Jeanne Shaheen

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Jeanne Shaheen served as the first woman Governor of the State of New Hampshire

Jeanne Shaheen, a Democrat, is a former New Hampshire governor and has represented the state of New Hampshire in the Senate since 2009.

Positions, record and controversies


Shaheen is in support of ending the war in Iraq, refocusing the military on al-Qaeda, and restoring the country's reputation in the world. She also wants to restore accountability, saying "We again need to understand that part of leadership is accountability – accountability for military contractors, accountability for how the money we send overseas is spent, and accountability for how we treat our veterans." [1]

The Economy

Shaheen supports an economic agenda that places emphasis on the needs of middle-class family and small business. She wants to end subsides and tax breaks for special interests like oil companies and employers who outsource jobs to other nations, extend tax incentives for small business to switch to alternative energy to power their workplaces, expand the child care tax credit and create a tax credit for elder care. She would support a $7 million exemption level from the federal estate tax.

To create jobs Shaheen says she will end tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas, invest in emerging industries, base policy decisions based on science and not ideology, increase federal research funding, and make the research and development tax credit permanent. She also wants to ensure that spending increases are offset and limit earmarks to encourage fiscal responsibility. [1]


Shaheen supports fully funding NCLB, special education programs and giving incentive funding to the states to help the states expand early childhood education programs. She would also raise the cap on federal guaranteed student loans, expand loan forgiveness for public service, expand tuition tax credits, and increase funding for Pell grants. [1]


Shaheen supports establishing a tax credit for small businesses to help pay for health insurance,allowing importation of prescription medications from Canada to lower costs, increasing preventative care and chronic disease management, investing in new technology to manage health records and information, and investing in programs that help keep medical and prescription errors low. [1]


Shaheen says she will support redirecting the money spent on the Iraq war to enhancing infrastructure, and strengthening the Highway Trust Fund so fuel tax exemptions and refunds are paid for by the general funds. [1]


Shaheen supports policies that update the G.I. bill’s education and training benefits, provide quality and timely healthcare for veterans and work to decrease the rate of homeless veterans. [1]

Stem Cell Research

Shaheen supports the use of both embryonic and adult stem cells for research, and overturning the ban on federal funding for embryonic stem cell research on cell lines created since August 2001. [1]

Reproductive Rights

Shaheen supports federal funding of reproductive health care including preventive care and comprehensive sex education, repealing of the “gag rule” which bans international family planning organizations giving women in other countries a comprehensive range of reproductive health care options. She also says she will vote to confirm justices to the Supreme Court who will uphold the right to privacy. [1]

Equal Rights

On her campaign website, Shaheen pledges to work for non-discrimination legislation Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) that strengthens workplace protections, the Paycheck Fairness Act which prevents and addresses pay discrimination, and extend hate crimes legislation.[1]


Jeanne Shaheen, the first woman Governor of the State of New Hampshire, as well as a former three-term State Senator, was "born in St. Charles, Missouri in 1947. She earned a B.A. in English from Shippensburg University in Pennsylvania in 1969 and a master's degree in political science from the University of Mississippi in 1973. She taught high school in Mississippi and New Hampshire and operated a small business. For years, Shaheen was very active with the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League. Her initial involvement in politics was in Jimmy Carter's 1976 and 1980 campaigns in the New Hampshire presidential primary. She managed Gary Hart's primary campaign in 1984. In 1980, she was elected to the first of three state senate terms."[2]

Shaheen was "elected to the New Hampshire State Senate in 1990 and has focused her efforts on improving education, recognizing the state university and community-technical college systems, and creating the first state-sponsored industrial research center to increase employment opportunities in New Hampshire.

"During her term as state senator, she was instrumental in passing legislation to stabilize health insurance rates, eliminating discrimination against individuals with pre-existing conditions, and limiting managed care organizations' practice of forcing health care providers into exclusive contracts that deny access to physicians of choice. She worked on guaranteeing adequate hospital stays for women after childbirth and successfully championed a public-private partnership, the Children's Health Insurance Program, to make affordable health insurance available to 20,000 individuals.

"Jeane Shaheen has managed statewide political campaigns, led the first organizational meeting in New Hampshire for Carter's presidential campaign, and served as a delegate to the Democratic National Convention. As she said, 'Once you first get involved in New Hampshire politics, you get involved again and again.'

"She was one of the leaders in the fight to open up the electric utility industry to competition in an effort to lower New Hampshire's electric rates. Governor Shaheen has worked closely with the business community to promote the State's major industries, especially trade and tourism. In 1997 she announced the establishment of statewide incentives for public kindergarten. Since then 1,000 additional New Hampshire children have enrolled in public kindergartens.

"Governor Shaheen has been cited by statewide consumer organizations for her strong and effective qualities of leadership by making healthcare more accessible and affordable."[3]

During her early political career, Shaheen stayed clear of the third rail of New Hamphire politics: broad-based taxation. While governor, she pushed for a collection of tweaks to the existing property-based tax structure, with the addition of video poker machines at race tracks, as an alternative to a state income tax.

When Shaheen first ran for Governor of NH in 1996, she took the traditional NH "pledge" to veto any proposal for new taxes, as had every successful candidate for NH Governor over the past 30 years. In 1998, she renewed that pledge.

In 2000, during her third campaign for Governor, Shaheen told voters that she could no longer make that promise due to a crisis in school funding, "whatever the political cost."[4]

After being re-elected on that platform, Shaheen proposed a 2.5% sales tax to help fund school changes. This (unsuccessful) proposal during her third term has been portrayed by Shaheen critics from the right as breaking the tax pledge she made in 1996.

Run for U.S. Senate

In 2002 Shaheen ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Republican John E. Sununu.

Although often praising a bipartisan approach, Shaheen contrasted her stance with Sununu's on such issues as abortion, energy policy, and the environment.[5] She also denounced Sununu's support of Bush on such issues as privatizing Social Security and hitting state educational systems with the un-funded mandates of No Child Left Behind (NCLB).[6]

Shaheen's support in 2002 for the 2001 Bush tax cuts[7] and for the use of force authorization for the Iraq war[8] would be much more contentious with Democrats in 2007 than they were in 2002. There is no evidence that Shaheen still endorses such positions.[9]

A July 2007 Concord Monitor (NH) article noted ongoing efforts to reduce Shaheen's political record to sound bites from 2002 on Iraq and tax cuts, coupled with links to YouTube videos. The Monitor notes that the earliest of these anonymous efforts originates from the Washington, DC area.[10]

John Kerry 2004 campaign

On September 24, 2003, it was announced[11] that former Governor Jeanne Shaheen "endorsed the Democratic presidential candidacy of John Forbes Kerry and became the campaign's chairman ..., concluding the 'stakes are too high' to remain on the sidelines.... Shaheen's backing could hardly qualify as a big surprise. Her husband, Bill, has been state chairman of Kerry's campaign for the past year.... Several of Shaheen's closest aides, including legal counsel Judy Reardon and ex-Democratic Party Executive Director Ken Sullivan, are paid employees of Kerry's campaign in New Hampshire."[12]

2008 elections

Shaheen was the Democratic nominee, again challenging incumbent Sen. John E. Sununu (R-N.H.), in the 2008 congressional elections. The campaign was one of the most prominent of the election cycle, and Shaheen's eventual win over Sununu helped propel Democrats to a 59-41 margin over Republicans in the United States Senate.[13]

Money in politics

This section contains links to – and feeds from – money in politics databases.

Campaign contributions

The following is drawn from government records of campaign contributions to Jeanne Shaheen. Campaign contributions are one of the most direct conduits for influencing members of Congress. How to use this information. <crpcontribdata>cid=N00024790&cycle=2008</crpcontribdata>

Committees and affiliations


Shaheen will be assigned committees if and when she is elected to Congress.


More background data


Campaign contact information

By phone: (603) 647-2008
By email:

By mail:
Jeanne Shaheen for Senate
P.O. Box 1510
Manchester, NH 03105-1510

34 Fir Street, 2nd floor
Manchester, NH 03101

Articles and resources

Related SourceWatch articles

Local blogs and discussion sites


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 Jeanne Shaheen|Issues
  2. Profile: Jeanne Shaheen, Council for a Livable World, 2002. Link "has been blocked by the site owner via robots.txt."
  3. Profile: Jeanne Shaheen, Award, New Hampshire College, circa 1999. Inactive link.
  4. Norma Love, "New Hampshire Gov Defies Tax Taboo,", April 16, 2001.
  5. M.I. MacDonald, "Shaheen announces candidacy," Dover Community News (NH) (Seacoast Online), June 14, 2002.
  6. Steve Jusseaume, "As Nov. 5 draws near, three tangle," The Hampton Union (NH) (Seacoast Online), November 1, 2002.
  7. Shir Haberman, "'Independence' vs. 'proven leadership'," Portsmouth Herald (NH) (SeacoastOnline), October 31, 2002.
  8. Shawn Macomber, "College Democrats root for Shaheen," Portsmouth Herald (NH) (SeacoastOnline), September 15, 2002
  9. Lauren R. Dorgan, "Shaheen supported war, too. Sen. Sununu seen as vulnerable on Iraq," Concord Monitor (NH), July 12, 2007.
  10. Lauren R. Dorgan and Sarah Liebowitz, "From Manchester, shots heard round the world," Concord Monitor (NH), July 29, 2007.
  11. The Telegraph for September 24, 2003. Inactive link.
  12. Also see"Former N.H. governor named national chairwoman of Kerry campaign," Associated Press (USAToday), September 23, 2003.
  13. "New Hampshire 2008 General Election",, November 4, 2008
  14. Directors, FIRST, accessed October 22, 2008.

External resources

External articles

Corresponding article on Wikipedia and Cause Caller. (If Cause Caller link does not work, pick from its list of senators and representatives.)

Current Office:
111th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, Senate Committee on Foreign Relations
110th Congress
Leadership Position:
Committees Chaired:
Ranking Member On:

Committees: n/a
Congressional Career
First Elected to Current Office:
November 4, 2008
First Took Current Office:
January 3, 2009
Next Election:
November 4, 2014
Term Ends:
Freshman Member?
Previous Political Work?
New Hampshire State Senate, Governor of New Hampshire from 1997-2003
Other Party Membership:
District Offices:
1. 1589 Elm Street, Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: 603-647-7500 / Fax:

Campaign Contact:

Website: Jeanne Shaheen
Webform Email: / Email:

Campaign Offices:

1. Jeanne Shaheen for Senate, P.O. Box 1510, Manchester, NH 03105-1510
Phone: 603-647-2008 / Fax:
2. 34 Fir Street, 2nd floor, Manchester, NH 03101
Phone: / Fax:

Zip Code Affiliations:

Date of Birth: January 28, 1947

[category:2008 U.S. Congress challenger|Shaheen, Jeanne]]