New Hampshire's Virtual Town Hall
The battle to win the battleground state of New Hampshire in the presidential election continued this week with a campaign visit from First Lady Michelle Obama.
On Thursday, she attended a private fundraiser in Holderness and held public events in Laconia and Manchester. She told the crowds of the accomplishments for which her husband stakes his claim: Health care reform, bringing troops home from Iraq, and private sector job growth.
She said it will take a grassroots effort to win re-election, saying, “We're not doing this just because we want to win an election, which we do and we will. We're here and we're doing this because of the values we believe in. We're doing this because of the vision for this country that we all share.”
Republicans on Thursday in Manchester countered the visit with a gathering of businessmen who continued to hammer at the theme of “we did build it” to counter a snippet of a comment from the president that “if you’ve got a business, you didn’t build that.”
House Speaker William O’Brien’s look into the extent of nepotism within state agencies didn’t uncover much: An assistant safety commissioner whose son works as a state trooper.
Nevertheless, O’Brien said this week the issue needs greater oversight and more legislative involvement.
His inquiry came after the revelation of two employment security managers who were accused of hiring their daughters, and then having them laid off by subordinates so that they could collect unemployment benefits.
Race for governor
On the gubernatorial campaign trail this week, Democrat Maggie Hassan turned to ice cream socials as a means to campaign and Republican Kevin Smith made plans to campaign with former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
Gary Hirshfield, owner of Stonyfield Farms and considered at one time a candidate for governor, this week endorsed Jackie Cilley for the Democratic nomination.
Republican Ovide Lamontagne this week announced his coalition of women supporters, this after Hassan had created a coalition of female backers.
More gubernatorial news of the week can be found here.
U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte used BAE Systems in Merrimack -- and fellow GOP Sen. John McCain as her wingman -- to talk this week about the devastating effects sequestration will have on military-related jobs throughout the country.
This is an issue of Congress’ creation, and it will take a bipartisan Congress to figure out.
U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass from the 2nd Congressional District this week described the potential $110 billion in budget cuts a “fiscal cliff.”
The state took in $99.7 million for July, which is $13.4 million more than it took in a year ago in taxes on business, rooms and meals, real estate transfers, liquor and tobacco.
Higher ed report
The good news is that more high school seniors than ever are continuing with a college education. The bad news is that more of them are heading out of state.
That’s the bottom line summary of a report this week from the state Department of Education.
Meanwhile, a poll for the Business and Industry Association released by the UNH Survey Center shows slightly less than half of Granite Staters expect businesses to prosper over the next year.
Gay marriage and chicken
The Chick-fil-A fast food store in Nashua was the New Hampshire focal point of nationwide protests over the issue of free speech and gay marriage.
Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy’s recent statement that marriage should only be between a man and a woman prompted supporters of his free speech rights (and his marriage view) to go to flood stores nationwide on Wednesday to purchase food. The local store at the Pheasant Lane Mall in Nashua was filled to overflowing.
A counter-protest on Friday - a so-called “Kiss In” - attracted only a couple.
We sought your views on the subject -- and we got a lot of them -- on our Facebook page.
We’re into the dog days of August. Stay cool. See you next week.