NHDP - John Stephen Makes Inaccurate and Misleading Claims on Close Up

Candidate for governor launches his campaign by distorting reality, lying about his record as a lifelong bureaucrat


Concord - During an appearance this morning on WMUR's Close Up, John Stephen, Republican candidate for governor, made a series of inaccurate and misleading claims about his record and the state of New Hampshire:


Stephen Claimed: "People don't like the way the state is moving."


The Reality: In the latest UNH poll, an overwhelming 61% of New Hampshire adults feel the state is heading in the right direction.  New Hampshire's unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the nation, 30% below the national average.



Stephen Claimed: "There was a 6.5% increase in the latest budget."


The Reality:  General fund spending actually decreased in the latest budget, and according to Legislative Budget Office, spending has only increased at the rate of inflation during Governor Lynch's tenure.



Stephen Claimed:  "I controlled spending at Health and Human Services."


The Reality: In 2004, at Health and Human Services, Stephen asked for an 11 percent increase in his budget. In 2006, he asked for a 13 percent -- or half-a-billion dollar increase.



Stephen Claimed: "We need to make this state great again."


The Reality:  New Hampshire leads the country on virtually every key metric.  The Annie E. Casey Foundation rated the Granite State as the single best place to raise a family in the country.  Unemployment is 30% lower here than it is nationally. New Hampshire has one of the best business tax climates and lowest per-capita spending of any state. According to the FBI, New Hampshire is the 2nd safest state in the country.  And the Granite State has one of the best public school systems in the country, ranking among the top 5 states in key measures of reading and math.



Stephen Claimed:  "We kept a lot of seniors in the community, rather than nursing homes.  Less expensive. We did things the right way."


The Reality: John Stephen was the architect of former Governor Craig Benson's secret plan to kick seniors out of nursing homes.  After the plan was discovered, the Concord Monitor said it would be "fiscal disaster" for the state.


"Voters will reject John Stephen for the third time based on his record of fiscal incompetence, ethical problems and because they know he can't be trusted," said Ray Buckley, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.


"John Stephen has repeatedly put his political ambitions ahead of the people of New Hampshire. We look forward to talking to voters about the John Stephen record of incompetence, ethical problems and deceptions," Buckley added.