Second District U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster stopped by the N.H. Secretary of State’s office Monday to formally file to run for re-election, and she took the opportunity to tout her bipartisan credentials.
“I am a rare purple member of Congress,” Kuster said, as a few dozen supporters waved signs in the background. “I grew up in a Republican family and that is this district’s DNA, to be working across the aisle.”
Kuster talked about her work with Republican Frank Guinta on mental health issues when he still represented New Hampshire’s First District. “We have a package of bills coming to the floor in two weeks that come from the work we did in a bipartisan way.”
Which is why it was so jarring when Kuster declared the same Republicans she wants to work with are also trying to destroy America’s democracy.
Republicans, Kuster insisted, want to strip away the power of voters to govern America. And, she insisted, she was not talking about some fringe group like the people who stormed the U.S. Capitol on January 6, 2021.
“Not just individuals—the Republican Party has embraced the overthrow of our democracy,” Kuster said. “That will be on the ballot in November.”
Accusing the party of Gov. Chris Sununu and Sen. Susan Collins of “embracing the overthrow of our democracy” may strike some as extreme. And given Republican candidates for president have consistently received the support of more than 45 percent of Granite Staters, it does not reflect well on citizens, either.
“Instead of focusing on inflation and skyrocketing prices, Ann Kuster is trying to mask her hyper-partisan voting record,” said Keene, N.H. Mayor — and GOP congressional candidate — George Hansel. “Her constituents aren’t buying it. Voting with the Biden administration 100 percent of the time is not bipartisan, and her voting record has led to the hurt working families are feeling everywhere from the gas pump to the grocery store.”
Hansel’s comment about Kuster’s loyalty to her party isn’t hyperbole. According to the independent data analysts at FiveThirtyEight.com, the “bipartisan” Kuster has voted with President Biden 100 percent of the time.
Bob Burns, another Republican seeking the Second District nomination said, “Ann Kuster has been a foot soldier for Joe Biden’s failed policies on inflation, disrupted supply chains and the disaster at our southern border. It is time for New Hampshire to fire Ann Kuster, demote Nancy Pelosi to the minority and elect a representative in the Second District that works for New Hampshire’s values, not Joe Biden’s.”
Accusing Republicans of election conspiracies has become a common practice among progressives since the contested Bush v. Gore election of 2000. Four years later, progressive members of Congress delayed the certification of Bush’s re-election by alleging “serious election irregularities.”
Hillary Clinton famously made unfounded allegations Russia played a role in stealing the 2016 election for Donald Trump — allegations based on faked reports funded by Clinton’s own campaign and delivered to the FBI by her own lawyer.
And last year, during the debate over a law to federalize America’s elections, Sen. Maggie Hassan claimed New Hampshire’s elections were in danger of a “slide to authoritarianism.” She gave a conspiracy-laden speech from the floor of the U.S. Senate claiming Granite Staters might soon wake up and find their ballots weren’t being counted.
Ironically, the debate over voting rights was sparked by claims Georgis’s new GOP-backed election rules would suppress the votes, particularly among people of color. President Joe Biden said the law “makes Jim Crow look like Jim Eagle.”
Instead, early voting hit an all-time record in Georgia’s primary last month and the total vote jumped from 1.2 million in 2018 to 1.8 million this year. As for people of color, at least 102,056 more Black voters cast early ballots this year than in 2018 — a more than 300 percent increase.
For a party that has “embraced the overthrow of our democracy,” it was a disappointing performance.