Doing the Math, part 2: PP’s investment in NH Senate

(Note: Part 1 was about Executive Council races, published the day after the release of the first of two videos documenting Planned Parenthood physicians discussing procurement and sale of the organs of aborted children. See “PP Doctor Spills the Beans.”)

The political affiliates of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England spent in all more than $55,000 on New Hampshire Senate races in 2014. Direct donations and/or independent expenditures went to races in 15 out of the 24 Senate districts, with PP’s preferred candidates winning in nine of those races. That was enough to deadlock the Senate on repeal of PP’s treasured (albeit enjoined) buffer zone law.

District Amount spent (total of PAC donations and independent expenditures) PP’s preferred candidate Winner PAC donations Independent expenditures for or against a candidate
1 $100 Jeff Woodburn Woodburn $100 none
4 $100 David Watters Watters $100 none
6 $5546.71 Rich Leonard Sam Cataldo $100 $3020.13 pro-Leonard $2426.58 anti-Cataldo
7 $5546.71 Andrew Hosmer Hosmer $100 $3020.13 pro-Hosmer $2426.58 anti-Kathy Lauer Rago
9 $6446.71 Lee Nyquist Andy Sanborn $1000 $3020.13 pro-Nyquist $2426.58 anti-Sanborn
12 $10,993.74 Peggy Gilmour Kevin Avard $1000 $5140.58 pro-Gilmour $4853.16 anti-Avard
13 $100 Bette Lasky Lasky $100 none
15 $100 Dan Feltes Feltes $100 none
16 $10,993.74 Maureen Manning David Boutin $1000 $5140.58 pro-Manning $4853.16 anti-Boutin
17 $100 Nancy Fraher John Reagan $100 none
18 $7255.57 Donna Soucy Soucy $1000 $3020.13 pro-Soucy $3235.44 anti-Lambert
20 $100 Lou D’Allesandro D’Allesandro $100 none
21 $100 Martha Fuller Clark Clark $100 none
23 $100 Donna Schlachman Russell Prescott $100 none
24 $7997.16 Nancy Stiles Stiles $1000 $3498.58 pro-Stiles $3498.58 anti-Steve Kenda (opponent in primary)

The independent expenditures (i.e. those made with no coordination with a candidate) in these races were mostly for mailers and phone calls, while PAC donations went directly to candidate campaigns. This information came from public reports available at the web site of the New Hampshire Secretary of State. 

No reports have come to my attention yet of any of the endorsed senators expressing concern over the activities discussed by two Planned Parenthood doctors on the Center for Medical Progress videos.


Do the math: PPNNE’s investment in NH’s Exec Council

New Hampshire Executive Council chamber ( photo)
New Hampshire Executive Council chamber ( photo)

[Update: In the original version of this post, I transposed some expenditures in districts 4 and 5. Corrected figures appear below, and I apologize for the error.]

Just out of curiosity, I looked at the campaign filings for the 2014 New Hampshire Executive Council elections. Planned Parenthood is much in the news, as is the potential for a Council vote on a PP contract soon. Just how much did PP invest in Council races last time around? I counted all PP contributions, whether PAC or independent. You’re welcome to plow through the filings on the Secretary of State’s web site and check my math.

PP groups didn’t bother to spend anything on the district 3 race between Chris Sununu and Robin McLane. Apparently, there wasn’t enough difference between the candidates to justify playing favorites.

In district 1, Joe Kenney had to beat Mike Cryans twice – once in the March 2014 special election after Ray Burton’s death, and then again in November. PP’s investment: $6046.68, with about $3600 of that in pro-Cryans work and the remaining $2400 or so in anti-Kenney material. Both elections were very close, and Kenney prevailed

The candidacy of district 2’s Colin Van Ostern, an avid PP supporter, was the beneficiary of $3520.10. Nothing was spent in opposition to his challenger Timothy Dillon. Van Ostern cruised to an easy win.

Things got serious in district 4. I had no idea Bob Burns was so scary, but PP found it necessary to spend $4853.16 in opposition to him. They backed eventual winner Chris Pappas to the tune of $6140.58. Total investment in district 4: $10,993.74. Pappas won with 52% of the vote.

In district 5, keeping Dave Wheeler from re-claiming his seat was clearly a PP priority. Didn’t work, though. The voters of district 5 went for Wheeler over Diane Sheehan 55%-45%. PP spent $9,993.74 on this one, with $4853.16 on anti-Wheeler material and the rest on pro-Sheehan mailings, calls and donations.

Investment in the Council races: a little over $30,000. We’ll find out the return on that investment next time a PP contract comes up for a vote.

Most views in 2014: Griffin’s Law

CAM00397New Hampshire’s fetal homicide bill, Griffin’s Law, was the #1 story on Leaven for the Loaf for 2014. The series of seven posts covering HB 1503 took top honors in terms of number of reader views. The post on the bill’s first hearing, “We’re on a crusade,” was the year’s most-read individual item.

The fetal homicide bill, introduced by Rep. Leon Rideout (R-Lancaster), fell short of passage. Rep. Rideout has re-filed the bill for 2015, and another version is expected to be introduced in the Senate. While fetal homicide laws are common nationwide, New Hampshire has failed to enact such legislation despite repeated attempts. This year, “Griffin’s Law” was named for Griffin Donald Kenison, delivered prematurely as a result of an auto accident that injured his mother (Rep. Rideout’s daughter). Griffin did not survive. The driver responsible for the collision faced no charge in the child’s death. Members of the Kenison and Rideout families, North Country residents all, made several trips to Concord earlier this year to urge legislators to support HB 1503.

#2: Elections

Interviews with candidates attracted many readers this year. The most popular election-related posts peaked just before September’s primary: an interview with Jim Rubens, candidate in the U.S. Senate GOP primary (and the first candidate to sit down for a Leaven for the Loaf interview), and a transcript of remarks to pro-life voters by Jim Lawrence, GOP primary candidate in the Second Congressional District.

The race that got the most attention from readers: the U.S. Senate contest, in both the primary and the general.

#3: the Buffer Zone

The buffer zone was the third-most popular topic on Leaven this year, barely edged out by election coverage. Readers wanted to know what was happening from the first hearing on SB 319 through its passage, Governor Hassan’s inexplicable decision to sign the bill, and the inevitable lawsuit that has left the law in limbo.

The buffer zone story will continue in 2015. The lawsuit (Reddy v. Foster) is still pending, and a bill to repeal the law is being introduced.

Tomorrow: my heroes of 2014

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Massachusetts voters favor abortion facility licensing

vote checkmarkFrom Massachusetts Citizens for Life: Voters in eleven legislative districts in Massachusetts had an advisory measure on last Tuesday’s ballot:


Voters in all eleven districts said “yes” by landslide majorities. This question was strictly advisory, but it puts the legislators for those districts on the spot – will they or won’t they heed what the voters said?

New Hampshire law doesn’t provide for initiative and referendum questions, although individual towns and cities can put questions on local ballots. Citizens may also petition local officials to enact a municipal ordinance. An interesting idea: what if New Hampshire residents get tired of waiting for the legislature to act, and try to get local action on abortion facility oversight? There’s no question that most known New Hampshire abortion facilities are located in “friendly” territory. Still, it would be interesting to hear what the neighbors say about subjecting abortion facilities to the same requirements that must be met by ambulatory care facilities. I’ll bet most of the neighbors think (incorrectly) that the requirements are already the same. They’re not.


How one woman won in Texas

Wendy Davis, pink-sneakered mascot of the late-term abortion lobby, left the Texas state senate to run for governor. She got walloped Tuesday, losing to Greg Abbott by just shy of a million votes. Her seat in the state senate has just been won by Konni Burton. This, my friends, is how to go on offense with the life issues in a campaign.

Related post, from June 2013: Reality check: what’s a “toughest” abortion law?