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Apr 25, 2016 12:50 PM

Steinhauser: NHDP blasts O'Connor for 'inappropriate and troubling demands'

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Pushing back against possible legal action from Democratic congressional candidate Shawn O’Connor, the New Hampshire Democratic Party says O’Connor made “inappropriate and troubling demands” that included what the state party likened to ransom.

O’Connor’s the Bedford businessman and first time politician who’s running against Carol Shea-Porter in the hunt for the Democratic nomination in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District. O’Connor accused the former congresswoman’s campaign of spreading rumors that he was a perpetrator of domestic violence.

“The domestic violence charge, accusing me, a survivor of domestic violence, of being a perpetrator, is just the most egregious,” O’Connor alleged earlier this month in an exclusive interview with NH1 News. “This was part of a mass conspiracy to impugn my record, to attack me personally.”

Shea-Porter’s campaign has remained mostly silent, other than to put out a statement describing O’Connor’s charges as “untruthful” and a “desperate attack.”

In his interview with NH1 News O’Connor said “that we negotiated for well over a month with Carol Shea-Porter. I wanted this to be resolved privately. I did not want this to turn into the public circus that it has turned into.”

And he claimed that “I went to eight or ten Democratic senior states people, elected officials, you can imagine the names. For their sake I’m not going to throw out the litany of names. But you can imagine the most senior Democrats in the state. I will throw out that (New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman) Ray Buckley was one of them, asking them to mediate this dispute in private. They refused.”

NH1 News reached out to the state party at that time, but they did not respond. But Monday they did respond, with a statement from NHDP William Christie.

Christie wrote that “among other things, Mr. O’Connor has told the public he asked the New Hampshire Democratic Party (“NHDP”) to mediate a resolution to the allegations he has raised. This characterization of Mr. O’Connor’s communications with NHDP is inaccurate.”

“In early March 2016, Mr. O’Connor threatened to file a lawsuit against NHDP citing vague allegations that he had been defamed by NHDP employees. Despite several requests by NHDP, Mr. O’Connor refused to provide any specifics regarding his complaints,” Christie added. “Throughout the process, Mr. O’Connor has made inappropriate and troubling demands including a suggestion that NHDP or some other third party should pay Mr. O’Connor money to withdraw from the congressional race.”

“NHDP has refused to respond to these demands. Mr. O’Connor has now renewed his threat to sue NHDP. If Mr. O’Connor files suit, NHDP will reply in the proper forum and we fully anticipate this controversy will be resolved in NHDP’s favor, “ Christie continued.

Monday afternoon, O'Connor responded, saying in a statement that “I was dismayed by the spurious and completely false allegations made against me by Attorney Bob Christie."

"Neither my attorneys nor I have had any contact with the New Hampshire Democratic Party since April 5th. The timing of this release is, thus, suspect to say the least," O'Connor added.

Lower down in his statement, O'Connor said that "we consider Mr. Christie’s accusations on behalf of the NHDP today defamation per se and will pursue our legal rights against the party."

Read the entire O'Connor statement

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