With the Hiring of Lobbyist Jim Merrill to Run His Senate Campaign, Morse Is Creating Conflicts of Interest Merrill’s Clients Have Business Before the State Senate, Links to Chinese Communist Party
Chuck Morse hasn’t even launched his campaign for US Senate and already he is fostering a deeply concerning culture of corruption and conflicts of interest. On Tuesday morning, the Pulse of NH’s Jack Heath reported that Morse has brought on Jim Merrill — a registered lobbyist for, among others, a Chinese-owned client with close links to the Chinese government —to play a central role in his all-but-likely campaign for US Senate. The hire raises deeply troubling ethical questions about whether Morse’s votes as a State Senator are being influenced by his lobbyist-campaign consultant. Merrill’s clients include businesses and organizations with business before the State Legislature. “Chuck Morse is running a campaign for lobbyists, not Granite Staters. It’s deeply disturbing that Morse’s first move as a presumed candidate for US Senate is to put a lobbyist with links to the Chinese Communist Party on his payroll. Chuck should immediately recuse himself from weighing in on any legislation before the State Senate that impacts Jim Merrill’s clients,” said NHDP Chair Ray Buckley. “New Hampshire deserves a Senator who will stand up for our state — not someone whose closest advisor is doing the bidding of special interests and the Chinese Communist Party.” Merrill’s clients include: Terrafugia, a Chinese company whose CEO is a Xi Jinping ally who served on a Chinese Communist Party committee; Prenda, a for-profit homeschool company that received millions of dollars in federal funds meant to help Granite State public schools reopen and was under investigation by Arizona’s Attorney General for potential abuse of public funds; and Uber, which denies its drivers labor protections and health insurance. In total, Merrill has 16 lobbying clients with business before the New Hampshire state legislature, which raises serious conflicts of interest for Morse.