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Will Guinta’s Next Town Hall On The 20th Be More Of The Same Avoiding Real Questions From Constituents

Guinta 2010 - 2 (Image by Jason Meserve)

Guinta 2010 – 2 (Image by Jason Meserve)

In what is sure to be a repeat performance of last Saturday’s falsely labeled “town hall” in Alton, Congressman Frank Guinta announced he will hold a similar event in Plaistow.

WHAT:  Congressman Guinta Town Hall in Plaistow
WHO:  Constituents of the First Congressional District of the New Hampshire and members of the press are invited to attend.
WHERE: Plaistow American Legion, 176 Main Street, Plaistow, New Hampshire 03865
WHEN:  July 20, 2015 from 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.

On July 11, Guinta spent more than half of his allotted time lecturing, and then took five questions from people he recognized in the audience.  One of the attendees who was allowed to ask a question said on NH1 news: “He knows me, I know him; we talk about veterans’ stuff all the time.”  Meanwhile, no member of the press or the voting public was allowed to ask about the ongoing finance scandal or other questionable decisions, such as voting to keep the Confederate flag on Capitol grounds.

Today, Guinta has scheduled the event for 3 PM: a late time for the press, and too early for members of the working public.  No doubt, Guinta is strategically trying to avoid contact with people who might not be 100% behind him, while trying to maximize the number of “town halls” he can count as having done. 

Shawn O’Connor attended the Alton event and was neither allowed to ask a question nor present a petition with over 4,000 calls for Guinta’s resignation.  O’Connor said: “It’s important to point out what Congressman Guinta is doing.  Holding a town hall, which is supposed to be a dialogue with constituents, on a weekday during work hours is begging people not to come.  I guess that’s what he wants, since he won’t even let every person who comes ask a question, and he won’t stand in front of the media to answer their questions.  Frank Guinta needs to know that he can’t run away from the fact the he has violated campaign finance laws, and that his constituents expect him to answer for that and every vote he takes in Congress.” 

Since the event in Alton, Congressman Guinta has revealed that his campaign funding has become nearly totally reliant on Washington PACs, with his cash on hand standing near $307,000 while he owes a debt of $355,000.

NH CD1 Primary — Look Who’s Supporting Guinta

Rep. Frank Guinta

Rep. Frank Guinta

No surprise: in the wake of Rep. Frank Guinta’s agreement to pay a fine for federal election law violations, Dan Innis is expected to run for Congress again.

Party officials are supposed to stay neutral until after primary elections. At least that’s the way it used to be, back when politics was still about parties – and not about money.

But look at Frank Guinta’s first quarter FEC report. Looks like House GOP leadership has already staked out a position in this election.

  • Friends of [House Speaker] John Boehner: $2,000 contribution to Guinta for the 2016 primary election, another $2,000 for the 2016 general election – both contributions given on March 20, 2015.
  • The Freedom Project, John Boehner’s Leadership PAC: $5,000 contribution to Guinta for the 2016 primary, another $5,000 for the general election – both contributions given on March 20, 2015.
  • [House Majority Leader] Kevin McCarthy for Congress campaign committee: $2,000 contribution to Guinta for the 2016 primary election, another $2,000 for the 2016 general election – both contributions given on March 26, 2015.
  • Majority Committee PAC, Kevin McCarthy’s Leadership PAC: $5,000 contribution to Guinta for the 2016 primary, another $5,000 for the general election – both contributions given on March 26, 2015.
  • [House Majority Whip Steve] Scalise for Congress campaign committee: $2,000 contribution for the 2016 general election – given on March 27, 2015.
  • Eye of the Tiger PAC, Steve Scalise’s Leadership PAC: $5,000 contribution for the 2016 primary election – given on March 27, 2015.
  • CMR PAC, the Leadership PAC of House Republican Conference Chairman Cathy McMorris Rodgers: $2,500 for the 2016 primary election – given on March 31, 2015.
  • [Republican Policy Committee Chairman] Luke Messer for Congress campaign: $1,000 contribution for the 2016 primary – given on March 31, 2015.
  • Prosperity Action PAC, the Leadership PAC of House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan: $5,000 for the 2016 primary election – given on March 26, 2015.

It was unanimous. Not a single member of House GOP Leadership failed to make a contribution to Frank Guinta – directly, through their PAC, or both – during the weeks immediately before Guinta agreed to pay his fine to the FEC. Contributions not just for the 2016 general election, but also for the 2016 primary – when Guinta would, presumably, be running against another Republican.

Gotta wonder how former NHGOP Finance Chair Dan Innis feels, about the fact that the entire House GOP Leadership has already contributed to his opponent in the race.

Read an insider’s take on Guinta’s Q1 fundraising here.

Read more about Guinta’s agreement with the FEC here.

Kelly Ayotte Talks To NHPR On Guinta And Fast Track Trade Authority

Kelly Ayotte 3 (Gage Skidmore)

Today Senator Kelly Ayotte spoke to NHPR’s Morning Edition.  She spoke at length about Congressman Guinta’s FEC violation and reaffirmed her call for his resignation by stating:

“Well, obviously this is his decision. I believe the right thing to do for him would be to step aside so that we can make sure that the focus is on serving the people of New Hampshire and not the findings of the FEC. And when it comes to things like this, I think it’s important to put the public trust first before any party concerns on this issue.”

NHPR continued to press Ayotte about some of the other things she is working on in Washington, like Fast Track trade authority.  This is what she had to say about that.

(NHPR) You joined Sen. Shaheen in voting in favor of so-called fast track trade authority for the president. This is a measure supported by President Obama, but actually opposed by many Democrats, who say ties the hands of Congress on trade deals.

Why is fast-track authority the right move?

It’s the right move because again it’s about New Hampshire jobs and creating more opportunities. We have seen in New Hampshire great opportunity for more exports. The stakes are high. Some of the pending trade agreements, the estimates are they could create as many as 8,000 new New Hampshire jobs. We have seen increases in exports and we can see even greater opportunities. Ninety-five percent of the consumers live outside of the United States, so the more we can break down some of the barriers that our companies have, and have more American trade to allow them to sell their great products overseas, I know that’s why I support it. This is one that the president supports, as well.

Audio Below or at  http://cpa.ds.npr.org/nhpr/audio/2015/05/nht052715mb1.mp3

 

Obviously I disagree with Senator Shaheen and Senator Ayotte in voting for the Fast Track trade authority. The TPP is NAFTA on steroids and while it will open up other markets to US trade, it will also allow big multi-national corporations to move more of their manufacturing facilities out of the US and kill more jobs.

Hopefully we can get the people in the US House to do what is right for working families.

Frank Guinta is “Politically Radioactive” for Kelly Ayotte, Presidential Hopefuls

NHGOP Stands By Guinta as Two More Editorial Boards Calling for his Resignation 

The Problem Kelly Ayotte Created Isn’t Going Away for Her – or the Presidential Hopefuls She’s Auditioning For

Concord, N.H. – As Frank Guinta thanked New Hampshire Republican Party Chair Jennifer Horn and the NHGOP executive committee for their “continued support and confidence” in him, the Concord Monitor and Foster’s editorial boards became the latest New Hampshire papers to call on Frank Guinta to resign.

Meanwhile, the problem that Kelly Ayotte created by propping Guinta up throughout his years of lies isn’t going away for her – or the presidential hopefuls she’s been auditioning for across the country.

The Washington Post, which described Guinta as “politically radioactive,” reported that the problem is quickly spreading to Jeb Bush and Rick Perry, among others, who have donated time and money to Guinta’s campaigns.

See coverage roundup below:

WMUR: Guinta ‘humbled’ by NHGOP executive committee ‘support’

Rep. Frank Guinta said Tuesday he was humbled by what he viewed as the state Republican Party executive committee’s “continued support and confidence” in him in the wake of his settlement with the Federal Election Commission over campaign contributions that came from a bank account in his parents’ names.

… Guinta, in his first comment since the committee’s meeting, told WMUR.com in a statement, “I appreciate the executive committee for providing me the opportunity to speak with them, answer their questions and allay any of their concerns. I am humbled by their continued support and confidence in my ability to represent the constituents of the first congressional district and I look forward to continuing my work on behalf of the Granite State.” [Full story]

Washington Post: Scandal-plagued Frank Guinta reaped thousands from GOP presidential candidates

… So it’s no surprise that an otherwise rank-and-file congressman has earned outsized support and attention from potential Republican presidential contenders.

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry, business executives Donald Trump and Carly Fiorina — even Republicans who took a pass on the race like former ambassador John Bolton — have donated thousands of dollars or spent time campaigning for Guinta.

“I’ve talked to most, I think just about all of the potential presidential candidates either over the phone or in person,” Guinta said in an interview with The Washington Post in March. “I’m happy to give advice and guidance as potential candidates inquire.”

At the time, he credited Bush for his support and said that other potential presidential candidates had offered to help. “We’ll certainly take up those offers to help,” he said.

But now, Guinta is politically radioactive.

… Among presidential contenders, Bush has been most generous by far. He donated $5,200 through his super PAC, Right to Rise, in February. The donations to Guinta were announced on the same day he gave four-figure sums to other Republican lawmakers from New Hampshire, Iowa and South Carolina. He’s made dozens of donations to other GOP politicians in the months since. Bush also headlined a fundraiser for Guinta during a whirlwind tour of New Hampshire in March.

Bush also personally donated $1,000 to Guinta’s campaign last October. Filings with the Federal Elections Commission show that Bush listed himself as a “self-employed” giver from Coral Gables, Fla. when he made the donation on Oct. 14.

Trump also personally donated $1,000, according to campaign finance records. Perry’s RICKPAC gave Guinta $2,500 on Oct. 15. And a super PAC for Bolton, who announced last week that he won’t run for president, forked over $5,000 last September.

… Asked whether they are standing by Guinta, aides to Bush, Perry and Fiorina didn’t return requests for comment on Tuesday. A spokesman for Trump said their camp only learned about his troubles from the Post, but said: “We wish him well.”

But Bush is scheduled to visit New Hampshire on Wednesday and Thursday. Perry, Fiorina and others will be here soon. Given the rough-and-tumble nature of New Hampshire politics, no doubt they’ll be asked soon about Guinta. [Full story]

Concord Monitor Editorial: To best serve the state, Guinta must step down

It’s time to go, Frank. Politically, you’re a dead man walking. We apologize for what might seem like piling on, but we would be doing 1st District residents a disservice if we didn’t join the bipartisan chorus calling on you to resign.

We’ve been no fan of Congressman Guinta’s performance in Washington. When he came to the Monitor to meet with editors before his 2010 election, he presented himself as a mayor who attributed his success to his bipartisanship. Once in Washington, he was anything but bipartisan. In fact, he became known for his consistently extreme conservative positions. Being wrong, however consistently, does not disqualify a politician from holding office. Being dishonest does.

… For five years, Guinta ducked and dodged when asked about the money he claimed he had lent to himself. The feds didn’t buy it. He was ordered to repay his parents and pay a $15,000 fine. Guinta remains unrepentant. He mischaracterizes the FEC decision by pretending that he was fined for a mere “reporting error,” not for taking money illegally.

… Guinta’s dissembling demonstrates that he does not deserve the public’s trust. Character matters. By continuing in office, he is robbing 1st District residents of effective representation. He can’t be believed, and he won’t be trusted. For the good of the state and nation, he must step down. [Full editorial]

Foster’s Editorial: Calling on Rep. Guinta to resign

… At this point, Guinta only needs to apologize about one thing: Remaining in office.

… the FEC’s findings and Guinta’s own refusal to admit any wrongdoing — other than a clerical error or an error in judgment — even in the face of a five-year investigation that proved otherwise call into question the congressman’s honesty and integrity.

… What Guinta has woefully failed to do, however, is represent the morals and ethics of his constituents. The FEC findings tell us that our congressman cheated on his way to Washington the first time around. Do the people of New Hampshire want to be represented in Congress by a cheat?

… We join those asking for Guinta’s resignation. It no longer matters what Guinta has done for his constituents because he has lost our trust. And the longer he remains in Washington, the clearer it becomes that Frank Guinta is more concerned with serving himself than serving the voters who sent him there. [Full editorial]

Same question, different problem: WHERE did the money come from?

truth-257159_640It’s not just the questions about the Federal Elections Commission investigation and where the money came from.  It’s actually worse than that.  It’s what happened afterward – because like so much else in government these days, it involves political fundraising.

At the end of last year, Rep. Frank Guinta’s campaign reported less than $19,000 cash-on-hand.

Yet the FEC enforcement agreement signed by Guinta’s lawyer last month obligated the campaign to pay a $15,000 administrative fine and repay $355,000 in loans dating back to 2010. (Hat-tip to the Union Leader for posting the agreement online, where we can all read it.)

Like most Congressmen, Rep. Guinta is a practiced fundraiser.  According to the Center for Responsive Politics, Guinta raised about $4.5 million dollars during his last three campaigns.

And just in the first quarter of this year – presumably while his lawyer was negotiating the FEC settlementGuinta’s campaign raised more than $300,000.  

Koch Industries PAC gave $5,000.  The Chicago Board Options Exchange PAC gave $5,000.  Independent Insurance Agents PAC gave $5,000.  New York Life Insurance PAC gave $5,000.  National Beer Wholesalers PAC gave $5,000.  The Boeing Company PAC gave $1,000.  The Turkish Coalition PAC gave $1,000.

Jeb Bush’s brand-new “Right to Rise” SuperPAC gave $5,200 — before the PAC was even two months old.

The Leadership PAC affiliated with House Speaker John Boehner gave $5,000, and Boehner’s campaign committee gave another $4,000.  The Leadership PAC of House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy gave $5,000; his campaign gave another $4,000.  Ways & Means Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s Leadership PAC gave $5,000.  The Leadership PAC of Louisiana Rep. Steve Scalise gave $5,000.  The Leadership PAC of Oregon Rep. Greg Walden gave $5,000.  The Leadership PAC of Texas Rep. Jeb Hensarling gave $5,000.  Ribble for Congress gave $1,000.  Latta for Congress gave $1,000.  Jeff Miller for Congress gave $1,000.  Andy Harris for Congress gave $1,000.  Rick Allen for Congress gave $1,000.  Friends of Sam Johnson gave $1,000.  Rep. John Kline’s Leadership PAC gave $1,000.  Rep. Steve Stivers’ Leadership PAC gave $1,000.  The Leadership PAC of Rep. John Shimkus gave $1,000.

And the list goes on, for almost 75 pages.

Sort of like “Go Fund Me” – except that the money is coming from special interests and Guinta’s fellow congressmen, who also have an interest in how he votes.

Given that list of donors, would Rep. Guinta consider fighting House Leadership over the latest raid on Medicare?  Or is he going to vote exactly how the Speaker wants him to?

What does Jeb Bush expect, in return for the SuperPAC contribution?

What does Koch Industries expect?  The Chicago options traders?  Boeing?  The Turkish Coalition?

And what can Guinta’s constituents expect, after the campaign solicited almost enough money to pay the cost of the FEC agreement?  

How many of these donors knew that the FEC agreement was coming?  

Solicit more campaign contributions, to meet the conditions of a campaign finance enforcement agreement.  It’s so ironic, it should be funny – except, it’s not.  It’s totally screwed up.

When politicians go begging to big money donors, everybody else loses.

That’s why two-thirds of New Hampshire voters want a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United.

It’s why hundreds of people have been walking across the state with the New Hampshire Rebellion, drawing attention to the need for campaign finance reform.

It’s why tens of thousands of people across the country are legally stamping US currency with messages like “Not to Be Used for Bribing Politicians.” Every stamped dollar bill is seen by about 875 people.  Get a stamp at StampStampede.org.  Stamp four bills each day for a year, and you’ll help convince a million people that it is possible to take our government back – if enough of us work together to do that.

It’s why small businesses are hosting Stamp Stampede stamping stations – more than 100 of them across New Hampshire – so their customers can stamp money and learn more about money in politics.

It’s why grandmothers and middle school students and people from every political persuasion are working together to reclaim our government from Big Money campaign donors.

Because when you read about a FEC enforcement action, you shouldn’t have to wonder whose money will be used to pay the fine, and what they’re going to expect in return.

And you really shouldn’t have to worry whether all the fundraising that happened, just before the agreement was signed, is going to do more damage to our democracy than the original violation.

 

Petition: Congressman Guinta Should Resign Over FEC Violations #GuintaResignWatch

“It is reasonable to conclude that the people of New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District are being represented by a fraud and a cheat,” wrote the editorial board of the Eagle Tribune in their blistering editorial, “Guinta’s campaign finance violations make him unfit for office.”

UNION LEADER Editorial Image

UNION LEADER Editorial Image

For five years now, Congressman Frank Guinta has been lying to the people of New Hampshire’s First Congressional District. In 2010, Guinta’s campaign finance reports showed an additional $355,000 deposit that he said was from a “savings account he forgot about.”

Ever the FEC questioned him about the $355,000 dollars he had lied to the public about it. First it was a clerical error, then it was his money, then it was from an account that he had an “equitable interest” in but was in his parents name, and now he says he will pay the largest FEC fine in the years to just make the complaint go away.

This morning the Union Leader is reporting that Guinta’s produced documents showing his “equitable interest” in the account but the numbers do not seem to be matching up.

“The documents only showed about $100,000 in deposits and did not include a Bank of America account he has repeatedly said was the source of the funds at the center of the investigation,” reported the Union Leader.

Congressman Guinta’s campaign must repay the $355,000 (to his parents) and pay the FEC $15,000 (large if FEC violation, but minor in reality).

“Guinta has betrayed the trust of the public that elected him. He ought to resign,” said the editorial board of the Eagle Tribune.

Congressman Guinta should resign his seat for violating campaign finance laws and for lying to the people for all of these years.

Please sign our petition calling for Guinta’s resignation.  The petitions will be printed and delivered to Congressman Guinta’s office on a date yet to be determined.

The Petition reads:

As a resident of New Hampshire, the state that Congressman Frank Guinta claims to represent, I am calling for the resignation of U.S Rep Frank Guinta.

For five years Congressman Guinta has continued to lie to us and now that the FEC has proven that he violated campaign finance laws, I firmly believe that Congressman Guinta should resign his seat in Congress.

Working families in New Hampshire deserve better than Frank Guinta.

Time For Frank Guinta To Resign

As a resident of New Hampshire, the state that Congressman Frank Guinta claims to represent, I am calling for the resignation of U.S Rep Frank Guinta.

For five years Congressman Guinta has continued to lie to us and now that the FEC has proven that he violated campaign finance laws, I firmly believe that Congressman Guinta should resign his seat in Congress.

Working families in New Hampshire deserve better than Frank Guinta.

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