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Entries in NH GOP (758)

Friday
Jul252014

NHGOP SENDS AG FORMAL RESPONSE TO HASSAN CAMPAIGN DEFENSE OF ILLEGAL CAMPAIGN DONATIONS

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn today formally responded to the Hassan Campaign's defense of the governor's illegal campaign contribution scheme. The response was delivered to the New Hampshire Department of Justice this morning.

 

"Governor Hassan's illegal campaign contribution scheme has raised very serious questions about the priorities and integrity of her administration. It is clear that Governor Hassan has repeatedly and intentionally ignored contribution limits and solicited limitless donations from special interest groups." said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan believes that it is acceptable for her to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from special interest groups that have business before state government. This is a clear violation of New Hampshire laws and shows that the Hassan Administration is beholden to special interests that are trying to buy influence in Concord."

 

Hassan has accepted donations from Big Labor PACs that dramatically exceed New Hampshire's campaign contribution limits, including a $25,000 contribution from that International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) union that is pushing for lawmakers to support the North Pass transmission line project.

 

The left-leaning Concord Monitor editorial page criticized Hassan's decision to accept the illegal contributions.

 

"[R]egardless of the decision arrived at by the attorney general's office, Hassan has a perception problem on her hands. A campaign's broad interpretation of campaign finance laws is akin to a child hearing only what he or she wants to hear, and the political damage can be significant," wrote the Monitor. "[S]uddenly $25,000 has bought the campaign nothing but legal problems, anxiety for supporters and fuel for opponents who can spin the Hassan campaign's interpretation of law into something much more sinister."

 

CLICK HERE TO READ THE NHGOP'S RESPONSE TO THE HASSAN CAMPAIGN'S ILLEGAL FUNDRAISING SCHEME

Friday
Jul252014

NHGOP CALLS ON GOVERNOR HASSAN TO STOP EFFORTS TO EXPAND THE REAL ESTATE TRANSFER TAX 

Concord - Today, New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Jennifer Horn called for Governor Maggie Hassan to halt her efforts to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax (RETT) to cover leases:

 

"Yet again, Governor Hassan demonstrates that she has no regard for rules. Her attempt to expand the Real Estate Transfer Tax goes around the Legislature. If she wants to increase taxes, she should work with our state elected officials to pass legislation. I applaud Republicans in the state Senate in their rightful quest to stop her from secretly raising taxes without legislative approval. Hassan continues to believe that rules apply to everyone but herself. It's unacceptable, and we must replace her with a Republican who will respect and abide by official process this fall."

 

According to the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration and RETT forms, the tax does not apply to leases of less than 99 years.  Yet, Governor Hassan's administration first asked the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules for the authority to apply the tax to leases, only to withdraw their request and claim that the Governor has the authority to apply the tax to leases. 

 

BACKGROUND

 

NH RSA 78-B authorizes the Real Estate Transfer Tax of $0.75 per $100 of fair market value "imposed upon the sale, granting and transfer of real estate and any interest therein including transfers by operation of law." The tax is paid by both the buyer and the seller, resulting in a total tax rate of 1.5%.

 

Administrative Rule Part Rev 802.01(f) applies RETT on leases of 99 years or longer, but do not authorize RETT on shorter leases. The Hassan Administration has sought a change in Administrative Rules to allow RETT on "ground lease transfers", but delayed its request twice in the face of criticism from the Committee. The Hassan Administration has now withdrawn its request, claiming that "the taxability of ground leases exists currently under New Hampshire law."

 

Administrative Rules Chapter Rev 800- Transfer of Real Property

Friday
Jul182014

NHGOP EXPANDS AG COMPLAINT AFTER MORE ILLEGAL HASSAN DONATIONS EMERGE

More Illegal Union PAC Contributions Reveal Troubling Pattern

 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today filed a second complaint with New Hampshire Attorney General Joseph Foster, asking him to expand his investigation of Governor Maggie Hassan's campaign finances after more illegal contributions came to light. NH Journal and the Concord Monitor reported this morning that the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education and the United Food and Commercial (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC each gave Hassan $10,000 donations that exceeded contribution limits.

 

"It is now clear that Governor Hassan has repeatedly and intentionally ignored contribution limits and solicited limitless donations from special interest groups. The governor doesn't think that she needs to follow the same rules that other candidates follow, and she has made a mockery out of New Hampshire's campaign finance laws," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan believes that it is acceptable for her to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from special interest groups that have business before state government. This is a clear violation of the spirit and letter of New Hampshire's finance laws."

 

Below is the letter that the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent to the New Hampshire Department of Justice today:

 

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Dear Attorney General Joseph Foster,

 

On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing to request that you expand your investigation into Governor Maggie Hassan's illegal campaign fundraising scheme. According to media reports, in addition to the illegal $25,000 contribution that the governor accepted from International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) PAC, the governor's campaign also accepted two $10,000 contributions from the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Committee on Political Education PAC (Exhibit A) and the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Active Ballot Club PAC (Exhibit B). These donations far exceed the $5,000 pre-declaration of candidacy limit that has been established in previous Department of Justice opinions.

 

Documents filed with the Secretary of State's office show that the SEIU Committee on Political Education PAC and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC both donated $10,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" on June 12, 2014. This is the same day that the IBEW PAC donated $25,000 to "Friends of Maggie Hassan" and the same day that Governor Hassan officially filed her candidacy for re-election. Like the IBEW PAC, the SEIU Committee on Political Education and the UFCW Active Ballot Club PAC failed to follow New Hampshire law by disclosing any of their itemized receipts. The source of their funding is a mystery.

 

Further, Governor Hassan's campaign has stated in response to our previous letter that she is not required to adhere to any campaign finance limits in her pre-declaration of candidacy stage. Her interpretation clearly undermines the spirit and letter of New Hampshire law and directly contradicts the opinion provided by the Department of Justice and currently posted on the Secretary of State's website. This opinion, which provides guidance to all candidates running for state office, clearly states that candidate committees are limited to $5,000 donations before they declare their candidacy.

 

As Governor Hassan stated in her June 12, 2014 letter to Secretary Gardner "Friends of Maggie Hassan" was a candidate committee before and after its name was changed to "Maggie 14." (Exhibit C) Before its name change, "Friends of Maggie Hassan" served as a candidate committee making direct expenditures to support Governor Hassan's reelection campaign by paying for political expenses and a staff that included a re-election campaign manager who was named on April 11, 2014.

 

It is clear that Governor Hassan has operated a political fundraising operation for her re-election campaign that has not followed any of the contribution limits that are required by New Hampshire law. She has refused to follow the rules that have been laid out for every other state candidate by opinions released by the Department of Justice. In her view, she is allowed to sit in the corner office in Concord and take unlimited amounts of money from the special interest groups that have business before state government.

 

Given the fact that Governor Hassan's re-election campaign is currently in possession of illegal campaign contributions that could improperly influence the upcoming elections, I ask that you please complete your review in an expedited manner. I also ask that you please investigate why the union affiliated PACs mentioned in this complaint have not disclosed their itemized receipts as required by law.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee

Friday
Jul182014

NHGOP RESPONDS TO GOVERNOR HASSAN'S REQUEST TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL

Concord - New Hampshire Republican State Committee chairman Jennifer Horn today released the following statement in response to Governor Hassan's request that Attorney General Joseph Foster expedite his review of the NHGOP's complaints regarding Hassan's illegal campaign contributions:

 

"The opinion provided by the New Hampshire Department of Justice on February 10, 2012 makes it very clear that Governor Hassan's limitless special interest fundraising scheme is illegal.  It is troubling that the governor thinks that the campaign contribution limits that are followed by every other state candidate do not apply to her.  Governor Hassan clearly believes that she should be able to accept unlimited donations from unions, special interest groups and organizations with business before the state while she serves in the corner office.  That is not the New Hampshire way, and it is a clear violation of our laws."

Thursday
Jul172014

NHGOP ASKS ATTORNEY GENERAL TO REVIEW ILLEGAL HASSAN CONTRIBUTION 

Special Interest Union PAC Made $25,000 Donation To Governor's Campaign

 

Concord - The New Hampshire Republican State Committee today asked Attorney General Joseph Foster to investigate an illegal contribution made by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) PAC to Governor Maggie Hassan's re-election campaign. According to documents filed with the Secretary of State's office, the Washington, DC based IBEW PAC broke the law by making a $25,000 donation to Hassan's candidate committee that dramatically exceeded New Hampshire's contribution limits. State law limits candidates like Governor Hassan who decline to follow an expenditure cap to $7,000 in combined donations for the pre-declaration of candidacy period, the primary election and the general election.

 

IBEW PAC is a special interest committee that is trying to buy influence in Concord and push elected officials like Governor Hassan to support the controversial Northern Pass project.

 

"It is troubling and alarming to see that a pro-Northern Pass special interest group funded by union bosses is illegally funneling money into Governor Hassan's re-election campaign. Attorney General Foster needs to immediately investigate Governor Hassan's illegal campaign activity and force her to follow the law," said NHGOP Chairman Jennifer Horn. "Governor Hassan has attempted to play both sides in the ongoing debate over the controversial Northern Pass project. Her decision to accept illegal contributions from a pro-Northern Pass political action committee raises serious questions that she needs to answer."

 

Below is the full letter that the New Hampshire Republican State Committee sent to the Department of Justice this morning:

 

Attorney General Joseph Foster

New Hampshire Department of Justice

33 Capitol Street

Concord, NH 03301

 

Dear Attorney General Joseph Foster,

 

On behalf of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee, I am writing today to respectfully request that you investigate an illegal contribution made by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) PAC to Governor Maggie Hassan's re-election campaign. According the IBEW PAC's June 18th, 2014 filing with the Secretary of State's office, the committee made a $25,000 donation to Friends of Maggie Hassan, dramatically exceeding New Hampshire's legal contribution limits (Exhibit A).
 

According to a February, 2012 opinion issued by the New Hampshire Department of Justice (Exhibit B) and currently posted on the NewHampshire Secretary of State's website, state law limits candidate contributions. This opinion mentions that RSA 664:4, V. "establishes contribution limits of up to $1,000 or up to $5,000 depending on whether a candidate voluntarily agrees to the expenditure cap established in RSA: 665:5-a." Relying on this language and prior opinions, the Department of Justice states that limits on contributions can be made during three periods: "(1) any exploratory campaign period (pre-declaration of candidacy); (2) Primary Election; and (3) General Election."

 

According to this opinion, candidates can accept up to $5,000 in pre-declaration contributions. Candidates who agree to the expenditure cap can accept donations of up to $5,000 in both the primary and the general. Candidates who don't agree to the expenditure cap can accept up to $1,000 in the primary in the general. The opinion clearly states that candidates who agree to the cap can receive a total maximum amount of contributions over all three periods of $15,000 while those who don't agree to the cap are held to a maximum of $7,000 in contributions.

 

On June 12, 2014 the IBEW PAC broke state law by donating $25,000 to Friends of Maggie Hassan, a candidate committee that supports the reelection of Governor Maggie Hassan. According to filings with the Secretary of State's office and a letter sent by Governor Hassan to Secretary William Gardner (Exhibit C), Friends of Maggie Hassan is a candidate committee that was suspiciously renamed "Maggie 14" the same day that IBEW made the illegal contribution.

 

"Please accept the attached form as an amendment to my current candidate committee, Friends of Maggie Hassan. The name is changed from 'Friends of Maggie Hassan' to 'Maggie 14,'" wrote Governor Hassan in a June 12, 2014 letter to Secretary Gardner. "'Maggie 14' will continue as my candidate committee."

 

Governor Hassan also officially filed her paperwork to run for re-election on June 12, 2014.

 

Since Governor Hassan has not agreed to adhere to the expenditure cap, based on the Department of Justice opinion the maximum amount of contributions the Hassan Campaign can receive over all three periods from the IBEW PAC is $7,000. The IBEW PAC's $25,000 contribution exceeds this limit by $18,000 and is clearly in violation of state law.

 

Additionally the IBEW PAC's filing raises very serious red flags that must also be investigated. The committee lists total receipts of $143,667.86, yet it fails to list a single itemized receipt. It is a mystery where this money came from.

 

Furthermore, the IBEW PAC filed its registration with the Secretary of State's office on June 17, 2014 (Exhibit D). Yet the committee's report indicates the illegal donation to Governor Hassan's committee was made on June 12, 2014 - five days before it filed its registration form and the same day that Governor Hassan officially became a candidate.

 

Clearly, Governor Hassan's committee and the IBEW PAC have deliberately exceeded New Hampshire's campaign contribution limits. The IBEW has also failed to follow the law by refusing to disclose its itemized receipts. In order to ensure public confidence in state government, I ask that you investigate these important matters immediately.

 

Sincerely,

 

Jennifer Horn

Chairman

New Hampshire Republican State Committee