mann isn’t talking about any of this, instead she’s claiming to be a bipartisan pragmatist.  Her latest claim is that she is a “business friendly” politician:

McCrea.15MAY15

Mann’s decision to make Carl Gibson a key part of her campaign belies her claim to be “business friendly.”  Gibson was arrested as part of the “Occupy” movement in 2012:

Carl.Gibson.Arrest.Pics

Additionally, Gibson has a history of issuing false press releases.  In 2011, he issued a false press release that caused General Electric stock to plummet temporarily.

Carl.Gibson.GE.hoax

His political views appear to be some mix of anarchist and socialist.  We can debate about how exactly to describe Gibson, but “business friendly” he definitely is not.

That Gibson would have joined the Mann campaign and that Mann would have made Gibson part of the campaign shows she is definitely not “business friendly.”

Incidentally, by the BIA’s own scale a 70 percent score is the lowest score to rate a “business friendly.”  Mann only scored a 58.  And the BIA’s scorekeeping is problematic.  For example, it gives positive grades for voting to increase the gas tax (which Mann did) and voting for Obamacare Medicaid expansion (which Mann did).  Yet Mann could only manage a 58.

Maureen Mann Campaign Operative Confesses to Hoax Email

As readers of this blog know, I have been following the May 19, 2015 Special Election to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running. While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

Yesterday, a reporter from the Concord Monitor tweeted that Dean-Bailey had withdrawn from the race:

Nick.Reid.14MAY15

It was soon learned that the email was bogus, which Mr. Reid reported in the Monitor.

Mr. Reid has just reported that the perpetrator has confessed.  Carl Gibson, who handled social media for the Maureen Mann campaign has admitted that he sent the bogus email.

According to Gibson, he went rogue about a month ago because Mann wasn’t liberal enough for him:

Gibson said in a phone interview yesterday that a month ago he volunteered for Mann’s campaign, operating her Twitter account “for probably a week or so” until she changed the password on him. He said he “tried to lead her left” and “she didn’t like the things I was doing.”

“We left on kind of bad terms. I haven’t talked to her in about a month and a half or so,” he said, adding he doesn’t like either candidate in the special election for Rockingham County’s 32nd district and “if they could both lose that’d be great.”

Gibson’s story doesn’t stand up to scrutiny.  I checked and as of today he and Mann are still Facebook friends.  And less than a month ago, Mann was retweeting Gibson’s tweets:

Maureen.Mann.20APR15

And since Mann and Gibson are Facebook friends, it’s hard to believe that Mann was not aware that Gibson had been arrested in connection with the Occupy movement:

Carl.Gibson.Arrest.Pics

Even if  Gibson was no longer technically part of the Mann campaign when he attempted to  suppress turnout for Dean-Bailey, what does it say about Mann that she would have such an incorrigible reprobate working on her campaign?

Speaker Jasper’s “Team” Votes More Often with Democrats Than Republicans

Think back to when Shawn Jasper and a relative handful of Republicans joined with the Democrats to prevent the elected choice of the House GOP Caucus, former Speaker William O’Brien, from being elected Speaker.  The GOP establishment and the press were quick to claim that Japser and his supporters were every bit as conservative as O’Brien.  For example, from the Union Leader:

What we will weigh in on is the silly claim that Shawn Jasper is not a true Republican conservative. He is, from our experience, as much a conservative as is former Speaker Bill O’Brien. We think either would do a good job of leading the House.

Well, now we have some data against which we can test those claims.  The House Republican Alliance has released its “scorecard” through March 15th.

The “scorecard” purports to measure how often the Representatives vote with the Republican platform or the New Hampshire Constitution when the platform conflicts with the Constitution.  I don’t want to get bogged down over whether the “scorecard” effectively measures votes on such a standard.  But I think it is useful to tell us how often a Representative is voting with Republicans who are considered conservatives versus Democrats who are considered liberals.

More particularly, Representatives such as J.R. Hoell, Dan and Carol McGuire, John Burt and William O’Brien score 100 percent.  In contrast, Representatives Jackie Cilley and Steve Shurtleff score 26 percent and 11.5 percent respectively.

So it’s fair to say that 100 percent represents a very conservative score while 18.75 percent (the average of Cilley and Shurtleff) represents a very liberal score.  The midpoint is approximately 59 percent.  So if you are under 59 percent it is fair to say that you are voting with the Democrats more often than with conservative Republicans such as those listed above.

The midpoint between the midpoint and “very conservative” is approximately 80 percent.  So let’s call scores of 80 percent or higher solidly conservative.

So with those reference points let’s check out how Speaker Jasper’s “leadership team” did.  (The Speaker only votes in a tie or to create a tie.)

Majority Leader Jack Flanagan:  46.2 percent.

Majority Whip Richard Hinch:  54.1 percent.

Deputy Majority Leader Stephen Schmidt:  52.5 percent.

Deputy Majority Whip Kathleen Hoelzel:  50.8 percent.

Assistant Majority Whip Claire Rouillard 62.3 percent.

Those are not even close to conservative scores.  With the exception of Rouillard, Japser’s entire leadership team votes with the Democrats much more often than they vote with conservatives.

Here are the scores of some more prominent supporters of Jasper:

Gene Chandler:  57.9 percent.

Dave Hess:  47.5 percent.

Neal Kurk:  56.9 percent.

Norm Major:  51.7 percent.

Sherm Packard:  55.5 percent.

Richard Rowe:  52.6 percent.

We see the same thing here.  Each one of these Representatives votes more often with the Democrats than with conservative Republicans.  They can hardly be considered conservative, never mind “as much a conservative as is former Speaker Bill O’Brien.”

The New Hampshire House really consists of three parties.  The Democrats, the Republicans and the Jaspercrats.

Where the Hell is the GOP Establishment?

On May 19, 2015, a Special Election will be held to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running. While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

The most current candidate receipts-and-expenditures reports on the Secretary of State’s website covers the period through April 29, 2015, and show that the Democrat, Mann, has a huge financial advantage.  More specifically, Mann has raised over $8,000.00, while Dean-Bailey has raised only a little more than $3,600.00.

Conspicuously absent from Dean-Bailey’s list of donors is the GOP establishment. Continue reading Where the Hell is the GOP Establishment?

Why the Democrats Are Trying to Destroy Yvonne Dean-Bailey

On May 19, 2015, a Special Election will be held to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham. On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running. While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

The Democrats are going all out to defeat Dean-Bailey, and it’s pretty ugly.  They don’t walk to talk about the issues, because their candidate Maureen Mann is well to the left of the voters in Rock32.  So they are attacking Dean-Bailey personally. Continue reading Why the Democrats Are Trying to Destroy Yvonne Dean-Bailey

Maureen Mann: Bipartisan Pragmatist or Partisan Ideologue?

On May 19, 2015, a Special Election will be held to fill a vacancy in Rockingham District 32, which covers the towns of Candia, Deerfield, Northwood and Nottingham.  On the Republican side, Yvonne M. Dean-Bailey is running.  While the Democrat candidate is Maureen R. Mann.

Mann’s website never mentions that she is a Democrat.  The reason for that Continue reading Maureen Mann: Bipartisan Pragmatist or Partisan Ideologue?