The Kerry School of Campaigning

Feltes Flips on Commutation for Cop Killer: ‘I Would Negate That Vote’

A day after NHJournal asked if law-and-order issues were hurting Democratic candidates in New Hampshire, the party’s nominee for governor reversed his position on commuting the death penalty for a convicted cop killer.

During the final Democratic gubernatorial primary debate, state Sen. Dan Feltes said he would commute the sentence of Michael Addison, New Hampshire’s death row inmate, who shot and killed Manchester police officer Michael Briggs during a 2006 crime spree across New Hampshire.

But in an interview with WMUR’s Adam Sexton released Friday, Feltes said he would not commute Addison’s sentence.

“What I said during the debate is we ought to move forward with the commutation process,” Feltes claimed on Friday. “Any first-time commutations petition should have a process. In this particular situation, with the facts that we know, I highly doubt the executive council would vote to commute. But if they did, I would negate that vote.”

In fact, Feltes explicitly said during the debate would commute Addison’s death sentence, not merely support the process.

Feltes’ opponent Executive Councilor Andru Volinsky was asked by WMUR what he would do as governor regarding the Addison case.

“If the council voted to commute Addison’s sentence, I would approve that,” Volinsky said.

Feltes’ answer: “I agree with Andru, and that process — look, put it before the council. We repealed the death penalty. If the council voted to do that, we would move forward with that.”

During the full WMUR interview, which aired Sunday, Feltes claimed that he had never endorsed commutation, merely that he supported the review process (“Any first-time commutation petition should have a process.”) He then went on to accuse Gov. Chris Sununu of rejecting that view.

“The problem here is Chris Sununu says we shouldn’t go through a process. Setting this data for possible litigation because he doesn’t even think a commutation petition should have a process. That’s not right. Either he does not know the law or he thinks he is above the law,” Feltes said.

In fact, Sununu has never commented on the process, merely the outcome: “I stand with law enforcement and the citizens of Manchester. I stand with the citizens of the state who say commuting the death sentence of a cop killer is the wrong thing to do.”

Feltes’ flip-flop sparked immediate reactions from both sides of the partisan aisle. Republicans were gleeful, while New Hampshire progressives like activist state Rep. Sherry Frost and the local Black Lives Matter organizations were “disappointed.”

Questions Remain In ‘Cross Dressing’ Dem Double-Voter Case

Vincent Marzello, 65, of West Lebanon, N.H., is accused of voting once as himself and then disguising himself as a woman to vote again, according to charges filed by the New Hampshire Attorney General last week. Marzello was also named a ballot inspector by the New Hampshire Democratic Party under his female identity.

Now the journalists responsible for uncovering this alleged crime want to know why AG Gordon MacDonald’s office sat on the case for months, only filing charges after being pressured by their organization.

“We’re exposing private truths that contrast with public lies,” Neil McCabe, Chief Communications Director for Project Veritas, told NHJournal. “We are told [voter fraud] never happens. Yet, they knew this happened and sat on it.”

In a press statement released Thursday, the NH Department of Justice reported Marzello was charged with a Class B Felony after attempting to vote twice in the general election, “by voting once as Vincent Marzello and once as Helen Elisabeth Ashley.”

The New Hampshire Democratic Party appointed the double voter as an election inspector for the 2020 election under his female alias.New Hampshire State Police Trooper 1st Class James Decker told Project Veritas he investigated Marzello for double voting after Marzello attempted to secure the second photo ID required by the state’s 2012 voter integrity law.

Marzello faces up to seven years in prison. The New Hampshire Democratic Party has since removed “Helen Ashley” from her job as a ballot inspector.

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