Press Releases


Entries in Party Politics (1002)


NHDP - Buzzfeed: Man Cited By Scott Brown’s Campaign As Supporter Sends Democrats Racist, Misogynistic Letter

“I deeply resent your email to me requesting support for the Fascist [sic] c—s you represent,” the letter reads. A spokesman for Brown: “We completely disassociate ourselves from this individual.”posted on July 27, 2014, at 10:31 p.m.
By Dorsey Shaw

A man once touted by Scott Brown’s team as a supporter of his Senate campaign sent a profanity-laced letter to the New Hampshire Democratic office last week, in response to a fundraising email from sent to him by the party.

Charles C. Benzing, a bus driver who had been cited as a Brown supporter in a July 9 press release, addressed the letter to a New Hampshire Democratic Party official who sent the fundraising email. The letter is dated July 16.

In the letter, Benzing uses extremely misogynistic and racist language when referring to Democratic Party leaders Jeanne Shaheen, Gov. Maggie W. Hassan, and Reps. Carol Shea-Porter and Ann McLane Kuster:


When contacted by BuzzFeed by phone to confirm that he was the author of the letter, Benzing replied, “The one about them being a bunch of fascists? Yeah, that’s me.”

In early July, Benzing’s name was included in a press release from the Brown campaign listing of former and current elected officials, activists, and supporters that had formally announced their support for the former Massachusetts senator’s effort to defeat Shaheen in 2014; the campaign sends out lists like this with somefrequency. Benzing last year led an effort to de-unionize a group of bus drivers.


New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain verified the authenticity of the letter, telling BuzzFeed, “It is offensive and sickening that Scott Brown would flaunt the endorsement of someone who would use such disgusting language to describe our state’s female elected leaders. There’s no excuse for this.”

When reached for comment, Brown’s campaign manager Colin Reed told BuzzFeed, “This is deeply offensive language. We completely disassociate ourselves from this individual.”


NHDP: New Brown Ad Reeks of Desperation, Flailing Campaign 

In Negative TV Ad Brown Is Desperate To Make In-Roads With Republicans—But Even GOP Disagrees With Him
Manchester, NH—Scott Brown's ad today proves he is desperate to make gains with Republicans and willing to completely misrepresent Jeanne Shaheen’s position in an attempt to breathe life into his badly floundering New Hampshire Senate campaign.
"Scott Brown is failing to connect with New Hampshire voters, his campaign is struggling, and this negative ad reeks of desperation,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain. “Scott Brown knows both Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte voted for a comprehensive immigration reform bill that strongly increases border security."
Brown's negative ad misrepresents Senator Shaheen’s position, which is in line with fellow New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte. He also fails to mention that House Republicans are the ones refusing to act on comprehensive immigration reform legislation that would strengthen border security. 
In today’s Wall Street Journal, even former NHGOP Chair Fergus Cullen made mention of the complete mishandling of this issue by Republicans like Brown, saying “I think that whatever progress the party may have made in the last 18 months has basically been unwound in the last two weeks. How can Hispanics [in the U.S.] not hear the message that 'They don't really like us'?"

NHDP - Havenstein & Hemingway to Pledge Allegiance to the Koch Brothers 

Failed CEO Walt Havenstein and conservative activist Andrew Hemingway embrace Koch Brothers platform by signing Americans for Prosperity pledge

Manchester, NH – Failed CEO Walt Havenstein and conservative activist Andrew Hemingway are not only taking pages from the Koch Brothers playbook, they are fully embracing their ultra-conservative agenda, according to a report by the Concord Monitor earlier today. Both gubernatorial candidates are planning to sign a "pledge" from Koch Brothers-funded Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire that would hurt middle-class families and take the Granite State in the wrong direction.

The ultra-conservative group, founded by conservative billionaires Charles and David Koch, is known for partnering with candidates like disgraced Speaker Bill O’Brien, who received a “Conservative of the Year” award from the Americans for Prosperity Foundation earlier this year.

“We know now that failed CEO Walt Havenstein and conservative activist Andrew Hemingway are not just taking policy positions from the Bill O’Brien/Koch Brothers playbook, they are fully pledging allegiance to the Tea Party platform,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party
Deputy Communications Director, Bryan Lesswing. “Havenstein and Hemingway may think that touting their loyalty to the Koch Brothers will earn them support, but Granite Staters know better than to accept their Bill O’Brien/anti-middle class agenda that would take our state in the wrong direction.”
This year, Americans for Prosperity – New Hampshire is calling on candidates to commit to advancing painful and irresponsible budget cuts in Concord reminiscent of the Bill O’Brien era, passing so-called "Right-to-Work" legislation that would hurt working Granite State families, and opposing any and all forms of the Affordable Care Act, including Medicaid expansion, which is helping 50,000 Granite State families get affordable, quality health coverage.
"By pledging their allegiance to the Koch Brothers, Havenstein and Hemingway are pledging to move our state backwards by returning to the devastating Bill O’Brien cuts that slashed higher education in half, taking health insurance away from up to 50,000 hard-working Granite Staters and repealing a bipartisan transportation plan that will rebuild our roads and bridges and finish the completion of I-93," continued Lesswing.

NHDP - MEMO: Less than 100 Days Out - New Hampshire Democrats Ramping Up Efforts for this November 

To: Interested Parties
From: Ray Buckley, Chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party
Date: July 28, 2014
Re: MEMO: Less than 100 Days Out - New Hampshire Democrats Ramping Up Efforts for this November
As the July doldrums come to an end and campaign season kicks off this fall, the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s coordinated campaign, Granite State Forward, is already months into organizing in preparation for this year’s upcoming general election on November 4.
Ahead of the Organizing Game 

In an effort to secure the ground advantage for this November, Granite State Forward has been organizing statewide canvassing events and phone banks through the summer to build support for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor Maggie Hassan, Congresswomen Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, and the rest of the Democratic ticket. Across the state, local volunteers, activists, community leaders and elected officials are going door-to-door, calling up their neighbors and friends, and doing whatever else they can to help spread the word about Democratic candidates running this cycle.

In particular this cycle, New Hampshire Democrats are concentrating on increasing voter turnout by stressing the key stakes in this election to any and all voters moved by their message, including seniors, students, veterans and women. Granite State Forward has been accomplishing this so far by organizing events featuring constituencies reaching out to like-minded individuals, like senior-to-senior, student-to-student, veteran-to-veteran and women-to-women voter contact events.

Two weeks ago, Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz headlined a successful “coffee and calls” phone bank to connect local Democratic women with New Hampshire women voters to talk about what is at stake in the upcoming election, like reversing the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision that would allow employers to come between women and their health care choices, pushing for equal pay for women, increasing the minimum wage, protecting access to preventive health care choices, and reducing the costs of higher education. Last week, the coordinated campaign hosted a veterans-to-veterans phone bank headlined by Senator Jeanne Shaheen. 

Last week, Granite State Forward organized a student phone bank in Hanover, NH featuring students calling up other young New Hampshire voters to share how Granite State Democratic candidates are working to make higher education more affordable and reduce the burdens of student loan debt.

Over the weekend, Granite State Forward successfully mobilized local volunteers and activists to reach out to thousands of voters across the Granite State through canvassing events and phone banks in order to continue building support for Democratic candidates up and down the ballot, including Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor Maggie Hassan, Congresswomen Annie Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter, and the rest of the Democratic ticket. Many of these events were headlined by candidates and local leaders, including Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, Manchester State Senator Donna Soucy, Laconia State Senator Andrew Hosmer and State Senate candidate Rich Leonard.    

Successful Grassroots Summits Earlier this Year

Granite State Forward’s success this summer follows the campaign’s extensive training programs held earlier this spring. In May, Granite State Forward organized 12 summits across the states, training over 500 New Hampshire Democratic volunteers and activists how to campaign for the re-election of Governor Hassan, Senator Shaheen, Congresswomen Shea-Porter and Kuster and generate support for the Democratic ticket overall. 

At each summit, trainings, discussions, and presentations were led by staff representatives from the State Party’s communications, political, and finance offices. Training sessions included learning about persuasive neighbor-to-neighbor communication strategies, tactics to maximize a social media presence, and effective fundraising methods. Attendees of each summit were also equipped with materials and contact information to increase coordination and ensure all local grassroots organizations have access to the resources they need to build and develop winning campaigns.

NHDP - Brown’s Campaign Struggles Continue With Another Week of Damaging, Embarrassing Headlines 

Manchester, NH—Scott Brown's campaign continued struggling with another week of damaging headlines and embarrassing gaffes that ended with his own campaign co-chair turning on him.  Brown hid in​ the bathroom to avoid simple questions about contraception coverage, was present when the cops were called on the reporter, had a​ co-​chair of  ​W​omen for Brown say he was out of touch with New Hampshire women, forgot which state he was running in - again, and slighted Kelly Ayotte's record on veterans issues and immigration the day after she officiated his daughter's wedding.

“It is hard to see what else Scott Brown could have done to show that he is out of touch with the people of New Hampshire this week,” said New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Julie McClain. “It is clear that Scott Brown is in this race for Scott Brown and the Big Oil special interests that fund his campaign.  Brown and his allies see the people of New Hampshire as a mere obstacle to getting him back in the Senate.”
Brown Hides In Bathroom, Calls Police to Avoid Questions on Hobby Lobby

The Guardian: Scott Brown: fallout from Hobby Lobby decision puts Senate bid in tight spot
I found Brown at a table at a restaurant called Priscilla's, introduced myself as a Guardian reporter and enquired if I could ask him some questions. Brown smiled nervously and replied: "What do you want to ask me about?"
"Hobby Lobby? That would be a start," I said.
“I’m all set," he replied. "We’re enjoying ourselves right now.”
“But you’re standing for Senate. It is routine for journalists to ask you questions and usually the candidates answer.”
“Not without notifying my office."
Brown stood up, walked to the back of the diner, and took shelter in the bathroom. A campaign aide, Jeremy, looked bewildered. He lingered beside me for a few moments, before politely excusing himself – “Nice to meet you” – and joining his boss in the bathroom.


He was not going to answer my questions about Hobby Lobby. "I’m not making any more news," he explained. "You’re being unprofessional and you’re being rude."
A large man with chest hair poking out of his shirt put it more bluntly. “You have to go,” he said. “We can either do this the right way, or we can do this the wrong way.”
“What is the wrong way?” I asked. “I don’t want you to find out," he said.
I left the campaign event in the company of the tavern's owner. He and I were talking on the porch, several minutes later, when a police car pulled up.
The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon:


Further reading:

Huffington Post: Police Summoned After Reporter Crashes Scott Brown Campaign Event
The Daily Beast: Scott Brown Flees Hobby Lobby Questions
MSNBC:  Brown ‘took shelter in the bathroom’ to avoid contraception questions (Video)
MSNBC: Brown ‘took shelter in the bathroom’ to avoid contraception questions
Jim OBrien ‏@jim_obrienNH 
My party needs to expect more from a candidate for US Senate. . If it wasn't so serious, it would be funny.
Chris Cillizza @TheFix 
Scott Brown, call your office. And come out of the bathroom. 
Paul Lewis @PaulLewis 
My bizarre experience on the campaign trail with Scott Brown, the elusive Senate candidate in New Hampshire: 
Taegan Goddard @politicalwire 
Pro tip: When you're hiding in the bathroom, you're losing …

Brown Campaign Co-Chair Says He's Wrong on Hobby Lobby Decisions

Julie Brown, a senior Republican figure in the state who the candidate chose as the co-chair of his Women for Brown leadership team, believes he is wrong about religious exemptions to contraceptive coverage.

"A woman chooses what she decides to do with her body – it is between the woman, her doctor and her God," she told me.
Her view was shared by “many, many” women in the state, she said, adding that she planned to discuss the contraception issue with Brown in the coming days.
I asked if she thought he needed to change his policy. "I think he should, yes," she replied.
Kathleen Ronayne @kronayne 
A co-chair of 'Women for Brown' tells @PaulLewis Scott Brown should change his stance on Hobby Lobby … #nhsen

Brown Again Forgetting New Hampshire Did Scott Brown Just Forget What State He’s Running In Again?
Scott Brown should probably just take Massachusetts out of his vocabulary entirely. In an interview on Boston Herald Radio, Brown, the former Massachusetts senator turned New Hampshire candidate, seemed to mention his disagreements with the “Massachusetts delegation.”
About a minute and a half into the video, Brown gets to talking about his immigration policies. “That’s a big difference between [N.H.] Senator Shaheen and me and many other people – the Massachusetts delegation and Senator Shaheen in particular and the President,” he said. Only one issue: Brown is running for the Senate in New Hampshire after moving there last year.
Further reading:
The Hill: Did Brown misspeak on state?
Politics USA: Scott Brown Forgets Which State He Is Running For Senate In During Radio Interview
Los Angeles Times: Another 'oops' moment for Scott Brown in New Hampshire Senate race?
Washington Post: Brown, repeat to yourself three times ‘New Hampshire, New Hampshire, New Hampshire’
The Week: Scott Brown refers to the 'Massachusetts delegation' while running for Senate in New Hampshire


Embarrassing: Brown Bashes Kelly Ayotte’s Positions, the Day After She Officiates His Daughter’s Wedding

Despite presenting a cozy public image, Republicans Scott Brown and Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) are once again at odds over key issues... Ayotte endorsed Brown, but by attacking Shaheen's positions on immigration and veterans' affairs he is effectively disparaging Ayotte's record as well. That's because Ayotte's positions on these issues resemble Shaheen's.

Brown Campaign Continues to Struggle Scott Brown’s Senate Bid Is Going About As Well As His Last One
Scott Brown’s Senate bid in New Hampshire is going about as well as his last Senate bid in Massachusetts. That is to say, he’s likely to remain known as a former senator.

Further Reading:

MSNBC: Dead Heat in Iowa Senate Race; Democrat Leads in New Hampshire Battle
National Journal : The 2014 Against the Grain Awards - Grading the best and worst of the campaigns at the election cycle's halfway point.
The Washington Post: Poll: Braley tied with Ernst in Iowa, Shaheen leads Brown in New Hampshire

Mark Murray @mmurraypolitics
Jeanne Shaheen is popular in NH (52%-39% fav/unfav), while Scott Brown is less so (40%-39% fav/unfav)…
Steve Kornacki @SteveKornacki 
It's very possible that Scott Brown will learn 2 things at the same time on 11/4: (1) He lost; and (2) Coakley won.