Dean Spiliotes and Andy Smith say Guinta's bank account is "the lead in most stories" and "something voters can relate to"
Concord - Questions about the source of Frank Guinta's mysterious bank account continue to dominate New Hampshire's first Congressional district race. This summer, Guinta changed his FEC disclosure form, more than doubling his disclosed personal assets. He has funneled over $350,000.00 of this magic money into his campaign for Congress. As a result, formal complaints have been filed with the FEC and Clerk of the Congress by members of both parties.
Yesterday, both Dean Spiliotes, a noted political science professor at Southern New Hampshire University, and Andy Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, commented on the seriousness of the allegations.
"[Guinta] just can't talk about anything else as long as this is out there," said Spiliotes. "It's the lead in most stories. It's what journalists want to talk about, and it doesn't seem to be going away.... Politicians should know these stories don't go away until you put them to bed."
Smith added that issues involving "money and bank accounts" are on voters' minds heading in the election and that Guinta's mystery money is "certainly something voters can relate to." (Nashua Telegraph, 8/17/2010)
"Frank Guinta's continued refusal to be honest about the source of this money is extremely troubling," said Mike Brunelle, executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Holding elected office is a matter of trust, and Guinta's refusal to be honest with voters speaks volumes about whether or not he can be trusted."
Despite being questioned about the source of the funds numerous times, Guinta has refused to be honest with voters and release bank statements proving that the money is his own. In addition, Guinta has made several contradictory claims about where the money came from.
In July, Guinta's campaign manager claimed the money was from a sale of stock market and mutual fund assets. (Nashua Telegraph, 7/11/2010) But just one month later, Guinta said that was incorrect and claimed he earned the money "working in the working world" and through real estate development. (Union Leader Blog, 8/18/2010)
Last week, after New Hampshire Public Radio reported that it was "not very likely" that Guinta earned the money working and through real estate, and produced a lengthy analysis supporting their claim, Guinta's story changed again.(NHPR, 10/12/2010) Now he is again claiming that he made money "in the markets." (Union Leader, 10/12/2010)
The problem with Mr. Guinta's claim is that he never listed any investments worth even $50,000.00, let alone $350,000.00 on his disclosure forms as a Manchester Mayor or Alderman from 2003-2007.
"The numbers don't add up," continued Brunelle. "It becomes less and less likely that the money is actually his with each new contradicting claim Mr. Guinta makes about the source of this mystery account. Why won't he release bank statements and put this issue to bed? What is he hiding?"
The full article in the Sunday's Nashua Telegraph containing the commentary from Spiliotes and Smith can be found here.