Annie Kuster Grabs Bass’ Microphone during Debate, Denies NH Income Tax Support

Kuster Fought for NH Income Tax – Directed PAC Funds to Income Tax Candidates

Concord, NH – Just over two weeks since Annie Kuster grabbed a camera from a Bass for Congress staffer during a public event near the Statehouse steps in Concord, Kuster grabbed a microphone from Charlie Bass during his closing statement at the Southern New Hampshire Jewish Men’s Club forum Sunday, October 7, 2012. When Bass continued delivering his statement, Kuster leaned over to the microphone, interrupted Bass and denied her long record of supporting income tax for New Hampshire, accusing Bass of misrepresenting her record.

Kuster reached out and grabbed the microphone as Bass was reminding voters that Kuster actively fought for a New Hampshire income tax when she served on the board of a pro-income tax political action committee, which directed funds to candidates who supported an income tax.

  • Kuster has been a longtime supporter of a statewide income tax. In 1999 Kuster joined the board of the “Courage and Leadership PAC” – a group dedicated to imposing an income tax on New Hampshire. The PAC, founded by pro-income tax activist Gary Hirshberg, raised money to support “candidates of either party who support an income tax.” (Boston Globe, 7/4/1999).

  • “In the letter, Hirshberg said the goal of the PAC is to ‘examine and educate the public on ALL fair taxation’ options for education funding. Translation: They favor the income tax but they won’t rule out talking about other options. That is except for one big one dear to the heart of the Senate president, Junie Blasidell, and Governor Jeanne Shaheen - expanded gambling. The PAC says it will have no part of it.” (Boston Globe, 7/4/1999)
  • “Other members of the PAC board include possible congressional candidate Glen Secor, former Concord mayor Martin Gross, Ann McLane Kuster, Harold Janeway of Concord, Meg Hirshberg and Mary Townsend Scheffey.”  (Boston Globe, 7/4/1999)

During the 2010 Democrat primary for Congress in New Hampshire’s 2nd District, Kuster’s opponent called her a “vigorous supporter of an income tax in New Hampshire” for supporting legendary income tax advocate Mark Fernald in his gubernatorial primary campaign against Jeanne Shaheen in 2000. Kuster also supported Fernald for governor in 2002.

  • “No hard feelings. Democratic activist Ann McLane Kuster, who bucked the party line and backed [Mark Fernald] for governor in the primary, received the party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award on Oct. 19.” (Boston Globe, October 29, 2000)
  • On Sept. 9, 2010, the Concord Monitor reported, “[Katrina] Swett also called Kuster a ‘vigorous supporter of an income tax in New Hampshire.’ Kuster supported former state senator Mark Fernald in his 2002 gubernatorial bid, citing at the time his support for an income tax to stabilize education funding in the state.”

“As New Hampshire will be asked to vote this year on a constitutional amendment to ban income taxes in New Hampshire, Annie Kuster continues to dance around her long record of activism promoting a New Hampshire income tax,” said Bass for Congress spokesman, Scott Tranchemontagne.

Tranchemontagne added that Kuster should simply tell voters the truth about her record pushing for a New Hampshire income tax.  “Annie Kuster proudly supports the president’s health care law and its medical device tax that will directly impact 3,700 New Hampshire jobs. She has made a small business tax that will cost the state another 3,400 jobs - disguised as a tax hike on the ‘rich’ - a centerpiece of her campaign. Kuster publicly supports a national energy tax that will cost the state up to 9,500 jobs. It’s baffling as to why Annie Kuster won’t admit what her own record shows, that she has been one of the strongest income tax advocates in New Hampshire since the 1990s.”