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State Rep. Steve Stepanek, r-Amherst, a prominent state backer of Donald Trump, called on GOP State Chairman Jennifer Horn to resign.

Nov 27, 2015 6:18 PM

Landrigan: NH Political Report: We give out our 2015 Political Turkey Awards



In honor of the Thanksgiving Day holiday, we bring you this year’s NH1 News Political Turkey Awards.

The year is not complete but we’ve come far enough in 2015 to make some early assessments.

[-] House GOP Caucus Flop: This seemed like a good idea at the time, forming a rump caucus to rival House Speaker Shawn Jasper’s leadership team after the new speaker stunned the GOP establishment to win the gavel.

Former House Speaker Bill O’Brien had more than 100 GOP members endorsing his candidacy which gave conservatives reason to think they would be a real force to be reckoned with.

They really had only one shining moment that was when they had enough leverage on the House floor to tailor final changes to the House GOP budget.

[-] House Finance Chairman Neal Kurk, R-Weare: This is a strange one as the fiscal conservative and privacy law zealot has been one of the most productive legislators in recent history.

But one could not observe putting together the House budget and watching it presented the first time without realizing Kurk did not have the process well in hand.

The fact is Kurk did not ensure that legislative budget staff reviewed the initial House spending plan or he would have known the initial proposal did not add up and had to be sent back to the committee for more work.

Ultimately, the House budget was fixed but did anyone else notice that the final budget was nearly identical to the Senate spending package?

[-] Democratic leaders in the House and Senate: They were really not empowered by this governor to present a final alternative budget plan except for scattered amendments that really didn’t hang together.

Putting a second budget up for a final vote would have also helped Hassan’s future narrative in making her case for having vetoed the original Republican-passed state budget.

[-] New Hampshire Centric Campaigns for President: It’s too early to write political obituaries but thus far it’s already clear that spending a surplus of campaign days in the first-in-the-nation primary state is not translating to instant success.

Let’s review:

[-] Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-SC. He’s spent the most days here, 60 on 25 different trips. He’s hovered at or below 1 percent in the polls here and nationally was so low he got bounced from the adult debate table last month.

[-] Former New York Gov. George Pataki: He has had the same number of trips as Graham, 25, but spent 46 campaign days there.

[-] New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: He’s spent 53 days in the state, made 30 different visits to the state and far and away hosted the most number of no-holds barred town meetings.

All of which did little for him thus far and also got him demoted in the debate hierarchy as he fell out of the top eight candidates according to Fox Business News channel.


There are some old scores being settled in the battle between current New Hampshire Republican State Chairman Jennifer Horn and the Donald Trump campaign.

Horn gave some surprisingly frank comments about Trump’s chances of winning the Republican nomination during an interview with The Boston Globe.

“Shallow campaigns that depend on bombast and divisive rhetoric do not succeed in New Hampshire, and I don’t expect that they will now,” Horn told the Globe about the billionaire and frontrunner.

“In New Hampshire, historically, the truth is, people really don’t make their final decisions until very, very close until Election Day.”

In response, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski called Horn’s actions “everything that’s wrong with the GOP elite.”

“Another elitist who thinks they know better than tens of thousands that support Trump at events,” Lewandowski added in another Tweet.

Trump supporter and State Rep. Steve Stepanek, R-Amherst, was the first to call upon Horn to quit.

“Her actions jeopardize the primary process and the first-in-the-nation primary, if candidates believe the party chairperson is going to pick winners and losers,” Stepanek said.

“Jennifer Horn is chairwoman of the Republican Party, not the Democratic Party. She should be criticizing Democrats, not her fellow Republicans and it’s time she figured that out.”

Horn said she was not taking sides I the presidential primary race which is what the bylaws did not allow.

The history relates to Horn’s role as party boss when former Speaker Bill O’Brien was stunned in his bid to get back the speaker’s gavel by Hudson Republican Rep. Shawn Jasper.

O’Brien won among Republicans but Jasper won the top post with the help of all the House Democrats and just a few dozen Democrats.

Several O’Brien supporters did not believe Horn was critical enough of Jasper after that occurred.


Leave it to Interim University of New Hampshire School of Law Rudman Center Executive Director Rich Ashooh to try and figure out a way to create a ceasefire in the war of words between the board of trustees and former President John Broderick.

For reasons that still remain unexplained, Broderick was summarily dumped as the boss at UNH School of Law last spring and ordered out of the building, not to return.

Earlier this week, Ashooh announced the school had come up with the John Broderick Rudman Summer Scholarship that will be given annually to a student.

The scholarship is named for both Broderick and former US Sen. Warren Rudman who the UNH School of Law Center for Justice, Leadership and Public Policy is named for.

“The UNH School of Law is grateful for John Broderick’s extraordinary vision to launch this institute,” Ashooh said. “It will be a vital part of the identity of the school for the rest of its history.”

The Rudman Summer Fellows Program provides stipends for students who work in government agencies or organizations engaged in public service. Last summer, 21 students were selected from a pool of more than 50 applicants to receive fellowships.

“John Broderick was a true catalyst for the creation and success of the Rudman Center,” said Ashooh. “It was under his leadership that the center was established, and we are excited for the opportunity to recognize his legacy by enhancing the law school experience for our students.”


Abortion rights supporters continue to try and make the US Senate race in 2016 a referendum on their pet issue.

Next week it’s a news conference Monday that Planned Parenthood of Northern New England will sponsor to criticize Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s move a decade ago to defend the state’s law requiring minor girls give notification prior to an abortion.

Ayotte argued the case herself before the US Supreme Court that ultimately did not strike down New Hampshire’s law but indicted there were flaws in how it protected a mother’s health..

The Republican-led Legislature the following year amended the state law to put the mother’s health exceptions in it.


A storied family continues on in leadership of the New Hampshire State Mechanical Licensing Board.

Bill Trombly Jr. ,president and owner of Bill Trombly Plumbing, Heating, Cooling and Electric has taken over in charge of the board that regulates fuel gas fitters, plumbers and the voluntary certification of heating equipment personnel and water treatment technicians.

He was appointed to the board in 2012.

``It’s an honor to be elected to this position,” said Bill Trombly Jr. “It’s a tremendous responsibility that we as board members have to the people of New Hampshire.”

Her father, Bill Trombly Sr, was past member of the board’s predecessor, the State Board for the Licensing and Regulation of Plumbers and served the majority of his 14 years as board chairman.

``From a personal standpoint, it’s special for me to be serving the people of New Hampshire in the same roll that my father did,” the younger Trombly said.


Quote of the Week:

``We need to work every day to continue to struggle to combat this epidemic and to save lives.’’ [-] Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan opens the proceedings of the Joint Task Force to Battle the Opioid Epidemic in New Hampshire.




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