NH: Binnie Attacks Ayotte's Record in New Ad

NH: Binnie Attacks Ayotte's Record in New Ad

By Erin McPike - August 17, 2010

New Hampshire Senate candidate Bill Binnie has a new attack ad out against former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte ahead of the Sept. 14 GOP primary.

The TV ad saturates the Boston and New Hampshire media markets. In it, a handful of residents affected by the Ponzi scheme involving the bankruptcy of Financial Resources Mortgage Inc. during Ayotte's tenure as attorney general blast her for the scandal.

"Kelly Ayotte failed us," says 70-year-old Al McElvane in the ad. "For five years, this scam continued and she did nothing about it." The ad notes that McElvane lost his life savings.

Susan McElvane adds: "She destroyed the way of life for hundreds of people, because of her inaction," and Ronnie Dean says, "I was diagnosed with leukemia seven years ago, and this money that I had to secure my family was gone."

Ayotte spokesman Jeff Grappone responded, saying: "No one fought harder for victims than Kelly Ayotte and her heart goes out to these investors. However, it’s well-known that she had no personal knowledge of FRM and the legislature removed jurisdiction from the Consumer Bureau over Banking complaints in 2002. Paul Hodes was denounced for the false, misleading attacks he ran against Kelly on this issue, and Bill Binnie’s nasty attacks are no different."

Former Gov. John H. Sununu, the chairman of the state GOP, sent a letter Monday to GOP candidates in the state urging them to keep the negativity to a minimum before the primary.

The New Hampshire Union Leader posted this excerpt of Sununu's letter on Monday:

"Also, in both the Senate and Congressional races, some of the press, as they almost always do, have begun to hammer away at what they feel are unanswered issues and concerns. And some of your supporters are beginning to snipe on the call-in shows and in letters to the press.

"This negative tone has triggered candidate responses. Unfortunately, in the tough climate of this last month of your campaigns, some responses were directed not to the outside groups or the press, but against other Republican candidates.

"That tactic will not help you win the general election, and in fact, can even destroy your primary chances. I urge all the campaigns to be smart, and not let this escalate into a Democrat-benefiting spectacle."

In response to this call for a cleaner primary, Binnie posted a letter on his own Web site rejecting the idea. “To ask for candidates to be positive and not recognize that some campaigns have been viciously negative for weeks is to blatantly close one’s eyes to reality,” he wrote.

Erin McPike is a national political reporter for RealClearPolitics. She can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ErinMcPike.

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