Wednesday, September 24, 2008

NH Public Funding of Elections update

Editor's Note: This update was sent by the NHCPFE. I think it is worthy of publishing:

Hello Everybody,
Welcome to this New Hampshire Coalition for Public Funding of Elections update on our efforts to take big money out of politics in NH and put our elections back in the hands of voters. Whether you've found your way onto our list through your love of Granny D or your concern for our democracy, I hope you'll take a minute to read about our progress and the part you might play in it.
The NH Coalition for Public Funding of Elections (NHCPFE) has been working for over a year to achieve a voluntary system of publicly financed election campaigns in the Granite State, for the offices of governor, executive council and state senate. Our website ( will be ready soon. Our first major success was to pass a bill this spring establishing a new commission of public funding advocates to develop recommendations for the legislature on how NH could implement--and particularly fund--a system of publicly-financed elections.
The NH Public Elections Financing Commission's recommendations are due to the legislature Dec. 1, 2008. This seven-member bipartisan body held its first meeting on Aug. 15, followed by a public hearing on Sept. 2, and meetings on Sept. 5 and Sept. 19. The commission meets every Friday from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Room 104 of the Legislative Office Building in Concord (except the Friday before the election and after Thanksgiving), with a break for lunch for part of the hour between noon and one.
See the commission's Web site at for more information.
Check out these news stories from the Hippo and NHPR on the public hearing: (Sept. 18, 2008) (Sept. 2, 2008)
NHCPFE is working on three fronts to make publicly funded elections a reality in NH, and we need your help.
1) We're supporting the work of the commission by attending its meetings, providing data and policy recommendations, and facilitating connections with state and national allies as resources. The commission is examining how much candidates have traditionally spent on their races in order to determine how much a public funding system should allocate for each race. Allocation amounts and likely candidate participation rates will then help determine how much it will cost to fund the whole system. NHCPFE provided the commission with some initial data, but now we need to look more closely at candidates' expenditure reports to cull out reported expenditures (such as contributions to other candidates and transfers to other accounts) that should not be considered campaign-related expenses.
We are meeting this Sunday, Sept. 27, at Antioch University NE in Keene, 2-4 p.m., to reexamine campaign expenditure data. Can you bring your laptop and join us? It's interesting work and we'll provide all the training you'll need. Please call me at 603-856-6723 or email me at if you can help. We need several more volunteers to get this done for the commission by Oct. 3.
Meanwhile, our policy subcommittee is working to develop NHCPFE's recommendations to the commission. Please call me 603-856-6723 or email me at if you'd like to join our policy work group.
2) We're working with legislators to be sure that we'll have a good bill with wide and strategically placed support, laying the groundwork to ensure that we'll have the votes to pass the bill. We've reached out to our current list of eighty legislative "champions," and are lining up at least one key supporter on each House committee to serve as our liaisons. If you would like to join our effort to work with legislators, including arranging a meeting for a group of constituents from your town with your representatives or senator, please let me know!
3) We're organizing at the grassroots--this means you! To give our legislators the backing (or pressure) they need from their constituents to pass a good public funding bill in 2009, we're identifying people now who can help build and mobilize grassroots support in their district.. We've planned a house party next Tuesday, September 30, at Rep. Susi Nord's house in Candia, featuring an address by Granny D. Activists in the Peterborough area are planning a house party for next month. If you'd like to host a house party to help spread the word about public funding, or would be willing to help organize one at someone else's home, please let me know.
We've also got four phone banks planned, and we need more volunteers to begin calling our list of the more than 1,300 potential activists. Let me know if you can help us make calls!
Thursday, Oct. 2, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at 4 Park Street, 2F, Concord
Sunday, Oct. 5, 1-5 p.m., at 4 Park Street, 2F, Concord
Monday, Oct. 6, 5:30-8:30 p.m., at Staff Development for Educators, 10 Sharon Rd., Peterborough
Tuesday, Oct. 7. 5:30-8:30 p.m., at SDE, 10 Sharon Rd., Peterborough
YES WE CAN put our elections in New Hampshire back in the hands of the voters, if we lay the groundwork now for when the legislative session begins in January. But we need all hands on deck! The Coalition meets by phone Mondays at 3 p.m. and in person on the first Wednesday of the month, 10 a.m.-1 p.m.. Our next meeting is Wednesday, Oct. 1, at 10 a.m. at Sulloway and Hollis, corner of School and State streets, Concord. Come join us and find out what you can do to help make votes count more than dollars.
Let me know if you have any questions or would like to join our work to strengthen democracy in New Hampshire.

No comments: