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Jun262014

Garcia For Congress - ICYMI: Gary Lambert’s Not a Leader, He's a Follower 

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Hi all -- in case you missed it, the below article came out today on Gary Lambert's history of "progressive" energy policies and his involvement in Building America’s Future, "an organization dedicated to a larger government that invests taxpayer dollars in infrastructure."

Tom

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Gary Lambert’s Not a Leader, He’s a Follower


Does New Hampshire Second (NH02) US House Candidate Gary Lambert Even Know What He Stands For?

As a candidate for the US House, former state senator Gary Lambert fails to offer the voters of the New Hampshire Second a clear and concise message about where he stands on many issues; most notably cap-and-trade and reducing the size of government.

In 2011, the New Hampshire Journal interviewed Lambert, who was elected in 2010, and asked him what he was enjoying most about being a state senator; he replied:

"Well I’ve really enjoyed being on Energy and Natural Resources Committee. That’s one of the committees I wanted to be on. I’m really passionate about energy and natural resources. To have an impact on that, there are only five senators on that committee like most committees; and I’ve really enjoyed working on that and dealing with those issues."

Watch the video of the Lambert’s entire response.
 

Lambert voted like a progressive on energy and natural resources

Let’s examine Lambert’s “passion for energy and natural resources”, by looking at his voting record to see how it squares with his commitment to smaller government, and the interests of the people of the Granite State.

First, Lambert voted against HB 519, which would have repealed New Hampshire’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) cap-and-trade program. This vote clearly favored bigger government and special interests, and ignored the negative consequence of skyrocketing energy costs for New Hampshire residents.

Then, when presented with an opportunity to reevaluate his position on RGGI, he doubled down on his original position in dramatic fashion. Republicans needed just one more vote to override the governor’s veto and repeal the RGGI, but Senator Lambert cast the deciding vote on SB 154 to uphold the veto and leave the onerous RGGI in place.

So despite a high-profile opportunity to acknowledge that his position had evolved, or that he’d had a change of heart, or that he’d been presented with irrefutable evidence of the damaging impact of the RGGI, Gary Lambert stood his ground, which just happened to be the same territory occupied by progressives.


Lambert voted to increase government spending

The other thing Lambert enjoyed early in his term was joining Michael Bloomberg, Ed Rendell and a host of others in Building America’s Future, an organization dedicated to a larger government that invests taxpayer dollars in infrastructure.

Lambert remains a member to this day, where the co-chairs are now Bloomberg, Rendell and Barack Obama’s former Secretary of Transportation, Ray LaHood.

You can sum up the Building America’s Future message with this quote from AFL-CIO president, Richard Trumpka:

"Federal investment in infrastructure is the necessary catalyst for future economic growth and to enable the private sector to effectively compete in the global economy. This investment is long overdue."

Of course by “investment” they really mean “spending,” so clearly this is an organization dedicated to increasing the size of government, and Lambert didn’t just join, he worked hard to help Building America’s Future achieve that mission by voting for big government spending multiple times.

He voted against HB 218, which would have repealed the New Hampshire Rail Transit Authority. The NHRTA was established in 2007 to study and oversee the development of a commuter and passenger rail in New Hampshire. It is estimated that developing a rail system in New Hampshire would cost over $300 million initially, and between $8 million and $10 million a year to maintain. The bill to repeal the NHRTA was passed by both the Senate and the House but vetoed by the Governor. It then fell short of the votes necessary for a veto override.

By voting against repeal, Lambert ignored common sense and his stated commitment to trim excess spending, and instead actively supported government expansion.

He also voted against HB 540, which would have required vehicle inspections every two years, instead of annually. Supporters of the bill maintained that it would save the people of New Hampshire $11 million per year and would eliminate unnecessary government waste. They also claimed that annual inspections have been ineffective and unnecessary because they have no positive impact on auto safety. Finally, they pointed out that 30 other states don’t even mandate auto inspection.

But despite supporters’ best efforts, the bill passed in the House, but was deemed inexpedient to the legislature in the Senate, again thanks in part to Lambert’s vote.

Lambert then went on to vote against HB 629, which would have repealed the uninsured health care database. In doing so, he voted to protect an intrusive, costly, and dangerous system that placed an unnecessary burden on hospitals, and captured the social security numbers of patients in a government database without their knowledge or approval. He once again ignored patient interests and privacy rights while simultaneously showing his true colors as a defender of big government spending.

Are these votes consistent with the motto, “Live Free or Die?” We think not.

In fact, these votes are far more aligned with a progressive agenda that embraces, even extols, increasing spending at taxpayer expense (ostensibly for their own good, of course).

Five votes, five chances to demonstrate clearly that he stood with conservatives, and Granite Staters, and he failed miserably. On the contrary, his voting record made an irrefutable statement that his “passion” is for opposing the very ideals and New Hampshire constituents he claims to champion.

Today, just three years later, Lambert is a candidate for the GOP nomination in the Second Congressional District desperate to make up for his votes with hollow words and actions. In what appears to be a very hastily completed form, Lambert has signed a pledge from Americans for Prosperity denouncing support for climate change legislation like RGGI and cap-and-trade.

Following that, his campaign whisked out a press release with the following statement:

"Today, I promise the people of the 2nd District that I will not support any climate change legislation that raises taxes,” said Lambert. “New Hampshire has some of the highest energy prices in the country and right now, working families and small businesses are struggling to make ends meet. One of the worst things government could do at a time like this is restrict energy production and increase costs. And yet, that’s exactly what President Obama has done. Instead of more government regulation and red-tape, we need an all-of-the-above American energy strategy in order to remain competitive globally and create jobs domestically.”

We notice a couple of problems with all this: first, Lambert himself created those restrictions in production and increases in costs when he cast his aforementioned votes; second, AFP has not pushed this pledge at all in this election cycle.

In fact, AFP State Director, Greg Moore, said:

“It’s still on our website which is no doubt where Gary saw it. We aren’t pushing it this year frankly because there is no appetite on Capitol Hill these days for a carbon tax even from the far left. From our perspective we are glad he signed it, but it doesn’t change his record of voting in favor of RGGI and against blocking low carbon fuel standards.”

Furthermore, Gary Lambert has not renounced his membership in Building America’s Future and his association with the likes of Michael Bloomberg, Ed Rendell and Ray LaHood.

Does the Lambert campaign really believe this obvious attempt to obfuscate his record will resonate with voters? The voters may not have spoken yet, but one of New Hampshire’s largest newspapers has weighed in, and they seem to see through the ruse.

The Union Leader recently opined:

Gary Lambert, running for the Republican nomination for Congress in the 2nd District, last week signed Americans for Prosperity’s pledge not to support any energy policy that results in increased revenue to the government.

This is the same Gary Lambert who, as a state senator, voted for RGGI, which raises energy prices so the government can distribute the extra money to energy conservation projects the government likes.

When New Hampshire had a chance to remove itself from this wealth redistribution scheme, Lambert was one of the Republicans who voted to keep us in it.

In 2011, Lambert defended RGGI, saying the increased electricity costs were justified. He made the same defense in an interview with The Telegraph of Nashua last September. Now he repudiates that position, which he has held for years.

What a difference running in a competitive primary can make in a candidate’s views.

We would add that actions speak far louder than words; that Lambert’s recent actions are political posturing, at best, and a poor attempt to deceive the voters, at worst. Even if we were to write it off to a confused or mixed message, his voting record carries more weight than a defunct pledge and a press release.

New Hampshire voters can’t risk their futures on a candidate like Gary Lambert. He is far too willing to say whatever he must to get elected, and that is hazardous, even potentially devastating, to their best interests. For a case in point, look no further than Annie Kuster’s first-term in the US House.

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