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May 09. 2012 9:03PM

Lamontagne vows to take on 'Obamacare'

BEDFORD — Gubernatorial hopeful Ovide Lamontagne will take on “Obamacare” before all else, he told the Bedford Republican Committee Tuesday night.

He said it is just one element of the fight he hopes to lead against federal interference in the Granite State.

“The very first thing I would do (as governor) is direct the attorney general to repeal Obamacare or to fight it and stop it every step of the way,” he said. “We need to make sure we don’t have Obamacare.”

The room at the Bedford library was packed with Republican officials and activists, many of them brandishing “Ovide” campaign stickers.

Lamontagne said federal rules, regulations and laws pervert the market place under the guise of Medicare and Medicaid, and it’s contrary to the New Hampshire way.

“We know that the economy is lagging in New Hampshire because we have unpredictability in areas like health care. Businesses don’t want to hire full time. They’re concerned about what it’s going to cost them three years down the road.”

The regulatory system is another obstacle for businesses, he said, pledging to put a 90-day moratorium on any rules or regulations from state departments. “Tell the people and the businesses of the cities and towns of our state what it’s going to cost to comply with the latest rule that you’re promulgating, and why it makes sense to incur that expense,” he said.

Lamontagne said he would sign the “right to work” bill, which failed last year because of a veto by Gov. John Lynch.

The candidate touted his credentials as a lawyer at Devine Millimet, former state Board of Education chairman, and former head of St. Mary’s Bank, the nation’s oldest credit union.

“New Hampshire is based on the ethic… of people helping people at the community level, really working hard to make a better life for themselves and their children,” he said.

Following the speech Charlie Fairman asked Lamontagne about local control of education.

“If it turned out that any school district committed to some program to which they were ceding some of their authority decision-making to a third party, not New Hampshire, I’d have concerns about that,” Lamontagne said.

Fairman said later he wasn’t satisfied with the answer. “He didn’t come out as strong on local control as I would’ve liked, particularly after his strong speech about the federal government not interfering at the state level,” he said.

“The state level shouldn’t interfere at the town level.”

Lamontagne is competing against former state Rep. Kevin Smith of Litchfield for the Republican nomination. Smith recently received the endorsement of former Gov. Craig Benson, while Lamontagne was endorsed by U.S. Rep. Charlie Bass.

He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1996 and U.S. Senate in 2010, losing to Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte respectively.

The state primary takes place Sept. 11.


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