MANCHESTER – Ovide Lamontagne continued his pattern of attempting to mislead New Hampshire voters at a debate today hosted by the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce.
At various points during the debate, Ovide repeated misleading claims about Maggie’s fiscally responsible record of balancing the state’s budget without an income or sales tax, which she would veto as governor. Ovide’s claim about the state deficit has been deemed “false” by PolitiFact NH[i] and his statements about spending increases under Maggie Hassan’s leadership have also been debunked.[ii] Under Hassan’s leadership, the state cut general fund spending and balanced the budget without an income or sales tax.
Ovide also misled about his position on federal stimulus dollars for New Hampshire infrastructure projects. While discussing the Manchester Airport access road project, which was expedited through funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, Ovide stated that he would have accepted federal money for the project. But Lamontagne is on record opposing the stimulus, stating “I don’t think the stimulus package has really done anything,” to help the state and calling for the stimulus bill to be repealed and any unspent money to be returned,[iii] which could have stopped major construction projects like the Manchester Airport access road.
“Ovide Lamontagne is working overtime to mislead New Hampshire voters and distract them from his radical ideas that will hurt middle-class families and our state’s economy,” said Matt Burgess, Maggie Hassan’s campaign manager. “The truth is that Maggie Hassan is the only candidate in this race who has balanced the state budget. She worked with Governor Lynch to cut spending and balance the budget without an income or sales tax, which she would veto as Governor. Meanwhile, Ovide Lamontagne is in lock-step with the Tea Party legislature and would eliminate the guarantee of statewide kindergarten, restrict the right of women to make their own health care decisions, and opt New Hampshire out of Medicare. Maggie will keep New Hampshire moving forward, while Ovide’s radical ideas will take our state backwards.”
Lamontagne’s attempts to mislead at today’s debate are part of a pattern of untruthful statements throughout the campaign, including a recent attempt to hide his role as a tobacco lobbyist. During a debate last Sunday hosted by the New Hampshire Police Association, Lamontagne stated, "By the way, contrary to what you have heard on the television ads, the negative ads, I am not a lobbyist. Maggie has never seen me, in the six years she was in Concord, with a yellow or an orange badge.''
However, The Lobby NH reported that: “Lamontagne is managing partner of the Manchester law firm of Devine and Millimet that has one of the biggest lobbying practices at the State House… [T]he Republican nominee has infrequently lobbied on an individual basis for Devine clients. His most recent appearance, however, came on March 8, 2006, when he testified before the Senate Ways and Means Committee against a proposed tax on cigarette manufacturers. In 2006, Hassan was in the State Senate during her first of three, two-year terms.”[iv]
“Ovide Lamontagne stood before a group of law enforcement officials and tried to mislead them about his role as a tobacco lobbyist, another glaring example in his ongoing pattern of misleading New Hampshire voters about his radical agenda,” added Burgess.
Ovide Lamontagne has said he would be a “radically different” governor than Governor Lynch[v], with extreme positions like rejecting federal funds for local schools[vi] and ignoring rising tuition costs caused by cuts to higher education.[vii] He supports plans to dismantle Medicare[viii], criminalize abortion and limit insurance coverage for birth control[ix], and defund Planned Parenthood, increasing costs for critical health care services for New Hampshire women and families.[x]
[iii] [WMUR, 8/10/10, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_KGyEfRJ-Rc; Lamontagne Op-ed, Union Leader, 7/14/09]
[iv] [The Lobby NH, 10/17/12, http://www.thelobbynh.com/electioninsider/979734-382/did-lamontagne-mislead-voters-about-his-tobacco.html]
[vi] Ovide rejected federal money to help K-12 NH public schools raise educational standards [Concord Monitor, 8/9/2010] and has said he would do it again [WGIR, 7/24/2012]
[vii] Ovide has said tuition increases were not of “utmost concern” [WMUR, 9/6/2012]
[viii] Ovide supports Paul Ryan’s voucher program to end Medicare as we know it [NH Farm Bureau, 8/2012]; believes state legislature should opt-out of Medicare and run program itself [Union Leader, 2/10/2012]
[ix] Supports a “Human Life Amendment” that outlaws all abortion, and even some forms of birth control and fertility treatments [Cornerstone debate, 6/5/2010]
[x] Ovide supports Bill O’Brien’s decision to completely eliminate Planned Parenthood funding [NHPTV, 2012]