Let’s start with Jeanne Shaheen’s support for increasing the federal gas tax. Despite pressure from her campaign, the Portsmouth Herald, one of the most liberal newspapers in New Hampshire, is standing by its story that Shaheen is in favor of raising the gas tax.
On June 9, the Portsmouth Herald reported that Shaheen, while speaking to the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials in Portsmouth, said that the increase may have to be part of a broader solution to fixing the country’s infrastructure needs. The story did not quote her directly.
“Shaheen said she believes the solution is going to involve ‘a whole variety’ of moves, including raising the gas tax, which hasn’t been increased since 1993, asking states to pay more of the burden and turning to the private sector for support,” the story read. …
Howard Altschiller, executive editor of the Portsmouth Herald, said the Herald this month received requests from Shaheen’s campaign asking the Herald to change the story because they believed it was inaccurate.
In order to protect Shaheen, who very well could be the vote that keeps Harry Reid Senate President and thereby allows Obama to continue his lawlessness for another two years, the Huffington Post ran an attack piece on Scott Brown.
Here is what the Huffington Post wrote:
There are two problems with Brown hitting Shaheen on gas taxes. One is that Brown himself said during his campaign against Warren that he may be open to raising gas taxes, although he more often said he opposed increasing the tax.
But when you clink on the Huffington Post’s internal link what you get is that Scott Brown was apparently asked a question about the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, and he said that although he was keeping an open mind on Simpson-Bowles he thought that gas taxes were already high enough:
Asked whether he could support an increase in the gas tax – part of the so-called Simpson-Bowles commission’s omnibus proposal – Brown said, “We’ll see. It depends where it goes… By the way before we raise any gas taxes, we have plenty of money right now.”
Brown clearly is saying that he opposed the kind of gas tax increase that Shaheen just recently proposed. It is, at best, misleading for the Huffington Post to claim that, simply because Brown said he was not going to dismiss Simpson-Bowles out of hand, that means he was “open to raising gas taxes,” especially when he went on to say that the federal government has a spending, not a revenue, problem.
Back to the Huffington Post’s attack-piece:
The second problem is that Brown, while a member of the Massachusetts state legislature, supported a bill that critics at the time called a “back-door” hike of the state gas tax. In 2003, then-Gov. Mitt Romney decided to raise by a factor of five the half-cent per gallon gasoline tax that fuel suppliers paid into a fund for cleaning up underground storage tanks. Romney also decided to stop dedicating that money to cleanups, and Brown voted in favor of that budget.
The link for the “back-door” hike does not reference any bill. Rather, it simply says that then Governor Romney increased an assessment:
As for the vote on the budget, weren’t these the same people calling the GOP terrorists, anarchists, fascists, etc. for threatening not to pass a budget that funded Obamacare? Yet apparently Scott Brown was supposed to vote to shut down Massachusetts government because the revenue from the assessment was not going to be dedicated to clean-ups.
The examples cited by the Huffington Post aren’t examples of Scott Brown proposing and supporting an increase in the gas tax, which is precisely what Jeanne Shaheen, according to the very liberal Portsmouth Herald, recently did.