Hassan For Governor - Nashua Telegraph Article on Ovide Lamontagne's Stimulus Flip-Flop

In case you missed it, below is an article from the Nashua Telegraph on Ovide Lamontagne's flip-flop on the federal stimulus. Ovide has repeatedly attempted to mislead voters about his positions and distract them from his radical ideas that will hurt middle-class families and New Hampshire's economy.


Hassan calls Lamontagne’s support for stimulus dollars a ‘colossal flip-flop’

MANCHESTER – Republican candidate for governor Ovide Lamontagne said he would have accepted federal stimulus money three years ago to complete the $75 million access road to the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.

Lamontagne’s assertion came near the end of a debate Thursday before the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce after Democratic rival Maggie Hassan had charged the project would have stalled had Lamontagne been governor.

“One of the differences Ovide and I have is he would have rejected the stimulus money that we accepted to help complete the access road to the airport,” Hassan said. “That was an important development for this area and for this region.”

But Lamontagne denied that was the case.

“I can assure you that if I were the governor of New Hampshire I would have accepted federal dollars to help infrastructure improvement,” Lamontagne said. “If I were to be the governor for the state of New Hampshire and be an advocate for the state working in partnership with the federal government, we would have had that project completed. There should be no doubt about that.”

In 2009, $17 million of federal stimulus allowed completion two years ahead of schedule for this access road that links the F.E. Everett Turnpike in Bedford over the Merrimack River to the Manchester airport.

During his 2010 Republican campaign for the U.S. Senate, Lamontagne’s “Ovide Oath” included repealing the near-$800 billion stimulus law and he maintained it was full of wasteful spending and didn’t deliver on its job-producing promises.

“That was a colossal flip-flop you just heard from Ovide Lamontagne,” said Hassan Campaign Press Secretary Marc Gregory.

Hassan also criticized Lamontagne for proposing to use more Garvee bonds to complete the widening of Interstate 93 from Salem to Manchester.

Garvee bonds permit states to borrow for transportation projects in anticipating of receiving federal highway aid in future years.

“Just repaying the federal government over the next 10 to 15 years. That doesn’t make any sense,” Hassan said. “This is someone who doesn’t want to accept federal money but he would borrow money against it.”

Lamontagne noted Garvee bonds helped pay for the current phase of the I-93 work and said it’s a “reasonable, responsible” way to pay for road and bridge construction.

Hassan hasn’t said how she would fill more than a $400 million hole in financing for I-93.

She said she’d consider reinstating an annual $30 registration fee the Republican-led Legislature did away with in 2011 that cut state aid to highways by $45 million a year.

And Hassan would lead a dialogue about infrastructure needs, though adding Thursday that raising the state’s gasoline tax is not a “good option” with fuel costing near $4 a gallon.

Lamontagne warned motorists to hold on to their wallets if Hassan is elected.

“I am not here standing before you that we should raise a gas tax like my opponent has said,” Lamontagne said. “She wants a conversation on taxation; I don’t.”

Throughout the debate, Lamontagne and Hassan were polite about it but each accused the other of lying about their records.

When Lamontagne insisted he’d have no litmus test for making appointments, Hassan called him on it noting the state GOP platform called for only supporting candidates who oppose abortion rights.

“That would be a great mistake. It is one of the things that divides Ovide and me in this race,” Hassan said.

Lamontagne denied that was the case.

“I wouldn’t have a litmus test other than this: competence, experience and ethics,” Lamontagne said.

When Hassan cited an MSNBC business survey critical of GOP budget cuts to higher education and infrastructure, Lamontagne tried to correct her noting the business climate did not get worse over the past two years.

“The facts don’t line up with what you are saying,” Lamontagne shot back at Hassan.