Top Democrats and Republicans in the New Hampshire Legislature disagreed Monday on whether Secretary of State William Gardner should use taxpayer funds and state time for his activities as a member of President Donald Trump’s Commission on Election Integrity. House Democratic Leader Steve Shurtleff asked Gardner to participate on his own time and not use state money. But Republican House Speaker Shawn Jasper and Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley disagreed and said the state should pay for Gardner’s travel to and from — and participation in — commission meetings.
Gardner’s plans for meeting expenses associated with the commission are unclear. He could not be reached for comment Monday, and a staffer in the secretary of state’s office said he would be out of the office for a few days. The staffer said Gardner’s absence was not related to the commission.
Gardner accepted a White House offer to serve on the commission earlier this month. In an interview with WMUR on May 12, he said that while he does not agree with Trump’s assertion that there was widespread voter fraud in New Hampshire, he believes that critics should “give (the commission) a chance.”