Levesque: NIHOP no place for election liars, underminers


Courtesy / Gage Skidmore (FLICKR)

Rudy Giuliani advocated for the overturning of the 2020 presidential election.

Patrick McGann, News Editor

Neil Levesque, Executive Director of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, elected not to partake in a discussion panel on elections with avid Trump ally and election denier Rudy Giuliani. Levesque originally accepted the offer from the New Hampshire Journal to participate on the panel, but was not informed that Giuliani would also speak at the event. 

Rudy Giuliani is a devout ally of former President Donald Trump and took an active role in the administration’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election even after courts have ruled that there was no substantial evidence of widespread voter fraud. Giuliani made several public appearances with Trump over the last month of his precedence and spread what is now referred to as “The Big Lie.” 

Once referred to as “America’s Mayor” following his patriotic leadership following 9/11, Giuliani is now seen as a political radical who is actively working to undermine American democracy. 

The New Hampshire Institute of Politics hosts a variety of speakers and events with ranging political views and perspectives. According to the Institute’s website, “Since its doors opened in 2001, the Institute has provided a nonpartisan forum for discussion and debate on all aspects of the American political process. Its mission is to educate, engage and empower citizens to participate in the civic and political life of their local, national and global communities.” 

The NHIOP is in the business of promoting and enhancing democracy, and Giuliani is not in that same business. 

We chose not to provide a platform for an individual who has actively worked to undermine the integrity of our elections,” Levesque said in a statement regarding his decision not to participate in the panel. 

Despite other reporting, it is not that Giuliani is not welcomed to the Institute, rather the NHIOP does not want to host a panel on elections with Giuliani present. 

“It’s not that he couldn’t come here and speak if we invited him, but I wasn’t going to sit on a panel on elections with him,” Levesque said. 

The Institute recognizes that election denying has been prevalent even before the 2020 elections, but Giulani does more than just question the validity of elections. 

“It’s not that we don’t have election deniers here. Election denying has been going on since 2004,” Levesque said. “I was not going to host a panel on elections or sit on a panel representing the Institute with someone who has actively sought out to destroy American elections and democracy.” Giuliani has spread a plethora of democratic lies that have no merit. Some of the theories that he has claimed to be true include significant ballots being driven to the polls to help Biden come back from deficits in key states, Communist countries sending money to Dominion, the ballot counting machine company, to sway the election in Biden’s favor, and continuously claims that the administration had enough evidence to eventually reinstate Trump as the president, even after Biden was sworn in. Many of these lies inspired several Trump supporters to take part in the violent attack at the Capitol on January 6, 2021.

Levesque stresses that the Institute remains non-partisan and democratic. “Democracy is fundamental to our freedom. If we don’t participate in our democracy, our democracy will die. There will always be disagreement and we’re free to do that in this country, luckily.” 

The Institute of Politics wants to promote the importance of democracy to all who come through, particularly the students of Saint Anselm College. It offers a variety of events that students are welcomed to attend throughout the school year, in addition to being the host of debates at both the state and national level. The Institute encourages all students to participate in the democratic process and take advantage of all opportunities it has to offer.