By Rep. ANNIE KUSTER

For the Monitor

As we head into the final days before voters go to the polls to cast their ballots, Granite Staters in the 2nd Congressional District are faced with a clear choice.

When I first came to office, I pledged to bring a different kind of governing to Washington. I knew Granite Staters were tired of the partisan bickering in Congress, and the gridlock that resulted from politicians refusing to put aside their party labels in order to work together.

That’s not the kind of political environment in which I was raised – here in New Hampshire, we are proud of our independent spirit, and our ability to see past party lines in order to focus on the big picture. I was raised by two Republicans, but when our family discussed politics, it was never about which party was right but about what was right for New Hampshire.

And since taking office, I’ve prioritized the values and issues Granite Staters care about – and I’ve worked with members of both parties to push our best interests. And that’s what I pledge to continue to do during my next two years in office.

When I took office, I saw that many Granite State families were still struggling to recover from the economic downturn. That’s why I made helping to create more jobs and opportunities for New Hampshire my No. 1 priority. I’ve hosted a series of job fairs across the state, which have connected hundreds of job seekers with Granite State employers. I’ve fought for tax cuts for our small businesses, so they can expand their operations and create more jobs for our workers. And I’ve pushed for increased access to educational opportunities, so we can best prepare our students to successfully enter the modern, 21st-century workforce.

From creating more jobs for our workers, to fighting to protect Medicare and Social Security for our seniors, to ensuring we help level the playing field for women and stand up for their rights, I’ve been working with Democrats and Republicans in Congress to fight for our best interests.

My opponent, on the other hand, would take a different approach.

She’s a Tea Partyer who was hand-picked by the Koch Brothers to push their extreme agenda on the Granite State. While serving in the State House, she consistently voted against Granite State priorities, sticking entirely to the Tea Party playbook. And the policies she’s been pushing throughout the course of her campaign are extremely disturbing to say the least. Instead of fighting to make education more affordable for our families, she wants to abolish the entire Department of Education, completely eliminating federal student loans, Pell Grants and other programs our Granite State families rely on in order to send their children to college. That’s not the New Hampshire way.

Instead of fighting to ensure the rights of Granite State women are protected, she opposes Equal Pay for Equal Work legislation, opposes the Violence Against Women Act and voted to ban abortions with no exceptions – even in cases of rape, incest and saving the life of the mother. She would completely strip women of the right to make their most private, personal medical decisions for themselves. That’s not the New Hampshire way.

My opponent would even slash the programs our seniors and veterans rely on. She voted in favor of “privatizing all aspects of Social Security,” which would have meant risking our seniors’ benefits on Wall Street. Equally egregious, she voted against fully funding veterans’ benefits for our servicemen and women returning from combat. That’s not the New Hampshire way.

Across the board, these are all stances that Granite Staters strongly oppose. We know what these extreme policies would mean for our hard-working students, seniors, veterans, women and their families. So why does Rep. Garcia insist on pushing this extreme agenda that is only embraced by far-right Tea Partyers?

It’s because she’s funded by them.

The billionaire Koch Brothers have poured millions of dollars into defeating me. They don’t like that I work across party lines to get things done, and they know they won’t have that problem with Garcia – that’s why they’re personally funding her campaign and paying her a salary. This is someone who refused to work across the aisle while she served in the state Legislature, and now that she’s being funded by the Koch Brothers, you can bet she’ll push their extreme, Tea Party agenda even harder if elected. She won’t be going to Washington to solve problems. Instead, she’ll just add to the gridlock.

I have been honored to fight on your behalf for the last two years in Congress, and I urge you to stand with me this election season so that together we can continue to bring our New Hampshire approach to Washington and fight for the policies Granite Staters care about.

Annie Kuster for Congress

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Ann McLane Kuster

Now more than ever, our future depends on the priorities we choose today. Working together we will bring a new approach to Washington, DC.

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