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Kuster for Congress comes to town



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U.S. Congressional Candidate Ann McLane Kuster greeted diners at Annie’s Overflow in Plymouth this past Monday morning, as she continued on her “30 diners in 30 days” breakfast tour across New Hampshire. Pictured: The unofficial “Mayor” of Groton Hollow, Dean Kenneson, and Jeff Belyea (left) from Ashland chat with Kuster (right) about the pending Groton Wind Farm project, currently before the Site Evaluation Committee of the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)
October 20, 2010
PLYMOUTH— Casual conversation over coffee became even more animated when U.S. Congressional candidate Ann McLane Kuster unexpectedly showed up for breakfast at Annie's Overflow Diner in Plymouth this past Monday morning.

"I saw you on T.V.!" exclaimed one startled diner as Kuster made the rounds, greeting diners cheerfully and chatting amiably with each and every one before sitting down to a healthful broccoli omelet with her son Zach, who enjoyed one of Annie's overflowing plates of pumpkin pancakes, a local favorite.

En route to a campaign stop in Berlin, Kuster was on the 23rd installment of her "30 diners in 30 days" tour of New Hampshire.

"Diners are the hub of the community," explained Kuster. "This is where you find out what is really going on in people's lives. This is where you get a sense of the reality for people who have lost their jobs, or are hanging on by a thread. These things are real.

That is what our campaign is all about — putting people above politics and bringing a new approach to Washington."

Kuster said that voters have been talking to her about their everyday concerns. She told the story of a 92-year-old woman she met at a diner in Nashua who said she was deeply concerned about losing her social security benefits.

"What would happen to us?" asked the woman. "Where would we be?"

Kuster said that her Republican opponent, former Congressman Charlie Bass, wants to privatize Social Security.

"I don't," said Kuster. "That doesn't represent my small town New Hampshire values. We take care of one another here in New Hampshire, rather than gambling on Wall Street with other people's money because it might benefit some financial institution. We care more about Main Street than Wall Street.

"Charlie Bass voted in favor of all the de-regulations of Wall Street that led to the economic meltdown in the first place," said Kuster. "I am in favor of reforms that will protect people with their investments, whether it is college savings or retirement. Never again do we want to see the meltdown of our economy that we have experienced."

Kuster said she wants to cut spending and freeze Congressional pay. She said Bass voted for his own pay raise eight times when he was in Congress; meanwhile, he voted against expanding veteran's benefits.

"Yet he wants a tax break for millionaires and billionaires," Said Kuster. "I don't think that is doing the people's business."

Kuster was upbeat about how the campaign is going. She said the campaign has had strong support in the Plymouth area from the very beginning, and that the students on campus at Plymouth State University are "very energized" about the upcoming election.

Statewide, the most recent WMUR/University of New Hampshire poll has Kuster leading Bass with 43 percent of the likely vote, while Bass is at 36 percent, a big shift in the last month.

"You can really feel it when you are talking to people," said Kuster. "There is such a wide range of people that are supporting our campaign. While we easily won the Primary with 72 percent of the Democratic vote, our campaign is also filled with independents and moderate, open-minded Republicans…lots of Republicans."

Having grown up in a Republican, bipartisan family, with her mother in the state legislature for 25 years, Kuster said she has a lot of strong support from some traditional Republicans.

She believes that when Bass was in Washington during the Bush years, the Republican Party swung too far to the right on social issues for many people, and on economic issues, as well.

"They were just not reliable," said Kuster. "They grew the deficit from $4 trillion to $8 trillion in the 12 years that Charlie Bass was in Washington.

"Now people are angry about the deficit and the debt. They are angry that we got into another war," said Kuster. "They want us to create jobs and put the people's interest first."

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