Confesses to audience, ‘I won’t be like Governor Lynch’
MANCHESTER – Ovide Lamontagne misleadingly claimed not to be a lobbyist at a debate before law enforcement officials last night, despite news reports that show he has recently served as a lobbyist for the tobacco industry.
Lamontagne made a number of statements during the debate that are either factually inaccurate or directly contradict his own previous positions. Lamontagne claimed that he won’t change the pension system for current state employees, while previously in a WMUR survey he said he would change the retirement system for public employees whose retirement benefits have not yet vested.[i] Ovide also claimed that “there was no open fire legislation passed this last session,” ignoring SB 88, passed over Governor John Lynch’s veto by the current legislature in 2011.[ii]
Most egregiously, Lamontagne claimed, “I'm not a lobbyist.”[iii] As recently as 2006, Lamontagne was a registered lobbyist for Ligget Vector Brands, Inc., a North Carolina-based tobacco company, according to the Nashua Telegraph. [iv]
“Ovide Lamontagne claimed last night that he is not a lobbyist, but news reports prove otherwise,” said Matt Burgess, campaign manager for Maggie Hassan for Governor. “This is part of a pattern of Ovide Lamontagne attempting to mislead the voters on his true record and positions – including his radical agenda to have the state pull out of Medicare and make abortions crimes, even in the case of rape or incest.”
At another point during the debate, Lamontagne promised, “I will not be like John Lynch.”[v] Instead, Lamontagne has repeatedly said Mel Thomson is his role model. Thomson was famous for, among other things, threatening retaliation against the University of New Hampshire for allowing a gay student event; praising South Africa’s apartheid regime; and suggesting nuclear weapons for the National Guard.
Last week, Governor Lynch endorsed Maggie Hassan at a campaign rally in Concord. Lynch praised Hassan’s “integrity” and “compassion,” and described her as “the leader that we need to keep New Hampshire moving forward.”
Said Hassan, “Governor Lynch is a role model and I was glad to work shoulder-to-shoulder with him on so many issues.”
Burgess said that Lamontagne’s admission was honest but troubling. “Most New Hampshire residents would agree that Governor Lynch has served our state well during his eight years in Concord. As Ovide admitted last night, he wants to take our state in a radically different direction, supporting the current Tea Party’s extreme legislature. Maggie promises to stand up to the Tea Party extremists and keep New Hampshire moving forward in the direction set by Governor Lynch.”
Hassan has put forward a jobs plan called “Innovate NH” that will help middle-class New Hampshire families succeed. The plan would invest in higher education while freezing in-state tuition, ensure access to job training, and provide tax credits and technical assistance to businesses to help them grow and create jobs. Hassan will veto an income or sales tax.
[iii] New Hampshire Police Association Debate, 10/14/12, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtC1d_xqyLg&feature=youtu.be