- Associated Press - Monday, September 22, 2014

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein took New Hampshire’s traditional anti-tax pledge Monday and also promised not to commit to unfunded obligations that could mean tax increases down the road.

“The pledge can’t be simply a political commitment,” Havenstein said alongside Republican lawmakers in Concord. “Gov. Hassan has taken it to mean she can support any policy regardless of the fiscal implications of that policy, so long as she hides behind the fact that she says she (will) veto any sales or income tax.”

For decades, New Hampshire governors and candidates have promised to veto a personal income or general sales tax. Hassan, the Democratic incumbent, took the pledge during her 2012 campaign.

Havenstein did not give examples of unfunded spending he would cut. Instead, he criticized Hassan for including $80 million in non-existent casino revenue in her first budget proposal and pushing for Medicaid expansion. The Republican-led Senate eventually passed a Medicaid expansion bill that will use federal dollars to put low-income people on private insurance plans.

Republican senators also hit Hassan for not yet releasing spending numbers for the fiscal year that ended in July.

In response, Hassan’s campaign attacked Havenstein’s economic plan that aims to create 25,000 jobs by summer 2017, in part by cutting taxes.

“It’s impossible to take Walt Havenstein seriously on fiscal responsibility given that his Koch Brothers ‘plan’ would blow a $90 million hole in our budget to give more tax breaks to big businesses, taking us back to the devastating cuts of the Bill O’Brien era that undermined public safety, higher education, and critical economic priorities,” Hassan’s campaign spokesman Aaron Jacobs said.

Earlier Monday, the New Hampshire Troopers Association endorsed Hassan and said her budget protected those priorities.

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