By Carolyn McKinney, chairman of the Republican Liberty Caucus of New Hampshire
As the leader of a Republican organization focused on liberty in New Hampshire, I often come across people who refuse to go along with the party nominee in higher-end races and vote their conscience instead.
A vote on principle is certainly something of value and thankfully common among people who truly understand what liberty means. At the same time, it’s important for liberty-minded Republicans and independent-minded voters out there to consider that no person can possibly agree with them on every subject. For that reason, voting on principle sometimes requires a little more deliberation, especially in this election when the momentum of liberty counts so much on the results.
There is no doubt that Gov. John Lynch was a barrier to liberty in the last two years, despite the Republican supermajorities in the House and Senate. Right to Work would be law today, guaranteeing the freedom of individuals to earn money wherever they could find an employer willing to hire them, and they wouldn’t have to share their wealth against their will with a third-party. New Hampshire would no longer be a member of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a tax scheme with no real benefit to the environment that has made a few connected businessmen wealthy at the expense of everyone else.
Unfortunately, Maggie Hassan is so much worse than Gov. Lynch on so many issues, as her time in the N.H. Senate should make clear. She was a co-sponsor of the bill to force New Hampshire into the cap and tax scheme, for one thing. She was also largely responsible for the spending and taxing policies that stifled New Hampshire’s economy, destroyed private sector jobs and eventually led to the complete rejection of Democrats during the 2010 election. Those 2010 election results were no mistake. The Republicans we elected did as much as they could to reverse course and advance liberty, and they’ll continue to do that even if we give them only the slightest majority in the Legislature.
But with Maggie as governor, the Legislature will be starting with a budget that drastically increases spending, along with the necessary taxes, fees and borrowing to pay for it. They will face a roadblock to any deregulation, tax or fee cut, or any move to make the government more efficient, and many bills that increase the power and authority of government will sneak through without the threat of a veto. Even with a Republican Legislature, the force of a statist governor who’s never seen a government program she doesn’t like will smother the spark of liberty and prosperity ignited by Speaker O’Brien and the Legislature he led during the past two years. Everything we just accomplished will be stopped dead in its tracks, if we’re lucky, and we could even see many of our accomplishments reversed.
It is for the sake of helping our Republican Legislature continue its good work that the principled vote is in favor of Ovide Lamontagne, the only candidate that can legitimately beat Maggie Hassan. This is not the time for liberty-minded people to work toward any other political goal. Liberty is truly at stake, and Ovide is the only candidate for governor who can and will advance our cause.
Ovide may not be the perfect Republican candidate for governor, and we’ve had very public policy differences with him in the past. If Ovide is elected, I expect that we will have to fight hard to advance freedom in some of these same policy areas, particularly in the area of education reform and reductions in state spending that go as far as we need them to go.
Despite these foreseen battles, Ovide Lamontagne instinctively knows that small government and economic freedom are necessary for New Hampshire’s future prosperity. That’s why he would sign a Right to Work bill. He’d repeal the cap-and-tax scheme. His budget would be a reasonable starting point for the House before representatives add further spending cuts. Importantly, the executive bureaucracy would be held in check by his oversight. For these reasons, I am definitively recommending a vote for Ovide Lamontagne as the only gubernatorial option for voters who love liberty.
For anyone who still doubts Ovide is the only choice for governor, please consider that the liberty contingent of Republican and independent voters are the only people who can help him top Maggie. We will not let Gov. Lamontagne forget that once he makes it into office. If led by principled Republicans in the Legislature and advocates of liberty from the outside, we can expect that liberty will not only advance in New Hampshire, it will thrive under Gov. Ovide Lamontagne.