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Friday, July 10, 2015

New Hampshire presidential politics: national media ignore the most important event at New Hampshire GOP “summit”

Friday and Saturday, April 17-18, New Hampshire Republican leaders conducted a “grand” cattle call that attracted over 150 media and over 600 local and regional Republicans. But conservative New Hampshire activist Andy Martin says the “main event” in presidential politics, totally missed by national and local media, took place Sunday morning when the “603 Alliance” conducted its own “summit” and attracted an unusually large turnout from activists, not party bigwigs and yesterday’s GOP leaders. As the 2016 presidential race unfolds, Andy looks for the discrepancies between the “theater” of national media reporting and the “reality on the ground” of conservative activists determined to thwart the ambitions of Jeb Bush.

UPDATE: Andy will have a “fighting camp” in South Florida next weekend, April 26-27, to organize opposition and comment on Jeb Bush’s “summit” of the Bush family’s “Rolodex royalty.” Stand by for Andy’s investigation, original reporting and conservative commentary from Miami. From his Internet perch as a combined conservative and commentator Andy is spearheading the national opposition to Jeb Bush’s candidacy.

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New Hampshire Republican Party maverick Andy Martin says the national media missed “the main event” in presidential politics last weekend in New Hampshire

Andy says the New Hampshire Republican Party’s “summit” was a pseudo event, hugely entertaining but ultimately insignificant

The Sunday morning meeting of the “603 Alliance” at the same hotel, however, was the main event that was ignored by national and even local media

The large conservative turnout Sunday surprised even organizers of the event

Stand by: Andy prepares to launch a “fighting camp” in Miami April 26-27 to attack Jeb Bush’s “Rolodex royalty” summit

(Dateline: national) (April 22, 2015) Last weekend, April 17-18, the New Hampshire Republican Party staged a very elaborate “cattle call” for nineteen presidential candidates and potential candidates. The parking lot of the Crowne Plaza Nashua was filled with TV satellite trucks. Over 150 media requested accreditation. All in all, it was a grand event and was executed very well by the organizers. I registered for the “summit” and attended.  But while the “summit” was a political event the meeting was largely devoid of actual “politics.”

The following day on Sunday April 19th at the same hotel the national, regional and local media missed the genuinely important event that took place, when the “603 Alliance” held their own conservative summit. There was real politics when conservatives gathered and sponsors of the meeting were surprised by the large turnout.

The state establishment “summit” attracted a capacity crowd; the GOP event was a sellout and filled the ballroom with somewhere around 600-700 (though not all at the same time). On Sunday the conservative 603 Alliance attracted about 200 people, give or take. So why was the smaller crowd more significant for presidential politics?

Allow me to explain.

The Friday-Saturday event was a genuine presidential cattle call. The presidential candidates turned out en masse and all of them made a good presentation. But there is a huge difference between party “leaders” (who could afford the $200 registration fee) and the “603” conservative party activists (who were charged $12 for online registration). While many of the GOP attendees may be courted by presidential candidates, few of the locals will be actively involved in the campaign beyond lending their names and perhaps holding the odd coffee klatch.

The smaller crowd Sunday, made up of conservative activists, is seriously trying to influence the 2016 presidential primary by endorsing a single conservative so that conservative votes are not diluted over a large school of candidates, thereby allowing Jeb Bush to win a “victory” with a small fraction of the overall vote.

And here’s the amazing fact: near as I can tell, only one reporter, Betsy Woodruff of the Daily Beast, reported on the 603 event (see link below). There were no TV cameras that I saw, other than those of a local blog, that covered the event (see link blow). A hardworking local blogger also covered the event,, (link blow) and you can see what he had to say.

Ms. Woodruff was your typical sneering Washington “queen,” making fun of the conservatives and leading her coverage of the event with the fact that it began with a “rockabilly band.” I didn’t do a head count, but I believe had a better attendance count than Woodruff. You could see Woodruff’s contempt dripping from her comments: how could these New Hampshireites dare to challenge the dauphin Jeb Bush? How?

The local “newspaper,” the Manchester Union Leader, did not cover the 603 Alliance event. Neither did the local TV channel, WMUR. So the “locals” were as clueless as the national media.

I can understand how a cattle call of presidential candidates could attract a large crowd. It was interesting to see them one after the other, giving their stock campaign speeches. But, ultimately, “nothing happened” at the GOP party event.

At the 603 Alliance event, on the other hand, the large turnout surprised even sponsors. I overheard one of the organizers, Jack Kimball, saying (and I’m not quoting verbatim) “I was surprised by the turnout.” So I asked Jack directly, “were you surprised?” and he said “yes.” Getting 200 people to show up for a conservative conference on Sunday morning was an impressive achievement that went unnoticed locally and nationally.

Truly, for “the media,” last weekend was a “lost weekend.” With exception of the sneering Woodruff, they missed the significance of the conservative energy manifested all day Sunday. Friday and Saturday the Crowne Plaza was serving salmon and steak and raspberry dressing; Sunday the CP prepared “box lunches.” One event was grandly produced and it was successful as political theater or as a pseudo event. But the GOP meeting had very little to do with actual “politics.”

The 603 conference on the other hand, portends an enraged and engaged conservative community, and a small army of Granite Staters who - despite the sneers of the New York-Washington media - are determined not to let the Bush dynasty make a mess of our country a third time around.

I will have more to say about the impact of ordinary people who are ridiculed or ignored by the national, and often even local and regional, media. One reporter, I think it was Kasie Hunt of MSNBC, the Maddow channel, even showed up wearing cowboy boots. Where did she think she was going? To a real cattle call at a farm in Nashua?

So tell your friends, and maybe even your enemies, if they want to know what is really happening in New Hampshire politics, sign up with Andy. I have been dishing original reporting and political controversy for decades. And while you can disagree with my opinions, I always get the facts right and my predictions almost 100% right. Where the national media have lost their sense of smell, I can smell a developing story a mile away. “603” may be New Hampshire’s only area code. But before the 2016 primary is over, “603” may also stand for an alliance that will influence the outcome of the election and possibly deal a death blow to the resurgence of Bush fever.

LINKS TO THIS STORY (cut and paste the entire link below and not just the underlined portion):


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Andy Martin is a legendary New Hampshire, New York and Chicago-based muckraker, author, Internet columnist, talk television pioneer, radio talk show host, broadcaster and media critic. With forty-seven years of background in radio and television and with five decades of investigative and analytical experience in Washington, the USA and around the world Andy provides insight on politics, foreign policy, intelligence and military matters. For a full bio, go to:

Andy has also been a leading corruption fighter in American politics and courts for over forty-five years and is executive director of the National Anti-Corruption Policy Institute. See also;,

He holds a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Illinois College of Law and is a former adjunct professor of law at the City University of New York (LaGuardia CC, Bronx CC).

He is the author of “Obama: The Man Behind The Mask” [] and produced the Internet film “Obama: The Hawaii’ Years” []. Andy is the Executive Editor and publisher of the “Internet Powerhouse,” blogging at and

Andy’s family immigrated to Manchester, New Hampshire 100 years ago; today his home overlooks the Merrimack River and he lives around the corner from where he played as a small boy. He is New Hampshire’s leading corruption fighter and Republican Party reformer.


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