But it’s the first district I want to point you to, today, because it is one of the most competitive House races in the country. NH-01 is currently held by a grassroots superstar, and one of the most genuine people I’ve ever had the opportunity to know, politician or not.
Carol Shea-Porter shocked New Hampshire and the political world by her victory in 2006. Admittedly not much noted by the netroots, not supported during the primary by the DCCC, and not even originating from the most voter-rich area of the state (Manchester), Carol amassed a grassroots army of regular folks who would walk through fire for her, and who carried her message of representing the “rest of us,” the “other 99%,” all the way to victory against incumbent Jeb Bradley.
Since then, Carol Shea-Porter has done an outstanding job of representing her district. Coming from a Republican military family, she joined the House Armed Services Committee, and has been a tireless advocate for veterans, so much so that she recently made huge news by snagging the endorsement of the VFW, making the “dirty hippie” meme the state GOoPers try to pin her fall flat. And at the same time she has been behind every House effort to bring our troops home from Iraq.
You would think that a freshman House Democrat in a Republican-leaning district would feel pressure from both DC and NH to vote in as centrist a way as possible, wouldn’t you? Well, think again. Carol voted against both the FISA “fix” and the bailout bill. She’s also authored legislation that would curtail the unconstitutional abuse of presidential signing statements. And, amidst a high-quality field of terrific presidential candidates during the First-in-the-Nation primary, Shea-Porter endorsed Barack Obama. She was there for him in New Hampshire when he needed her the most.
Now it’s time for us to be there for Carol Shea-Porter. While she has proven to be a phenomenal fundraiser this cycle, she does not take special interest money, so she could definitely use our help in the home stretch. Plus, the underfunded, demoralized NRCC has one or two token races on offense that they have decided they have a shot at for at least some bragging rights, and one of them is Carol’s seat. Moreover, Carol has to endure an almost daily assault from one of the most right-wing newspapers in the country, the Union Leader. Jeb “Bush League” Bradley is running to reclaim the seat he lost, and he’s doing his level best to wage the most dishonorable campaign in the state this cycle. Yet, despite all this, Carol is beginning to pull ahead, and, with our help, is poised for victory.
Next up – junior Senator John E. Sununu, son of infamous White House CoS John H. Sununu. We’re fond of calling John E. The Sprinter, because he’s so good at running away from his own hard-right radical free marketeer record. After his friends phone-jammed him into office in 2002, he has been a loyal Bush foot soldier. Turning his back on his predominately socially libertarian state, Sununu was supportive of the Terri Schiavo fiasco. He has advocated endlessly for a flat tax. Not content to be a cheerleader for Bush’s push to privatize Social Security, he was a chief advocate and author of the bill. Sununu has voted to abolish (yes, you read that right) the federal minimum wage. He refuses to say that humans have anything to do with climate change. In 2006, he told Granite Staters, and I quote, “stop complaining about health care.” At a recent Palin rally, he “joked” that liberals trust Bill Ayers. I could go on, but you get the picture.
Luckily, we have solid Democrat and very successful former governor Jeanne Shaheen, who is well positioned to end Sununu’s reign of error. And the polling has been trending our way for months and months. The negative ads blanketing the state from Sununu, the NRSC, and various 504s have been brutal, but, with your help, we will prevail, and add to the dream of a 60-seat filibuster-proof Senate.