Concord, NH- At the WMUR-TV/Union Leader debate tonight, Democrat candidate for Congress Annie Kuster flip-flopped on her long-standing, well-documented support for a New Hampshire income tax.   When asked by Republican Charlie Bass if she still supported an income tax for New Hampshire, after supporting one for many years, Kuster replied, “I don’t support an income tax.”

This contradicts Kuster’s long record of serving on a pro-income tax Political Action Committee and supporting pro-income tax candidates, including Mark Fernald, who ran against then-governor Jeanne Shaheen in 2000 on the single issue of passing an income tax.

The Kuster Record on Supporting a New Hampshire Income Tax:

In 1999, Ann McLane Kuster sat on a board of a PAC that supported a state income tax

  • ·         On July 4, 1999, The Boston Globe reported, “The Courage and Leadership PAC, which is raising money for state candidates who promise not to take the antitax pledge, says it collected $36,568 so far from 114 individuals.  ([1]
  • ·         “The group, founded by Gary Hirshberg of Stonyfield Yogurt, says it needs to raise $100,000 ‘to reach our potential impact.’
  • ·         “Other members of the PAC board include possible congressional candidate Glen Secor, former Concord mayor Martin Gross, Ann McLane Kuster, Harold Janeway of Concord, Meg Hirshberg and Mary Townsend Scheffey.”
  • ·         On May 22, 1999, the Associated Press reported, “A new political action committee that favors a state income tax raised $ 35,000 at its first fundraiser.”
  • ·         “The Courage and Leadership PAC hopes to spend at least $100,000 in the next election helping candidates of either party who support an income tax.”
  • ·         “Founders of the PAC include Stonyfield Yogurt President Gary Hirshberg and former Republicans Susan and Malcolm McLane. Members of the PAC believe an income tax is the fairest way to pay for education.”

Kuster actively supported pro-income tax gubernatorial candidate Mark Fernald in his 2000 Democratic Primary campaign against Governor Jeanne Shaheen.

“No hard feelings. Democratic activist Ann McLane Kuster, who bucked the party line and backed [Mark Fernald] for governor in the primary, received the party's Eleanor Roosevelt Award on Oct. 19.”   (Boston Globe, October 29, 2000)

During the 2010 Democrat primary, Kuster’s opponent called her a “vigorous supporter of an income tax in New Hampshire”

  • ·         On Sept. 9, 2010, the Concord Monitor reported, “[Katrina] Swett also called Kuster a ‘vigorous supporter of an income tax in New Hampshire.’ Kuster supported former state senator Mark Fernald in his 2002 gubernatorial bid, citing at the time his support for an income tax to stabilize education funding in the state. Kuster did not respond last night to several of Swett’s references to an income tax.  (Concord Monitor, Sept. 9, 2010)

On Kuster’s income tax flip-flop, Bass campaign spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne said, “It is not surprising that Annie Kuster wants to hide from the voters her long record of trying to saddle New Hampshire with an income tax.   Kuster is a big-government, tax-and-spend liberal, with a long record to prove it.   But more than that, she demonstrated during the debate that she is the kind of politician who will say just about anything to get elected.   This includes denying a cause that has been at the core of her political efforts for years.”