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It's World Diabetes Day, and health care, including the high cost of insulin and other drugs, is a top issue for many voters. Plus, do early states like Iowa and New Hampshire have an outsized role in the nomination process?

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Report: A Money Trail Connection to NH Mortgage Meltdown?

September 29, 2008

Concord, NH – A new report traces a money trail leading directly from the New Hampshire mortgage meltdown to the current national financial crisis. State numbers show 15 percent of sub-prime mortgages are in foreclosure and 25 percent more are past due. According to the non-partisan public interest group, Common Cause, the lending industry's contributions and lobbying can be connected to delays on Congressional measures that could have helped avert the crisis.

Study author Mike Surrosco says the problem is systemic.

"This is an industry that has had a lot of influence in Congress and that has lead to less regulation of the industry. Essentially, we've driven off of a cliff now."

One way to break the connection between special interest campaign donations and Congress--whether the influence is real or perceived-–would be to change the way elections are funded, Surrosco suggests.

"Clean elections, voter-owned elections, publicly financed elections would raise money from a pool for candidates instead of having to go fund-raise."

According to the report, New Hampshire members of Congress have received more than $75,000 in contributions from mortgage bankers and brokers since the 2000 election cycle. The influence of campaign donations is usually denied by those elected to office, and campaign donations are also supported as a right of free speech.

The report can be found at www.commoncause.org.

Deborah Smith/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - NH