Sunday, September 21, 2014
My Account  | Login
Nashua;78.0;http://forecast.weather.gov/images/wtf/small/sct.png;2014-09-21 14:10:07
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

NH governor candidate clarifies comment on former BAE worker

Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein recently said state Resources and Economic Development Director Jeff Rose “any more than the man on the moon” has the knowledge to encourage business to expand here.

Havenstein, a retired defense contracting executive, gave the stark assessment of Rose even though Rose worked nine years for BAE Systems of Nashua, where Havenstein served as CEO. ...

Sign up to continue

Print subscriber?    Sign up for Full Access!

Please sign up for as low as 36 cents per day to continue viewing our website.

Digital subscribers receive

  • Unlimited access to all stories from nashuatelegraph.com on your computer, tablet or smart phone.
  • Access nashuatelegraph.com, view our digital edition or use our Full Access apps.
  • Get more information at nashuatelegraph.com/fullaccess
Sign up or Login

Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein recently said state Resources and Economic Development Director Jeff Rose “any more than the man on the moon” has the knowledge to encourage business to expand here.

Havenstein, a retired defense contracting executive, gave the stark assessment of Rose even though Rose worked nine years for BAE Systems of Nashua, where Havenstein served as CEO.

The Alton Republican made the comments last week during a GOP event at the Kimball Public Library in Atkinson.

Havenstein was asked about how he would change the quality of appointments that Gov. Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat, has made.

“The guy who runs DRED used to work for me. I would never hire him to work for me in that role. Good guy, good man, but he wouldn’t know how to encourage creatively business to come into the state any more than the man on the moon, and he knows that,” Havenstein said.

“So we have to have a governor and an Executive Council majority that gets those changes in people made.”

The Executive Council voted unanimously to confirm Hassan’s choice of Rose, a Republican, as commissioner of the agency in charge of all economic development activities, as well as the chief administrator of state parks and other state-run attractions.

Rose worked at BAE in a variety of public and government relations roles, most recently as director of public affairs for BAE Systems’ Electronic Systems sector.

Before that, Rose worked for eight years as an aide to Republican members of Congress, including former Sen. Bob Smith and former New Hampshire Reps. John E. Sununu and Jeb Bradley.

During a telephone interview Tuesday, Havenstein insisted that he wasn’t being critical of Rose or his skills but rather Hassan’s failure to empower that agency to stimulate job growth.

“The point I was trying to make was not about Jeff but about any DRED commissioner. They don’t have the authority to improve the economic development posture of the state,” Havenstein said.

“Jeff is a superb individual with a deep commitment to service, and I saw that when he worked for me and did an admirable job.

“The concern isn’t the individual, and this wasn’t about Jeff or anyone else on the job.”

Rose, a current Goffstown resident, grew up in Merrimack and is a former chairman of the Greater Nashua Chamber of Commerce and NH Gateway Chapter of the Red Cross.

“The governor needs to work with the Legislature to empower Jeff and DRED to improve the climate for business growth in this state,” Havenstein said.

“Frankly, that is something I have done in the private sector and would bring to the job. It was certainly not my intent to be critical of Jeff in any way.”

Havenstein has made his work for BAE Systems and as CEO of Science Applications International Corp. a cornerstone of a campaign to turn around what he has called squandering a decade of sub-par economic growth.

Havenstein is beginning a jobs tour titled “factory floors and entrepreneurs,” during which he’ll visit all types of businesses, including three stops in Nashua on Friday.

“What I hope to accomplish is get an understanding what is going on at businesses of all types and sizes and what are the concerns of its leaders and their employees,” Havenstein said.

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