Update: N.H. Senate Passes Amended Fetal Homicide Bill

The New Hampshire Senate today passed SB 66 on a 14-10 vote. The measure is a fetal homicide bill that would give prosecutors the option of filing homicide charges against anyone whose bad actions cause the death of a preborn child against the mother’s wishes. As introduced, SB 66 could have been used only for fetal deaths after viability, but the Senate amended the bill today to change “viability” to 20 weeks’ gestation.

The bill’s legislative docket includes links to roll calls.

A New Hampshire House committee last week retained another fetal homicide bill, HB 156, which bars further action on the House version for now. The House bill would have made fetal homicide charges possible for deaths of preborn children at 8 weeks’ gestation or later. It is likely that the Senate bill will now go to the same House committee that retained HB 156.

State Senate incumbents: votes on buffer zone repeal & abortion stats

In 2016, the New Hampshire Senate considered and failed to pass bills that would have repealed the buffer zone law and established an abortion-statistics program at the state level.

The senators who managed to get those votes right and who are running for re-election deserve your consideration. These are bellwether bills: a legislator who opposes them is all but certain to be weak or hostile on the right to life.

I know there are other seats, other candidates, and fundamental pro-life policies. Today, my only concern is to list the legislators who supported stats and the First Amendment in the past term in Concord. The Senate had straight up-or-down votes on those two bills.

If you’re not sure who the candidates are in your area, you can check your Senate district number here, and then look at a sample ballot for your town to see the names of the candidates for each office.

Buffer zone

These are the incumbents running for re-election who voted ( via bill #HB 1570) to repeal the buffer zone law, thus respecting your rights and mine to demonstrate peacefully on public property outside abortion facilities. The repeal effort failed on a tie vote.

Jeb Bradley (district 3), Andy Sanborn (district 9), Gary Daniels (district 11), Kevin Avard (district 12), Sharon Carson (district 14), John Reagan (district 17), Regina Birdsell (district 19), and Chuck Morse (district 22). Some House reps who supported the same bill are running for Senate now: James Gray (district 6), Harold French (district 7), Joe Duarte (district 16), and Bill Gannon (district 23).

Reps. French and Gannon are going up against incumbents who voted the opposite way: Sen. Andrew Hosmer vs. French and Rep. Alexis Simpson vs. Gannon.

Bradley is the only senator who supported passage of the buffer zone bill in 2014 and later changed his mind. I’m glad the First Amendment eventually appealed to his better nature.

Note that Kevin Avard is being challenged for his seat by former senator Peggy Gilmour, who voted for the buffer zone law in 2014. Voters gave the seat to Avard later that year. This year’s rematch is fierce and expensive, and it could go either way.

Abortion statistics

Another tie vote doomed an abortion statistics bill (HB 629). The same senators listed above for the buffer zone supported the stats bill: Bradley, Sanborn, Daniels, Avard, Carson, Reagan, Birdsell and Morse. The House passed the bill on a voice vote, so there’s no recorded vote for candidates Gray, French, Duarte and Gannon.

A sobering total

The bills I’ve cited here don’t even assert a right to life. The buffer zone law is about denying First Amendment protections to peaceful pro-life demonstrators, and the repeal bill was an effort to rectify that error. The statistics bill was about public health, particularly women’s health. Tie votes were the best the Senate could muster for them.

The eight incumbent senators and four House candidates for Senate I’ve mentioned cover twelve districts. That’s only half the seats in the Senate. If all these candidates win, things like a stats bill might still die on a tie. If any of these candidates lose, prospects for mischief increase dramatically.

Two other districts to watch

District 18’s Donna Soucy, chief sponsor of the buffer zone law, is being challenged by former Rep. Ross Terrio, chief sponsor of the partial-birth abortion ban that became law in 2012. In district 2, an open seat, former Rep. Bob Giuda is a candidate. He served in the House over a decade ago and had a good pro-life record, including helping to pass New Hampshire’s first parental notification law.

(Senate photo by Leon Rideout.)


 

General election candidates set for N.H.

The dust has settled on the Granite State’s primary election. Most New Hampshire House incumbents with strong records on recent life-issue bills did well and will be on the ballot in November.

Let’s follow up on recent posts regarding candidates for Governor, Senate (parts one and two), and House.

Governor

From June 2016: Executive Councilors and gubernatorial candidates Chris Sununu (with contracts) and Colin VanOstern (at right).
From June 2016: Executive Councilors and gubernatorial candidates Chris Sununu (with contracts) and Colin VanOstern (at right).

Republican Chris Sununu will go up against Democrat Colin Van Ostern. Both men as Executive Councilors have voted to grant state contracts to abortion providers, with Sununu making one exception in August of 2015. Planned Parenthood has already endorsed Van Ostern.

Sununu survived what proved to be an astonishing primary challenge from pro-life Rep. Frank Edelblut, an underdog who finished well ahead of candidates Ted Gatsas and Jeanie Forrester. Edelblut was in a position to ask for a recount, but he quickly threw his support to Sununu and turned his attention to the general election.  On Facebook, Edelblut addressed his supporters: “We came very close to victory and I cannot thank you enough for your tireless efforts. But please stay tuned; I have more in store for this great state.”


State Senate

In State Senate district 1, Rep. Leon Rideout of Lancaster lost narrowly to Dolly McPhaul for the GOP nomination – and fetal homicide legislation thus lost a committed supporter in the House. McPhaul will go up against incumbent Democrat Jeff Woodburn. The day after the primary, Rideout wrote, “I will continue to work to find ways to serve my community and the North Country. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. I ask each of you to please do what you can to help defeat Jeff Woodburn.”

In State Senate district 2, former Rep. Bob Giuda of Warren won the GOP nomination over Rep. Brian Gallagher. Both have pro-life voting records. Giuda will go up against Democrat Charlie Chandler in November.

Republican Ruth Ward prevailed over Jim Beard in a recount for the nomination in district 8. Her November opponents will be Democrat John Garvey and independent John Jeskevicius.

Two Democrats supporting public funding of abortion providers contended in district 9, with Lee Nyquist beating Jeanne Dietsch. Nyquist will now have a rematch with Republican Sen. Andy Sanborn, whose life-issue voting record is encouraging.

Jay Kahn won a three-way Democratic primary in district 10 and will face Republican Chester Lapointe in the general election.

Senator Sharon Carson of Londonderry (district 14) had no trouble winning her primary. Carson has been among other things an outspoken opponent of efforts to discourage peaceful pro-life witness via the buffer zone law. Tammy Siekmann will challenge Carson from the Democratic side in November.

In district 16, Democrat Scott McGilvray will meet Republican Joe Duarte.

A recount is pending on the Republican side in district 18 (Litchfield and part of Manchester) between former Reps. George Lambert and Ross Terrio. [Update 9/20/16: Terrio won in the recount.] Rep. Ralph Boehm finished third on that side. The winner will face buffer zone sponsor Sen. Donna Soucy.

Rep. Bill Gannon of Sandown prevailed in a four-way primary in district 23. . Gannon has a good pro-life voting record. His Democratic opponent is Rep. Alexis Simpson, who in the past two years has voted against a personhood bill, a post-20-week abortion restriction, conscience rights for health care providers, and an end to tax funding of abortion providers.

On the Seacoast in district 24, Republican Dan Innis will meet Democratic Rep. Tom Sherman. Innis won a four-way primary.


State Representatives

Looking solely at the incumbent representatives featured in my earlier post, here are the primary victors, by county, with districts in parentheses:

  • Carroll County: Frank McCarthy (2), Glenn Cordelli (4).
  • Hillsborough County: Rick Christie (6), Linda Gould and Keith Murphy (7), Joe Lachance (8), Mark McLean (15), Josh Moore and Jeanine Notter (21), Eric Eastman and Carl Seidel (28), and Jordan Ulery (37). Ulery’s district will be recounted tomorrow, but his margin is safe.
  • Merrimack County: J.R. Hoell (23).
  • Rockingham County: James Spillane (2), Chris True (4), Al Baldasaro (5), and John Sytek (8).

A few of the featured incumbent reps fell short, and I hope their public service will continue one way or another:  Rockingham County’s Jeffrey Harris and Katherine Prudhomme-O’Brien, and Strafford County’s Robert Knowles.

In the coming weeks, as candidates reveal more about their views, I’ll keep you posted. If you know of a local candidate you want to support, offer now to help with the campaign. This is especially true in state rep races, where simple things like sign waves and pollstanding can have a big effect.


 

State Senate primaries: districts 8-24

Part Two. For Part One on districts 1, 2, and 8, see here.

The 2016 primary election in New Hampshire will be Tuesday, September 13. You can obtain a sample ballot from your town clerk or from the Secretary of State’s web site under “Election Information.”

Of the 24 state senate races, nine have primary contests in one or both parties. I haven’t surveyed or interviewed the candidates, but there are voting records available for those who are incumbents or who have held office before. Here’s a look at state senate primary races, with voting records on some life-issue bills I’ve followed in the 2015-2016 session. If one of your local candidates has no record to go by, it’s time for you to reach out with friendly questions. September 13 is coming up quickly.

Find selected 2016 House life-issue votes at this link.

Find selected 2015 House life-issue votes at this link.

I am counting on New Hampshire readers to let me know if there are candidates I have mistakenly listed as not having held state office before. I’ll make corrections as needed.


District 9: There is a Democratic primary, with the winner to meet incumbent Sen. Andy Sanborn in the general election. Lee Nyquist and Jeanne Dietsch. From Nyquist’s web site: “The ability to make personal medical decisions in consultation with a doctor and trusted advisors without interference from the state is of the utmost importance. Lee will make expanding access to women’s healthcare a priority as a State Senator, Lee supports a woman’s right to choose, and Lee stands with Planned Parenthood.” From Dietsch’s web site: “We need to fund this [Medicaid Expansion] and Planned Parenthood so that our less fortunate citizens have access to healthcare, including protecting a woman’s right to choose.”

District 10: There is a Democratic primary to replace retiring Sen. Molly Kelly. Jay Kahn and Kris Roberts state on their respective web sites that they support public funding of Planned Parenthood. Benjamin Tilton appears to be using a Facebook page in lieu of a web site. Roberts and Tilton are incumbent state representatives, and their less-than-encouraging voting records on recent life-issue bills are at the links above (state reps, Cheshire 12 and 16).

District 14: On the GOP side, incumbent Sen. Sharon Carson faces Ludwig Haken in the primary. I have no information on Mr. Haken. Sen. Carson has been an outspoken opponent of the buffer zone law; her defense of the First Amendment in the first Senate floor vote on the measure was nothing short of awesome. She sided with other pro-life Senate colleagues who backed a lousy version of fetal homicide legislation, in what I am sure was an effort to gain support from a hostile GOP colleague who is not running for re-election. (The gambit didn’t work.) She supported the successful bills on parental notification for abortion (2011) and banning partial-birth abortion (2012).

District 16: There are primaries on both sides. Democrats will choose between Scott McGilvray and Kolawole Adewumi. Neither has a voting record on the life issues. Republicans will choose between Don Winterton and Rep. Joe Duarte. As you’ll see from the links above to 2015-16 votes, Duarte has a good record with his House votes on recent life-issue bills. Winterton’s web page has no mention of the right to life. [Update 9/8/16: Winterton drops out of race due to residency issues.]

District 18: Three Republicans are vying for the nomination. Rep. Ralph Boehm has a strong record on the life issues (see links above). Ross Terrio and George Lambert are former state reps. Terrio was the sponsor of the partial-birth ban that became law in 2012 – a bill for which Lambert voted as well. Terrio and Lambert also voted in favor of New Hampshire’s parental notification law in 2011.

District 23: This is an open seat, with Sen. Russell Prescott now seeking a seat on the Executive Council. Four Republicans are seeking the Senate nomination: Maureen Barrows, Rep. Bill Gannon, Bob Goodman, and Nancy Steenson. I’ve already taken note of Gannon’s excellent record. Barrows was interviewed for Seacoast Online: “Expounding on her moderate views, Barrows said although she supports Planned Parenthood and its mission, she is ‘not for the termination of pregnancy at all costs.'” Make of that what you will. Goodman’s web page is silent on the right to life. Steenson’s site, on the other hand, contains this straightforward statement: “My husband and I are the proud parents of two daughters. I am pro-life and believe that all human life is worthy of protection. As your State Senator, I will fight for policies that do so.”

District 24: In another busy GOP primary, four Republicans are competing to replace retiring Sen. Nancy Stiles: Dan Innis, Steve Kenda, Jim Maggiore, and Ray Tweedie. None is an incumbent. Kenda opposes public funding for Planned Parenthood. The other candidates’ web pages do not mention anything about the right to life or public funding of abortion providers.

There are many gaps in life-issue information for these candidates, as you can see. If one of these races is in your district, reach out to your candidates any way you can: Facebook, local events, whatever. No candidate should think that the right to life is a non-issue.

State senate primaries 2016: Districts 1, 2, 8

Part one of a review of state senate primaries

The 2016 primary election in New Hampshire will be Tuesday, September 13. You can obtain a sample ballot from your town clerk or from the Secretary of State’s web site under “Election Information.”

Of the 24 state senate races, nine have primary contests in one or both parties. I haven’t surveyed or interviewed the candidates, but there are voting records available for those who are incumbents or who have held office before. Here’s a look at state senate primary races, with voting records on some life-issue bills I’ve followed in the 2015-2016 session. If one of your local candidates has no record to go by, it’s time for you to reach out with friendly questions. September 13 is coming up quickly.

Find selected 2016 life-issue votes at this link. 

Find selected 2015 life-issue votes at this link.

I am counting on New Hampshire readers to let me know if there are candidates I have mistakenly listed as not having held state office before. I’ll make corrections as needed.

District 1:  There is a Republican primary between Rep. Leon Rideout and Dolly McPhaul. The incumbent senator, Jeff Woodburn, is unchallenged on the Democratic side. McPhaul has no voting record on the life issues of which I’m aware.

Rideout has been a leader on fetal homicide legislation. (For more about Griffin’s Law and other fetal homicide bills, see this page with links to coverage of hearings.) He has a pro-life voting record. Look for his results at the links above, under Coos County district 7.

District 2:  There is a Republican primary between Rep. Brian Gallagher and former Rep. Bob Giuda. Both have pro-life voting records. Gallagher has a very strong pro-life voting record over the past two years for Belknap County district 4 (see links above).

Giuda served in the House from 2001 to 2006, and during that time he supported parental notification for minors seeking abortion (voting against an “inexpedient to legislate” motion on HB 1380, 2/15/02; and then voting “ought to pass” on HB 763, 3/25/03); he supported a partial-birth abortion ban (voting against an “inexpedient to legislate” motion on HB 1220, 3/17/04); he opposed public funding of abortion (voting against an “inexpedient to legislate” motion on HB 1253, 2/19/04); and he supported effective informed consent for abortion (HB 1340, 3/17/04; HB 399, 3/9/05). In 2001, he voted to abolish New Hampshire’s death penalty (HB 171, 4/5/01; the bill failed by fewer than 10 votes).

District 2 is an open seat, with incumbent Jeanie Forrester now running for Governor.

District 8: There is a Republican primary between Jim Beard and Ruth Ward, neither of whom has a State House voting record. Neither candidate’s web site mentions any stand on the right to life. District 8 is an open seat, as former Senator Jerry Little has been appointed New Hampshire’s Banking Commissioner.