Bass makes local push at PBVRC dinner
|Gearing up for the Nov. 2 General Election, the Pemi Baker Valley Republicans sponsored a spaghetti dinner with a full complement of candidates. Pictured: Seated in front; Carole Elliott, Raymah Simpson. Back: Neil McIver, Bill Tobin, Charlie Bass, Harold “Skip” Reilly, Charlie Brosseau, Paul Simard, Henry Ahern, Jeanie Forrester and Omer Ahern, Jr. (Marcia Morris) (click for larger version)|
October 27, 2010ASHLAND—Turnout was good for the annual Pemi Baker Valley Republican Committee (PBVRC) spaghetti dinner held last Saturday night at the American Legion Hall.
Most of the local Republican candidates were on hand to greet voters and enjoy the fellowship before heading back out on the trail for the home stretch to Tuesday's General Election.
While there were no formal speeches, there was plenty of time to buttonhole the individual candidates, shake hands and share last-minute strategy tips.
Heading up the line of candidates courting the local voters at the dinner was U.S. Congressional candidate Charlie Bass, who is running against Democrat Ann McLane Kuster in the race to fill the seat that Congressman Paul Hodes is vacating to run for the Senate.
Bass was on the offensive against Democrats in general and Kuster in particular.
"The Democrats have increased the size of government by about 30 percent," said Bass. "They have passed a national healthcare bill that will make people subservient to the government from the day of their birth to the day of their death. They have frittered away $800 billion of taxpayers' money for a plan that did not turn the economy around. I believe that America is at a turning point. What happens in this election will determine the relationship between the government and the people who are governed for years to come."
Bass was quick to criticize the Kuster campaign, accusing his opponent of wanting to raise taxes, while he wants to cut spending. He said Kuster was in favor of the public option in healthcare, while he preferred to "open up the market" to create more competition to increase affordability.
He said that Kuster thought the federal government could "tackle unemployment by creating jobs in Washington," while he believed in cutting taxes on small businesses to give them incentive to hire.
"If Democrats continue to control the agenda in this country, then we will see taxes go up significantly in the next two years," said Bass. "There will be trillion dollar deficits for the next 10 years, double digit inflation within the next five years, and America will never be the same as it has been for my generation and my parents' generation. I am running for Congress because I think the Democrats are ruining this country. It is as simple as that."
In a less partisan analysis, he expressed optimism that if the Republicans regain control in Congress, it will usher in a period of bipartisan cooperation like the era that followed the 1994 mid-term election, when Bill Clinton was President.
"With Bill Clinton and a Republican Congress, we were able to pass welfare reform and achieve four years of a surplus budget," said Bass.
He also suggested that bipartisan cooperation was necessary in order for the American people to tackle the difficult problem of entitlement spending in the years ahead. "Entitlements make up two-thirds of the budget," said Bass. "We have got to come to agreement about how to cut spending on these programs."
He said he was in favor of creating a bipartisan commission to study the issue, travelling around the country, listening to people from all parts of America to put a plan together to "protect and preserve" Social Security and Medicare for the next 50 years. He said the 2010 election will be a referendum on entitlements, and suggested that he would favor the unprecedented approach of putting the issue to a vote of the American people. "These two programs belong to the American people," said Bass. "We created them, we have paid into them, and we should be part of solving them."
Bass also emphasized his business experience in the alternative energy sector and his expectation that he will be appointed to the Energy and Commerce Committee in the House if he is elected. He said he would work cooperatively with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen on the Senate Energy Committee to move the country forward in the alternative energy economy if he is elected.
Sounding confident and energized, he predicted a sweeping Republican victory in New Hampshire and across the country.
"I have never seen such energy amongst Republicans as now," said Bass. "We are going to have a huge day on Nov. 2, better than expected, because there is an air of determination amongst working Americans who understand if they don't vote for change now, they many never get another chance."