Eaton Supporters Fire Back

The political columns this week are again talking about the Senate funds of Senator Tom Eaton (R-Keene). Colin Manning of Foster's Daily Democrat summarizes it here:

The fight over money raised to elect Republican senators continues to simmer and it may just boil over into to full-fledged explosion.

Last week, former Senate President Tom Eaton dissolved his political action committee and told Secretary of State William Gardner he intended to create a new one. According to the Secretary of State's Office, because the new PAC was created to raise money for the 2006 election cycle Eaton does not have to file a report until June. Also, it appears he doesn't have to explain the $5,000 discrepancy from his November filing now that the PAC has been dissolved.

Eaton has found a nice loophole and his fellow Republicans are not happy.

Before Eaton resigned, he was in charge of the PAC to get more GOP faces in the Senate, but the day before he resigned, Eaton sent two-thirds of the money — $16,000 — to the state Republican Committee which was viewed as a parting shot at those who wanted Eaton out. Not wanting to get in the middle of the Senate's squabbles, state committee Chair Warren Henderson endorsed the check over to Senate President Ted Gatsas' new PAC. Eaton stopped payment on that check.

Some familiar with the situation are starting to fight back though. One activist familiar with the leadership fundraising told NH Insider, "Where were Jack Barnes and Ted Gatsas when this money was being raised? Did they show up at any of the fundraisers? Make any of the calls? They were decidedly absent when the opportunity came to help their colleagues but now that they think they have a chance to control the money they are greedy."

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Kevin Landrigan