New Hampshire is a fiercely independent state with one of the most civically engaged citizenries in the nation. It’s a state that expects its elected officials to be open, transparent and, most importantly, accessible to their constituents. That’s why it has been extremely disappointing to see Sen. Jeanne Shaheen refuse to run the type of honest campaign that Granite Staters expect from an elected official seeking another term.
Throughout this campaign, Jeanne Shaheen has stubbornly and arrogantly refused to hold open town hall-type meetings with her constituents. Despite widespread criticism and national media attention, Shaheen simply won’t hold the same type of unscripted and unfettered meetings held by Sen. Kelly Ayotte and every Republican candidate running for major office this cycle. Shaheen views these types of time-honored traditions with contempt and disdain and has made it clear that she believes that her constituents don’t deserve the opportunity to ask their senior senator questions. To make matters worse, Shaheen is now attempting to limit discussion of the important issues by ducking debates with Scott Brown. Shaheen has declined to participate in several debates, rejecting invitations from respected hosts, including WGIR-AM radio and Franklin Pierce University.
Furthermore, she thwarted an important debate organized by the Nashua and Manchester Chambers of Commerce in conjunction with Bloomberg News. Like one of the spoiled, Hollywood liberals that are funding her campaign, Sen. Shaheen made specific demands that must be met for her to agree to grace this event with her presence. This type of outrageous behavior undermines our political process and raises questions about why Jeanne Shaheen is so afraid to answer honestly to Granite Staters and debate her opponent.
Perhaps it’s the serious questions that have been raised about Jeanne Shaheen’s shady business practices. For years, Shaheen touted her experience running a small business without ever identifying what kind of business it was. Her small business experience has been a staple of her political campaigns and is even referenced in her official Senate biography. The Washington Free Beacon recently reported that Shaheen owned and managed a family jewelry store that was later found to have stolen goods. As a result, Shaheen’s former business partner, who also happened to be her brother-in-law, was convicted of a felony and went to jail.
Maybe Jeanne Shaheen doesn’t want to answer for why she was absent during the first briefing about ISIS before the Senator Committee on Foreign Relations, a committee on which she is privileged to serve. Jeanne Shaheen had the chance to demonstrate leadership in combating this new terrorist group, and she simply failed to show up.
The news that Jeanne Shaheen missed a crucial hearing on ISIS is just the latest in a long line of revelations about Jeanne Shaheen’s failures in office. Jeanne Shaheen isn’t working for New Hampshire, and the only thing notable about her six years in Washington is her willingness to rubber stamp President Barack Obama’s policies 99 percent of the time.
President Obama’s job approval rating sits at 38 percent in New Hampshire, according to the latest poll conducted by CNN. It’s easy to understand why, while our nation is in danger, and our president is at a loss about how to respond, even saying at one point that he had “no strategy.” Our standing in the world has been diminished, our borders are porous and our enemies no longer fear us because of the weak and feckless Obama-Shaheen foreign policy.
On Nov. 4, we face the final chance to cast judgment on the glaring failures of the Obama administration. We have a chance to finally reject the president’s disastrous agenda by replacing loyal Obama foot soldiers like Jeanne Shaheen with independent leaders like Scott Brown.
Jennifer Horn is chairman of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.