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Entries in Kevin Smith (115)

Thursday
Aug012013

NHDP - Former GOP Gov Candidate Kevin Smith Latest Republican to Flee NHGOP 2014 Ballot

Concord - New Hampshire Democratic Party Communications Director Harrell Kirstein released the following statement on former Republican gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith announcement today that he will not seek a higher office in 2014.  Smith is the latest in a line of Granite State Republicans to decline a run for higher office in the upcoming midterm election.

"New Hampshire Republicans continue to flee their party's 2014 ticket because of the strength of Democrats up and down the ballot and also because the New Hampshire Republican Party is in shambles.  Voters have had it with the Republican brand and agenda, all the way from bestiality emails sent by Republicans in Concord to continued controversy and backlash against Kelly Ayotte's irresponsible background check vote.  The NHGOP has become synonymous with the extreme and radical Tea Party's ideology, and well known as a haven for fringe right-wing candidates."

Friday
Oct052012

Smith to head up effort on Constitutional Question Banning an Income Tax

YES ON 1 NO INCOME TAX

Smith to head up effort on Constitutional Question Banning an Income Tax

Ballot Question #1 Would Prohibit Enacting an Income Tax as Part of the State Constitution

Concord – Today, former gubernatorial candidate, Kevin Smith, announced that he will be heading up an effort between now and the November election to educate the voters about the importance of passing ballot question #1, a constitutional amendment which would prohibit an income tax from ever being enacted.  Smith, who was joined by both elected officials and grassroots activists from around the state, said the effort will consist of  both an aggressive grassroots campaign aimed at educating and turning out voters on this issue in November, as well as some paid media, through the No Income Tax PAC, to bring about more awareness to the issue.  Smith also noted that three former governors will also be serving as Honorary Co-Chairmen of the effort: Governor John H. Sununu, Governor Stephen Merrill, and Governor Craig Benson.

Speaking to reporters today, Smith made the following remarks:

"I am happy to be spearheading this effort to educate the voters about the importance of passing ballot question number one, which would forever take off the table any talk of implementing a broad-based income tax in our state.  Every legislative session, liberal politicians seem to keep bringing up this issue despite the fact that New Hampshire's economy has weathered many economic storms much better than surrounding states because of the fact that we do not have a broad-based sales or income tax.  To that end, I look forward to working with grassroots activists from around the state over the next month to ensure that when the voters head to the polls this November, we send any notion of ever having an income tax in New Hampshire to the ash heap of history by passing question one."

Also issuing a statement, was former New Hampshire Governor, John H. Sununu:

"New Hampshire has long enjoyed an important economic advantage by not having a broad based tax. Furthermore, our lack of an income tax has also had the important effect of preventing state government from growing too fast at the expense of local control. One of the wonderful assets of New Hampshire is that we have maintained the power and involvement of our citizens in community governance by keeping significant control of our tax base within our towns and cities. I believe that adding a prohibition of an income tax to our Constitution will strengthen our capacity to preserve that community based character of New Hampshire."

 The constitutional amendment question #1 will read as follows on the ballot this November:

Constitutional Amendment Proposed by the 2012 General Court

1.  “Are you in favor of amending the second part of the constitution by inserting after article 5-b a new article to read as follows: [Art.] 5-c. [Income Tax Prohibited.]  Notwithstanding any general or special provision of this constitution, the general court shall not have the power or authority to impose and levy any assessment, rate, or tax upon income earned by any natural person; however, nothing in this Article shall be construed to prohibit any tax in effect January 1, 2012, or adjustment to the rate of such a tax.”  (Passed by the N.H. House 256 Yes 110 No; Passed by State Senate 19 Yes 4 No) CACR 13  Yes  No

Friday
Sep072012

Smith for Governor - State Representatives Defend GOP Budget Amidst Comments Made by Candidate Lamontagne

Rep. Stepanek to Lamontagne: “What would you do to eliminate a $900 million deficit?”

MANCHESTER – Today, several Republican State Representatives commented on a statement made by gubernatorial candidate Ovide Lamontagne during the WMUR-TV Republican debate in which Lamontagne said he opposed the Republican legislature’s budget that eliminated a $900 million deficit.

During the debate, Lamontagne remarked, “There are items that I disagreed with in this last legislature, in particular the budget itself.”

Assistant Majority Leader and Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, Stephen Stepanek, expressed frustration with Lamontagne’s comments.

“If Ovide disagrees with the Republican’s balanced budget, then my first question to him is, what would you to eliminate a $900 million deficit?” said Stepanek. “It’s easy to sit on the sidelines and cast doubt on our efforts to balance a broken budget, but at least give us something more than the rhetoric we hear from the left.”

“To date, I've still yet to hear Ovide's solutions to prevent this from happening again, and his statement on the issue is strangely similar to that of the Democrats, Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley,” said Representative Todd Smith.

Kevin Smith, Republican candidate for Governor, and Lamontagne’s primary opponent, condemned Democrats Maggie Hassan and Jackie Cilley in the debate for dramatically increasing spending and taxes during their tenure in the legislature, and defended House Speaker Bill O’Brien and the Republican legislature’s work to balance the budget.

“The reality is while they were in office for four years, they wracked up the largest spending increases – 25 percent spending increase over four years and 84 taxes and fees,” said Smith. “What Bill O’Brien had to do, and Peter Bragdon the President of the Senate had to do, when they came in was reduce a $900 million budget deficit. Our budget is only $5 billion dollars. That was roughly 20 percent of our budget. And, through their leadership, they cut state spending by 11 percent, they made the tough choices, and they ought to be commended for doing right by the taxpayer, and bringing our budget back into balance.”

“This is a perfect example of how Ovide just doesn’t have the experience on these important issues. He’s arguing from a standpoint of theory rather than practice,” said Stepanek. “Ovide really should not criticize something that he has no experience doing.”

“During this last legislative session, we had to make hard choices to restore fiscal sanity to our budget for which we took a lot of criticism,” said Representative Dan Itse. “To have one of our own cast doubt upon what we did has led me to support Kevin Smith.”

Tuesday
Sep042012

Public Schedule: Kevin Smith For Governor - Week of 9/4 - 9/7 

Republican candidate for Governor, Kevin Smith, will be speaking at or attending the following events for the week of 9/4 - 9/7:

 

 

Tuesday, September 4

 

11:30 am

*Meet and Greet*

Hillside Country Store & Deli 

321 Mammoth Road, Pelham

 

 

Wednesday, September 5

 

7:15 am

*Attending/Speaking*

Bedford Rotary Club

180 South River Road, Bedford 

 

1:00 pm

*Business Tour*

Data Electronic Devices 

32 Northwestern Drive, Salem

 

6:00 pm

*Belmont House Party*

Home of Linda Frawley

117 Cotton Hill Road, Belmont 


Thursday, September 6

 

7:00 pm

*WMUR/Union Leader Republican Gubernatorial Debate*

New Hampshire Institute of Politics

100 St. Anselm’s Drive, Manchester

 

Friday, September 7

 

12:30 pm

*Keene Town Hall Meeting*

Keene State College

Lantern Room of the L.P Young Student Center

 

6:00 pm

*Londonderry Lancers Football Home Opener - Kevin Smith begins his 18th year as the Voice of the Lancers*

Londonderry High School

295 Mammoth Road, Londonderry

Saturday
Sep012012

Smith for Governor - ICYMI: Can Ovide clear up his position on gambling? Don’t bet on it! 

Ovide Lamontagne has had difficulty expressing his opinion regarding expanded gambling in New Hampshire. His statements throughout this campaign, and campaigns of the past, have indicated several, conflicting positions on theissue of gambling, including casinos.

In both his 1996 and 2012 campaigns for Governor, Ovide Lamontagne has opposed and supported expanded gambling. At times, he has opposed only casinos, but expressed an openness to other forms of gambling. Sometimes he’s opposed both. And, at times, he has expressed support just for casino gambling, and nothing else. Today, he is seemingly open to a single casino license only at Rockingham Park.

If you’re looking for clarity in his position, it won’t be easy to find.

On Wednesday, August 29, during a debate in Hooksett for Republican candidatesrunning for Governor,  Ovide Lamontagne was asked why he has changed his position on casino gambling since first opposing it in his 1996 run for Governor. In responding to the question, Lamontagne denied having opposed casino gambling before.  [Click for video]

“Let me make it very clear, I have not been consistently opposed to expanded gaming.”

Lamontagne added, “I wasn’t part of the anti-gambling movement in the last 16 years. “

It’s hard to take Ovide Lamontagne seriously on the issue, because his position on gambling has changed so many times over the years, and it’s still changing today. What was his position in 1996?

HAVING IT BOTH WAYS

Finally, for better or for worse, Lamontagne made his position clear on the expansion of legalized gambling. He’s against casinos now and forever; and he’s against expansion of gambling in racetracks at this time. But, like Merrill, he didn’t close the door on the latter forever. (DiStefano Decision on Fish and Game Agenda, Manchester Union Leader, May 30, 1996, p. A6)

ADAMANTLY AGAINST CASINOS ONLY

He is open to expanding gambling in the statewith video poker machines and other electronic games. But Lamontagne is adamantly against casinos, saying it would change the state’s character. (Governor hopefuls target taxes, The Boston Sunday Globe, June 30, 1996) 

Ovide Lamontagne has flip-flopped on the issue of expanded gambling. Lamontagne issued a release later in the day saying he opposes casino gambling and favors tough video-poker gambling penalties, but believes in trying new and innovative sweepstakes games. (End Tax Breaks. Gambling Stand. Candidates Rate Road, Bridges. Tougher Campaign Reforms, Manchester Union Leader, July 18, 1996, p. A6)

AGAINST ALL FORMS OF GAMBLING

“Lamontagne said that he has always spoken out against casino gambling and other gaming expansion.” (Zeliff Gambling Stand Praised, Manchester Union Leader,July 25, 1996, p. C7)

Ms. Parker said she was concerned about the future of Rockingham's employees and the affect on local businesses if the track is not allowed to compete with expanded gambling. “Will you give it some outlet for survival?” she asked. 'Some of those employees are members of my business.'

“We're going to work with them to find other things that will help them support their operations,” said Mr. Lamontagne. “But they will not include casino gambling or video poker slot machines.” (Lamontagne might ‘ ratchet up a tax’, Sunday Eagle Tribune, Oct. 20, 1996, p. C7)

And, what about Lamontagne’s positions on gambling today? Well, he continues to blur the issue and try and have it both ways. During an interview with WMUR-TV’s Josh McElveen on March 18, 2012, Ovide said: [Click for video]

“But still, bringing in casino gambling…gaming…into New Hampshire is changing our…gaming…our gaming climate substantially. So, we need to look at whether it makes sense to do that. Like I said, I’m not going to close the door absolutely to it, but I want people to know – don’t assume that I’m going to be with it.”

And, at an appearance in Hudson on March 28, 2012, Lamontagne made the followingstatements: [Click or video]

“My position is…I am…I presume…um…my presumption is to oppose casino gambling.”

“We should be casino free as far as I’m concerned.”

“If gambling is your issue, and you want a pro-gambling person, you’ll have to look to somebody else.”

“Please don’t consider me an advocate for gambling, because I’m not.”

That would seem like a position of opposition. But, then on June 9, 2012 in Salem – just two months later – Lamontagne reversed his position and declared support for a casino.  [Click for video]

“If you were the person who was the CEO of New Hampshire, where would you put expanded gaming? At Rockingham, why are we hiding from that?”

“Let’s stop hiding…walking around the issue. There is only one place to start and it’s here at Rockingham.”

What was more confusing is that just the week before, on June 1, 2012 in Belknap County, Lamontagne took both sides of the issue. In a single response to a question on gambling, Lamontagne claimed to both oppose and support expanded gambling. He made these four contradictory statements: [Click for video]

“I am generally opposed to expanded gambling.”

“If the legislature comes forward with a proposal for one place, one time, and that’s Rockingham, I’d entertain it.”

“And, if that works, if that comes forward and works, we’d look at another place.”

“I am generally opposed, however. I’m not going to be an advocate for expanded gambling.”

Finally, again this week in Hooksett, Lamontagne could not clearly explain his position, stating: [Click for video]

 “I’ll be a leader on this issue…I’m not a proponent of expanded gaming.”

Conversely, Kevin Smith has been clear in his campaign for Governor on his support for expanded casino gambling. Smith supports two licenses for casinos in two locations to be determined through a fair and open bidding process. Smithwould require, however, that any legislation include:

First, a strong regulatory infrastructure in place to oversee any casino operations before a single casino is constructed;

Second, that any revenues derived from expanded gambling not be placed in the general fund (which would only be used to grow the size of government). Rather new gambling revenue should be used to offset business or property taxes, or be used to improve infrastructure, such as the completion of Interstate-93.

Unlike Lamontagne, Smith does not believe the government should pick and choose winners and losers in the process, and that steering a casino contract to aspecific company is inappropriate and bad public policy that establishes a dangerous precedent. Those wishing to establish a casino in New Hampshire should compete.

What’s more, from his experience working with the legislature, Smith knows – like the many advocates for expanded gambling know – that a single license bill, without an open-bid process will not pass the legislature. Therefore, the only way to expand gambling to include casinos is to provide two licenses through a transparent, competitive process.