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Dave Solomon has been a reporter or editor for New England news organizations since 1977. He has served as executive editor of both the Portsmouth Herald and the Nashua Telegraph. He joined the reporting staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader in 2012.

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November 23. 2013 9:22PM

John DiStaso's Granite Status: Foley steps down from NHGOP executive committee


 

FOLEY STEPS DOWN. Veteran Republican activist Jim Foley has resigned as a member of the Republican State Committee's executive committee and said he will soon leave as the chairman of the Derry Republican Committee, as well.

The resignation came at Monday's executive committee meeting. Some who were at the meeting said he told the members he wanted to stay on as the Derry chairman until the mid-December executive committee holiday party.

But Foley said he wanted to remain for a brief time to help other Derry GOP officials begin organizing next year's Lincoln Day dinner.

Foley, a former state committee finance chairman, told us only that he "no longer believed I could properly and adequately represent the Derry committee on the state committee, and I thought this was the best course of action."

We understand from GOP sources that Foley has had long-running issues with state Chairman Jennifer Horn, mainly over the condition of party finances - which depending on whom you talk to are either just fine or just terrible - and over what he perceived as Horn keeping financial information from executive committee members.

Horn's defenders on the committee say that isn't so and that there is more transparency now than ever.

In its October federal report to the Federal Election Commission for September finances, the NHGOP reported that it took in $17,000 in its federal account, $3,400 of it from individuals. It reported that it began the year with $130,000 on hand, took in $228,000 through the first nine months, spent $328,000 and had $30,000 on hand.

Foley, sources on the executive committee say, was upset that the party pays its communications director, Ryan Williams, who is now based in Washington, about $4,000 a month and is unhappy that the Republican National Committee is taking a larger role than in the past in the state party, including paying some staff salaries.

Horn defenders say the political parties are supposed to spend their money, that the RNC is supposed to help state parties, and they see nothing wrong with a communications director earning a salary.

They say the discord between Horn and Foley dates back to when Horn, not Foley, was "chosen" by party leaders as the establishment candidate for chairman, and they recall that Foley awkwardly called out the party for its poor fundraising at the state committee annual meeting last January, where unity was the theme of the day.

After that, he was not kept on as finance chair.

"Let's just say," said one party member, "there were no tears over Jim's departure."

Democrats, meanwhile, continue to roll along on the fundraising front. We understand the state party raised more than $200,000 at its Jefferson-Jackson Dinner last Saturday, attended by about 1,000 and featuring Maryland Gov. (and potential 2016 presidential hopeful) Martin O'Malley.

- - - - - - - -

YOUNG GUNS. Republicans Frank Guinta and Gary Lambert are moving up in the fundraising ranks of the national Republican Party.

The National Republican Congressional Committee announced last week that Guinta, who's running to regain his old seat in the 1st Congressional District, has met the necessary fundraising goals to participate in its "Young Guns" program for 2014.

The program was founded by Majority Leader Eric Cantor, Whip Kevin McCarthy and Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (all of whom are supporting Guinta), and will provide candidates in what it views as top tier races with "the tools they need to run" winning campaigns.

Second District Republican hopeful Gary Lambert is moving toward "Young Gun" status, the NRCC said, by being placed in a category called "On the Radar."

John DiStaso is senior political reporter of the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at jdistaso@unionleader.com and followed on Twitter: @jdistaso.


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