Press Releases



DSCC - Could this by Lynch's parting shot to Ayotte?  

Could this by Lynch's parting shot to Ayotte?


Wednesday, July 8 2009 04:32 PM

By James W. Pindell


CONCORD -- Democratic Gov. John Lynch hasn't read the Massachusetts lawsuit against the federal government over the Defense of Marriage Act, but his opposition to the law and with state gay marriage beginning in six months, it is possible he could ask state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte to sign on to the lawsuit as one of her final actions in office. The move would force Ayotte, a Republican, to take a no-win position quickly on a high profile social issue as she begins to explore a U.S. Senate run.


When Lynch signed the same-sex marriage bill into law last month he said Congress should repeal the Defense of Marriage Act, which prevents the federal government from recognizing gay marriage, which of of particular concern in the tax code.


Earlier today Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley filed the lawsuit on behalf of her state saying that the DOMA law, passed in 1996, "constitutes an overreaching and discriminatory federal law."


When asked, Lynch spokesman Colin Manning sounded at least sympathic to the Massachusetts argument.


"Unfortunately, the federal government does not extend the same rights and protections that New Hampshire provides same-sex families, and that should change," said Manning. "As for the Massachusetts lawsuit, we have not reviewed the litigation."


Ayotte is set to resign as Attorney General on July 17th to explore a U.S. Senate run. If Lynch decides before then to have the state sign-on to the lawsuit he would put Ayotte in a tough position politically. Ayotte has to both appeal to a Republican base for the primary while at the same time not alienate voters in the general election who would be living with gay marriage for nearly a year.


If she carries out Lynch's wishes the base would be upset. If she refuses to sign the state on, she could mobilize gay organizations against her, open up negative attacks and hurt her bi-partisan image. If she lets it sit on her desk for the next person she may make everyone upset.


Quite the parting gift.



National Ballot Initiative Newsletter 

On June 26th, 2009, Governor Kulongoski signed HB 2895, which allows statements, from a Citizens' Initiative Review panel to be printed in the 2010 Voter's Pamphlet. Congratulations Oregonians! This is the first time any initiative procedure in the United States has incorporated a citizen jury. You can confirm this by taking a look at our new comparison of NI4D with existing state initiative law. Please check it out.


A number of blogs written by our community members have been added to Please visit and see if there is anything of particular interest to you.


Many people are caught in a rut. They know the current system isn't working, but they have trouble imagining how a democratic process would work without the chains of the current flawed system. They accept systemic flaws as universal truths through their inability to see alternatives that could correct existing flaws. As an experiment, The Democracy Foundation is launching a new wiki toward developing an understanding of how an independent deliberative lawmaking process would enable us to think differently about the current problems we face under the existing paradigm of representative government. Please visit to participate. The Democracy Foundation does not endorse or oppose any position on any particular substantiative issue.


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Shea-Porter Votes to Create Small Business Jobs 

Washington, DC – Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted for the Small Business Research and Innovation Act (H.R. 2965). The bill, which passed the House 386 to 41, will help create jobs by supporting small business innovation in research and technology.


“For America to maintain its competitive advantage, we must continue to create innovative, high-quality products,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter. “This bill will create millions of new American jobs by providing small businesses with the tools they need to stay at the forefront of new technology.”


The Small Business Research and Innovation Act modernizes the government’s largest small business research and development programs, the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and the Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program. The bill more than doubles the amount of federal grants available to small businesses and helps small businesses employ cutting-edge research.


“Small businesses are the heartbeat of our nation’s economy and they must succeed,” Shea-Porter added.


Since 1992, the SBIR and STTR programs have awarded 65,000 grants to small companies that are leading research efforts to cure diseases, strengthen national defense, and reduce our nation’s dependence on foreign energy sources. Without Congressional action, both programs are set to expire this month.




NH’s Attorney General Jumps Ship, Breaks Pledge to People of New Hampshire – Explains it Away With “Change in Political Landscape”


Just four months after Kelly Ayotte gave her word to New Hampshire Governor John Lynch that she would serve out her full term as Attorney General, Kelly Ayotte announced yesterday she is quitting as Attorney General in order to prepare a run for the U.S. Senate. Ayotte justified breaking her promise to the people of New Hampshire by saying that there has been a “change in the political landscape.” But nothing has changed in New Hampshire since March when Ayotte was reappointed Attorney General.Senator Judd Gregg announced his retirement in February.


“The people of New Hampshire deserve a U.S. Senator who will level with them, tell them the truth, and most of all, stick to their word,” said Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Communications Director Eric Schultz. “Kelly Ayotte’s first move out of the gate was to break a pledge and quit on the people of New Hampshire.But if her explanation is that things have changed, voters have a right know what she is talking about.”


For reference:

Judd Gregg Announced Retirement in February. On February 12, Judd Gregg announced his retirement along with the withdrawal of his nomination to serve as Commerce Secretary. [Union Leader, 2/13/09]


Ayotte Reappointed AFTER Gregg’s Decision to Retire. As reported by the Union Leader, Ayotte was reappointed to her position AFTER Judd Gregg had announced his decision to retire from the Senate. [Union Leader, 7/7/09]


AYOTTE: Political Landscape Has Changed Since Reappointment. Yesterday, Ayotte said, “I would say that at the time of my reappointment no one could have predicted the political future. The political landscape has changed drastically since then. Clearly the intent was to continue serving, but I think in fairness no one could have predicted the changes that have occurred on the political landscape.” [Union Leader, 7/7/09]



Manchester Mayor Guinta decries yet another effort by Aldermen to subvert the will of the people 

MANCHESTER (July 8, 2009) – Mayor Frank Guinta blasted members of the Board of Aldermen for “yet another effort to subvert the will of the people” with their vote to send the spending cap referendum to court. Despite the legal efforts of petitioners last year and the ruling of three state agencies (Attorney General’s Office, Secretary of State; and Department of Revenue Administration) attesting to the legality of the referendum’s language, seven aldermen are continuing their efforts to deny the people of Manchester a vote.



“It is unbelievably disappointing that aldermen continue to subvert the will of the people,” Guinta said. “Last year, they did everything in their power to get this pushed from the 2008 to the 2009 ballot. Now, they are pulling out all the stops to get the courts to do their dirty work and throw the referendum off the ballot all together. So far, seven aldermen are winning; the people of Manchester are losing.”


On July 7, the aldermen voted, 7-5, to reject a request to withdraw a court case that could potentially throw the spending cap off the 2009 municipal ballot. On Sept. 5, 2008, eight aldermen blocked efforts to have the spending cap initiative on the 2008 ballot, despite an eight-hour marathon session in which Mayor Guinta tried to get the initiative placed on the ballot.


“The argument the eight aldermen made was that the people needed more time to learn the pros and cons about the referendum. At that time, they promised public hearings and information sessions. Instead, in the last 10 months, these aldermen have worked with special interests to get this thrown off the ballot,” Guinta said. “Even today, we’ve read about how the spending cap works in Franklin and, in an emergency, can be overridden. This process gives power to the people; policymakers retain their ways and means authority. The process works.”


Guinta states that he respects those that oppose the spending cap and looks forward to having a vigorous and informative debate on the issue. “However, I am staunchly opposed to the actions of a small group of lawmakers disenfranchising the voters of Manchester.”