A contrast in N.H. Second Congressional District race

In New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District this November, incumbent Ann McLane Kuster faces Jim Lawrence.

I’ve had occasion to mention each of them before. Here’s a quick review.

Jim Lawrence files his candidacy papers with NH Secretary of State, 2016. Ellen Kolb photo.
Jim Lawrence files his candidacy papers with NH Secretary of State, 2016. Ellen Kolb photo.

Jim Lawrence’s statement to pro-life voters at a rally, as he sought the GOP nomination for the 2nd District in 2014:

“I have always been a strong advocate for protecting the sanctity of life. During my three terms in the New Hampshire House as a state representative, I was a strong voice for the pro-life movement with a perfect voting record supporting pro-life issues. This is one of the reasons I was selected by my colleagues to be one of three House members to speak on the House floor in support of parental notification. Representative Ann Kuster is wrong on this issue and many others. This is why I am running to defeat her this November. If I am elected to be your Congressman, I will continue my resolve to support pro-life issues just as aggressively as I have before.”

Ann Kuster, accepting NARAL’s endorsement in 2014, chose a macabre if apt visual backdrop.

Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14.
Congresswomen Ann Kuster (D-NH) accepts NARAL endorsement, 10/20/14. Photo taken from Cornerstone PAC press release, http://eepurl.com/6thWX.

I wrote at the time, “NARAL-NH has endorsed Ann Kuster for re-election. That was altogether predictable. What I couldn’t have predicted is that a member of Congress would think it clever to stand in front of a skeleton figure while accepting an endorsement for her abortion advocacy. If a picture is worth a thousand words, I need say no more about this.”


 

Assorted NH notes for a busy week

New Hampshire’s a lively place these days. A recent court decision that was good for educational choice might have an unexpected bearing on pro-life activists. There’s an election next week, in case the glut of political ads in your mailbox isn’t enough of a clue. Events are crowding the calendar. Here’s the smorgasbord; help yourself.

The New Hampshire Supreme Court just did what?

DSCF7739
New Hampshire Supreme Court building. Ellen Kolb photo.

After I was finished doing the happy dance over the state Supreme Court’s recent decision on the education tax credit (Duncan v. State of NH), I heard from various sources that the denial of standing to the plaintiffs (leading to dismissal of the case) might not augur well for plaintiffs in other cases who can’t prove direct harm from a challenged law. Does this mean that the plaintiffs in Reddy v. Foster, the buffer zone suit, might lack standing since the law hasn’t actually been used against them yet? That’s what at least one defendant has already asserted in an affidavit, and Duncan might have a bearing on the point. It’ll be interesting to see if this comes up at the status hearing on Reddy later this month.

One possible scenario: the anti-free-speech “buffer zone” law stays on the books, unenforced. Perhaps no one will be granted standing to sue until the law IS enforced. In that situation, abortion advocates could crow about a hollow legislative victory while pro-life witness continues unabated. That’s strictly speculation, but it’s an interesting possibility. See you in court.

What blog visitors are reading

Jim Lawrence (photo from lawrenceforcongress.com)
Jim Lawrence (photo from lawrenceforcongress.com)

For what it’s worth, the two most-clicked-on Leaven for the Loaf posts in the past few days have been on Second Congressional District candidate Jim Lawrence and U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens. People seem to be checking out the underdogs this week. Leaven’s interview with Bob Smith is getting attention as well.

Not one, not two, but three CD2 candidates with some pro-life credentials

Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)
Rep. Marilinda Garcia (photo from marilindagarcia.com)

The Republican primary in the Second Congressional District (CD2) is becoming heated. I’ll leave commentary on that to other observers. What’s unusual is that Marilinda Garcia, Gary Lambert and Jim Lawrence all have voting records at the state level that give abortion advocacy groups fits. Lambert had only a single two-year term, so his record is thin. Nevertheless, all three can claim to have supported some pro-life legislation while in Concord.

CD2 voters can ask Gary Lambert about a 2010 survey in which he said “I am personally pro-life but I do not believe the government should dictate what a woman can or cannot do on this issue.” I hasten to add that once elected in 2010, Lambert supported a fetal homicide bill and a ban on partial-birth abortions (as did Garcia in the same term), and he opposed a motion to kill an informed consent bill. 

Gary Lambert (photo from nh.gov)
Gary Lambert (photo from nh.gov)

Lambert’s personally-opposed-but statement can still be squared with those votes, since none of the bills would have prevented a woman from obtaining an abortion. In fact, the fetal homicide bill did not address abortion at all. Abortion advocacy groups fought all those bills anyway. Go figure.

Events

The Pray for Life Center in Manchester is hosting a baby shower this Sunday, September 7. More information here.

40 Days for Life begins September 24 in Manchester (outside PP on Pennacook Street) and Greenland (outside the Lovering Center). Register at 40daysforlife.com for access to the vigil calendars where you can sign up for an hour (or lots of hours) of prayerful, peaceful pro-life witness. Opening rallies: September 21 in Greenland, September 22 in Manchester.

New Hampshire Right to Life’s annual banquet has featured some great speakers (as with Kristan Hawkins in 2013), and this year’s event promises more of the same. Julia Holcomb is the headliner at NHRTL’s banquet on Thursday, October 2 at the Executive Court banquet facility on Mammoth Road at the Manchester-Londonderry town line. Reservations are now being accepted.

“Living Life to the Fullest” is the title of an all-day event at St. Patrick church in Newport NH on Saturday, November 8. Four sessions will address aging, bioethics, end-of-life care and advance directives.

The primary election is next Tuesday, September 9. The general election is November 4. If you think you’re too busy to vote, ponder this: every single seat in the New Hampshire legislature is up for grabs. That’s enough to get me going to the polls.

Next Leaven for the Loaf newsletter coming soon

The next email newsletter for blog subscribers is scheduled to go out Monday, September 8, featuring information on contested state rep primary races where pro-life incumbents face challengers. Don’t miss it. Subscribe by clicking the “newsletter” button on the Leaven for the Loaf Facebook page or subscribe to the blog directly.

Do you have a life-issues event coming up? Please add Leaven for the Loaf to your contact list: ellen@leavenfortheloaf.com

Parting shot

An observation from Cathy Kelley, as published in the Pray for Life Center weekly update for August 28:

After bringing a woman in for an abortion a man was told to leave the premises. Seems PP [in Manchester] was not happy he had a gun in his holster. The woman was picked up later by a man carrying a knife. The employees say they are intimidated by people holding rosary beads and brochures. REALLY???”

 

From 2014: Jim Lawrence reaches out to pro-life voters in NH CD2

Voters looking for a pro-life candidate in New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District have been hearing plenty from Marilinda Garcia and Gary Lambert, whose State House voting records I’ve reviewed in the past. The Republican primary has a third candidate, Jim Lawrence, who has made a pitch to pro-life voters that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

Lawrence served in the New Hampshire House for three terms beginning in 2002, which put him smack in the middle of the debate on the state’s first parental notification law. He voted yes. He supported a partial-birth abortion ban bill that failed in 2004. That same year, he supported an informed consent bill and a bill to keep the state out of the business of funding abortion providers. I haven’t reviewed all of his votes, but these four are certainly encouraging.

He was represented at a recent pro-life gathering organized by the Bob Smith for Senate campaign. While he couldn’t attend in person – he was seeing his daughter off to UNH – he sent Jennifer Logan to read a message from him. Here’s a transcription of my recording from the event.

“I have always been a strong advocate for protecting the sanctity of life. During my three terms in the New Hampshire House as a state representative, I was a strong voice for the pro-life movement with a perfect voting record supporting pro-life issues. This is one of the reasons I was selected by my colleagues to be one of three House members to speak on the House floor in support of parental notification. Representative Ann Kuster is wrong on this issue and many others. This is why I am running to defeat her this November. If I am elected to be your Congressman, I will continue my resolve to support pro-life issues just as aggressively as I have before.”

Campaign web site: lawrenceforcongress.com


 

Gallery: pro-life rally sponsored by Women for Bob Smith, 8/17/14

Women for Smith pro-life rally, 8/17/14

Candidates gathered on State House plaza in Concord Sunday afternoon to make their pitches to pro-life voters. Here’s a selection of the speakers. Thumbs up to Women for Bob Smith, who organized the event and managed to bring together a wide variety of candidates.

Bob Smith, running to regain his seat in the U.S. Senate representing New Hampshire: "I don’t know if you know the impact that you have, and how much it means to me that you’re out there."
Bob Smith, running to regain his seat in the U.S. Senate representing New Hampshire: “I don’t know if you know the impact that you have, and how much it means to me that you’re out there.”
 Andrew Hemingway, candidate for governor, on the right to life: "Is there any other greater cause? No. This is it. The pinnacle. You must take the energy from this day and move this cause forward."
Andrew Hemingway, candidate for governor, on the right to life: “Is there any other greater cause? No. This is it. The pinnacle. You must take the energy from this day and move this cause forward.”