CONCORD – The theme of the first day of the general election campaign in New Hampshire was a familiar one: President Barack Obama versus the Koch Brothers – with a little bit of former New Hampshire House speaker Bill O’Brien thrown in.
Republican Senate candidate Scott Brown continued his attempts to link Sen. Jeanne Shaheen to Obama, now in a new television ad. And the billionaire Koch brothers’ new superPAC, Freedom Partners Action Fund, launched its own ad calling Rep. Ann Kuster “not independent” and a “follower” of Obama.
But the Democrats had their own foils, as they have for more than a year now: these same Koch brothers, “Big Oil” and “Wall Street” and on the local level, former House speaker Bill O’Brien.
The primary targets for the Democrats on day one of the general election: Brown and candidate for governor Walt Havenstein.
Havenstein was the target of a new web video put up by the state Democratic Party, in which Havenstein says during a recent debate that former New Hampshire House speaker O’Brien “did a very good job” and signed a pledge put forward by Americans for Prosperity, an advocacy group co-founded by Charles and David Koch.
By signing the pledge, Havenstein promised to work to cut taxes and oppose tax increases, cut spending and the size of government, pass a right-to-work bill, oppose “all forms of Obamacare..including Mediaic expansion,” and “uphold both the New Hampshire and United States Constitutions.”
See the video below.
“Heading into the general election, failed CEO Walt Havenstein has already made it crystal clear that his ‘plan’ would simply be to rubber-stamp the Bill O’Brien/Koch Brothers agenda,” said NHDP spokesman Bryan Lesswing. “By signing the Koch Brothers pledge…Havenstein has proven time and again that he would hurt regular New Hampshire families.”
Havenstein spokesman Henry Goodwin responded, “This is just another example of the Democrats trying to distract attention away from Maggie Hassan’s abysmal economic record. They don’t want to talk about New Hampshire’s stagnant economic growth, stagnant exports and the fact that young people are leaving the state to find jobs.”
The Democrats targeted Brown, as they have throughout the year, with charges that he, like Havenstein is “out for” himself.
In a memo, the party said Brown supported huge tax breaks for big banks, supported the Hobby Lobby decision on contraception, opposes paycheck fairness protections for women, opposes the minimum wage and opposes Shaheen’s plan to allow student loans to refinanced.
“Scott Brown sides with the Big Oil Koch Brothers in denying the widely accepted fact that climate change is real,” the NHDP said.
The Jeanne Shaheen campaign, meanwhile, launched six-figure online advertising campaign “that will contrast the records of Shaheen and former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown.”
The campaign also noted that Shaheen today voted for a fourth time in favor of the Paycheck Fairness Act, which Brown has opposed.
And all of this – on Day One of the New Hampshire general election campaign.