Manchester, NH - The Lamontagne campaign set the record straight today on three new myths touted by Sen. Hassan in yesterday’s New England College debate, and two “Classic Maggie Myths” where Senator Hassan continues to make claims that are demonstrably untrue:
Maggie Myth #1: Sen. Hassan claimed the unemployment rate has gone up since the current legislature took over; and continues to contend it was kept low while she was in office.
FACT: The numbers don’t lie. When Senator Hassan was elected to the legislature in Nov. 2006, the state’s unadjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.4. By the time she lost reelection in 2010, unemployment had risen to 5.7%, where it currently stands.
Maggie Myth #2: Sen. Hassan today distorted the objectives of CACR 12, on which Ovide worked with Gov. Lynch to craft a bipartisan solution to the state’s education funding needs, saying it “would allow the state to walk away from its obligation to our local schools.”
FACT: The language of CACR12 that both Gov. Lynch and Ovide helped to develop is clear that the legislature would have the responsibility to mitigate local disparities in both educational opportunity and fiscal capacity, meaning the legislature will be Constitutionally required to help poorer communities fund their schools. This stands in stark contrast to Sen. Hassan’s view that our courts and unelected judges should control education policy and funding in the state.
Maggie Myth #3: In defending her position against worker free choice, Sen. Hassan claimed the only way a worker can be required to pay union dues is if the employer and the employee negotiate that requirement.
FACT: New employees hired in union or agency shops after the establishment of a collective bargaining agreement do not have this right and are required to pay dues to the union in order to maintain their employment.
In addition to three new myths, two of Sen. Hassan’s usual fibs predictably reemerged during yesterday’s debate:
Classic Maggie Myth #1: Sen. Hassan continues to claim she cut spending and balanced the state’s budget.
FACT: Once again the numbers get in the way of a good myth. The truth is, Senator Hassan’s budget was full of gimmicks, smoke and mirrors, such as moving departments off budget, the bonding of school building aid, which future legislature will be paying for for years to come, and the use of one-time federal stimulus funds for ongoing costs. Her budget was balanced in name only and rightfully criticized by newspapers from around New Hampshire as diverse as the Concord Monitor and Union Leader. Senator Hassan was well aware of the fiscal cliff she was setting up for the next legislature, leaving an $800 million dollar deficit to be addressed.
Moreover, looking at total spending, in FY06 - FY07 when Republicans were last in charge of the legislature, the total budget was $9,309,463,518. By the time the FY10-11 budget passed, the second under Sen. Hassan’s leadership, it grew to $11,524,150,001. That is a 24% increase and those numbers don't lie.
Classic Maggie Myth #2: Again seeking to diminish Ovide’s tenure on the State Board of Education, Sen. Hassan claimed, “Ovide’s one accomplishment as chair of board of education was to reject millions of dollars of federal money.”
FACT: As chairman of the State Board, Ovide did stand up against the federal government’s Goals 2000 bribe to gain more control over the state’s school system. But what Sen. Hassan failed to note was Ovide’s successful work to enact the state’s first charter school program, his introduction of the first statewide educational assessment program to measure student performance and ensure grade level performance and progression, and his reforms of the teacher certification requirements to enable professionals to more easily transition from business or other professions into a new career as an educator.