Concord – New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent the following Right to Know request to the New Hampshire Lottery Commission regarding Governor Hassan’s casino lobbying effort.The Huffington Post (3/14/13) and Concord Patch (3/13/13) reported that she refused to answer questions about allegations of "inappropriate lobbying" by her administration. (WATCH Video of Hassan Here)
Executive Director, New Hampshire Lottery Commission
14 Integra Drive
Concord, NH 03301
Dear Director McIntyre,
This is a request under the New Hampshire Right To Know Law (RSA 91-A.)
On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I formally request that you provide me with all records from the New Hampshire Lottery Commission regarding Governor Hassan’s ethically questionable, Executive Branch casino lobbying effort. This includes, but is not limited to, phone logs and any written or electronic correspondence that documents communication between the Lottery Commission, Governor Hassan’s office, and members of the legislature regarding gambling legislation. I am also interested in calendar information that documents your appointments with legislators and other efforts to lobby on behalf of Governor Hassan’s irresponsible casino revenue scheme.
Earlier this week the Concord Patch reported that Governor Hassan deliberately avoided inquiries about whether or not she instructed Executive Department officials to engage in ‘inappropriate lobbying’ efforts. In one of the more embarrassing press conferences conducted by a statewide elected official in recent memory, Hassan mumbled, stumbled and ducked basic “yes or no” questions from reporters about this topic. Her exchange with the media came after an email from House Ways and Means Committee Chairwoman Susan Almy surfaced that indicated you were proactively scheduling meetings with legislators to lobby for Hassan’s irresponsible budget proposal.
After receiving a similar Right to Know request from the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, a Hassan staffer admitted that the governor asked her official office to instruct Executive Branch officials to lobby the legislature. RSA 15:5 states that “no recipient of a grant or appropriation of state funds may use the state funds to lobby or attempt to influence legislation.” The governor’s actions raise serious questions about her compliance with New Hampshire law.
The casino lobby is already spending millions on highly paid lobbyists and public relations campaigns designed to promote her risky budget proposal. It is of great concern that she is enlisting government officials like you to join this effort, and lobby for legislation that is being backed by well funded, outside special interest groups.
I also ask that you preserve any and all records regarding your upcoming casino lobbying efforts as the State Committee is inclined to file additional Right to Know requests in the future. Representative Almy’s email indicated that you will be participating in meetings with legislators next week, and we will certainly be interested in obtaining records from these lobbying appointments.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
New Hampshire Republican State Committee