Concord, N.H. – In today’s daily reminder that the Frank Guinta mess Kelly Ayotte and the New Hampshire Republican Party created isn’t going anywhere, the Union Leader reports, “Republican infighting intensified over the weekend” about the party’s response to Guinta’s years of lies.
Conservative activist and former gubernatorial candidate Andrew Hemingway said, “Frankly, this is sort of a tipping point… Bryan Gould stepping down is a very big statement.”
The Valley News also became the latest New Hampshire newspaper to call for Guinta’s resignation, writing, “Just Go, Rep. Guinta.”
And Kathy Sullivan notes in a Union Leader column that the FEC’s report raises questions about some of Guinta’s other claims dating all the way back to his time as Mayor of Manchester.
See roundup below:
Valley News Editorial: Just Go, Rep. Guinta
Today we become the last, or very nearly the last, newspaper in New Hampshire to call on U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta to resign at once his seat representing the First Congressional District.
It’s not that we just now reached the conclusion that the congressman should go. It has been quite apparent for some time that he lied about the source of a campaign contribution in 2010. Guinta, a Republican, conceded as much when he entered into an agreement with the Federal Election Commission to pay a $15,000 fine and repay to his parents $355,000 that the FEC concluded amounted to an illegal contribution.
It’s just that we thought that by now Guinta would have heeded the rest of the state’s political chorus, which includes not only the major newspapers, but also much of the Republican establishment.
… New Hampshire Republicans have reason to fear Guinta’s continued presence in office as the 2016 election approaches. Ayotte certainly appreciates that sharing the ballot with this fellow Republican next year could meaningfully damage her re-election prospects in what many observers predict will be a tight race. Not only that, Guinta presents a likely distraction for the GOP field of presidential candidates, which contains about as many entries as the Kentucky Derby.
… That’s the GOP’s problem. Guinta’s bigger offense is against the public trust. [Full editorial]
Union Leader: GOP infighting heats up over Guinta letter
Republican infighting intensified over the weekend after state GOP Chairman Jennifer Horn’s scathing letter that U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta’s “credibility has been irreparably damaged” in connection with his federal campaign finance violations.
… State GOP Vice Chairman Bryan K. Gould immediately resigned, saying the letter was neither objective nor accurate. And he is being joined by some conservative voices who believe party leaders should have stayed out of it.
… Andrew Hemingway, who ran for the Republican gubernatorial nomination last year, said he heard the buzz about such a meeting, and that the concern is not just about Guinta, but about the direction of the party. “Frankly, this is sort of a tipping point,” he said. “Bryan Gould stepping down is a very big statement.” [Full story]
Kathy Sullivan: FEC report raises questions about other Guinta claims
LAST WEEK the Federal Election Commission released its report on the source of $355,000 in loans made to Frank Guinta’s 2010 campaign for Congress. It has caused further erosion of support for Guinta. The report confirms that Guinta did not tell the truth in 2010, or thereafter, when he claimed that years of frugal living and hard work enabled him to open several accounts at Bank of America that he said were the source of the funds. Nor was he telling the truth when he claimed in a 2014 debate that the FEC investigation was over.
… He also says he just made a mistake on his congressional financial disclosure statement, when he neglected to list a Bank of America account. He did not think he had to list the account because it was in his parents’ names. In 2010, however, he said he forgot to include it. Even if you believe him, it does not explain why Guinta told the media, and therefore voters, that the money came from years of frugal living and hard work.
… During the years 2002 through 2009, the city charter required Manchester Alderman and later Mayor Guinta to submit annual disclosure statements, listing, inter alia, any investment in which his interest was $50,000 or more.
… If Guinta considered these funds to be his, why did he fail to disclose the wealth management account, year after year, for seven years?
Guinta’s lack of candor raises questions with respect to other past controversies.
In 2008, for example, the city filed liens against Guinta for failing to make timely payment of over $3,000 in real estate taxes, as well as smaller wastewater charges. Guinta said he was unaware of the liens, even though he should have received notices. Also, as mayor, he should have been well aware that real estate taxes are payable in July and December, and that failure to pay results in tax liens.
Then there was that 2009 fight at the Fish and Game Club.
… It was difficult to accept Guinta’s account in 2009. In light of Guinta’s latest credibility issues, it is even harder to accept now. [Full column]