#NHPolitics Weekly Ins and Outs — April 14, 2024

By Colin Booth

April 14, 2024

Another week of #NHPolitics Ins and Outs, taking you on a tour of the ins and outs of the ever-changing world of New Hampshire Politics, keeping score of the winners and losers week-by-week — and letting you know who’s in and who’s out.

Let’s get into it.

 

Who’s In?

Major Swings on PFAS Protections— This week House Democrats saw a big win passing HB 1649, a bill prohibiting the sale of select products that contain PFAS forever chemicals on a roll call vote of 233-140.

This comes after the EPA directed that drinking water utilities nationwide remove certain PFAS chemicals at a concentration of 4 parts per trillion. These chemicals are associated with liver problems, thyroid issues, kidney disease, decreased immunity, maternal health hazards, and cancer.

That move was celebrated by State Rep Wendy Thomas and the Merrimack Water Warriors who personally petitioned President Joe Biden on the issue during his visit to the state in March. InDepthNH has that story.

Teamworks makes the Dream Work — This week both Democratic candidates for governor joined forces at a Biden campaign event this week to send a clear message to Republicans trying to run from their anti-abortion records: fat chance.

Taking aim on Republican gubernatorial candidate Kelly Ayotte and former president Donald Trump, both Executive Councilor Cinde Warmington and former Manchester Mayor Joyce Craig minced no words on both candidates’ records on abortion, asserting both candidates records on reproductive health were firmly established, and any attempts to change course now were lies for the sake of political expediency.

Check out our story here.

Chuck Morse Goes On The Attack — Republican gubernatorial candidate Chuck Morse is blasting his opponent Kelly Ayotte’s hypocrisy on immigration, claiming she backed a pathway to citizenship and amnesty while serving in the Senate. He’s highlighting the campaign with a new website and social media account.

 

Who’s Out!

Not my kids, not my problem — In a week defined by New Hampshire Republicans engaging in new, previously unexplored depths of hypocrisy, one moment truly stood out among all others: House Speaker Sherm Packard casting a tie-breaking vote to deny expanding school meals to hungry children.

Then, taking off to enjoy a free lunch provided by Wal-Mart.

The jaw-dropping audacity of the move was not lost on, well, basically anyone, and Republicans’ seeming nihilism toward the well-being of Granite State school children was captured by State Rep. Wendy Thomas, who reported hearing “Not my kids, not my problem” from a Republican House Committee Chair on their way to a corporate-lobbyist sponsored lunch.

100 Days With Nothing to Celebrate — One of the most important and time honored traditions among big city mayors is celebrating the 100 day mark of an administration. A key moment in time to account and take credit for early wins and to inform voters that the groundwork for long-term priorities is well underway. It is a critical time in any mayor’s administration.

But when the 100 day mark came and went this week for Manchester Mayor Jay Ruais, few were left wondering why he would choose not to celebrate. His administration is currently embroiled in crisis, with the aggressive and embarrassing pushing out of a well-respected housing official following claims by some Manchester political insiders that Ruais has empowered Joe Kelly Levasseur to be a shadow-mayor of the city

This also comes after the Manchester Continuum of Care (MCoC) announced that it voted unanimously not to accept the city’s application to become the MCoC collaborative applicant, an issue that was Ruais’ signature platform in his inaugural speech on homelessness.

Taken together, Ruais has effectively slammed the brakes on addressing homelessness in Manchester, an issue that was, by many metrics, improving before he took office, with encampments down 70%.

Two Republicans Hit With One Stone — The unfolding scandal around State Rep Jonathan Stone is gaining steam in the national press, and shows no signs of slowing down.

This week two reports came out detailing Stone’s senior leadership on the Trump campaign here in New Hampshire (Granite Post was first to break the story), which then went viral on social media.

Then things turned toward Kelly Ayotte when ace NH Politics Boston Globe reporter Steven Porter, in a roundup on news about Stone, brought up the fact that Ayotte served on the Police Standards & Training Council that reviewed Stone’s conduct records, implying she either was or should have been aware of deeply troubling accusations against the officer at the time by fellow police officers.

The Ayotte campaign is reportedly searching for any documents proving her association with the case, as are other reporters. Expect more on this in the coming week.

Sununu’s Stumbles on Abortion on CNN — Republican Governor Chris Sununu had a hard stumble in an interview with Jake Tapper on CNN this week.

Asked if Republicans would have an uphill electoral fight on abortion issues in 2024, Sununu dismissed the idea outright, suggesting Democrats would — against all evidence — be on the defensive for their position on abortion, regurgitating Republican talking points that, without legislative intervention, most women would opt to terminate pregnancies at the ninth month.

This led Tapper to ask the fairly obvious question, “What is this nine month abortion thing? I’ve never heard of anyone getting an abortion, like, one day before they’re due. Republicans talk about this all the time.”

To which Sununu responded with a fast-paced, panicked word vomit that is typical of him in these moments, saying, “Right, but I, uh I’m, just saying, so that, in uh…”

The moment was captured and sent out on social media by the Biden campaign.

Author

  • Colin Booth

    Based in Epsom, Colin Booth is Granite Post's political correspondent. A Granite State native and veteran political professional with a deep background in journalism, he's worked on campaigns and programs in battleground states across the country, ranging from New Hampshire, Texas, Pennsylvania and Washington D.C.

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