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Politics
0000017a-15d9-d736-a57f-17ff8d310000Race: GovernorParty: RepublicanPolitical Experience: NonePersonal: Married; lives in AltonEducation: Bachelor’s, U.S. Naval Academy; Master’s, Naval Postgraduate SchoolCampaign WebsiteIssuesA former CEO for two large defense contractors, Havenstein has proposed a three-phase economic plan – called “8.15.17/25,000” – with the goal of creating 25,000 new jobs by August 15, 2017.Phase one would reduce the business profits tax from 8.5 percent to 7.4 percent and require a 2.5 percent “efficiency reduction” across the state government. It would also require a Jobs Impact Assessment (JIA) on any new regulation, tax proposal or other legislation that will impact businesses to include an estimate of jobs created or lost.Phase two would include a “dialogue” between businesses, colleges and local schools to better align education goals with workforce needs and a “systematic and comprehensive” review of all regulations.Phase three calls for reaching out to neighboring states to relocate to New Hampshire. “New Hampshire’s enhanced low tax reputation will allow us to compete and win, if we have a person in the Governor’s office who will champion New Hampshire as an economic destination, and who can make the case that it’s the best place to start and grow a business.”Havenstein says he’s opposed to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion, but now that both are law in New Hampshire, he says he’s focused on a “long-term solution.”“[T]he fact of the matter is we have a law, we have a law with regard to Medicaid expansion, and we have a law that would sunset in two and a half years, and that's problematic. And we need to face into that problem now, not wait two and half years and not do anything about it.We've had a lack of leadership into facing into problems like that. I'm going to face into it, work with the legislature that voted in and approved this current bill to find a solution, a long-term solution that we can afford.”Havenstein opposes the Northern Pass project as currently proposed, saying it does not address the “balanced approach” to New Hampshire’s energy needs that he favors.“I think the real question is, "what do we do to make Northern Pass or projects like Northern Pass work?" Cause clearly we have to bring lower cost energy, base electricity in this case, into our region, into the grid. That's good for New Hampshire, that's good for our citizens, anything that can reduce our rates, but do it in a balanced way and right now I don't think we have a balanced approach to that project, so I'm not in favor of it.”

Havenstein: "No" to Wind and Solar, "Yes" to Gun Rights and Gay Rights

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Brady Carlson/NHPR
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In a wide-ranging conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy Monday evening, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein covered a gamut of economic and social policy issues.

Havenstein’s overall campaign is focused on the state’s economy. At the taping of NHPR’s “Rudman Center Conversations with the Candidates” Havenstein said his view of New Hampshire’s poor business climate was cemented when his 31-year-old son had to leave the state in order to take the next step in his tech career.

”Our demographic is shifting because we don’t have opportunities for young people,” he said.  “And if we don’t get that turned around it’s going to be – I’ll use this term and I hope I don’t offend anybody -- it’s a death spiral for us. We are not going to have the resources we need to solve many of the other problems we have… especially if we keep spending the way we are spending.”

Havenstein says lowering the state’s corporate tax from 8.5 percent to 7.4 percent would give New Hampshire a needed boost when competing for new or expanded businesses in the state. He says that would create a $90 million gap in the state budget – which he says would be covered by finding new efficiencies in state operations.  

On education, Havenstein says he’d keep state contributions to the University of New Hampshire at least at current levels.

“But I want to make sure that we start to target our investments in the university that are consistent with what we see as the future employment needs for our state, right?” he said. “So those folks are coming into the university with an idea of the curriculums that they need and the learning they need to get employed.”

Havenstein said his economic vision for the state is an integrated one, combining strategies for education, health care, tax and regulatory structures, and energy policy into a long-term plan.

On energy policy, Havenstein said wind and solar cost too much and deliver too little benefit.  

“They do not compete fundamentally economically," he told Knoy.  “Because they are not base power... (they are) intermittent, and it doesn’t make sense when your rates are as high as they are, that we should be subsidizing those technologies.”   

Havenstein says he does support one type of renewable technology – biomass, because it has spin-off benefits for the state’s forestry economy.

And on some other issues: Allowing concealed guns to be carried without a permit? He’s for it. Gay marriage: he supports it. The recent Medicaid expansion? He’s against it and would work to change how the state finances health care for its poorest. 

Havenstein is challenging Democratic incumbent Maggie Hassan for the governor’s seat.

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