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Thursday, June 12, 2014

If elected to Congress, Nashua Republican Gary Lambert says he would serve no more than three terms

HUDSON – Republican congressional candidate Gary Lambert, of Nashua, said if elected, he would lead by example by serving only six years and turning down a taxpayer-paid pension or subsidy for health insurance.

Lambert, 54, said taking these steps should set him apart from the other 434 members of the U.S. House and encourage his new colleagues to join him. ...

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HUDSON – Republican congressional candidate Gary Lambert, of Nashua, said if elected, he would lead by example by serving only six years and turning down a taxpayer-paid pension or subsidy for health insurance.

Lambert, 54, said taking these steps should set him apart from the other 434 members of the U.S. House and encourage his new colleagues to join him.

Recently, Lambert retired after 35 years in the Marine Corps, noting that he cannot collect a military pension until he turns 60 years old.

“The perks really bother me. I intend to forgo any congressional pension that is offered me,” Lambert said Tuesday during an interview with The Telegraph editorial board.

“I want to see that go away, but I can’t get it done unless I lead by example.”

Lambert said if elected, he’s certain there will be political leaders who question these decisions, especially the one to have a self-imposed term limit.

“They will say, ‘Take things slow if you want a future here,’ and my comeback is, ‘I don’t have a future here,’ ” Lambert said.

“It will be time for me to move on. If the voters will have me, I will do three terms in the House and then leave.”

Lambert said his military career, which included serving as a judge advocate and attorney for the prosecution and defense, has taken him around the world, including several stints in Iraq and in Germany during the period leading up to the Iraq War.

And Lambert said that service was what motivated him to get into this race and try to unseat first-term Rep. Annie Kuster.

“I’m running to continue to serve my country,” Lambert said.

The only other elective office that Lambert has sought was a state Senate seat he won in 2010, the first Republican elected in that Nashua district in 95 years.

Lambert did not seek a second term in 2012 and said he thought about seeking this 2nd District seat as his retirement from the military approached.

“Now that I’m out, I’m feeling kind of empty, and serving in Congress would really fill that void,” Lambert said.

A patent lawyer by profession, Lambert said he’s had more than two decades of experience owning a small business and said the cost and loss of access under the federal health care law is holding the economy back.

While Lambert pressed for repeal of the law, he promoted other “free market” solutions, such as expanded use of health savings accounts, giving better tax breaks to employers that provide health care coverage, and letting insurance companies sell policies across state lines.

“Right now, I think you will find that people out there still want to see a repeal. I will continue to listen to those voters,” Lambert said.

“I am not sure how else you can deal with it other than scrap it.”

Lambert called for an Article 32 investigation – a military form of grand jury proceeding – to look into all that led to the exchange of American soldier Bowe Bergdahl for five Taliban leaders from Guantanamo Bay prison.

“I don’t think it was right, because (President Barack Obama) broke the law. He did not notify Congress as he should have. It is unfortunate,” Lambert said

“It does seem to be a behavior pattern on the part of the president to do what I want to do when he wants to do it. It really has been a pattern of the conduct.”

Lambert said he doesn’t regret his support of New Hampshire’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative that levies charges on electricity bills to support an effort to get polluters to reduce their emissions.

Lambert said the payment by consumers of $5.6 million to support RGGI was more than offset by $12 million in grants for energy efficiency projects.

“When I got to the Statehouse, RGGI was already there. It was primarily an economic decision for me, and I think it was the right thing to do,” Lambert said.

Lambert pointed out that in 2012, he voted to allow New Hampshire to leave RGGI if two other New England states left first.

And he stressed opposition to any federal legislation that would impose a tax on carbon to try to bring about a reduction in fossil fuels.

“I am opposed to any national comprehensive
cap-and-trade, carbon tax program,” Lambert said.

“I think it would be a disaster and hurt a lot in the way of higher energy prices. Consumers just got hit by a gas tax increase handed to them from Concord. Folks can’t afford any more increases.”

A strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Lambert said gun control measures would not reduce wanton violence with guns in public.

Instead, Lambert said police and community leaders must do a better job enforcing existing laws that should prevent those with mental illness from illegally obtaining access to guns.

“We have to do something with respect to the mental health issue and firearms. It is a common theme, I think,” Lambert said.

“We are just not enforcing the laws on the books right now. We have to make sure we enforce them. It really is reaching epidemic proportions.”

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