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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Jim Rubens becomes first GOPer to officially oppose NH’s Shaheen

CONCORD – Republican Jim Rubens, of Hanover, a former state senator and longtime anti-gambling advocate, came out firing away Wednesday at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as a “career politician and party rubber stamp” in making official his U.S. Senate bid for 2014.

Shaheen’s support of the Affordable Care Act, a military offensive in Syria, and her refusal to sufficiently condemn civil liberty violations by the Obama administration should disqualify her from getting a second term, Rubens said. ...

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CONCORD – Republican Jim Rubens, of Hanover, a former state senator and longtime anti-gambling advocate, came out firing away Wednesday at Sen. Jeanne Shaheen as a “career politician and party rubber stamp” in making official his U.S. Senate bid for 2014.

Shaheen’s support of the Affordable Care Act, a military offensive in Syria, and her refusal to sufficiently condemn civil liberty violations by the Obama administration should disqualify her from getting a second term, Rubens said.

“We cannot tolerate the damage caused by another six years of this career politician and party rubber stamp,” said Rubens, who was joined by his wife, Susan, at the Legislative Office Building with a few dozen supporters sprinkled in the audience.

Rubens, 63, said his grass-roots organizational skills and devotion to personal freedom will help him win the GOP nomination – even if it’s against better-known rivals – and upset Shaheen, whom most observers already have installed as an early favorite to win re-election.

“My pledge to voters is that if I am nominated and elected, I will not toe the party line when our state, our nation or our Constitution would be weakened,” Rubens said.

Rubens touts himself as a “not in the box” candidate, and surely within the conservative base of the GOP, he would not be a candidate right out of central casting.

The Brooklyn, N.Y., native supports abortion rights, favors same-sex marriages and proposes the “revenue neutral” merging of a new federal tax on carbon emitted from polluters with comprehensive reform of the income tax code.

“I will always listen to, be accessible to, and remain accountable to the people who live here in New Hampshire,” he said.

Rubens is the first GOP contender for Shaheen’s seat, though former Congressman Charles Bass, former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, and Franklin conservative activist Karen Testerman have all said they are exploring a run.

Democratic Party communications director Harrell Kirstein said Rubens’ views on women put him well out of the political mainstream.

“New Hampshire GOP’s latest Senate hopeful has a perspective on women in the workplace that reveals he is wildly out of touch with New Hampshire families, New Hampshire values and also reality,” Kirstein said.

“A self-described moderate on social issues, state Sen. Jim Rubens has set a new bar for insulting women. New Hampshire voters will reject his twisted logic as they have with the backward Republican agenda.”

In a 2009 blog posting, Rubens wrote about how many men struggling in the job market dealt with depression and a lack of self-worth while women in the workplace were on the ascendancy.

“The collaborative, flexible, amorphously-hierarchical
American economy is shutting out ordinary men who were once the nation’s breadwinners in living-wage labor and manufacturing jobs,” Rubens wrote. “Because status success is more vital to the male psychology, males are falling over the edge in increasing numbers.”

In the posting, Rubens refers to the rising rate of violent crime by men.

During Wednesday’s event, Rubens dismissed the notion that he had made a connection between violent crime by men with female success at work.

“They use this ‘war on women’ playbook in every election,” Rubens said, declining to address his earlier remarks.

During a Telegraph phone interview Tuesday, Rubens said his 2008 book “OverSuccess,” about the stress facing men in the new economy, contained no such connection, because one does not exist.

Rubens said he was hypothesizing that males in this economy have much more difficulty dealing with financial failure.

“Males have taken the brunt of the structural changes in the U.S. economy, more so than in females. It’s now a more knowledge-based economy where collaboration has become more important and handwork has become less important,” Rubens said.

“This has left males not as well off psychologically in general as they were during the late 1940s through 1978. That’s my argument. It’s nothing against females; please don’t go there.

“The fact (that) females have done better in this economy is great.”

This will be the first time Rubens is on a state ballot in 16 years. His last race was a GOP primary run for governor that he narrowly lost to Bedford businessman Jay Lucas. Then-governor Shaheen was his target.

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