The Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers (CNHT) held its seventeenth annual picnic today at the American Legion Post #59 in Hillsboro, today. With a near record crowd for an “off year” event in attendance, CNHT once again conducted the straw poll that many believe reflect the mood of grassroots conservatives across the state.
On hand for the non-partisan, conservative event, were multiple issue advocacy groups including: The 603 Alliance, Conservative Business League, NH Chapter of the John Birch Society, NH Families for Education, NH Liberty Alliance, NH Right to Life, National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies, School Choice NH, Womens Defense League, Claremont Citizens for Lower Taxation, Concerned Veterans for America and Samuel L. Blumenfeld Foundation.
Multiple presidential campaigns were represented as well with candidates in the mix. Former Governor Jim Gilmore (R-VA) presented his record on fiscal, national security and terrorism issues to establish his conservative bonafides. He took the Republican power structure and Fox News to task for the decision to determine who would be part of the first televised GOP presidential debate based on national polls. He said the deck was being rigged in favor of those with big names and big money. He admitted his later entry into the race precluded him from being able to raise his poll numbers and defiantly said he would not “be at the table” debate organizers say they will make available to those who don’t make the cut. He’ll be in New Hampshire, he said, campaigning. Gilmore took several questions from those assembled.
Carly Fiorina was also present to address the crowd. She opened her speech with a story about being asked if hormones disqualified women from being president, saying that it appears that male hormones have led to some pretty poor decisions, drawing laughter from the crowd. As she left the podium with a wireless Mic, she played to her strength, talking about how her experience in business led her to deal with man foreign leaders and identify areas thatcould be eliminated and mde more efficient. Competence versus corruption and the need to reform the government was her recurring theme.
Several campaigns had tables and sent representatives to interact with the crowd and speak to those assembled, including: Donald Trump (R-NY), Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) (whose representatives chose not to speak), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY), Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ), Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL), Dr. Ben Carson (R-MD).
Among the many speakers was CNHT Chairman Ed Naile who, in a rare feat, managed to grab the undivided attention of the raucous crowd with tales of voter fraud and how he and CNHT were battling to get New Hampshire to stop enabling and facilitating it. He pointed to two cases involving Jared S. Cram and Carl R. Gibson which have drawn attention in several states and thanked the Girard at Large Radio Radio Show and the Granite Grok blog for their efforts to publicize the many cases of fraud he and CNHT have uncovered. (Click here for Girard at Large’s coverage of voter fraud issues.)
Despite competing events, including one for the Granite State Taxpayers and the funeral of Chet Cady, husband of Right to Know and conservative activist Harriet Cady, CNHT’s picnic drew a near record crowd for an “off” election year.
The event was emceed by radio talk show host Rich Girard of the Girard at Large Radio Show. In addition to introducing the speakers and keeping the event on track, Girard urged those in the room to join forces and support one another in their quests saying a victory for one conservative group is a victory for all. He pleaded with those gathered to let their elected officials know where they stood and not to rely on him or others who speak on behalf of conservatives and their issues to spread the word. “They can tune me out,” he said. “They can tune other talk show hosts out. They can tune out Granite Grok and other activists who speak on their issues, but the can’t tune us all out. Your selectmen, your town councilors, your school board members, state reps and senators need to hear from you,” said Girard. “They can’t ignore your emails, you letters, your phone calls, your testimony before their governing body if we all work together and support each other’s issues. Don’t expect that because they’ve heard us and you agree with us that they’ve heard from you and don’t think they pay attention to what you post on social media. Re-engage them as your representatives and demand they answer you and hold them accountable.”
As the three hour event drew to a close, Girard announced the straw poll results. Those candidates in the poll were those who’ve officially declared their candidacies. Voters were able to write in the name of their candidate if it was not on the ballot. The results are as follows and presented below as their names appeared on the ballot. There were a total of 142 ballots cast.
Jeb Bush: 2 (1.41%)
Ben Carson: 8 (5.63%)
Chris Christie: 4 (2.82%)
Ted Cruz: 16 (11.27%)
Carly Fiorina: 22 (15.49%)
Jim Gilmore: 2 (1.41%)
Lindsey Graham: 0 (the crowd cheered at this announcement)
Mike Huckabee: 0
Bobby Jindal: 6 (4.23%)
Rand Paul: 56 (the crowd cheered at this announcement) (39.44%)
Geroge Pataki: 0
Rick Perry: 5 (3.52%)
Marco Rubio: 1 (0.70%)
Rick Santorum: 2 (1.41%)
Donald Trump: 12 (8.45%)
Scott Walker (write in): 1 (0.70%)
John Kasich (write in): 5 (8.45%)
Granite Grok did a live Webcast from the event and will share the audio and video with Girard at Large once it is uploaded to their YouTube and blog sites.