House Republican Leaders Respond to Lawsuit Against Democratic Party for Campaign Finance Violations

CONCORD – House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt (R-Salem) and House Election Law Chairman David Bates (R-Windham) today responded to the news that Speaker William O’Brien (R-Mont Vernon) has filed a lawsuit against the New Hampshire Democratic Party for violating state campaign finance laws.  Last month, the NHDP paid a $5,000 fine to the Department of Justice for breaking a state law against “robo-calls,” deceptive automated calls that did not fully identify the source.  Rep. Bates filed the complaint with the Department of Justice against the NHDP for the illegal calls.

Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt

“For the Chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, of all people, to say that this was an accident or oversight is just not believable.  Ray Buckley was an active participant in writing the very law that he disregarded.  His deceptive and dishonest message was not only the politics of personal destruction, it broke the law, and he and his party must be held accountable.  What has become crystal clear is that,  even in last year’s primary, the Democratic Party hierarchy knew just how much a threat Speaker O’Brien would be to their reckless agenda to bring income and sales taxes to New Hampshire.  The last thing they wanted was the type of fiscal sanity that the House Republicans have restored to Concord.”

House Election Law Chairman David Bates

“When I first heard about these calls, it was immediately obvious that they violated state law.  However, when I brought the charges to the Attorney General, I was not aware that Ray Buckley actually had a part in writing the 2003 law that he knowingly broke on behalf the Democratic Party.  He has no excuse for this willful violation of the law and no Democrat should tolerate such disgraceful behavior by their Party’s Chairman.  Ray Buckley should resign immediately.  This appalling episode and the nearly yearlong delay by Governor Lynch’s Attorney General’s Office in acting upon it, demonstrate why it is so critical that we reform our campaign finance and election laws.  There must be more transparency in the entire process, swift enforcement, and real teeth in the penalties, especially for anyone who tries to subvert an election by breaking the law.”