State of New Hampshire Archives: on Government Reform


Maggie Hassan: Create commission on Government Innovation & Accountability

We need to think bigger in terms of how we best position state government for the demands of the 21st century. We must always be looking for new ways to innovate in state government in order to cut red tape and save taxpayer dollars. And we should harness the expertise of the private sector to come up with new ideas and approaches.

To encourage this process, I will soon be issuing an executive order to create a Commission on Government Innovation, Efficiency and Accountability. The commission will be charged with making recommendations to modernize state government for the 21st century, and it will include members from the business community and non-profit sector to determine how we can improve services by working together.

In addition, this budget creates the Office of Innovation and Efficiency at the Department of Administrative Services, which will lead the effort to implement commission recommendations and work with state agencies on developing transparent performance measurements.

Source: 2013 State of the State N.H. Budget Address Feb 14, 2013

Judd Gregg: Earmarks legitimately direct money to worthy projects

In his three terms in the Senate, Judd Gregg has helped bring home $56 million to protect New Hampshire's Great Bay. And almost $2 million for a project to improve weather forecasting. And a whopping $730 million for various projects at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard just over the state border in Kittery, Maine. Yet the candidates vying to succeed Gregg say they want no part of that funding.

Gregg won the money through earmarks, a process that has fallen so much out of political favor Ayotte and Hodes have taken pledges against it. Gregg has long stood by special spending requests by members of Congress as a legitimate way to direct money to worthy projects--as long as the total federal budget is conservative and the earmark process is transparent. In the past three years alone, Gregg, a member of the Appropriations Committee, won more than $278 million in earmarks by himself or teamed with others for projects. In next year's budget, Gregg has requested an additional $113.5 million.

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Judd Gregg: Earmarks prioritize spending that bureaucrats would miss

Gregg extolled the virtues of earmarks last month at the Mt. Washington Observatory's Weather Discovery Center. "The Congress has a real role in directing spending," Gregg said. "If you leave it to the bureaucrats in Washington to decide how to spend it, a lot of things will be missed that are important to states--especially smaller states. I think the anti-earmark movement is going to undermine the ability of states like New Hampshire to compete for funds."

Gregg talked about what earmarks meant to th weather center which once stored climate records in Tupperware containers on the mountain's summit. The records now are in a digital database. Last year, 30,000 people visited the center, an interactive science museum to help people understand weather. Visitors also can talk with meteorologists on top of Mount Washington, home of some of the world's worst weather. Without the earmark dollars to help expand the center, "there's a chance nobody in Washington would even know this place existed," Gregg sai

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Kelly Ayotte: Praised Sen. Gregg for earmarks; but pledges against them

Ayotte and Hodes have both taken pledges against earmarks. As attorney general, Ayotte praised Sen. Gregg for earmarks that benefited law enforcement but has adamantly rejected that position after launching her campaign for U.S. Senate. Hodes and Ayotte accuse each other of adopting the anti-earmark position as a matter of political convenience.

"Congressman Hodes is having an election-year conversion on earmarks. He requested over 60 earmarks last year. He's voted for 9,000 earmarks just in 2009 alone," Ayotte said. Asked what she would say to the defense contractors and other businesses benefiting from Gregg's effort, Ayotte said: "What's happened with earmarks in this country is they've been used to buy and sell votes. We saw it so much with the health care bill, the buying and selling of votes and other examples in Washington. That type of corruption has to end. With respect to our businesses we should reform the process in Washington."

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Paul Hodes: $122M in earmarks while in House; pledges none in Senate

In his three terms in the Senate, Judd Gregg has helped bring home millions through earmarks, a process that has fallen so much out of political favor Ayotte and Hodes have taken pledges against it.

Hodes, who represents the 2nd Congressional District, put in his share of special spending requests during his two terms in the U.S. House, but swore off earmarks after he decided to run for Gregg's seat. Hodes requested $122 million in earmarks by himself or with others before taking his anti-earmark pledg in January. Among them was $475,000 last year to support homeless veterans in Nashua. Former Republican Sen. John Sununu and Gregg joined him in the request. He also teamed up with others--including Gregg--over the last three years to get $1.5 million to treat uninsured patients at community health centers.

Hodes and Ayotte accuse each other of adopting the anti-earmark position as a matter of political convenience.

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Paul Hodes: No pay-to-play: earmarks without campaign contributions ok

Ayotte accuses Hodes of adopting the anti-earmark pledge as a matter of political convenience. "Congressman Hodes is having an election-year conversion on earmarks. He requested over 60 earmarks last year. He's voted for 9,000 earmarks just in 2009 alone," Ayotte said.

Hodes insisted the problem rests with those who request earmarks for groups that later funnel money to their campaigns, called "pay for play." Hodes said it was more important to be independent and not necessarily do what was politically popular. "Some people have criticized me for not bringing home pork, not bringing home the bacon," he said. "When I asked for the earmarks I maintained a policy that I would not ask for contributions from anybody on whose behalf I asked for an earmark because I did not want it to be pay for play."

Source: Boston Globe coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Oct 7, 2010

Kelly Ayotte: Ban earmarks; Hodes voted for 9,000 of them

Hodes defended his 2009 vote for the $800 billion stimulus package. "Nobody wanted to make those investments, but they had to be done; it was an emergency situation," Hodes said.

Ayotte said the stimulus only created "temporary or government" jobs and more taxpayer-paid spending hurt the economy as national unemployment increased by 2.5 million jobs. "It was a big government program, but it didn't allow the growth in the private sector," Ayotte said.

During the four years Hodes was in Congress, Ayotte said the federal deficit went up 525%, the debt increased $5 trillion to $13 trillion and Hodes voted for 9,000 earmarks last year. "Congressman Hodes is wanting to portray himself as a fiscal conservative," Ayotte said.

In this campaign, both candidates call for a ban on earmarks. Ayotte said Hodes had an election year conversion on earmarks. Hodes noted Ayotte earlier in this campaign had defended earmarks as long as they were transparent until after Hodes had endorsed the ban.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

Kelly Ayotte: Make Congressional pay "performance-based"

To empathize with the struggle working families have had through this recession, Hodes supports cutting the pay of Congress and the president by 10 percent.

Ayotte said congressional pay should be "performance-based" and predicted Hodes would not fare well under such a system given his votes on taxes and spending. "I think that he owes the taxpayers of New Hampshire a refund," Ayotte concluded.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

Paul Hodes: Cut Congressional pay by 10% during recession

To empathize with the struggle working families have had through this recession, Hodes supports cutting the pay of Congress and the president by 10 percent.

Ayotte said congressional pay should be "performance-based" and predicted Hodes would not fare well under such a system given his votes on taxes and spending. "I think that he owes the taxpayers of New Hampshire a refund," Ayotte concluded.

Source: Nashua Telegraph coverage of 2010 N.H. Senate debate Sep 23, 2010

John Lynch: Restrinct campaign donations, but not campaign spending

Q: Do you support limiting individual contributions to state candidates?

A: Yes

Q: For PAC contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: For Corporate contributions?

A: Yes.

Q: For Political Parties?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support requiring full and timely disclosure of campaign finance information?

A: Yes.

Q: Do you support imposing spending limits on state level political campaigns?

A: No.

Source: 2006 N.H. Gubernatorial National Political Awareness Test Nov 7, 2006

Mike Gravel: National Initiative to allow citizen law makers

We have the opportunity to raise our democratic ideals to new heights by enacting legislation--the National Initiative--that will bring American voters into the operations of government as lawmakers. American voters would empower themselves to legislate on policies that affect their lives, in a partnership with their elected officials. The enactment of the National Initiative would forever change the paradigm of human governance, adding a new check--We, the People--to our system of Checks and Balances.
Source: Speech at the N.H. Institute of Politics, Manchester NH Nov 1, 2006

  • The above quotations are from State of New Hampshire Politicians: Archives.
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