No doubt you’ve heard the expression, “Be careful what you wish for.” Well, there’s little doubt that New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen wishes she had never asked voters to consider her experience as a small business owner.
The New Hampshire Democrat — the first woman in U.S. history to be elected both a governor and U.S. senator — is in a tight contest with former GOP Senator Scott Brown. A CNN poll this week puts the race at a dead heat — any negative news could sway the outcome.
So it’s especially significant when the Washington Free Beacon reports that Shaheen’s often-touted experience helping to run a small business was tainted by a serious run-in with the law. It turns out that business — a shop that sold used jewelry — dealt in stolen goods.
In 1969, Shaheen and her husband, Bill, cofounded and had a stake in “Bill & Bob’s—A Sterling Example,”…co-owned by Bill Shaheen’s brother-in-law, future state senator Bob Fennelly.
In 1980, police executed a search warrant at the Maine Bill and Bob’s location in connection to an investigation of a burglary ring that authorities said had stolen up to $200,000 of property from 27 residences.
Fennelly was indicted for allegedly buying $11,000 of stolen jewelry from the burglars.
“It was a known fact that Bill and Bob’s would buy any silver and gold without asking many questions,” one burglar told police, according to a Sep. 6, 1980 report by the Foster’s Daily Democrat newspaper, which extensively covered the trial.
Considering the offense involving the Shaheens occurred decades ago, it might not be such a big deal today…if it weren’t for the fact that the Shaheen campaign makes it a big deal by constantly asking voters to support Jeanne Shaheen because of her small business background.
“As the former owner and manager of a small retail business, Senator Shaheen knows what it’s like to worry about meeting payroll and inventory costs to keep a business going,” the Issues section of her Senate website declares. Her Senate biography also describes her as a “former small business owner.”
This week, the Shaheen campaign asked voters to compare Scott Brown’s small business record against her own.
New Hampshire is now considered a key battleground state in the Republicans’ effort to regain control of the Senate. The GOP needs to win a net six seats in order to take charge of the upper chamber and move Harry Reid out of the leadership position.
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