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Federally registered lobbyists working for candidates get a great deal of scrutiny, but other groups are trying to influence the New Hampshire primary election, too, or at least to use the campaign as a way to draw attention to their issues or commitments from candidates. Oh, there are the mavericks. A Ron Paul supporter dressed up in a Wookiee costume and jumped up and down on an I-93 overpass near Manchester. An anti-abortion activist disrupted a Giuliani forum in Derry, N.H. last night, shouting, “All these children are dying and you want to continue this holocaust,” as security escorted him out of the building. AIDS activists disrupted a McCain event in Salem, N.H. But there are also organized efforts, some by large organizations that lobby the federal government heavily and see an opportunity to draw attention during the primary season. The Wall Street Journal examines some of those campaigns here, but there are others. New Hampshire roundabouts and corners are dotted with signs for dividedwefail.org, featuring a mascot that’s a bipartisan cross between a donkey and an elephant (it’s apparently called Champ). The Web site is backed by bigwigs in the Washington influence game: AARP, Business Roundtable, Service Employees Union (SEIU), and the National Federation of Independent Business. The group’s Web site calls for bipartisan solutions to Social Security and health care issues.
Carrie Levine can be contacted at [email protected]. The following article originally appeared on the Influence blog.

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