Businessman Bill Binnie (R) and ex-AG Kelly Ayotte (R) “felt the heat” at an 8/31 debate.
When Ayotte “quizzed” Binnie on whether he had shipped jobs overseas, Binnie said he expanded with manufacturing facilities all over the world — but did not close a factory and move jobs to Mexico. Binnie said, “Shame on you,” calling Ayotte’s accusation a “complete attempt to malign my business experience.” Ayotte responded, “After you spent $1 million to run five negative ads against me, shame on you.”
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Businessman Jim Bender (R) hit Ayotte for raising money from special interest groups. Ayotte responded that donors will get a “tough, conservative leader for New Hampshire.” Bender “then turned on Binnie.” Bender: “The word around town in Portsmouth, Rye and New Castle is many people are fearful of you, view you as arbitrary, capricious, and the only person who made money in a Binnie company is Bill Binnie.” Binnie: “I’ve made people wealthy. Name-calling belittles the process.”
Only ‘96 GOV nominee/atty/ex-NH Bd. of Ed. chair Ovide Lamontagne (R) “largely stayed out of the fray.” One moment of dissent for Lamontagne came when the candidates were asked about the war in Iraq. Lamontagne, “alone among the candidates,” said he believed going into Iraq was a mistake (Schoenberg, Concord Monitor, 9/1).
Have Some Oath Meal
LAMONTAGNE: “I’m not the establishment candidate, nor a new conservative trying to buy your vote. But I am the only candidate with a 15-point pledge, Ovide’s Oath, and it’s my bond. I’ll work to cut spending, lower taxes, repeal Obamacare and defend the right of states to protect their citizens. I’m Ovide Lamontagne and I approved this message. I’ll commute to Washington and I’ll only serve you.” ANNCR: “The only true conservative for the U.S. Senate: Ovide Lamontagne” (Politico.com, 9/1).
Do You Seize What I Seize?
Both GOP and Dem SEN candidates on 8/31 “seized on findings” in a draft report (See 8/31 story for more) on the FRM “scandal” that “criticized” Ayotte.
Binnie: “Once again the victims, many of whom lost their life savings, and the taxpayers of New Hampshire await a credible explanation of her failure to act. It’s time for answers.”
Bender said the report “only affirms the fact that Kelly Ayotte is not who we thought she was. How can we expect her to go to Washington and protect the taxpayer when she failed to protect the hard-earned savings of the citizens of New Hampshire?”
Rep. Paul Hodes (D-02): “When will Kelly Ayotte finally come to terms with the fact that she made mistakes, missed opportunities, and is responsible for her own agency’s failures?”
The new report was drafted by legal counsel for the Dem-controlled states House and state Senate, reviewed by state Senate Commerce chair state Sen. Maggie Hassan (D), and House Commerce chair state Rep. Edward Butler (D). The report is not final or official yet, but “few changes are expected.” Neither Dems nor GOPers on the cmte raised complaints about its findings.
Ayotte spokesperson Jeff Grappone said the release of the report smacks of partisan politics. Grappone: “You have to question the timing of a draft report issued by Democrats right before the election.” He said Ayotte acted appropriately when the law allowed her office to intervene (Fahey, New Hampshire Union-Leader, 9/1).
Foster’s Daily Democrat endorsed Bender in the GOP primary (Foster’s Daily Democrat, 9/1).
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Rep. Tom MacArthur resigned Tuesday from his position as co-chair of the Tuesday Group, the House caucus of more moderate GOP members. MacArthur was one of the key engineers in getting an Obamacare replacement plan passed through the House of Representatives, which has caused a rift within the Tuesday Group. "You can't lead people where they don't want to go," MacArthur told POLITICO New Jersey. "I think some people in the group just have a different view of what governing is."
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