Concord, N.H. - The NHGOP announced last week that they would charge $10 per person for admission to a debate they will host on Thursday, August 16th for candidates in the Republican primaries in both of New Hampshire's two congressional districts. This is not the first time the NHGOP has disregarded New Hampshire's tradition of transparency and community participation in democracy in the past two years.
The following NHGOP events were CLOSED TO THE PRESS:
A NHGOP fundraiser in May 2017 featuring Kellyanne Conway;
The NHGOP RED summit in September 2017 featuring Corey Lewandowski;
The NHGOP's “Spring to Victory” fundraiser featuring Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos;
And the Annual NHGOP Convention in 2018.
The New Hampshire Democratic Party, by contrast, will have hosted seven events by September 11 for candidates in the contested primary in the 1st Congressional District to address the public. All of these events are open to the public and members of the press, free of charge.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley issued the following statement:
"It is an insult to New Hampshire's proud democratic tradition that the NHGOP is charging a fee for admission into their one 2018 debate for candidates in both the 1st and 2nd congressional districts. "In the past two years, Governor Chris Sununu's NHGOP has abandoned any sense of propriety it had and has fully become the party of Donald Trump. Maybe their lackluster fundraising is forcing them to charge attendees to a debate and ask their county committees for donations in order to keep the lights on, but this kind of behavior is unbefitting of a political party in the First-in-the-Nation primary state.
"The NHDP is proud to host a series of free and open events, including our annual convention and committee meeting, for the public and the press to hear from our candidates. While the party of Chris Sununu and Donald Trump continues to hide their events from the media and the public, the New Hampshire Democratic Party remains committed to keeping our events transparent and open to any and all who wish to participate in the democratic process."