Manchester, NH - Less than two weeks after channeling her primary opponent in saying, “we need to have a discussion,” on the need for toll increase, Sen. Hassan has flip-flopped on her openness to hiking fees on the state’s highways.
At the BIA/NHPR gubernatorial forum, the candidates were asked for yes or no answers on a series of policy questions. When asked if the candidate would pledge not to raise tolls, Republican candidate Ovide Lamontagne responded simply, “Yes.”
Sen. Hassan, on the other hand, struggled with the request for a short and simple response and said, “We need to find a way to complete I-93 and our transportation infrastructure, not sure tolls is the way to do it but we need to have a discussion about how we are going to fund our transportation infrastructure .”
After a week of questions about her openness to this and other tax and fee increases , as well as reminders of her record of supporting 99 new or increased taxes and fees during her time in the legislature , Hassan flip-flopped late last week telling reporters on a conference call “I don't think toll increases are a good idea .”
“This is precisely why Sen. Hassan cannot be trusted on her pledge to veto an income or sales tax,” said Lamontagne spokesman Tom Cronin. “She previously advocated an income tax, lost an election, and then changed her position for political expediency. As a Senator, she voted to increase 99 taxes and fees, lost an election, and is now trying to convince voters she oversaw a balanced budget. We’re seeing another example of that now; Sen. Hassan reminded voters of her true colors when she called for a “discussion” of toll hikes, and now she is trying to cover it up.
“Moreover, now that Sen. Hassan has presumably taken a toll increase off the table, but assuming she still believes we need to do more to fund our transportation infrastructure, are voters to understand she will turn to the gas tax hike she was also open to for infrastructure projects during the BIA/NHPR forum ?”
1 & 5. “Lamontagne and Hassan Tangle At First Debate,” NHPR. 30:30 & 33:05 into this clip: http://www.nhpr.org/post/lamontagne-and-hassan-tangle-first-debate 9/19/12
2. “It's Time for Maggie Hassan to Stop Hiding from the Voters,” NHGOP. http://www.nhgop.org/news/detail/421 9/21/12
3. “Ovide launches “Maggies Taxes of the Day,” NH Journal. http://nhjournal.com/2012/09/20/ovide-launches-maggies-taxes-of-the-day 9/20/12
4. “Hassan: 'I Don't Think Toll Increases Are A Good Idea,'” Patch. http://hampton-northhampton.patch.com/articles/hassan-i-dont-think-toll-increases-are-a-good-idea 9/28/12