Primary colors: NH GOP purges ‘moderates’

You can add “moderate Republican” to your list of favorite oxymorons. In last Tuesday’s Republican primary, a concerted effort by conservative special interest groups successfully targeted GOP lawmakers who failed to toe the ideological line on issues ranging from right to work and RGGI to marriage equality.

House Speaker Bill O’Brien, who easily won his primary challenge, was the big winner of the night. Many of the defeated GOP House members had been adversaries. Kevin Landrigan detailed the carnage:

Several social and fiscal conservative groups on their own, and in some cases in concert with others, were going after either pro-labor or socially moderate House GOP incumbents.

These conservative groups included the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, Cornerstone Action, New Hampshire Firearms Coalition, New England Right to Work Campaign, National Organization for Marriage, New Hampshire Advantage Coalition and state chapter of Americans for Prosperity.

O’Brien insisted he didn’t advise leaders of these groups on whom they should work to help elect or defeat in GOP primaries.

Victims of the purge included Reps. Peter Bolster (R-Alton), Julie Brown (R-Rochester), Russ Day, (R-Goffstown), Richard Dwinnell (R-Fitzwilliam), Karen Hutchinson (R-Londonderry), William Remick (R-Lancaster), Tony Soltani (R-Epsom) and David Welch (R-Kingston).

The Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire, a group closely aligned with the Free State Project, claimed 86% of their endorsed candidates won on Tuesday. At least three of the six Republican “turncoats” targeted by RLCNH lost.

The six incumbents misrepresented themselves as Republicans and actively worked against Republican “campaign rhetoric” when they got into office, explained RLCNH chair Carolyn McKinney. “The elimination of just one of these turncoats is a victory for the people of their district, the state as a whole and the Republican Party, and we’re elated we were able to defeat three of them.”


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7 Responses to Primary colors: NH GOP purges ‘moderates’

  1. JonnyBBad September 17, 2012 at 4:46 pm #
    • Lucy Weber September 17, 2012 at 7:15 pm #

      on HB 474,  all but Karen Hutchinson and Tony Soltani, voted to sustain the Governor’s veto–that is, they voted against Right to Work.

      Because of the wording of the vote, a nay vote is a vote to sustain the veto.  Bolster, Brown, Dwinnel, Remick and Welch all voted no.  Karen Hutchinson voted yea, and Tony Soltani is recorded as Not Voting.  It may be worth noting that Dwinnell lost a three way race for two slots.  He was defeated by John Hunt, who voted yea, and Susan Emerson, who was a fellow nay vote.

  2. nhveedub September 17, 2012 at 11:18 pm #

    … on the ‘Girard at Large’ radio program on Monday, Sep 10th. Specifically Goffstown candidates: five in District 6, and my opponent Free Stater Mark Warden in floterial 39.

    The endorsed candidates, Beliveau, Burt, Hikel, Meaney & Pratt, also benefitted from direct mail campaigns to registered Republicans in Goffstown.

    The endorsement ‘interview’ is available on the radio program’s website, and includes quotable moments such as, “I need these guys up here,” and “These guys were instrumental in bringing the change to Concord.” Warden also stated that passing RTW was one of his top priorities next cycle…

  3. StraffordDem September 18, 2012 at 4:52 am #

    Sam Cataldo in SD 6 is a NH micro version of Christine O’Donnell.

    Sam’s campaign slogan is “Stop Socialism.”  And he left the Foster’s editorial board “shaking their heads” during his visit with them before the primary.  http://www.fosters.com/apps/pb

    Democratic candidate Rich Leonard could use some help if you’re in the area and so inclined.  Learn about Rich here:  http://www.richardleonard2012….

    • BradD September 18, 2012 at 6:31 am #

      Thanks for posting that link.  Amazing how politicians simply take slogans and that’s their platform without putting any thought behind what they’re saying. The contradictions shows this guy has no character.

      Despite the crazy candidates winning in the GOP primary, I think things will be different in November. If Framingham’s own Bill O’Brien loses, wait until you see him challenge every vote and drag the whole thing through the courts at the taxpayer’s expense. Oh wait, wasteful spending is okay when it fits your agenda.

    • Tim C. September 18, 2012 at 8:39 am #

      Also, unfortunately, numb as a sack of hammers.

      If you haven’t read the Foster’s link above, do so. Even having witnessed Cataldo’s lack of, shall we say, cerebral robustness, I was appalled and dismayed.

      It is rare for newspapers — even Foster’s, even the UL — to be so explicit in calling a candidate a shambling disaster. When they do, voters with a clue pay heed.

      Republican primary voters did not pay heed.

      • TimothyHorrigan September 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm #

        He’s very charming.  I’m not sure how deep the niceness is, but he does have a friendly greeting for everything he meets at the State House.

        The one time I saw him campaigning for the State Senate, he made a fool of himself.  He decided to counter a Democratic visibility at the Lee Traffic Circle with his own viz: he stood by the entrance to Wendy’s.  He wore an NRA hat and carried an illegible sign written in blue Sharpie on a smallish piece of boxboard which said something to the effect of “Stop Socialism.”  He had nothing on him which said “Cataldo” (aside from his state rep nametag.)  

        He is a team player: on that day, he brought fellow reps Fred Leonard & Bill O’Connor) to hold illegible signs of heir own, neither of which had their names— or Cataldo’s name— on them.

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