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September 14. 2012 11:37AM

Republican, Democratic governors associations targeting NH race

MANCHESTER -- The Republican Governors Association and its Democratic counterpart are targeting the New Hampshire race between Ovide Lamontagne and Maggie Hassan with television advertising and new web sites, with each attacking the opposing party's candidate.

Independent expenditures advertising on behalf of both candidates is expected to continue until Nov. 6 as both Washington-based national political organizations are taking a keen interest in the battle for the open governor's seat.

Eleven governors races are on tap nationwide this fall, “and New Hampshire is clearly one of our top targeted pick-up opportunities,” RGA spokesman Michael Schrimpf. “New Hampshire has had only one Republican governor in the past 15 years but we believe it is the type of state that would be receptive to a fiscally responsible candidate.”

Mark Giangreco of the Democratic Governors Association said New Hampshire is a “top priority” for his side, as well.

“We are going to be very engaged in that race,” he said. “We think we have a great candidate.”

Both associations have set up local political action committees to fund their activities in the state.

The RGA's Live Free PAC has a website called HassanTaxHikes.com, while the DGA's PAC is the New Hampshire Freedom Fund and its site is ThisIsOvide.com

The DGA also has its own DGA-NH PAC, which in June had $1.8 million on hand.

The DGA went on the air with an anti-Lamontagne ad on Wednesday, while the RGA began its ad Thursday.

In the RGA ad, a woman narrator says that two years ago, “votes rejected Maggie Hassan's tax record -- voting her out of office.”

The ad, citing the conservative Josiah Bartlett Center as a source, says that as Senate Majority Leader, she “pushed a budget with over $300 million dollars in higher taxes and fees,” “33 tax and fee increases,” “a controversial new tax on small businesses (the LLC tax), higher taxes on rooms and meals, increased fees for vehicle registration” and “even a new tax on camping.

“Maggie Hassan believes in high taxes,” the ad says. “New Hampshire doesn't.”

The DGA's ad says Lamontagne “has worked for 20 years as a lawyer-lobbyist for special interests like Philip Morris. Now he's running as a Tea Party politician, attacking Governor (John) Lynch with plans to undermine Medicare, education and women's health care.

“Ovide Lamontagne, not what New Hampshire needs,” the ad says.

Hassan spokesman Will Craig said the RGA ad is “the same tired old misleading attack from the Republicans.”

Hassan, speaking at the New Hampshire Democratic Party's unity breakfast in Manchester, said, “Under Ovide Lamontagne's version of Live Free or Die, abortion would be illegal, even for victims of rape and incest, and doctors and women would be criminals. Creationism could be taught in our schools. And the state would get to prevent loving couples from marrying. That's the Tea Party Way.

“I believe 'Live Free or Die' means that workers should have the right to organize, all loving couples should have the right to marry, and that women should be able to make their own health care choices," Hassan said. "That's Live Free or Die. That's what I will fight for. That's the New Hampshire way.”

At the breakfast, Hassan named her former Democratic primary foe, Jackie Cilley, as a co-chair of her general election campaign.

Lamontagne told the state GOP unity breakfast in Bedford that Hassan is “recipe for disaster,” and despite her pledge to veto broadbased taxes, will eventually support them.

“Mark my words,” he said.

Tom Cronin, Lamontagne's spokesman, responded, “As expected, Maggie Hassan has quickly begun what we knew would be her campaign of division and distortion that offers no vision on how we get our economy moving and our friends and neighbors back to work.

“Over the next seven weeks, as our opponent continues to try and distract from her abysmal record as a tax and spend, big government politician, Ovide will be out talking with business leaders and voters about his plans to jump start our economy and unite our state in order to accomplish our shared objectives,” Cronin said.


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