New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Ray Buckley is challenging his Republican counterparts to join him in criticizing comments of talk show host Michael Savage who called Granite State voters a "bunch of yokels" and "drunks".
"Why are we still running elections like it's the 19th Century, where New Hampshire determines the election? A bunch of yokels in New Hampshire are going to determine the election as much as my dog is going to determine the election," Savage, a conservative, said on his show.
New Hampshire politicians are protective of the state's first-in-the-nation primary status.
"Michael Savage needs to hear from the Republican presidential candidates that this type of insulting and ignorant attack on our democratic process will not be tolerated," Buckley said.
The Democratic National Committee's Rules and Bylaws Committee saw it exactly how New Hampshire politicians wanted them to with a separate votes today stripping Michigan of all their delegates to the national convention, but allowing all Granite State delegates even though both states were technically breaking party rules.
At a vote in Vienna, Virginia during the Democratic National Committee's winter meeting, the Rules and Bylaws Committee took up the question of whether or not to sanction states depending on when their chose to hold their presidential primaries and caucuses.
Last year the same committee laid out specific dates for four states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina -- and said all others had to hold their contests on or after Feb. 5th.
Michigan and Florida decided they would hold their contests on Jan. 15 and Jan 29, respectively, and violate party rules in the hope of having greater clout in selecting their party's presidential nominee.
These states, particularly Michigan's early date, forced New Hampshire to announce last week the state's presidential primary will Jan. 8, instead of Jan. 22 as the DNC wanted.
The votes is a big victory for Raymond Buckley, who is serving his first term as New Hampshire Democratic Party chair. While Democrats are not punishing New Hampshire, the Republican National Committee says the will strip the Granite State of half of its delegates.
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner shot down talk among some in the state's political elite that the presidential primary could be scheduled as late as Jan. 15 if Michigan cannot hold their primary that date.
Conventional wisdom still has it that Gardner will decide to hold the primary on Tuesday, Jan. 8. Gardner said in an interview that no matter what Michigan does he will not hold the presidential primary on Jan .15 because four days later South Carolina Republicans will hold their primary.
New Hampshire law says no "similar contest" can take place seven days before or after the presidential primary. South Carolina, he said, would be a similar contest.
As for when he will make a decision, Gardner said to look early next week.
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said it is unlikely he will set a date for the New Hampshire Primary this week.
Even though Michigan Democrats said this afternoon they want to hold their primary on Jan. 15, a court of appeals would have to overturn a lower court's decision last week that invalidated the Jan. 15 primary altogether.
Michigan lawmakers are going into a special session Tuesday to deal with the matter.
Gardner told the Associated Press he is going to wait for Michigan to sort out their date before announcing when the Granite State will hold its primary.
New Hampshire and four other states will lose half of their delegates to the Republican National Convention next summer because they plan to break a party rule blocking states from hold primaries before Feb. 5.
It was a decision the full membership of the Republican National Committee made Thursday.
Besides New Hampshire, states including Wyoming, Michigan, Florida, and South Carolina will also lose half of their convention delegates.
While New Hampshire's secretary of state still has yet to set a primary date, all expectations are that it will occur in January.
Since 1972 both Iowa and New Hampshire have started the presidential primary process. While the Democratic Party gives both states a special status, the Republican Party, until this year, has traditionally allowed both states to break party rules without penalty.
For a small state like New Hampshire the penalty would mean only 12 of the state's 24 slated delegates would get to attend -- and vote -- in the convention.
CONCORD, N.H. -- New Hampshire Secretary of State Billy Gardner said he cannot forsee any situation where he would make up his mind on a primary date by after the end of November.
Gardner told a small gathering of local reporters that he could make his decision as early as next week and as late as November 15, a day after an important deadline in Michigan, the last state that needs to make a move.
"It's all about Michigan," Gardner said.
Many observers believe that the primary could be held on January 8th, but Gardner did not let on either way.
"But I will announce a date in November," said Gardner. "Unless something else comes up."
CONCORD, N.H. -- The three week period for candidates to file for the New Hampshire presidential primary ballot ended today with the second largest field of candiates in history.
Some 44 candidates -- 23 Democrats and 21 Republicans -- filed to run for president. All that is required to run is for a person to meet the constitutional requirements of age and residency, be a registered voter in the party they are seeking the nomination of, and fill out paperwork and deliver a $1,000 check.
Unlike some previous years every major candidate seeking the presidency, except for California Congressman Duncan Hunter, filed their papers in person and took questions from the press, per the tradition.
New England had a disproportionate amount of candidates. Three presidential candidates were from Massachusetts and one each from Connecticut, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. The presidential primary ballot also allows candidates to run for vice president. Two of the three who filed for that job where from Massachusetts and New Hampshire.
That said, New York state had six people file to run for president and one person for vice president.
For the 1992 New Hampshire Primary 63 people ran for president, the most ever.
CONCORD, N.H. -- Even though the filing period of the presidential primary ballot closes today, Secretary of State Bill Gardner told the Globe he will not be announcing a date for the presidential primary.
Garnder is waiting for Michigan Republican and Democratic Party leaders to decide whether or not to change the date of their primary date from January 15. They face a deadline to formally change that date on November 14.
Michigan Senator Carl Levin, a Democrat and long time agitator of the New Hampshire Primary, reportedly pledged to hold the Michigan presidential caucuses on the same date as New Hampshire's contest, whenever the Granite State decides to set it.
The move from Levin, as reported by The Politico, could be viewed as an attempt to have New Hampshire officials move the first-in-the-nation presidential primary to December, a move widely panned by many officials for fear of backlash.
Currently Michigan is scheduled to hold presidential caucuses on January 15. New Hampshire's Secretary of State has not set a date for his state's primary, but is expected to do so next month.
The Republican National Committee repeated their threat to take away half of New Hampshire's delegates to the national convention next summer unless the state holds it's presidential primary after Feb. 5, something that is not expected to happen.
RNC Chair Mike Duncan said he has sent a letter to state parties in New Hampshire, Michigan, South Carolina, Florida and Wyoming reminding them if they plan to hold primaries before Feb. 5 when the "window" opens up under party rules they would be punished.
For a small state like New Hampshire the penalty would mean only 12 of the state's 24 slated delegates would get to attend -- and vote -- in the convention. But half of delegates for a state like Michigan or Florida is a much more severe of a penalty because they would be losing a significant amount of delegates.
The date for the New Hampshire Primary has not been set. The person in charge of setting that date, Secretary of State Bill Gardner, has indicated he will set the date next month and that it will not occur any later than Jan. 8th.
New Hampshire Republican Chair Fergus Cullen said there wasn't a lot of news in the letter and he is not in a position to do anything about the primary date.
"We at the party have no say when the date will be set." Cullen said. "There is nothing we can do to resolve the conflict between the state law and Republican committee's rules."
Cullen went on to say that he is more concerned with keeping New Hampshire's first in the nation primary than going to Minnesota for the national convention.
"If this is the price New Hampshire Republicans have to pay then so be it," he said.
Members of Congress from Iowa and New Hampshire jointly signed a letter to three Congressional leaders urging them to support the two states traditional role in the presidential primary process.
"Traditionally, it has been left ot the states and the two major political parties to decide when they should hold their political elections. We feel that Congress would be overstepping its boundries by attempting to federally legislate something that has long ben decided by the states and political parties," the letter read.
The letter originated from freshman Iowa Representative Congressman Bruce Braley, but also included the signatures of both New Hampshire Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes.
Presidential candidates may not know exactly when the New Hampshire primary will be, but they did learn this afternoon when they could sign up to be on the ballot.
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner announced the filing period for candidates will begin October 15 and end November 2.
As is state tradition all a potential candidate needs to qualify for the ballot is $1,000, a filled out form, and be at least 35 years-old.
This would be the earliest filing period ever. Normally the filing period opens up in November and candidates typically make a show out of filing their paperwork in the state house. A new law allows Gardner more flexibility in selecting the filing dates.
Yesterday, after the Michigan legislature passed into law that their presidential primary would be Jan. 15, Governor Jennifer Granholm wrote a letter asking every candidate to pledge to compete.
A day later the four states that the Democratic National Committee selected to hold early contests put out a pledge of their own asking Democratic candidates to only compete in those states before Feb. 5 when party rules allow for other states to get involved.
The letter reads in part:
"For the good of our party and our candidates, it is our desire to bring finality, predictability and common sense to the nominating calendar. We ask you to accept the attached four state pledge, steeped in established DNC rules, by signing and sending the pledge form by Thursday, September 6, 2007.
Within hours Joe Biden's presidential campaign said that would sign the pledge.
During an editorial board meeting at the Foster's Daily Democrat newspaper in Dover, N.H., New Hampshire Governor John Lynch said he would support a series of rotating regional presidential primaries in 2012, as long as New Hampshire and Iowa went first.
Prominent leaders in both political parties have been upset at how how states are constantly shifting primary dates this year hoping to get more clout and in the process creating a lot of confusion.
The National Association of Secretaries of State have been pushing a regional primary plan. The proposal calls for Iowa and New Hampshire to go first followed by four regional primaries that will be rotated in order every presidential cycle. Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman recently made that plan a Senate bill.
Tom Sansonetti is the former Wyoming Republican chair and former chair of the RNC Rules Committee. He is also the man behind Wyoming's attempt to be a bigger player in presidential primary politics.
This week Wyoming Republicans announced they would hold their presidential nominating caucus on Jan. 5, the first Saturday in January. This would mean that Wyoming would join the growing list of states violating a Republican National Committee rules by holding their contest before Feb. 5. The new date might also mean that they actually have their caucuses before New Hampshire has its primary.
If they stick with that date it is unknown which candidates will take time to actually campaign in the state and if the Republican National Committee will follow through on its threats to punish them.
But Sansonetti said in an interview last night that Wyoming has already benefited. While Mitt Romney is the only candidate to visit Wyoming, something he did last week, Sansonetti says that is one more candidate than ever had before this early in the presidential cycle.
"Mitt himself said we are becoming important," Sansonetti said.
By why the move now?
Part of it is a function of party rules. The Wyoming GOP must submit plans to the RNC on how they will hold their nominating contest in a matter of days. Since they are not within the rules of the primary calendar, the RNC has said it will take away half of its delegates. This means about a dozen people. The state party will go ahead with plans anyway.
Why move it so early?
Earlier in the year the Wyoming GOP Executive Board said they would hold their contest on "the same day as the New Hampshire Primary, whenever that is." But since New Hampshire officials are threatening to hold the contest in 2007 that won't work for Wyoming anymore. Wyoming GOP bylaws state clearly that the nominating event has to occur in an even numbered year.
Sansonetti said the board was then looking at two dates, Jan. 8 and the Saturday before it on Jan. 5. All but one of the members believed a Saturday would bring more voter participation.
What is the point?
Sansonetti said there is a short term goal and a long term goal. In the short term they want Wyoming to be a bigger player in presidential politics. Second, "is to have the rules committee of the RNC get off their butts and come up with a system that is put into place ... that is fair," he said.
The Associated Press in Michigan says top level members of both political parties there are moving closer to agreement on legislation that would hold Michigan's presidential primary on Jan. 15 of next year.
If true and if it happens it would mean New Hampshire would have its presidential primary no later than Jan. 8 to comply with a state law requiring it to be seven days before any "similar event".
That would make things complicated for leaders in Iowa. The state law there says they have to hold their contest 8 days before any other state. If Iowa honors its own law they would hold their contest in 2007, but Iowa Governor Chet Culver has vowed the contest would occur in 2008.
New York today officially became the latest state to move its presidential primary to Feb. 5, 2008.
The Empire State now joins California and over a dozen states that will be holding their contests that day. The move is expected to help Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giuliani since they both are from the state.
BEDFORD, N.H. -- Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, who was campaigning today in New Hampshire for the Democratic presidential nomination, said the front-loaded nature of the primary calendar next year will help non-establishment candidates like himself.
At the Politics and Eggs breakfast in Bedford, Kucinich was asked how he viewed the changing schedule in which over 20 states will hold primaries two weeks after New Hampshire. Traditionally these primaries have been spread out over a few months.
“I like the way this is headed,” said Kucinich.
He said that party establishment may have had time to recover and defeat insurgent winners of New Hampshire primaries in the past, such as Gary Hart, Pat Buchanan and John McCain. But he said the new schedule of primaries means the establishment forces will have less time to exert their influence.
“When I run strong in New Hampshire and win New Hampshire it will propel me to be the nominee,” said Kucinich.
A CNN/WMUR poll of likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters showed Kucinich only with marginal support.
MANCHESTER, N.H. -- The man responsible for setting the date of the New Hampshire Primary hinted this afternoon that he would not break tradition and jump ahead of the Iowa Caucuses.
“Like we have before we are going to honor the Iowa law,” said New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner to reporters before a dinner honoring those involved in the New Hampshire Primary. “I hope [Iowa] will honor ours as well.”
New Hampshire law requires that its primary be at least a week before any similar election. The Iowa caucuses, in which voters express their candidate preferences to neighbors in living-room settings, have not been considered similar enough to justify moving the date of the New Hampshire primary.
But this year, the Democratic National Committee has voted to put a second caucus, in Nevada, between New Hampshire and Iowa. Since the structure of the Nevada caucuses is unknown, Gardner has reserved judgment on whether to move the primary date ahead of Nevada -- even if being a week ahead of Nevada meant jumping ahead of Iowa as well.
Yesterday, he amended his comments to express his hope that New Hampshire and Iowa could work together to retain their special statuses in the presidential primary season, with Iowa's caucuses first and New Hampshire's primary coming a week later.
The new co-chair of the National Republican Committee, Mike Duncan, said on C-SPAN over the weekend that he believed the movement of as many as 20 states to hold their presidential primaries on the same day could hurt less known and less funded candidates. He then went on to joke that voters in New Hampshire should prepare themselves for seeing television ads during the Christmas shopping season.
He meant the phrase as a joke, but such a comment implies that it would be a first. Historically, New Hampshire and Iowa voters have been well accustomed to watching presidential campaign ads during Halloween and through the Christmas season.
In fact, this morning former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney began running television ads on expensive Boston broadcast stations in the hope of boosting his name recognition in Southern New Hampshire, which is part of the Boston market.
California's effort to move its primary to February 5, 2008 -- and help to create a giant "national primary" day in which half of the country's voters will have a chance to go to the polls -- cleared the last major hurdle.
The California General Assembly approved the legislation, which had already passed the California Senate. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has said he will sign it.
California is one of 19 states that either has moved up their presidential primary dates to February 5, 2007, or is considering it. Political analysts say that having so many states voting on one day will transform the primary system, giving greater clout to the best-funded candidates.
CONCORD, N.H. -- Gov. John Lynch dismissed a report from a new Washington start-up website that quotes him as saying the date of the New Hampshire Primary will move ahead of the Nevada Caucuses next January.
At a press conference in the New Hampshire State House, Lynch said his position on the New Hampshire Primary has never changed, even though the report by Roger Simon of Politico.com implied it had.
Lynch said there was “nothing new” in his position that the Democratic National Committee had made a mistake last summer in placing the Nevada Caucuses between the Iowa Caucuses and the New Hampshire Primary. Since 1972, Iowa and New Hampshire have kicked-off the presidential primary season.
Lynch also said it was premature to be making decisions on the primary date now since the situation “is an evolving and changing situation” with many states moving their primary dates.
The final decision is up to Secretary of State Bill Gardner. He traditionally sets the date of the New Hampshire Primary in the fall before it occurs.
New Hampshire Primary winners Pat Buchanan and Gary Hart will be among those honored at a fund-raising dinner for the New Hampshire Political Library this spring.
The annual dinner, in Manchester, will also honor former White House Chief of Staff Andy Card and the Chicago Tribune’s Jill Zuckman.
Buchanan won the 1996 New Hampshire Republican Primary. Hart was the Democratic winner of the New Hampshire Primary in 1984.
The dinner will take place March 26.