CONCORD – Massachusetts was again a central topic in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race Monday as Republicans hit Sen. Jeanne Shaheen for promoting the Affordable Care Act during an event at one of Beacon Hill’s most influential lobbying firms, while a new Democratic web ad again exploited Republican Scott Brown’s ties to the Bay State.
The web ad by the New Hampshire Democratic Party shows Scott Brown saying, “I care about New Hampshire,” but follows that statement up with 10 Brown references to being from and/or representing Massachusetts. The Democrats said Brown “thinks he can convince the people of New Hampshire that he ‘cares’ about New Hampshire when less than two years ago he was bragging about his Massachusetts roots.”
At the same, the state Republican Party chided Shaheen for visiting the influential Boston lobbying firm O’Neill and Associates, where, according to a Twitter post by the firm, she discussed “the effects of the #ACA (Affordable Care Act) on NH #healthcare landscape.” (See post below.)
The Twitter post, later deleted, contained a photo of Shaheen with Thomas O’Neill III, a former Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor and the son of the late U.S. House Speaker “Tip” O’Neill.
O’Neill and Associates is known in the Bay State as a well-connected lobbying firm, saying on its web site, “Our clients have full access to the resources of our senior professionals, whose careers in media, business and government present an unparalleled network of relationships upon which to draw.”
O’Neill, according to his biography on the site, is,” A longtime leader in Greater Boston’s health care sector,” and “has served in prominent roles on several health care governing boards including Tufts Health Plan, Mount Auburn Hospital and Caregroup… He currently acts as the the chair of the board for Tufts Health Plan Foundation.”
In an earlier Twitter post, later deleted, O’Neill writes: “Happy to welcome @JeanneShaheen and @Team Shaheen to @O’NeillandAssoc today. Great turnout of support from MA.”
NHGOP Chair Jennifer Horn, commenting on Shaheen’s visit to O’Neill and Associates, said, “Senator Shaheen is happy to talk about health care with fat cat Boston lobbyists who represent insurance companies, but she refuses to hold a town hall meeting with New Hampshire voters who are directly affected by her deciding vote for ObamaCare.
“This serves as another reminder that Senator Shaheen is working for the special interests that are bankrolling her campaign instead of working for her constituents,” Horn said. “It’s clear that she has gone to Washington and lost touch with New Hampshire’s fiscally responsible values.”
Brown campaign manager Colin Reed said, “Senator Shaheen may be able to delete a tweet, but she can’t delete the fact that she has not held an event with the people of New Hampshire to talk about ObamaCare. Voters should question why she has no problem discussing ObamaCare with lobbyists in Boston but won’t do an event in her home state to talk about it with her own constituents.”
Meanwhile, state Democratic Party Julie McClain, commenting on the new NHDP web ad, said, “Here’s something Scott Brown needs to learn about New Hampshire: people here know double-talk when they hear it. When Scott Brown says he ‘cares’ about New Hampshire, people here respond as we do: ‘Really?’