Do the math: PPNNE’s investment in NH’s Exec Council

New Hampshire Executive Council chamber (nh.gov photo)
New Hampshire Executive Council chamber (nh.gov photo)

[Update: In the original version of this post, I transposed some expenditures in districts 4 and 5. Corrected figures appear below, and I apologize for the error.]

Just out of curiosity, I looked at the campaign filings for the 2014 New Hampshire Executive Council elections. Planned Parenthood is much in the news, as is the potential for a Council vote on a PP contract soon. Just how much did PP invest in Council races last time around? I counted all PP contributions, whether PAC or independent. You’re welcome to plow through the filings on the Secretary of State’s web site and check my math.

PP groups didn’t bother to spend anything on the district 3 race between Chris Sununu and Robin McLane. Apparently, there wasn’t enough difference between the candidates to justify playing favorites.


In district 1, Joe Kenney had to beat Mike Cryans twice – once in the March 2014 special election after Ray Burton’s death, and then again in November. PP’s investment: $6046.68, with about $3600 of that in pro-Cryans work and the remaining $2400 or so in anti-Kenney material. Both elections were very close, and Kenney prevailed

The candidacy of district 2’s Colin Van Ostern, an avid PP supporter, was the beneficiary of $3520.10. Nothing was spent in opposition to his challenger Timothy Dillon. Van Ostern cruised to an easy win.

Things got serious in district 4. I had no idea Bob Burns was so scary, but PP found it necessary to spend $4853.16 in opposition to him. They backed eventual winner Chris Pappas to the tune of $6140.58. Total investment in district 4: $10,993.74. Pappas won with 52% of the vote.

In district 5, keeping Dave Wheeler from re-claiming his seat was clearly a PP priority. Didn’t work, though. The voters of district 5 went for Wheeler over Diane Sheehan 55%-45%. PP spent $9,993.74 on this one, with $4853.16 on anti-Wheeler material and the rest on pro-Sheehan mailings, calls and donations.

Investment in the Council races: a little over $30,000. We’ll find out the return on that investment next time a PP contract comes up for a vote.

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