NH GOP Never Intended Anti-Shaheen Op-Ed By Dead Lawmaker To Run

October 27, 2014 1:02 pm

The New Hampshire Republican Party said on Monday that an op-ed published by the late former House Speaker Marshall Cobleigh attacking Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) was not supposed to have been republished.

As TPM noted earlier on Monday, Foster’s Daily Democrat in New Hampshire republished an op-ed by the late Speaker Cobleigh, who died in 2009. In a statement the New Hampshire GOP said that it was republished by mistake. The op-ed was meant to refute an exchange between Shaheen and former Sen. Scott Brown, now the Republican nominee for Senate in New Hampshire, during a recent debate.

Here’s the full statement, from New Hampshire GOP spokeswoman Lauren Zelt:

During last week’s NBC News/ New England Cable News debate, Jeanne Shaheen lied to New Hampshire about her long history of opposing nuclear power. In the 1980s, Shaheen was a fierce opponent of New Hampshire’s Seabrook Nuclear Plant and frequently debated former House Speaker Marshall Cobleigh on local television about this issue. To highlight Shaheen’s blatant lies about her anti-nuclear power activism, the New Hampshire GOP circulated clips of Speaker Cobleigh’s television appearances and his 2008 op-ed after the debate.

We did not intend for this op-ed to be republished and clearly listed the original date of publication and mentioned that Marshall had passed away. But we’re sure that somewhere Marshall Cobleigh is looking down and laughing at the fact that he had once last chance to debunk the lies of his old nuclear power nemesis.

TPM reached Buzz Dietterle, the opinion page editor for the New Hampshire newspaper, before the New Hampshire GOP released its statement. Dietterle referred questions about why the op-ed was submitted to the New Hampshire GOP.

TPM asked Dietterle if republishing an op-ed like this was a first-time thing for the paper. He said he couldn’t remember off the top of his head but he suspected the paper had republished pieces by Meldrim Thomson, a former Republican governor of New Hampshire.

“I don’t know if it’s a first time thing. I almost want to say that —and I can’t swear to this — but I almost want to say that some of Meldrim Thomson’s stuff was resurrected after he passed but that’s stretching memories a little bit because that goes back to three or four decades ago,” Dietterle said.

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