Well, now that the campaigns have filed their finance reports there’s some interesting reading. G O P gubernatorial contender Walt Havenstein’s campaign issued a release yesterday decrying the report filed by Governor Margaret Wood Hassan’s campaign. Of Hassan’s report, the first she’s filed since taking office, Havenstein said quote “It shows what we’ve known for some time; Maggie Hassan has abused a loophole to gain an improper advantage over her political opponents. Worse, she has opened the way for unlimited donations to incumbents.” End quote. The campaign brought specific attention to a fifty thousand dollar contribution made by the radical, leftist national pro-abortion group Emily’s List and to the fact that Hassan failed to file a report in June.
Havenstein’s proposed a seven point plan to reform the state’s campaign finance regulations, which includes closing the so called Hassan Loophole, a term coined after her campaign was caught accepting an illegally made twenty five thousand dollar contribution from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Union PAC, twenty four thousand dollars of which she was ordered by Attorney General Joseph Foster to return. The investigation into Hassan’s campaign finances also discovered that the I B E W and two unions that each made ten thousand dollar contributions also violated the law because they all failed to file as political action committees with the state. An investigation into other allegedly improper contributions from Hassan’s two thousand twelve campaign is ongoing, though Foster has recused himself as he was a member of Hassan’s campaign finance team and may have himself been involved in the alleged wrong doing. We’ve posted Havenstein’s release and Hassan’s report with this newscast at Girard at Large dot com.
Meanwhile, Hassan continues to assert that reductions in various state business taxes are quote “having a negative impact on the state budget.” End quote. This is odd for a number of reasons, not the least of which is that revenues have exceeded projections. Anyway, the complaint has prompted Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, Republican from Wolfeboro, to ask if Hassan wants to tax the Internet. The Legislature eliminated the Communications Services Tax on Internet Access with a vote of twenty three to nothing in the senate and two forty four to forty six in the House. Bradley wants to know if Hassan would repeal that bipartisan tax reform so that the Communications Services Tax would apply again to Internet Access.
News from our own backyard continues after this.
Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas has ordered Bronstein Park closed to the public during school hours and events. Decades ago, the park was officially made part of Central High School’s facilities complex to provide green space required by the state. It is used by the school for a number of student centered purposes, including gym classes, band practices and athletics, among others. Unfortunately, it’s also used by lots of junkies who often times are hostile to park workers who are there to maintain the park. Starting Monday, the park will be closed to all but students, teachers, administrators and other school staff, parents of Central students and other city officials from seven thirty A M to four P M. Gatsas raised the issue of limiting park access given the number of Spice overdose victims found there more than a week ago. Gatsas informed the Board of Mayor and Aldermen of his decision in a memo and said no board action was required. The block sized park is bordered by Hanover, Union, Amherst and Beech streets.
The family war that’s tearing Market Basket apart is affecting more than just the DeMoulas family. According to figures released by the state’s Department of Employment Security, more than fourteen hundred Market Basket employees have filed for unemployment benefits. From stores in our our listening area, fifteen folks from Bedford, sixty three from Hooksett, one hundred nineteen in Londonderry, sixty two from Manchester and forty five from Milford have filed claims. Again, that’s the number of employees from each store, not the number of people in any community that have filed.
New Hampshire is the best state in the Union for wine drinkers, according to Washington Post opinion writer Reid Wilson. In giving New Hampshire top billing in a report last week, the Post noted New Hampshire’s A+ rating on the American Wine Consumer Coalition 2013 Report Card, and lauded the state’s non-taxed wine, price, availability and regulatory structure. The New Hampshire Liquor Commission offers more than seven thousand wines in its seventy seven New Hampshire Liquor & Wine Outlets and has become nationally known for its annual New Hampshire Wine Week, which draws dozens of the biggest names in the wine world and industry experts for a week of consumer-focused events including intimate wine dinners, exclusive panel discussions and tastings and the largest wine event in northern New England. Wilson quoted The American Wine Consumer Coalition report which proclaimed, quote: “No state treats wine consumers better than New Hampshire given its laws that provide outstanding access to wine and its laws that provide wine lovers with great convenience.” End quote. The report cited the convenience of shopping for wine in state stores, wine shops and grocery stores, along with the ability for consumers to ship wine directly to their homes. The report also referenced New Hampshire’s law allowing consumers to bring bottles from their personal collection into restaurants to enjoy with their meal and the absence of “Blue Laws” prohibiting wine sales on Sunday.
That’s news from our own backyard, Girard at Large hour ___ is straight ahead.