Concord, NH - As part of a taxpayer funded district wide tour organized through his Congressional office, scandal plagued Congressman Frank Guinta held an event with "key members of the Wolfeboro GOP food chain," a potential violation of Congressional ethics rules. The event was reported on in today's Union Leader, and is the most recent instance of Congressman Guinta's belief that he is above the law.
According to the Congressional Ethics website "Among the specific activities that clearly may not be undertaken in a congressional office or using House resources (including official staff time) are ...the holding of a meeting on campaign business." [ethics.house.gov] But the event was listed on Guinta's Congressional website, and a Guinta campaign donor Bob Bird, who helped organize the event, told the Union Leader the invitees included "key members of the Wolfeboro GOP food chain."
"Congressman Guinta should not be hosting taxpayer funded Congressional events, and inviting participants based on their status within the NHGOP 'food chain,'" said Harrell Kirstein, press secretary for the New Hampshire Democratic Party. "Guinta doesn't think we should be using taxpayer money for autism research, Social Security, or Medicare, but apparently he has no problem using those same funds to support his drowning campaign."
This isn't Guinta's first fundraising scandal. Last year, he funneled over $350,000.00 into his struggling campaign account from a magically appearing bank account not listed on his personal financial disclosure form. Just last month, he was caught making a potentially illegal solicitation for $100,000.00 to the Republican Governor's Association.
But even with these questionable funds, Frank Guinta's constituents still have a negative opinion of him. According to the latest University of New Hampshire poll, "Guinta's net favorability rating... is currently a quite low -6%."
The full text of the Union Leader article is below.
Guinta is underwater. "Guinta's net favorability rating, the percentage that have a favorable opinion of him minus those that have an unfavorable opinion, is currently a quite low -6%, down from +5% in April. Guinta's favorability ratings have dropped across the political spectrum since April." [UNH Poll, 7/11/2011]
Guinta said he would not support federal funding for Autism research. Pressed on whether he was saying he doesn't support federal research into autism, Guinta said, "Government doesn't always have to be the solution." [Concord Monitor, 10/20/2011]
Guinta supported abolishing Social Security. At a small Tea Party gathering last year, Guinta said "My kids are six and five. They shouldn't know what Social Security is." [YouTube]
Guinta didn't believe the reckless Ryan plan to end Medicare went far enough. Earlier this year, Guinta voted for the Republican Study Committee budget, "a radical plan that annihilates the social contract in America by putting the GOP budget on steroids. Deeper tax cuts for the wealthy, more severe entitlement rollbacks." [Vote; TPM, 4/15/2011]
NH Democrats want Guinta fundraising answers. "Democrats on Monday asked the Federal Election Commission to investigate a news report about Guinta's fundraising published last month. The report in the New Hampshire Union Leader said 1st District Rep. Guinta tried to get the Republican Governors Association to donate $100,000 to the state Republican Party, but was rebuffed over concerns about former GOP chair Jack Kimball's management of party affairs." [Union Leader, 9/27/2011]
Union Leader: Guinta hosts forum with business chiefs
October 18, 2011
By LARISSA MULKERN
WOLFEBORO - First District Congressman Frank Guinta, R-N.H., the former mayor of Manchester, hosted a forum Monday with employers in Wolfeboro.
Guinta met with a group of about 30 that included business owners Babara Naramore of Wolfe City Brick Oven Pizza, Victor Drouin of Green Mountain Communications, Jerry Hunter of Hunter's IGA Foodstore and Cheryl Taylor of Re-Thread, plus Certified Public Accountant William Krause and state Rep. Chris Ahlgren, R-Wolfeboro, who owns Joe Green's Restaurant near the town docks.
Guinta campaign volunteer Bob Bird, who helped organize the event, said the group included "key members of the Wolfeboro GOP food chain."
Monday's forum was part of Guinta's "Getting Granite Staters Back to Work" initiative, which included two job fairs and a meeting for innovators looking to get their products to the marketplace.
Guinta was asked about escalating fuel and health costs, a 35 percent corporate tax rate that sends jobs overseas and untapped domestic fossil fuel reserves.
Guinta, a member of the House budget and transportation committees, spoke of regulatory reform, bipartisan approval of three trade agreements, budget reform and a congressional rule change that allows for amendments to be brought to the floor and turned into legislation.
"I really want your assessment on whether you are happy or angry, frustrated about what's going on," he said. Krause said that high gasoline prices are hurting every aspect of the economy, and that something should be done to outlaw short-selling and reduce the corporate tax rate from 35 to 25 percent to encourage domestic job growth. He said the high corporate tax rate is sending jobs overseas.
Guinta said the President Obama's own adviser on job creation, General Electric's Jeffrey Immelt, created more jobs overseas than here in the U.S. Guinta agreed that country has the highest corporate tax in the world.
He said lowering the rate to 25 percent and closing tax loopholes to broaden the tax base might provide incentive for American companies to create jobs. 'We are not competitive in America at a 35 percent tax rate," he said.
As for fuel costs, Guinta said the U.S. consumes more than twice the fuel than it produces domestically. He said if fossil fuel reserves were tapped, then the country could become self reliant for fuel and perhaps export fuel to other countries.
Drouin brought up the high health insurance costs. His company recently received a notification of a 56 percent increase in their health insurance premiums; the company offers 100 percent coverage for about 60 employees.
"So where do we go, what do we do?" he said, adding the one of the problems is New Hampshire is not opening up the market for insurance providers.
Guinta said President Obama's health care bill was supposed to cut costs. "Costs have not gone down," he said. He said carriers are bumping rates in advance of a 10 percent cost hike ceiling that begins next year.
Guinta said something should be done to open up the market to other carriers in New Hampshire to create competition.
In a query on a potential broad based sales tax, Guinta said it was unlikely to happen. However he said the House Ways and Means committee is considering a 20 percent reduction in income tax for small business owners.