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Protesters Picket GOP Fundraiser Six Months After Newtown

The Ohio senator joined Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) in Salem Friday.

A gaggle of protesters were stationed across the street from Tuscan Kitchen this morning to greet Sens. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Rob Portman (R-Ohio) as they arrived at a private GOP fundraiser.

Both politicians, who have been mentioned as candidates for either president or vice president, came in through the back to avoid the picketers, many of whom were from Organizing for Action – New Hampshire.

Both Ayotte and Portman voted against the Manchin-Toomey amendment to expand background checks for gun purchases.

"That was a horrific day in Newtown – all of us met with the families as I have," said Portman of the Sandy Hook shooting in an interview after the fundraiser. "Our hearts go out to them. We want to do things that are actually going to help."

Portman said that he doesn't believe that the Manchin-Toomey legislation would have helped, and that families he spoke with agreed that it wouldn't have helped.

"We need to look at really the underlying problems, and a huge one obviously is the mental health system, and the fact that this young man was able to get through the mental health system and commit these horrible crimes, horrible acts of violence. We've seen it around the country."

He said that both sides of the aisle, including himself and Ayotte, are supporting the improvement of the mental health system to make sure that people don't fall through the cracks and instead get the help that they need.

Portman and Ayotte were fundraising for the New Hampshire GOP on the six-month anniversary of the Connecticut massacre. Portman cited the timing of the fundraiser to the fact that he just happened to be in the state.

Portman was in New Hampshire to attend graduation at Dartmouth College, his alma mater. He also participated on a political panel there.

Those across the street from Friday's event said their presence was a reminder, for the hometown Ayotte especially, that politicians owe it to the children killed to pass safer gun laws.

"That woman should be out here talking about Newtown, talking about those babies, and shes's in (the Tuscan Kitchen) raising money for God knows what," said OFA-NH volunteer Tracy Barbour of Derry. "She should be out here looking at our signs. It's disgusting. She has completed ignored her constitutents and voted for the GOP because she's the GOP's darling right now."

"This first vote on background checks was the most important one, and she failed us on that," said Salem activist Jane Lang, who held a neon yellow sign reading "6 months, no action, shame on you Sen. Ayotte and Sen. Portman."

Those attending the fundraiser included fire and police officials from southern New Hampshire and politicians such as local state representatives and former GOP gubernatorial candidates Kevin Smith.

Smith said that he doesn't think there was any significance in the timing of the event, and that today was simply the date that worked on Portman's schedule.

Also attending the fundraiser with his son was Windham businessman Al Letizio.

"Evils exist, problems exist, the answer is not taking citizens rights away from people," said Letizio.

Press was barred from accessing the private function, and all non-press not attending the event were ordered to keep off the property.

Ayotte was not available for comment after the event, but the NHGOP issued a statement on the protesters:

Liberal New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's out of state gun control group has spent millions on false attacks against Senator Ayotte. New Hampshire knows that Kelly has worked to keep us safe by voting to fix the current broken background check system, enhance prosecutions, and strengthen the mental health system.

Mayor Bloomberg doesn't understand that Granite Staters won't listen to his liberal, out of state special interest group because they are smart enough to see through his shameful smear campaign. Even Bloomberg's fellow New York liberals like Senator Chuck Schumer realize his attacks aren't working and that his dishonest ads and manufactured protests are an 'ineffective' waste of his time and money.

Nina June 14, 2013 at 09:52 PM
I agree with Soujourner Truth! Since when is the Second Amendment immune to limitations?
Roberta Marvin June 14, 2013 at 09:53 PM
These baggers keep harping on mental health as the problem, but the guns were legally in the house, so how does telling the mentally ill person "no, no you can't shoot those legal guns" do any good.
Roberta Marvin June 14, 2013 at 09:54 PM
These baggers keep harping on mental health as the problem, but the guns were legally in the house, so how does telling the mentally ill person "no, no you can't shoot those legal guns" do any good.
Patrick McDougall June 14, 2013 at 10:14 PM
Hey Jane lang, did anyone do a background check on you and how you stole from the condo association in Massachusetts? Kelly ayotte is a great senator and you should not criticize when you are less then perfect!
Fera June 14, 2013 at 10:32 PM
Kelly Ayotte is a puppet who cannot think for herself. She ignored her constituents wish and voted with the NRA to profit the gun manufacturers. She ignored public safety and welfare all to get a better rating from NRA to be reelected again. She should not be trusted.
Diana Smith June 14, 2013 at 11:57 PM
I'm so thrilled to know that the Senators are going to fund programs to help with mental illness and fund programs for children who need help. I'll watch for their bills and votes and hope others do too.
George riegle June 15, 2013 at 01:05 AM
I watch Portman and he voted against expanding Tricare coverage of autism also convention rights of a person with disabilities. He also voted against accelerated transition of US military operation to the government of Afghanistan. Voted against middle class tax cuts,bring jobs home,small business tax relief,extend student loan interest rate and pay check fairness act. I'm from Ohio and I think he sucks.
John Kline June 15, 2013 at 01:07 AM
Don't hold your breath.
Wesley Gundersen June 15, 2013 at 01:31 AM
And to think he is advising Kelly. I think a prior post had it right, She is more committed to the NRA and the gun industry then her constituents. She is a follower and if shes following Portman, we definitely need to send her on her way, This coming from a New Hampshire voter. She didn't vote with public opinion on this and for the NH GOP to infer all the protestors are Hired by Bloomberg is nieve. This is exactly the reason the GOP is about to loose all seats. They don't care about the people, immigrants, women, the poor, the uninsured, The autistic and the mentally ill. Can't wait to see that legislation.
Juan June 15, 2013 at 01:33 AM
Aw, it makes me all moist to read those cum smelling Republican operatives hurl heretic words like "liberals" as if they were tossing their stinking turds.
Sam Cook June 15, 2013 at 05:15 AM
I am not a New Hampshire native, but I have spent some time there. My youngest daughter graduated from college in New Hampshire. I have traveled about the state and I am perplexed to learn that people in this state elected Kelly Ayotte. I've never met anyone in New Hampshire whom I would expect to vote for this racist, bigoted, mean-spirited, vicious woman. I just don't get it.
Mimi June 15, 2013 at 06:35 AM
Yes they are both supporting mental health system by trying 38 times to appeal Obamacare. No mention in their appeal for an alternative not mention of how all these mentally ill people pay for their care. Portman and Ayotte are nothing but puppets for special interest that don't give a rats arse about the people of their states. The only thing they need from them is their money to keep their jobs or doing absolutly nothing to benefit the state. Kick both of these frauds to the fracking curb.
John martin June 15, 2013 at 07:29 AM
ayotte is ignorant of the law. She voted against the background check because maybe some other bill would include a database even though this one forbids it. That's like voting against big companies polluting rivers with toxic chemicals because maybe that would lead to allowing big companies to pollute even though this bill forbids it. Vote this shill out of office and let her marry Lindsay Graham so he can pretend to be straight.
Local History June 15, 2013 at 09:24 AM
You must be thinking of the 18th century use of the word 'liberal' which meant open-minded. That he is surely not, unless you include thinking up ways to control people's lives in silly ways...anyone who believes that limiting soda sizes will have any effect on obesity deserves to have his office redecorated by Anthony Weiner. Bloomberg is a RINO, as are so many in the Republican Party. Thank God for the Tea Party!
Local History June 15, 2013 at 09:30 AM
He also decided that gay marriage was now a good thing b/c his son is gay and getting married to a man. Nothing like standing firmly on your principles. Another RINO. I am one of Ayotte's constituents and I applauded her defense of our crumbling second amendment rights.
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:28 AM
Nina, there are limitations already in place. Would love to read the background of the protesters! No one did a background check on me when I joined the Army to protect the people in this country.
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:31 AM
You can't even post on this forum without being censored.
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:33 AM
3 comments rejected for no reason!
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:36 AM
I guess you comment makes sense?
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:37 AM
Criminals always hate cops!
Patriot June 15, 2013 at 11:41 AM
And they sensor me? If I where you I would move back to Massachusetts.
Denise Perron June 15, 2013 at 01:05 PM
"Evils exist, problems exist, the answer is not taking citizens rights away from people." - Al Letizio- Does this philosophy hold true with voter rights? Reproductive rights? Worker rights? Consumer rights? Etc...
Bob Elliott June 16, 2013 at 02:30 PM
Sam, you've got her mixed up with Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts. Senator Ayotte is very well respected in NH and has an excellent reputation. Many of her supporters support background checks. But as everyone who reads the statistics knows, our President , and his government, as more and more scandals erupt, is not to be trusted with WHAT he does with that information. I , for one , have no problem with a background check. What I have a problem with, and millions of Americans agree, is, CAN I TRUST MY PRESIDENT.?? Unless he starts telling " the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth" on these scandalous issues, then millions of Americans will continue to feel that He CANNOT be trusted.
Bob Elliott June 16, 2013 at 02:35 PM
John, that was a rotten, bigoted thing to say, let alone print.
Patriot June 16, 2013 at 09:29 PM
My recommendation is for your health, move! Living in a state that harbors such people has to cross every grain of fiber in your body. It cannot be healthy, moving is the best option. As a side note I disagree with everything you wrote.
Tom Linehan June 16, 2013 at 10:14 PM
@Soujourner Truth You obviously don't know Al Letizio. If you did you would never state such an untruthful thing.
Tom Linehan June 16, 2013 at 10:16 PM
Bloomberg was a RINO. He is also the quintessential Crony Capitalist in my view. Most of his political views are far closer to your own than to most Republicans.
Scott Downer June 16, 2013 at 10:34 PM
All I can say is I have not been no role model but if I was to see what happened to them kids and be able to stop it and unload ever shot I could on that mental case I would have tried to save them kids. Not all people have the best record.. Just some people go to extreme measure to great proportions to be immortalized or just plain bad. Know one can control sick minded or power trip people have. The locked door only stops the honest person.. But a Gun protects those that enter to steal life our property. The Liberty's of Security should never be taken or we all will hide behind bared windows and gates around our homes to be imprisoned in our own Home!
Patriot June 16, 2013 at 11:04 PM
Mimi, what does repealing Obama Care have to do with mental health and guns? No money, no job, no health care
Bob Elliott June 17, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Mr. Editor: " dozens of protesters?" When I drove by ( 3:30 )there were 12 people there. Where were the other " dozens"??? A complete flop in my book. And Rep. Kolodziej, a former marine, is a strong gun supporter. He was just breakin' em with Jane Lang when he wished her a "happy Flag Day." Good job, Walt. ( The group leader was not from Salem, was he?) Every rabble rouser has it's leader. At least he believes in the 1st amendment, ( (right of free speech) even if he doesn't believe in the 2nd one.( freedom to carry a gun.)

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