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Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rubens: A Shaheen-Brown race would offer voters little contrast

HUDSON – Jim Rubens, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said a general election showdown between GOP front-runner Scott Brown and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would offer little choice on key issues to voters.

During an interview with The Telegraph editorial board this week, Rubens said Shaheen and Brown have identical voting records in support of the Dodd-Frank finance regulation reform, and that both supported U.S. foreign wars and ignored warnings about waiting lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs. ...

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HUDSON – Jim Rubens, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, said a general election showdown between GOP front-runner Scott Brown and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., would offer little choice on key issues to voters.

During an interview with The Telegraph editorial board this week, Rubens said Shaheen and Brown have identical voting records in support of the Dodd-Frank finance regulation reform, and that both supported U.S. foreign wars and ignored warnings about waiting lists at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

“If these kinds of things don’t get debated inside the Republican Party, there is no debate,” Rubens said. “If the two of them are running in the general, there will be no debate on a variety of important issues.”

Also seeking the GOP nomination this fall are former New Hampshire Sen. Bob Smith and conservative activist Karen Testerman.

Rubens, 63, said he has a proven track record in four years in the state Senate of crafting bold solutions, whether it was authoring the state law creating charter schools or giving towns the right to vote on issues on ballots rather than at town meetings.

“I am not seeking to go to Washington for a career or to get rich or get high name recognition so I can be politically popular,” Rubens said. “I want to get elected to actually get things done.”

Rubens, a social moderate, is emphasizing a pro-jobs platform he said can be achieved by helping America become independent of fossil fuels, making a more simple federal tax code and unshackling small business from excessive regulation.

“We need people who can think in the U.S. Senate, people who are determined and committed to fight business as usual,” Rubens said. “We have a history in this state of sending leaders to Washington.”

Rubens said he would support getting rid of all energy subsidies, predicting it would allow renewable and new forms of power to become cheaper than oil at $100 a barrel.

While natural gas is more abundant, Rubens predicted its price would grow higher, as well.

Early in his campaign, Rubens advocated imposing a federal tax on carbon to encourage power companies would move away from coal and oil production.

“I am looking for solutions that are politically viable,” he said. “I offered a robust solution. It was not selling, it is not going to happen in this Congress or in the future, so I’ve moved on.”

Rubens said he could only support the Northern Pass project to bring hydroelectric power from Quebec, Canada, if all the transmission lines through New Hampshire were buried.

“Northern Pass: There is a real solution – bury it,” he said. “The notion it is not financially viable is being completely disproved by the competing plans in Vermont and New York doing it this way.

“To scar our North Country with layers of wires that will crisscross Interstate 93 multiple times makes no sense at all. Tourists coming here are going to ask, Do we care about our citizens at all?”

Burying the power lines would bring revenue to the state, cities and towns, since they would be along public rights of way.

“If they want us to be the extension cord for this project, I think New Hampshire would be perfectly happy to have it,” Rubens said. “Just bury it.”

Rubens said a simpler income tax system would bring U.S. investments in overseas companies back home so that entrepreneurs would spend less time pursuing favors in the tax code and more time innovating in the marketplace.

Congress and presidents under both political parties have added layers of needless regulation that also crushes job growth, especially in the small-business sector, he said.

“The whole regulatory structure is set up to hurt small businesses,” Rubens said.

Rubens, a Second Amendment supporter, said reducing violent crime won’t occur through gun control but by encouraging the public to report bullying at schools and getting the news media to not publish or broadcast the names from infamous shooting incidents.

“There are 300 million guns in the U.S.,” he said. “If someone is bent on taking a knife or gun to try to kill people, they will get a gun no matter what gun restrictions are on the books.

“You can feel good about banning guns, but it won’t accomplish a thing.”

Rubens favors consolidating or eliminating federal programs for grades K-12 and giving block grants to states to craft their own proposals.

Rubens said some of that money should be returned to parents as a tuition voucher to help support their child attending the public, private or charter school of their choice.

Kevin Landrigan can reached at 321-7040 or klandrigan@nashua telegraph.com. Also, follow Landrigan on Twitter (@Klandrigan).