Sunday, January 11, 2015

Frank Guinta (R-NH) Caught Lying To Voters About His Campaign Finance Violations


Carol Shea-Porter, an educator and community activist, first ran for Congress in 2006. Rah Emanuel was the head of the DCCC and he wanted nothing to do with her, her grassroots supporters or her progressive ideas. He did everything he could to undercut her and ran a conventional establishment politician, state House Democratic leader Jim Craig. In a 4-way primary, Shea-Porter trounced him with a whopping 54% of the vote. Democrats wanted a fresh, independent voice and they wanted a woman in Congress, New Hampshire never having elected one. In the fall, Carol-- despite the DCCC writing off NH-01 to incumbent Jeb Bradley-- became the first woman ever elected to the House from the state. Through the district leans slightly Republican-- the PVI is R+1-- when Bradley challenged her to a rematch in 2008 she beat him again, with some help from Obama at the top of the ticket. Obama eviscerated McCain in the district 53-46%. Two years later was a Republican wave election; Republicans were out in force and Democrats stayed home. Although scores of Blue Dogs lost their seats across the country, Shea-Porter was one of only a tiny handful of progressives who also got swept up in that mess. She lost to ideological teabagger Frank Guinta. Two years later-- Obama again at the top of the ticket and again winning the district-- Carol beat Guinta and was back in Congress. Last year Guinta wanted a rematch and, once again, Democratic turnout was low, Republican turnout was strong and Guinta won the seat back.

Blue America is encouraging Carol Shea-Porter to run against Guinta in 2016, which promises to be a great year for Democrats. She's thinking about it but my guess is that she's going to go for it.

NH-01 voters, especially the independent swing voters who go back and forth, had reason last week to regret having voted for Guinta in November. The Federal Election Commission (FEC) has noticed a pattern of lawbreaking in his campaigns, taking bigger contributions from donors than legally permitted and then covering them up with bogus reporting.

Once that news came out, Foster's Daily Democrat published this letter from former state Rep. Bob Perry of Strafford.
On December 13th, I submitted a letter to Foster's asking why it continues to repeat Mr. Guinta's claims that he has been “100% cleared” of formal complaints filed against him. You'll recall that in the final days of Election 2014, Mr. Guinta ran an ad disputing that he was still under investigation by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). Foster's responded to my letter by stating, “We have previously talked to a FEC spokeswoman who refused to answer our questions, based on confidentiality.”

Though Mr. Guinta says he has been “100% cleared” of complaints lodged against him, the FEC Press Office released information to me refuting his claim and revealing a formal complaint filed with the FEC that is still under investigation. To quote the email I received from Judith Ingram, FEC Press Officer:

“The Commission did receive one more complaint in which Mr. Guinta was a respondent and the N.H. Democratic Party was a complainant. Unfortunately, we cannot provide any information about that complaint. To protect the interests of those involved in a complaint, the law requires that any Commission action on a MUR be kept strictly confidential until the case is resolved. 2 U.S.C. § 437g (a)(12).”

Since the FEC cannot release the information, the case is still unresolved and the investigation ongoing. Mr. Guinta's ad was false and misleading.

Mr. Guinta also misled the public in his TV ad by using the official seal of the U.S. House of Representatives to prove he had been “100% cleared” of complaints, when in fact he knew the investigation against him was proceeding at the FEC and not the House Ethics Committee, a different entity. It is illegal to use the official seal of the U.S. House of Representatives in political ads.
This is what Guinta said in the final TV debate of the campaign on October 27, 2014 on WMUR, blatantly lying to voters, many of whom were about to send it absentee ballots: "The FEC, in December of 2010, a month after the election, and before I was even sworn into office, said that I was exonerated, that I was in full compliance." That's juts a flat-out lie, although, in a way you can always expect from someone like Guinta, he accused Carol of lying about his record. Yesterday, John DiStaso reported in the NH Journal that the original complaint against Guinta-- involving shady reporting of a $350,000 infusion of cash into his campaign-- is still pending before the FEC. Shea-Porter spokesperson Marjorie Connolly: "This statement from the Federal Election Commission shows Congressman Frank Guinta slandered then-Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter and lied to the people of New Hampshire during the campaign. He knew he was lying when he said he had been cleared of wrongdoing and he knew he was lying when he called Carol a liar in speeches, ads, and in televised debate. Now, we wait for the Federal Election Commission to tell us if he also illegally funded his campaign."

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At 9:33 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I want to say I read your blog posts on a regular basis and love the fact you express views similar to mine. You seem very well connected to what is going on and would love to see an "about you" section so I know more about who I following on here?

At 1:20 PM, Blogger DownWithTyranny said...

Good idea, Garry. I'll try to figure out how to do that. Meantime, the wikipedia page on me is about 70% accurate


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