NRLC Interview: NH Senate candidate Karen Testerman

posted at 11:01 am on March 16, 2014 by Jazz Shaw

Yesterday we talked about Scott Brown’s semi-official leap into the NH Senate race, announced during the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference, and it was clear from the response that not everyone here was thrilled with the prospect. But as with any spirited primary race, there are almost always other choices. During the conference, I had the opportunity to speak with Karen Testerman, who is also looking to replace Jeanne Shaheen in the upper chamber.

Since joining the primary hunt last fall, Testerman has been a target of liberals in the Granite state. A spokesperson for the state Democrat party responded to her initial announcement by describing her as a far-right extremist and a rubber stamp for the Tea Party. She is a former gubernatorial candidate and founder of the conservative Cornerstone Policy Research. Following is the video of our interview, along with a transcript of some of the salient points and a few final background details on the race.

On what New Hampshire conservatism means.

What’s important to the people of New Hampshire right now is accountability and integrity. They want to know that when they shake your hand that they can trust you, not that you’ll go down to Washington, DC and “drink that Kool Aid” or alter your values in some way just because someone is offering you power or money.

Where she stands on foreign policy in general and the current unrest in the Ukraine in specific:

We have to seriously look at where we, as a nation, a leader in the world, are placing ourselves strategically and why are we there. If we put our men and women on the line, we need to know they have a specific mission, what does it mean when they’ve won, what does it take to win and then we need to get the politics out of it. We need to let the military who know how to wage this conflict go ahead and do it. Otherwise, we shouldn’t be getting into this. And Congress has to okay it. Enough of this undeclared war and conflict, enough of these U.N. peacekeeping forces.

On domestic policy:

The thing that’s on most people’s minds is jobs and the economy. We’ve got so many people who are out of work, can’t find work, are on welfare… we’ve got businesses that would like to create jobs, but they don’t know if there’s going to be a new tax put on them. There’s no reliability or predictability.

Obamacare: Repeal it. Repeal it and defund it.

2nd Amendment rights, specifically national background checks and an “assault weapons” ban: Neither of those… I’m a lifetime member of the NRA, a lifetime member of the Gun Owners of New Hampshire, Second Amendment Sisters and the New Hampshire Firearms Coalition.

Gay marriage: That’s already been decided in the state. That’s a states issue and the federal government would have nothing to do with it.

You can find out more by visiting her campaign website. In addition to Scott Brown, Testerman will be facing former Senator Bob Smith and Jim Rubens. I didn’t get to speak with either, but Smith had a booth set up at the NRLC. When I asked around about Rubens, one of the only repeated comments I heard was that he favored a carbon tax, but there’s more information on both of their sites.


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I’ll be keeping an eye on her…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

Hmmm. Promising.

22044 on March 16, 2014 at 11:04 AM

It sounds like New Hampshire could do worse.

And with Shaheen, it is.

cozmo on March 16, 2014 at 11:05 AM

Gay marriage: That’s already been decided in the state. That’s a states issue and the federal government would have nothing to do with it.

Ah yes, the surrender position. Brilliant.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

This isn’t her first run for office. Lest time she threw her hat into the ring was for the governor’s race a while back. She couldn’t even make it through a GOP primary. She’s got no shot whatsoever at winning a statewide election. Her presence in the race will only hurt the GOP’s chances at taking that senate seat back.

Bruce MacMahon on March 16, 2014 at 11:18 AM

First and foremost, a wife and mother, Karen is a long time advocate of family values and constitutional rights. She and her family moved to New Hampshire in 1993 following her husband’s career in the Air Force. Along with a group of concerned citizens, she brought the introduction of Goals 2000 into New Hampshire to a standstill. In 2000, Karen founded and became the Executive Director of Cornerstone Policy Research, the New Hampshire arm of a national Family Policy Council network. Through her organization she became the leading voice for the traditional family not only here in New Hampshire, but she became the “go-to” person for national pro-family organizations coming into the Granite State.

Karen is a leading voice for the traditional family. She led the fight on numerous family rights issues such as parental notification, the definition of marriage and educational choice. She has been a founding board member of the National Heritage Center for Constitutional Studies, Liberty Harbor Academy, NH Chapter of Smart Girl Politics, and other entities. Karen has worked closely with the Granite State Taxpayers, Second Amendment Sisters, the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers, Right to Work and the Granite State Patriots demonstrating her ability in building coalitions.

A radio talk show host, Karen is a strong advocate for citizen involvement, and she strives to educate, encourage and guide her listeners into action. A former teacher, Karen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology. As a military mother and wife, Karen has worked closely with several military organizations.

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:20 AM

We have to seriously look at where we, as a nation, a leader in the world, are placing ourselves strategically and why are we there.

No thank you! We don’t need another New Englander who only gives lip service to global leadership while helping the left gut the military.

Gay marriage: That’s already been decided in the state. That’s a states issue and the federal government would have nothing to do with it.

That’s a generic cop-out response. Could just as easily be used to avoid giving an opinion on abortion, legalizing pot, or any other issue where some liberal squish can lie about her position to avoid angering conservatives. The issue of gay marriage may have been legally settled in NH but doesn’t answer her views of it.

Happy Nomad on March 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

This is a classic case where outside ideologues will interfere without understanding the dyanamics and end up making the both the GOP and the Tea Party look foolish.

Testerman is a non-starter. Poor skills, a big government socon type, horrible fit for libertarian leaning state that vote for Obama twice.

But yet, there will be the Ingraham’s and Levin’s and Erickson’s who jump the gun, get everyone riled up… then splat, money wasted, seat lost and most Grantite Staters will look at conservatives like the are loons.

swamp_yankee on March 16, 2014 at 11:26 AM

This is a classic case where outside ideologues will interfere without understanding the dyanamics and end up making the both the GOP and the Tea Party look foolish.

Testerman is a non-starter. Poor skills, a big government socon type, horrible fit for libertarian leaning state that vote for Obama twice.

But yet, there will be the Ingraham’s and Levin’s and Erickson’s who jump the gun, get everyone riled up… then splat, money wasted, seat lost and most Granite Staters will look at conservatives like the are loons.

swamp_yankee on March 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

a far-right extremist and a rubber stamp for the Tea Party.

Sounds good to me. Go Testerman.

Brown — take a long walk off a short pier, RINO loser.

rrpjr on March 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

Seems OK based on VERY limited information. It speaks well of her that when allowed to choose a topic she chose the economy and jobs and only talked about SSM when the interviewer brought it up.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 11:31 AM

No thank you! We don’t need another New Englander who only gives lip service to global leadership while helping the left gut the military.

Happy Nomad on March 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

From her website:

“Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution makes it very clear that “providing for the common defense” is an essential function of our government. How many of you are driving a 20 year old car? Our fighter pilots fly aircraft that are on average 22 years old. The B-52 is scheduled to remain in service until 2040. When my husband entered the military we were equipped to fight two wars in two different locations simultaneously. Then, the strategy changed. Reductions in defense budgets resulted in being able to fight only one war in one location with the possibility to shift to a conflict in another location. Today we can barely meet the commitments of a single war in a single location. The world is becoming more dangerous not more friendly. It is time to set our priorities for national security. We must stop the dangerous gutting of our military and rebuild our forces before adversaries like the Chinese and Russians, who are currently building their military strength. We need to understand the reality of our world and be prepared to meet the military challenges that may be ahead of us. I will work to ensure the United States is performing this essential duty.”

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

rrpjr on March 16, 2014 at 11:27 AM

I agree, but lets look more deeply into her positions.

Brown – no way.

dogsoldier on March 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM

Ah yes, the surrender position. Brilliant.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

Actually, “leave it to the states” is a proper constitutional position absent a constitutional amendment.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

My own position,speaking as a NH loon, is that I’m sick of being told I have to hold my nose and vote for the electable dweeb. I think it’s about time you fricken’ moderates held your own noses, and compromise to the right for a change!

Racistanyway on March 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM

Quibble: The age most military airframes were designed often counts for very little. The avionics, jets and just about all the systems aboard have undergone regular updates.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

Yup, and it is the same position as Scott Brown

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Quibble: The age most military airframes were designed often counts for very little. The avionics, jets and just about all the systems aboard have undergone regular updates.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 11:38 AM

Counter-quibble: In some modern fighter jets the airframes aren’t much older than the avionics and engines within. There’s a point of diminishing return in refurbishing an old skin past which it becomes more sensible to scrap it — and right now, we simply don’t have that capability like we used to.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Yup, and it is the same position as Scott Brown…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:41 AM

Correction: It’s the same stated position as Scott Brown. You generally can’t go wrong with the assumption that a politician is lying to you.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:43 AM

I’ve got no dog in this fight, but I think too many of you have become too quick to dismiss candidates simply based on their location.

Let’s not forget, Reagan was from California.

..just sayin’

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

I’ve got no dog in this fight, but I think too many of you have become too quick to dismiss candidates simply based on their location.

Let’s not forget, Reagan was from California.

..just sayin’

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

And then there are guys like me who dismiss politicians on the basis of their chosen profession.

/ptooey

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:49 AM

Flora Duh on March 16, 2014 at 11:47 AM

Dittoes…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

Thanks for the post on her, Jazz. She looks like a candidate to back with donations and support with aggressive advocacy while defending her from the Democrats and progressive extremists … Oops, pardon me for repeating myself on that last bit.

I’m not sure about Smith. I seem to remember he leaned conservative, but it’s been a while since I’ve heard about him. (Update: In 2002 Smith had an ACU LT rating of 93.)

I said before that Brown should stay out. There’s no need for him to switch from Massachusetts because his moderate to liberal views weren’t liberal enough. Let it go to either Smith or Testerman.

Dusty on March 16, 2014 at 11:50 AM

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Sure, so then simply stating the age of an airframe (and making car analogies) is not a good basis for such judgments.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

She’d be better than a left-over senator from Massachusetts.

SouthernGent on March 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

They want to know that when they shake your hand that they can trust you, not that you’ll go down to Washington, DC and “drink that Kool Aid” or alter your values in some way just because someone is offering you power or money.

…I’ll take that ^ over Scotty any day!…but how does she look in a thong?

KOOLAID2 on March 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM

She’d be better than a left-over senator from Massachusetts.

SouthernGent on March 16, 2014 at 12:08 PM

Yep…

OmahaConservative on March 16, 2014 at 12:13 PM

I think that pretty much settles it. On the wings of a few purdy words the H/A faithful have discovered true love at first sight. A many splendored thing to observe.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

The only candidate I’ve financially backed this season is Mr. Bevins. A little thank you for Mitch’s NYT article.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2014 at 12:18 PM

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Bless your heart. You sure are an idiot.

cozmo on March 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Otherwise, we shouldn’t be getting into this. And Congress has to okay it. Enough of this undeclared war and conflict, enough of these U.N. peacekeeping forces.

Insert neocon/progressive talking point: “but but but Hitler, appeasement…”

MoreLiberty on March 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 12:16 PM

You see a consensus in the commits? Tell us who NH should vote for O’wise One.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2014 at 12:20 PM

commits should be comments.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2014 at 12:21 PM

cozmo on March 16, 2014 at 12:19 PM

Oh sure, shoot the messenger. But what do you really know about this girl? How many web sites has she romanced before? What is her family like? Why did she leave CA? Did she have friends out there?

I just don’t want to see you get hurt again, bubby.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

When the US Constitution was written the term “common defense” didn’t mean that we were going to defend other countries. It means the common defense of the US states. It didn’t mean we defend Japan, South Korea, Iraq, European nations or Asian nations. It means the US Government uses the money it forcibly takes from hard working taxpayers and uses it to defend Americans.

MoreLiberty on March 16, 2014 at 12:26 PM

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 12:23 PM

How would I be hurt if I haven’t hitched my wagon to her?

You are an idiot because you have made an assumption from a few comments. And are now tied to your assumption.

Idiot, and not even a useful one.

cozmo on March 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

cozmo on March 16, 2014 at 12:28 PM

The other thing that seems to get lost is that this isn’t a life long commitment. These people should always be temporary.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2014 at 12:36 PM

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:42 AM

Sure, so then simply stating the age of an airframe (and making car analogies) is not a good basis for such judgments.

MJBrutus on March 16, 2014 at 11:53 AM

I’m not a pilot. And apparently neither is Ms. Testerman. But politicians gonna politic.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 1:00 PM

Ah yes, the surrender position. Brilliant.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2014 at 11:17 AM

She’s right. Things like that should be up to the states. You can’t decide it’s a national thing just because one state doesn’t agree. Social issues should be state issues.

crankyoldlady on March 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Ahem. There’s no such thing as the Tea Party. There is, however, a Tea Party Movement.
And it stands for Taxed Enough Already.
Pay attention.

Galtian on March 16, 2014 at 1:39 PM

Hmmm. I’d think the Scott Walker types would be cheering a minority running for Senate (since women are apparently minorities in the GOP’s eyes or something).

chris0christies0donut on March 16, 2014 at 1:47 PM

She’s right. Things like that should be up to the states. You can’t decide it’s a national thing just because one state doesn’t agree. Social issues should be state issues.

crankyoldlady on March 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

Unless we get Santorum/Huckabee 2016 … shudder.

chris0christies0donut on March 16, 2014 at 1:48 PM

My guess is that she would have been a no vote on Dodd-Frank. Nuff said.

kringeesmom on March 16, 2014 at 3:17 PM

That’s a generic cop-out response.

Happy Nomad on March 16, 2014 at 11:24 AM

Either that, or you socons could hurry up and die out.

John the Libertarian on March 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Either that, or you socons could hurry up and die out.

John the Libertarian on March 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Just lovely.

Cindy Munford on March 16, 2014 at 5:14 PM

Actually, “leave it to the states” is a proper constitutional position absent a constitutional amendment.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 11:36 AM

absent a constitutional amendment or some butthead with a pen and phone.

Wade on March 16, 2014 at 5:27 PM

She’s right. Things like that should be up to the states. You can’t decide it’s a national thing just because one state doesn’t agree. Social issues should be state issues.

crankyoldlady on March 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

No, her position is crap, and for 3 reasons:

1.) Marriage is not contingent on geography
2.) She said that the issue was settled in her state, i.e., she does not support marriage and is making no effort to make a difference
3.) SCOTUS will invoke the Full Faith and Credit Clause to mandate gay marriage in all 50 states

Note that the GOP in NH seized control of the legislature after 2010 and could have repealed gay marriage. They refrained from doing so out of fear that they’d be swept out of power. 2012 happened, and they were swept out of power anyway. Northeast Republicans are worthless.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Either that, or you socons could hurry up and die out.

John the Libertarian on March 16, 2014 at 4:52 PM

Or, we could just sit back and watch you “libertarians” get stoned and die in home accidents or one-car auto wrecks.
It shouldn’t take too long.

Solaratov on March 16, 2014 at 7:10 PM

i like her attitude.

MN J on March 16, 2014 at 9:50 PM

She’s right. Things like that should be up to the states. You can’t decide it’s a national thing just because one state doesn’t agree. Social issues should be state issues.

crankyoldlady on March 16, 2014 at 1:30 PM

No, her position is crap, and for 3 reasons:

1.) Marriage is not contingent on geography
2.) She said that the issue was settled in her state, i.e., she does not support marriage and is making no effort to make a difference
3.) SCOTUS will invoke the Full Faith and Credit Clause to mandate gay marriage in all 50 states

Note that the GOP in NH seized control of the legislature after 2010 and could have repealed gay marriage. They refrained from doing so out of fear that they’d be swept out of power. 2012 happened, and they were swept out of power anyway. Northeast Republicans are worthless.

Stoic Patriot on March 16, 2014 at 6:03 PM

Find me in the constitution where it delegates the power to define marriage to the federal government. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

gryphon202 on March 16, 2014 at 10:45 PM