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Primary Source: N.H. Loudmouth Goes Too Far

Published: 7/21/2016 12:11:29 AM
Modified: 8/1/2016 11:16:28 AM

One of the most notorious members of the New Hampshire House opened his mouth again to change feet. State Rep. Al Baldasaro, R-Londonderry, found himself in the national spotlight on Wednesday from Cleveland after he said former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton should be “put in the firing line and shot for treason” because of the Benghazi attacks.

Baldasaro, who campaigned extensively with Donald Trump and touts his role as an adviser on veterans issues, made the comments on Tuesday during an interview with a Boston radio station.

They immediately drew condemnation from New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Raymond Buckley, who said the comments “are disgusting, offensive and frighteningly commonplace in the party of Trump.”

The Associated Press reported that Secret Service spokesman Robert Hoback said the agency is aware of the comment and “will conduct the appropriate investigation.” Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks told the AP that Trump and his campaign don’t agree with Baldasaro’s remarks.

Baldasaro is a 59-year-old Marine Corps veteran who grew up in Cambridge, Mass. He was in the news, you may recall, in December after insulting a female lawmaker who had objected to a Granite State bill that would have made it a misdemeanor for women, but not men, to bare their nipples in public.

“No disrespect, but your nipple would be the last one I would want to see,” Baldasaro tweeted to his colleague at the time. 

Meanwhile, former Windsor County Republican Chairwoman Suzanne Butterfield also is in Cleveland, as a delegate for Vermont. She was a supporter of Ohio Republican Gov. John Kasich, and is disappointed that Kasich has not attended the convention.

“I’m having a little bit of a problem (with him) not participating, but knowing him as well as I do, I understand,” Butterfield, who voted for Kasich with her convention vote but plans to support Trump in November, said by telephone on Wednesday evening from the convention floor.

“He certainly is different with his approach toward things, and I’m afraid that all the horrible things happening in the world may be pointing up the safety factor, which may be a key thing in his position to run,” she said of Trump.

Trump, of course, is expected to speak tonight at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland and accept the party nomination. In anticipation of such, NextGen Climate New Hampshire, the political group advocating for policies to combat climate change, is organizing several “Stop Trump” rallies around the state, including one at 5:30 this evening on the Dartmouth Green in Hanover.

Milne’s Message

Pomfret travel executive Scott Milne, who almost defeated Gov. Peter Shumlin in 2014, is again taking a minimalist approach to his Republican campaign this year to unseat U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt.

Milne this week put out a news release saying his campaign account had only $83 in the bank as of June 30, and that he had thus far spent only $5,017, most of it for a poll in Vermont.

“As I listen to Vermonters,” Milne said, “I am hearing that people are weary of career politicians who run big-money campaigns funded by lobbyists and special interests ... I believe that being a Senator should be about public service, not catering to special interests and self-promotion with big money.”

Leahy, the top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, this week noted that more than 125 days have passed since Obama nominated federal Judge Merrick Garland to the Supreme Court. Republicans’ refusal to hold a hearing on Garland make him the longest pending Supreme Court nominee in U.S. history.

“Republicans are making the wrong kind of history today,” Leahy said in a statement. “Their partisan and irresponsible obstruction of Chief Judge Garland’s nomination has led to a diminished Supreme Court that has left millions of families uncertain of their rights in important areas of the law.”

Early Polling

A new poll released on Wednesday night by the UNH Survey Center says U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., and Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, essentially are deadlocked in a likely Senate matchup. Hassan had support from 45 percent of likely voters, with 42 percent for Ayotte, though she holds a strong edge among independents.

Etna Republican Jim Rubens, who is challenging Ayotte in the primary, trails Hassan 48 percent to 30 percent in a potential November race, with 16 percent undecided.

The WMUR Granite State Poll also found that U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, D-N.H., is polling at only 38 percent support against two relatively unknown potential Republican challengers, with House Majority Leader Jack Flanagan, R-Brookline, getting 32 percent against her.


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