An editorial in the New Hampshire Union Leader parroted the state director of a Koch-funded group in attacking Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan’s plan to use budget surplus funds to fill the state’s rainy day fund and address New Hampshire’s opioid crisis.
The April 27 editorial claimed Hassan is rushing to spend the state’s surplus funds “as fast as possible” and that she “seems to think spending large amounts of money will solve all of New Hampshire’s problems.”
Maggie Hassan is running out of time to spend New Hampshire’s money.
The lame duck governor is desperate to spend the surplus created by a budget she vetoed before the Legislature adjourns in two months. After all, when they come back to write the next state budget, she won’t be governor anymore.
As business tax revenues come in faster than anticipated, Hassan is trying to take credit for the surplus, and spend it as fast as possible.
Maggie Hassan seems to think simply spending large amounts of money will solve all of New Hampshire’s problems.
No wonder she wants to be a U.S. senator.
A day before publishing the editorial, the paper reported that Hassan was seeking to deposit enough of the surplus revenue into the state’s rainy day fund to fill the savings account to its legal limit. Only after contributing to the savings fund did Hassan propose to spend “additional resources to address the opioid epidemic, fully fund education adequacy grants, additional money for Police Standards and Training Council, and to overhaul the business profits tax to make it easier for startups to attract capital.”
The April 26 article detailing Hassan’s savings plan also quoted Americans for Prosperity (AFP) state director Greg Moore, whose group is largely funded by the billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch.
Moore’s critique of Hassan’s proposals sounded similar to what the Union Leader’s editorial board wrote the next day:
“There are some things you can count on in life — death, taxes and Gov. Hassan trying to spend more taxpayer money, even before these funds have made it in the door” said Greg Moore, AFP-NH state director. “Now is exactly the time to show fiscal restraint and very carefully target any additional spending, not toss out a wish list of spending that she could not get included in the budget last year.”
Moore often places op-eds in the Union Leader and has been quoted by the paper over 100 times in the last five years, according to a Nexis search. Since the paper has given such a strong voice to AFP – including previously publishing a reworked version of an AFP press release as news -- its parroting of Moore’s talking points comes as little surprise.
Furthermore, the editorial board at the Union Leader has its own Koch connection. Opinion editor Grant Bosse worked for the Koch-funded Josiah Bartlett Center for over four years prior to joining the paper.