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A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: NEW HAMPSHIRE

7 minute read
TIME

Population (1994): 1,137,000 (up 2.5% from 1990), 0.2% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 843,000; 1994 turnout, 48%

Median age: 32.8 years

Median household income: $35,245 ($2,981 above U.S. median)

Unemployment: 3.6% (2% below U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 39% Bush (R): 38% Perot (I): 23%

Congressional delegation: No Democrats, four Republicans

For a thumbnail sketch of New Hampshire politics, one need only look at the license plates, emblazoned with the motto live free or die. In true libertarian fashion, New Hampshire imposes neither income nor sales tax on its residents. Not surprisingly, the G.O.P., protector of low taxes, small government and free enterprise, has dominated politics here for most of the century, and currently the Governor and the entire congressional delegation are Republican. But things are a little different this year: the Democrats have a shot at two of the three congressional seats up for election.

ROBERT SMITH (R) SENIOR SENATOR

BORN: March 30, 1941, Trenton, N.J. EDUCATION: Trenton Junior College, A.A., 1963; Lafayette College, B.A., 1965 FAMILY: Wife, Mary Jo; three children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: Naval Reserve, 1962-65, 1967-69; Navy, 1965-67 OCCUPATION: Real estate broker; high school teacher POLITICAL CAREER: Republican nominee for U.S. House, 1982; U.S. House, 1985-90; U.S. Senate, 1990- ADDRESS: 173 South River Road, No. 3, Bedford 03110. Tel.: 603-626-1996

Smith, with the American Conservative Union’s lifetime rating of 96%, is one of Congress’ most ideologically pure members. A Vietnam vet on the Armed Services Committee, he has adamantly supported high military spending. He also wrote parts of the G.O.P. crime bill, including a provision for mandatory minimum sentences for violent criminals.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia YES NAFTA NO Welfare NO National Service NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I think you should always try to rectify something without an amendment, without cluttering up the Constitution, if possible.”

DICK SWETT (D) SENATE CHALLENGER

BORN: May 1, 1957, Bryn Mawr, Pa. EDUCATION: Yale U, B.A., 1979 FAMILY: Wife, Katrina Lantos-Swett; seven children RELIGION: Mormon MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Architect, energy consultant POLITICAL CAREER: U.S. House, 1991-95 ADDRESS: 19 Bow Road, Bow 03304. Tel.: 603-668-1396

Swett, a moderate, was the first Democrat to win the Second District House seat in 78 years, in 1990. While a member of the House–before being beaten by the Second’s current Representative, Charles Bass–he co-authored the Congressional Accountability Act, the first Contract with America law passed by the 104th Congress. An unusual campaigner, in his bid for the Senate Swett has spent days working jobs from lobsterman to factory worker to Dunkin’ Donuts employee in order to get to know his constituents.

THE ISSUES

Budget No Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO National Service YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It’s not…a bunch of teenagers with summer jobs…60% to 70% of those on minimum wage have dependents; they’re trying to raise families.”

JOE KEEFE (D) District 1 (East–Manchester)

BORN: Sept. 30, 1953, Lowell, Mass. EDUCATION: College of the Holy Cross, B.A., 1976; U of Virginia, J.D., 1981 FAMILY: Wife, Jo-Anwyl; one child (adopted) RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: Democratic nominee for U.S. House, 1988, 1990; New Hampshire Democratic Party chair, 1994-96 ADDRESS: 788 Elm Street, Manchester 03101. Tel.: 603-645-6700

Though until this past July Keefe had one of the most partisan jobs in the state–chairing its Democratic Party–he says he’d work for bipartisan cooperation in Congress. He’s running on a moderate platform, proposing a liberal pension-strengthening plan, and $50 billion in federal spending cuts and increased taxes for corporations, as well as a $500-per-child tax credit and a deduction of up to $10,000 per child for college.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: [On tobacco subsidies] “If we can ask single mothers to get off the public dole after two years…we can ask Philip Morris to get off the public dole.”

JOHN SUNUNU (R) District 1

BORN: Sept. 10, 1964, Boston, Mass. EDUCATION: Massachusetts Institute of Technology, B.S., 1986, M.S., 1987; Harvard U, M.B.A., 1991 FAMILY: Wife, Catherine; two children RELIGION: Roman Catholic MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Engineer; small businessman POLITICAL CAREER: None ADDRESS: 1365 Elm Street, Manchester 03101. Tel.: 603-647-6600

The son of a former New Hampshire Governor and White House chief of staff for George Bush, Sununu is running a campaign that’s in line with his father’s politics: conservative. He’s pledged to work against all tax increases and abolish the Energy, Education, Housing and Commerce departments. A proponent of small business, Sununu also supports lower capital-gains and inheritance taxes.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare NR Defense NR Abortion YES Guns NO Gays NO Bosnia NR NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “I enter this race not as a politician, but as an engineer and small-businessman who understands that the key to our nation’s economic prosperity lies within the promise of individual initiative and small-business growth.”

DEBORAH ARNESEN (D) District 2 (West–Concord; Nashua)

BORN: Oct. 1, 1953, Brooklyn, N.Y. EDUCATION: St. Olaf College, B.A., 1975; Vermont Law School, J.D., 1981 FAMILY: Husband, Thomas Trunzo; two children RELIGION: Protestant MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Radio-talk-show host; think-tank director; professor POLITICAL CAREER: New Hampshire House, 1985-93; Democratic nominee for Governor, 1992 ADDRESS: P.O. Box 2694, Concord 03302. Tel.: 603-226-9696

“Arnie” Arnesen’s campaign priorities include business-government partnerships for worker retraining and making the minimum wage a livable wage. Until 1990 the Second District hadn’t elected a Democratic Representative since 1912. Though the G.O.P. took the seat back in 1994, a turning national tide may give Arnesen a chance.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense YES Abortion NO Guns YES Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA YES Welfare NO Medical Leave YES (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “Not too long ago, our country invested in its young people with something called the G.I. Bill…If that was such a good investment for us then, why is it politically unthinkable today?”

CHARLES BASS (R) District 2

BORN: Jan. 8, 1952, Boston EDUCATION: Dartmouth College, A.B., 1974 FAMILY: Wife, Lisa; two children RELIGION: Episcopalian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Architectural products executive POLITICAL CAREER: New Hampshire House, 1983-89, Senate, 1989-93; U.S. House, 1994- ADDRESS: 136 North Maine Street, Suite 4, Concord 03301. Tel.: 603-225-1996

The grandson of a former New Hampshire Governor and the son of a former Second District Representative, Bass has political blood. And with a few exceptions he is conservative, from voting for a balanced-budget amendment to supporting welfare reform. Last March he introduced a campaign-finance reform bill that would have reduced the maximum pac contribution from $5,000 to $1,000 and required 50% of all campaign contributions to be raised in-state.

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense YES Abortion YES Guns NR Gays NR Bosnia YES NAFTA NR Welfare YES Medical Leave NR (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It’s important not to be doctrinaire about issues, because there’s an exception to everything.”

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