September 15, 2017
From The Chairman’s Desk
We’re just one day away from the NHDP’s Mid-Term Convention! Tomorrow we’ll hear from Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey and Let America Vote President Jason Kander at Manchester Memorial High School and there’s still a time for you to RSVP. Join Democrats from across the state as we come together to train and prepare to take back the state legislature and the Governorship in 2018. To sign up as a guest click HERE.
On Tuesday, we won our first victory in our lawsuit against the voter suppression bill SB3. The Hillsborough County Superior Court South put a hold on all penalties for violating SB3 and granted our party standing, allowing us to move forward with this lawsuit. This order is a victory for voting rights in New Hampshire and shows how burdensome these penalties are. We don’t intend to disappoint the long list of American heroes and martyrs who have risked so much for the right to have a voice at the ballot box. If even one voter is disenfranchised, we will stand up and fight it.
Also Tuesday, President Trump’s sham Commission on Election Integrity held their second meeting at St. Anselm College’s New Hampshire Institute of Politics. At the meeting, the commission considered a proposal to run registered voters through the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms’ NICS gun background check system. Commission member Ken Blackwell suggested that long lines at the polls were a “good strategy.” And most offensively and absurdly, the commission Vice Chair Kris Kobach, doubled down on his claim of proof of voter fraud in New Hampshire, which is categorically false.
This commission has a clear agenda to perpetuate lies and encourage voter suppression. President Trump is getting his way when this commission entertains baseless voter fraud claims, muddying the waters and creating uncertainty and distrust in our election system. One thing is clear: New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner doesn’t belong with this cast of conspiratorial misfits. He cannot risk sullying New Hampshire’s reputation by remaining on a commission willing to travel to our state to insult us in service of a baseless conspiracy designed to suppress votes.
Just yesterday, Health and Human Services Director Tom Price visited Goodwin Community Health Center in Somersworth. Price returned to New Hampshire after defending a Trump budget that cuts Medicaid nearly in half, cuts drug prevention by 11%, cuts substance use disorder and mental health treatment by $400 million, and cuts funding for the Office of National Drug Control Policy. And while President Trump has claimed that he would treat the opioid crisis as an emergency, all we have seen is more inaction.
This visit is an attempt by the Trump administration to paper over their massive proposed funding cuts to combat substance misuse. It’s impossible to take President Trump and Secretary Price seriously until they drop their plans that would decimate the ability of states like New Hampshire to combat this crisis.
Our Congressional delegation has been leading the charge to combat the hate and intolerance that appeared in Claremont when an 8-year-old biracial boys neck was gouged by a rope. Thanks, in particular to Representative Annie Kuster’s urging, the Attorney General’s office will assist the Claremont Police Department’s investigation of this matter. Our hearts go out to this young boy and his family. Racial violence in any form is unacceptable; every person in New Hampshire deserves to feel safe in their community.
In good news, this week Charlie St. Clair won the Belknap County District 9 special election to become the newest state Representative from Laconia. St. Clair defeated his challenger Stephen Wallney by a 12-point margin. In November, President Trump won the same district in 2016 by 17 points. St. Clair will be replacing Robert Fisher who resigned from office after the Daily Beast unmasked him as the creator of misogynist online form ‘Red Pill.’
This is the third seat New Hampshire Democrats have won in red districts this year. In July, State Senator Kevin Cavanaugh beat virtual-incumbent David Boutin by 11 points, becoming the first Democrat in New Hampshire to win a special election State Senate seat since 1984. In May, Edie Desmarais won a special election in Wolfeboro and was the first Democrat to flip a seat from red to blue since the 2016 election. Congratulations to Representative-elect Charlie St. Clair. We’re so excited for you to join the state legislature.
These victories prove that Democrats can win in any district. Let’s use this as motivation to win even more seats in the coming weeks. In Sullivan 1, Brian Sullivan and Cody Dzgielewski are competing in a Democratic primary on September 19th, with a general election on November 7th. Erika Connors from Manchester Ward 8 has an uncontested primary on September 19th followed by a general election on November 7th. Kari Lerner is running in the Rockingham 4 general election on September 26th. Casey Conley is also running in Strafford 13 on December 12th.
Reach out to these candidates and your local committees to find out how you can get involved. Your help and participation could make the difference in these elections.
Raymond Buckley, Chair
New Hampshire Democratic Party