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Entries in Gov Hassan (246)

Saturday
Aug162014

NHGOP STATEMENT ON AG FOSTER OFFICIALLY RECUSING HIMSELF FROM HASSAN INVESTIGATION 

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn released the following statement today on Attorney General Foster's decision to officially recuse himself from the ongoing investigator into Governor Hassan's illegal campaign donations. New Hampshire Journal reports that the New Hampshire Department of Justice officially announced the decision today:

 

"Governor Hassan's illegal campaign money scandal has cast a dark ethical cloud over her administration and undermined public trust in state government. Attorney General Foster made the right decision given his role on Hassan's 2012 finance committee and his close ties to some of the labor unions that broke campaign finance laws. We hope that the New Hampshire Department of Justice will expedite its ongoing investigation into Governor Hassan's shady campaign finances and quickly provide an opinion on her suspicious failure to disclose her donors on a required campaign finance report."

 

The New Hampshire Department of Justice has already forced Governor Hassan to return $33,000 in illegal campaign contributions and ruled that at least three labor unions broke state laws that required them to register their political action committees.

 

BACKGROUND:

 

Attorney General Foster served on then-candidate Hassan's 2012 campaign finance committee: (New Hampshire Journal, 8/15/2014)

 

During His Campaign For State Senate, Joe Foster Accepted Contributions From Labor Unions, Including The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) And The Plumbers and Steamfitter Union. (Source: Joe Foster for Senate August 25, 2004 Campaign Finance Report)

Friday
Aug152014

NH House Republican Leader Reiterates Need to Address Budget Concerns 

Concord - House Republican Leader Gene Chandler offered the following statement relative to concern voiced by leaders in the State Senate that state agencies may be overspending, and creating growing budget deficits as a result, while Governor Hassan and agency heads refuse to meet with budget writers to open the books and discuss the concern, citing, “incomplete information.”

 

“It may take time to count every penny, but when we’re in a potential crisis situation, we owe it to the people of New Hampshire to have an open and frank discussion on what appears to be a significant budget problem. We are, after all, elected to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars, and our citizens expect some level of transparency and accountability within our state government.”

 

“Every leader of every state agency should have some idea how their balance sheet will shape up, whether or not it’s finalized. They do not operate in the dark. I would hope that the Governor would allow the agency heads to meet with the legislature and comply with a simple and reasonable request to discuss how their agency is performing with the resources we’ve allocated to them. Kicking the can down the road will only lead to future budget problems.”

Friday
Aug152014

NH Sen Forrester- "We can't afford to wait another month" 

The New Hampshire Senate

Republican Majority Office

Governor Hassan won’t share spending data until September 30th.

 

Concord, NH – Senate Finance Committee Chair Jeanie Forrester (R-Meredith) today issued the following response to Governor Maggie Hassan’s decision to wait until the end of September to release Fiscal Year 2014 spending data for New Hampshire departments.

 

“We can’t afford to wait another month to know how a big a budget problem we’re facing. The Governor signaled in May that state departments would not be able to meet their budget targets. The Department of Health and Human Services’ latest report show the gap topping $100 million at the end of this fiscal year. If departments managed to stay within their budgets, that would be great, but we need to know. If they overspent their budgets, we need to know so that we can take every necessary step to protect New Hampshire taxpayers and our state’s fiscal integrity. If Governor Hassan were truly interested in working in a bipartisan manner, she would be transparent with the state’s budget data.”

 

The latest Department of Health and Human Services dashboard shows DHHS exceeding its spending authority by as much as $100 million in FY14-15. Hassan first warned that departments would exceed their FY14 budgets back in May, but now indicates that she won’t share updated spending data with the Legislature until September 30th. The Union Leader this morning declared the “NH budget is in a shambles”.

 

Spending Watch ‘14

 

45 Days since the end of Fiscal Year 2014

 

38 Days since Forrester requested a department spending update

Thursday
Aug142014

NHGOP ASKS AG FOSTER FOR CLARIFICATION ON HASSAN'S MISSING PAC REPORT

Also Asks AG Foster to Officially Recuse Himself from Hassan Campaign Donation Probe

 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked Attorney General Joe Foster to issue an official opinion on reporting requirements for political action committees. Governor Maggie Hassan refused to meet a June 18, 2014 PAC report filing deadline with her other registered PAC. As a candidate for governor, Hassan met this requirement when she filed a PAC report on June 20th, 2012 - five days after she filed to run on June 15th 2012.

 

Additionally, the NHGOP asked Foster to formally recuse himself from an ongoing probe into Governor Hassan's illegal campaign donations because of conflicts of interest. Foster served on Hassan's 2012 campaign finance committee and also accepted donations during his state senate campaigns from some of the same unions that made illegal contributions to Hassan.

 

In an interview with New Hampshire Journal yesterday, Foster said he would "probably" recuse himself, but had not made a final decision. 

 

The full letter is below:

 

August 13, 2014

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Dear Attorney General Foster,

 

On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing to respectfully request that your office provide an official opinion on the reporting requirements for political PACs. The New Hampshire Journal recently reported that Governor Maggie Hassan's political action committee failed to file a report on June 18, 2014 even though her PAC filed a report at a similar deadline on June 20th 2012. I am also following up on my request from last week that you recuse yourself from the New Hampshire Department of Justice's investigation into potentially illegal contributions made by the Plumbers and Steamfitters Union to Governor Hassan's campaign. 

 

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice ruled that Governor Hassan could keep several donations that exceeded contribution limits because of a loophole that allowed unlimited PAC to PAC transfers before a candidate officially files paperwork to run for office. As you noted, "Friends of Maggie Hassan" was filed as a PAC and was allowed to follow different rules than if it were filed as a candidate committee. This PAC was later converted to "Maggie 14," a candidate committee on June 12, 2014 when the governor filed to run for re-election.

 

However, Governor Hassan failed to file a required close out PAC report on "Friends of Maggie Hassan's" financial activity by the June 18th deadline required for all PACs. PACs tied to elected officials from both parties who filed for re-election and became candidates filed reports on June 18th include "Friends of Jeb Bradley for State Senate," "Bette Lasky for State Senate," "Friends of Maureen Mooney," "Supporters of Molly Kelly," and many more. The Nashua Telegraph also notes that past governors including John Lynch and Craig Benson who had PACs before officially filing for re-election submitted reports by the June deadline. Even Maggie Hassan's first gubernatorial campaign, which was initially a PAC before converting to a candidate committee when she filed on June 15, 2012, submitted a report by the June 20, 2012 deadline.

 

When asked about why Governor Hassan did not submit her required PAC report, Associate Attorney General Richard Head told the New Hampshire Journal that Hassan 'self-designated' her PAC as a political committee tied to her candidacy as a result of a letter changing the name of the committee filed with the Secretary of State on June 12, 2014. However documents filed with the Secretary of State indicate that 'Friends of Maggie Hassan's' chairperson checked a box and paid a $50 fee that "must accompany this registration if it is not a political committee of a candidate," when the committee was formed. This directly contradicts Associate Attorney General Head's explanation that Hassan had determined that 'Friends of Maggie Hassan' was a 'self-designated' political committee of a candidate.

 

Associate Attorney General Head seems to base his opinion on the significance of the comments made in the Hassan campaign's name change letter. But in response to our initial complaint about Hassan's donations, Hassan Campaign attorney Jay Surdukowski made it clear that the name-change letter had no "substantive import" other than the fact that "the campaign simply updated the name of its committee for the current election season."

 

Given this information, the informal opinion that Associate Attorney General Head gave to the New Hampshire Journal doesn't make any sense. If 'Friends of Maggie Hassan' was a PAC that could take unlimited transfers, and by its own admission was 'not a political candidate of a committee," it should have filed a report on June 18, 2014 with every other PAC. Then-candidate Hassan clearly understood this requirement when he filed a PAC report in June of 2012. She also filed PAC reports in June during her previous campaigns for state senate.

 

Given the confusion, I ask that the Department of Justice review this information and provide an official opinion. I would also like to request under RSA 91-A that you provide me with the entire case file from the Department of Justice's investigation of the complaint that we filed on July 16, 2014 regarding Governor Hassan's illegal PAC contributions. Associate Attorney General Head indicates that the issue of PAC reports was discussed over the course of this investigation.

 

Additionally, I would like to check in on the status of the complaint I filed last week on more potentially illegal union PAC donations that Governor Hassan received in 2012 and 2014. As you know, Hassan has already returned $33,000 in illegal contributions.

 

I am specially requesting that you provide me with an official determination on your role in this investigation. I have asked that you recuse yourself from this probe given that you served on then-candidate Hassan's finance committee in 2012 when one of the questionable donations was made. I was encouraged to see that you told the New Hampshire Journal that you would "probably" recuse yourself to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

 

If there is any further doubt that you should recuse yourself, it has come to my attention that during your previous career as a state senator you frequently accepted political donations from Big Labor. This includes contributions from AFL-CIO New Hampshire President Mark Mackenzie (2004) and union PACs including the Granite State Teamsters PAC (2002 and 2004), and the International Union of Painters and Allies Trades PAC (2004). Even more troubling, you also accepted donations from the IBEW Local 490 Cope Fund (2004) and Plumbers and Steamfitters Local Union 131 PAC (2004) - two PACs that are directly tied to the same unions that are mentioned in our complaint. Clearly, your close political ties to Big Labor present another alarming conflict of interest that should help you make the obvious decision to step aside.

 

I ask that you officially declare that you are recusing yourself from this investigation so that the Department of Justice can expedite our request. With less than 100 days before the election it is critical that this important matter is investigated immediately.

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee

Thursday
Aug142014

NHGOP LAUNCHES ROBOCALLS ON GOVERNOR HASSAN'S ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTION SCANDAL 

Concord - Today, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee launched robocalls regarding Governor Hassan's illegal campaign contributions from Big Labor PACs. 


 

"Governor Hassan's illegal campaign donation scheme has raised serious questions and cast a dark ethical could over her administration. New Hampshire deserves a governor who serves the people's interests instead of the Big Labor PACs that have funneled tens of thousands of dollars in illegal contributions into her account," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "It's time to replace Maggie Hassan with a responsible Republican governor who isn't beholden to the special interests that are trying to buy influence in Concord.


 

The transcript of the robocall is below:


 

"Hi, this is Sue.  New Hampshire papers are reporting that Governor Hassan accepted tens of thousands of dollars in illegal campaign contributions from big unions, creating the appearance of improper influence. The Nashua Telegraph called this "disturbing" and I agree.  Governor Hassan's own handpicked attorney general forced her to return these illegal contributions. New Hampshire families deserve honesty. Call Governor Hassan at 271-2121 to say New Hampshire is not for sale! Paid for by the New Hampshire Republican State Committee. Robert Scott, Treasurer."