Manchester, NH – In case you missed it, this morning’s Foster’s Daily Democrat featured an op-ed by small business owner and former NHGOP Chair Jayne Millerick taking Maggie Hassan’s to task for her numerous and desperate distortions.
In it, Millerick chided Hassan for pulling out “all the stops in attacking Republican Ovide Lamontagne in her quest to capture the Corner Office,” and went on to write, “She can't run from her record and distort her opponent's views in an attempt to win an election. The voters of this state are too smart and will see right through her desperate claims.”
Today, the Ovide for Governor campaign refuted six more “Maggie Myths” the former Senator sought to peddle at last night’s Rivier University debate.
Maggie Myth #1: Last week, Sen. Hassan claimed crowded schools in Manchester were a result of school choice legislation that has yet to go into effect. After being called out for this boldface fabrication, she changed her tune, this time claiming, “With budget cuts that this legislature, that my opponent supports, put in place, Manchester schools have as many 40 kids in a classroom.”
FACT: Wrong again. In 2011, the legislature enacted school funding legislation (HB337) that ensured each school district in the state received the same level of state funding as it did in the two previous years. The budget crunch in Manchester schools is a result of rising costs associated with teacher contracts, aging buildings, and other needs coupled with the city’s tax cap that prevents excessive tax hikes as a means to fund the budget.
Maggie Myth #2: In an attempt to distort her failed fiscal record, Sen. Hassan continues to claim, “I’ve actually balanced a budget, with Governor Lynch, in the worst economy since the great depression.”
FACT: As Ovide said last night, “That budget was only balanced through accounting gimmicks, a one-time taking of funds, and bonding of operating expenses.” The truth is, Senator Hassan’s budget was full of gimmicks, smoke and mirrors such as moving departments, such as the Liquor Commission, 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, intended to shore up budgets but instead used fund items Sen. Hassan knew were ongoing costs. The budget was balanced in name only – 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.
Sen. Hassan also fails to mention the inflated revenue figures she used for accounting purposes (figures so far off they required special sessions to correct), the effort to illegally take millions of dollars from the JUA, her effort to pass the LLC Income Tax and the nearly 100 other tax and fee increases she supported over her four years in Senate leadership that were necessary to claim a balanced budget. As Ovide again reminded the voters last night, “There is no stopping where she will go for new money.”
Maggie Myth #3: Since the catastrophic failure of her health care takeover scheme, Sen. Hassan has been attempting to distract from the goals of her original proposal, including last night when she said her bill, “passed unanimously out of the State Senate because it was focused on the very things that Ovide is talking about, which are transparency and accountability.”
FACT: SB 505 – ‘Maggiecare’ – was roundly criticized by the public and legislators alike, gutted and passed unanimously only after it was made into a study committee. It’s no surprise why: the intent of the legislation she originally introduced would have required that “health care systems submit through a uniform financial accounting and reporting system information about their costs and would request approval for any rate increases” and would require that “health care systems charge the same rate to all commercial insurers and the uninsured.” In other words, government control of the health care market place.
Moreover, Senator Hassan has recently been asked to explain the numerous tax and fee increases she supported on our state hospitals. It is important to note that MaggieCare would have added yet another tax to fund the full cost of the new bureaucracy she sought to establish. Try as she might, Senator Hassan cannot hide from the true, big government intent of her takeover scheme.
Maggie Myth #4: Sen. Hassan took a Medi-Scare page from the national Democratic playbook last night claiming that, “for all of the seniors in New Hampshire who might want to travel, for instance, to Florida in the winter, all of a sudden you go down to Florida and you don’t qualify for Medicare down there.”
FACT: As Ovide immediately responded last night, “It is absolutely untrue that if Medicare were to be managed directly with the federal government but by state policy makers in New Hampshire that it would not be portable. Of course it is portable, like any private insurance is today and if you go to another state you are covered.”
Maggie Myth #5: In last night’s debate, Sen. Hassan continued to perpetuate the myth that Ovide “opposes public kindergarten.”
FACT: Setting the record straight in his closing remarks, Ovide said, “I support public kindergarten, but I think the decisions about public kindergarten and whether to have it should be made by parents, teachers, taxpayers at the local level, not mandated by Concord. Maggie thinks it should be mandated from Concord.”
Maggie Myth #6: As expected from a politician with little experience outside the halls of government, Sen. Hassan last night sought to diminish Ovide’s efforts as Chairman of the State Board of Education, saying, “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.
"Again and again, Sen. Hassan attempts to hide her abysmal record by distorting Ovide’s positions and his significant experience in business, government and the charitable sector,” said Lamontagne spokesman Tom Cronin, “The voters expect more from the men and women asking for their vote, but Sen. Hassan knows that telling the truth about her time in Concord would severely diminish the chances of the voters sending her back. We're committed to making sure they don't forget why they kicked her out of office just two years ago."