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Associated Press: Ad targets Shaheen, health care law

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By HOLLY RAMER, Associated Press 


CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A conservative advocacy group is airing a tongue-in-cheek ad suggesting New Hampshire families would be reduced to serving their children a single potato chip as a side dish thanks to Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's support for President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law.


The ad produced by Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire asks viewers what they would do if their employer cut their hours to avoid penalties under the law. It shows a family dividing a meal for one person among four plates, with each person getting a sliver of a hamburger, a splash of milk and a single chip.


"With skyrocketing health care premiums, New Hampshire is already feeling the pain from Sen. Shaheen's deciding vote for Obamacare," said Michael Biundo, a consultant for the advocacy group. "Unfortunately for Granite Staters, the worse may be yet to come."

Shaheen, a Democrat who is up for re-election next year, has said that the law will help thousands of New Hampshire residents by addressing health care costs and adding stability to coverage.


Her office declined to respond to the ad, but in a fundraising pitch sent to supporters Wednesday afternoon, Shaheen called the ad an attack by a right-wing group and said she expects millions will be spent by similar groups to twist her words.


"I saw these same attacks in 2008 and we beat them," she wrote.


A spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee said that voters rejected similar health care reform attack ads in 2012 and would do so again in 2014.


"What matters most to voters is Sen. Shaheen's strong record of fighting for New Hampshire's middle class and small businesses," said Justin Barasky. "Republicans have been unable to recruit a serious challenger so now they've resorted to desperate, worn out attacks."


Republican former state Sen. Jim Rubens has said he is exploring a run against Shaheen. Others said to be considering campaigns are former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta and former U.S. Rep. Jeb Bradley, who now serves as majority leader in the state Senate.


Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire is spending $110,000 to run the ad on WMUR-TV and New Hampshire cable stations.


According to the Granite State Poll conducted by the UNH Survey Center last month, 49 percent of New Hampshire adults oppose the health care overhaul legislation, 34 percent favor it and 17 percent were neutral or didn't know enough about it to say. Those figures have fluctuated over the last two years, with support peaking at 43 percent in October and opposition peaking at 57 percent in February 2010.

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