My good friend Debbie Lee, with whom I was traveling across the country for Move America Forward's Political Action Committee, has come under attack in New Hampshire.
This is outrageous. I would like to kick to the daylights out of this Democrat (metaphorically speaking, of course.)
The state's largest newspaper the Union Leader has details here.
NASTY STUFF. A long-running feud between former Republican state Senate candidate Natalie Healy and Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter has boiled over in the past two days into a nasty fight involving Republican 1st District challenger Jeb Bradley and state Democratic chairman Ray Buckley. (Friday morning update: Shea-Porter's campaign has disputed this column's use of the phrase "long-running feud.")
After a 1st CD debate on Wednesday night, Healy, a Gold Star Mother whose son died in Iraq and a Bradley supporter, and fellow Gold Star Mother Debbie Lee of the Move America Forward PAC approached Shea-Porter. Healy asked Shea-Porter why she has not responded to her telephone calls and letters.
Shea-Porter's congressional office said later she had responded to two Healy letters. Bradley's camp, including Healy, says they were just form letters.
Suffice to say, a "scene" ensued after the debate, held at Memorial High School in Manchester and sponsored by the Mayor's Youth Advisory Council. Yesterday morning, Bradley began airing a radio ad featuring Healy saying, "I called her three times -- she won't call me back. My son gave his life for our country, and Carol Shea-Porter can't be bothered to talk to me?" The ad continues, "Shame on you, Carol Shea-Porter."
Lee said yesterday that Healy "did receive a form letter, but never a return phone call." Lee said that after the debate, she turned to those who were left in the audience and announced that Shea-Porter had just committed a "bald-faced lie."
Lee said then Buckley approached her. She did not know who he was at first, but said that his mannerisms were "condescending," and, she alleges, Buckley said, "We've all lost things in this war."
"My son is not a 'thing,' " Lee said.
"No," Buckley told us yesterday, "I did not say that. I was extremely respectful of her and her son's extraordinary sacrifice. I would never say anything remotely like that. Perhaps because of the magnitude of the people all talking at once, especially (Bradley aides) Alicia Preston and Pat Griffin trying to create a scene, Mrs. Lee may have thought she heard that comment but it is just not possible that I actually said that."
The dispute continued yesterday morning at the Legislative Office Building after a news conference in which the MAF PAC endorsed 2nd District GOP hopeful Jennifer Horn.
Our State House bureau chief, Tom Fahey, reports that Lee said she was "disgusted" by Buckley's remarks and attitude. Horn called on Buckley to resign.
When Buckley arrived in the lobby just after Horn's press conference had ended, reporters circled.
"Is she still trying to milk that fake thing?" he asked. He said the claim that Shea-Porter hasn't responded to Healy is false.
Bradley's campaign then issued a press release blasting Shea-Porter and demanding that she ask for Buckley's resignation.
(Debbie Lee and myself placing a wreath at Ground Zero last Christmas before heading to Iraq to deliver 250,000 Christmas and Hannukah cards for American troops.)