Tag Archives: Union Leader

The Sting of Rejection – Frank Guinta’s Public Shaming

Protesters at a Frank Guinta fundraiser chide him over his FEC investigation

Protesters from the Take Down Guinta campaign, 2012.

Sign Petition Calling on Guinta to Resign!

There’s no sting worse in politics than when your own party bites you on your soft-spot and right now Frank Guinta must be feeling some serious sting.  But of course, baby-face Frankie can’t say he didn’t bring it on himself.  Burdened with the load of his investigation by the Federal Election Commission and the embarrassment of his constant insistence on innocence, the GOP and their chorus, most notably the Union Leader, have broken their silence and come out demanding Guinta resign.

First, let’s not forget that this investigation more than likely occurred because of the pressure from good progressive activism such as CREDO supported Take Down Guinta campaign in 2012.  Activists have long asked why Frank Guinta had a sudden dump of $355,000 in his political action fund during the 2010 election for the first congressional seat.  At that time Guinta had refused to disclose the source of that money and other funds he “loaned” his election campaign as Jon Hopwood explains in a 2012 article on Guinta for the Examiner,

The loan, the terms of which Guinta refused to disclose during the campaign, triggered an FEC investigation.

That campaign loan was the reason Guinta was named one of the 10 most corrupt politicians in Congress, according to Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). CREW cited Guinta as he had “fudged the numbers and cooked the books to buy a seat in Congress.”

The organization reported that Guinta had given his campaign loans of $100,000 and $245,000 despite having a $72,000 annual salary as mayor of Manchester and a relatively modest investment portfolio. Guinta made the loans without liquidating any assets.

And on the story goes with Guinta weaving a web of lies for years while the FEC slowly investigated his claims.  Now apparently Guinta has settled with the FEC.  We’re sure he hopes to move on in his political career and Frank’s wrongdoings will dissolve into the ether of the short American psyche.  That might be so but we’re thinking the GOP and their supporters may have other ideas.  Calls for him to resign have arisen from nearly every political corner:

Union Leader Editorial staff called for Guinta’s resignation Guinta Must Go and the refrain was repeated earily this week when Joe McQuaid publisher placed on the editorial page:

Ouch, that must hurt!

and Foster’s reports that the big boys aren’t happy either, Boehner Doesn’t Defend Guinta Over Contributions.  Then the Concord Monitor weighs in, To Best Serve the State, Guinta Must Step Down.

Oh yes and even the guys back home in the state house aren’t too thrilled about Frankie either, with House Speaker and long-time Republican Shawn Jasper observing, “I believe it would be in the best interests of the people of the first congressional district if he step down from his position in the United States Congress.”

Jeb Bradley, State Senate majority leader chimed in to the chorus telling the NY Times, “I think he’s on a really small island,” Mr. Bradley said. “I think the charges are serious and disturbing and at some point he needs to think about doing what’s better for New Hampshire than himself.”

NH’s largest television news station WMUR said they caught Kelly Ayotte on the phone, “Senator Ayotte, who is expected to face a tough re-election battle next year, has said she told Mr. Guinta by phone that he should step down. “This is a decision he needs to make, but if I were in his position, that’s what I would do.”

But unfortunately, the NH Republican Executive Committee chose to stand by Guinta, ignoring the cries for his resignation saying in a statement released to the press 3 days ago and reported by WMUR,

But the party executive committee, after speaking with Guinta by telephone for about a half-hour on Monday night, parted ways with the four top elected officials. It unanimously adopted a statement that did not call for Guinta’s resignation but instead said that he has acknowledged mistakes, “takes responsibility for them and is taking actions required by the Federal Election Commission.”

“Unless further information comes to light, the executive committee of the New Hampshire Republican State Committee will take no further action,” the committee said.

Frankie went on the tube to blather on about how he was humbled by the committee’s support and he’ll work on making things right, yeah yeah.

The fact remains that citizens of congressional district 1 in New Hampshire are stuck with a hollow man for their representative.  Apparently Frankie has no threshold of shame that would cause him to want to resign and live out of the public spotlight.

But that doesn’t mean people can’t fight back.  NH Labor News has put together a petition for citizens of the state to register their disgust that a criminal and a liar can stay in office to represent them in Washington.  Check out the petition and add your signature!

Petition: Congressman Guinta Should Resign Over FEC Violations

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Incomplete Democracy = No Democracy

Just Kidding!

Today the editorial brain trust at the Union Leader decided to weigh in on the Voter ID law and its “practice run” during the primary.  For those who didn’t vote in the New Hampshire primary or don’t live in New Hampshire, its worth pointing out that although the law won’t go into effect until the general election in November, the legislature decided to mandate a practice run at the polls.  Yes, of course you’re thinking, “what a wonderful idea let’s practice all laws out first!”  then if you are stopped, arrested or ticketed the cop can tell you, “Oh geez, just kidding, now watch out in November!”

Dispensing with all the other problems with that issue, one wonders how many people might get the idea that the law really already is in effect and thus abide accordingly.  I mean, I guess it would be up to the goodwill of those empowered with enforcement to give up the gag before the damage is done right?  One wonders when exactly that might occur? After said individual absent an ID walks out of the polls? Its their fault they can’t hear the “Oh shucks, just kidding!” all the way from the parking lot?

Well, basically the Union Leader chooses to overlook that problem, while of course having to make the odd construction that Democrats were protesting the Voter ID law by refusing to give up their ID’s, that oh wait! really isn’t a law yet.  Bet that’s a first.  But its all good right? No one lost their voting privileges that day right?

Nope not at all, unless you talked to people who went to the polls, who were confronted with the patently illegal signage that wards had no business posting that led people to believe that the law was in fact in effect.  Nope not all unless you talk to the people who knowing their rights, refused to produce an ID and were not given the Voter Challenge Affidavit until after they had surrendered their ID.  Funny thing, guess the workers at the polls need some more training, including those poll watchers.

But, it seems clear by testimony from those who experienced the denial of their voting privileges unless they provided satisfactory proof of ID, they had reason to believe they weren’t voting.  So, let’s take your average citizen who works full time, probably has a family to care for and has about a one hour window that they carved out for a week or more to be able to perform their democratic duty.   Is it reasonable to assume this individual would in good faith turn around and say, “Oh, let me call my boss and see if I can more time off to get my ID I left at home/work/in the car.”  or, “Let me see if the person who gave me a ride here will be available to shuttle me around to the DMV, fill out a form, stand in line for an hour and then go back?”

Or, the person who says, “You know what, I knew voting was stupid, I’m going home.”

Or the person who, in the case of one person in Manchester who has a strong Spanish accent, of being further humiliated by having to answer to the question, “Where are you from?” So much for that old folksy New Hampshire.  Let’s just dispel that right now.  Manchester is a city, just like Nashua and Portsmouth.  There aren’t docile dairy cows roaming between white clapboard farmhouses or farmers with red and black checkered hunting caps leaning on fences saying “Ahyup!”.  Unlike the charmed sentiment of the editor, New Hampshire has had its influx of newcomers, of which many who don’t fit the New Hampshire ideal citizen, aren’t exactly given the welcome mat and a pint of New Hampshire maple syrup.  But of course these folks mostly settle in the larger communities and their participation in the polls just might change some things up old Concord way.

Never mind that the other segment of voters that the those at the Union Leader editorial board and Keepers of All That is White and Right in New Hampshire also probably only fret about property taxes in the sense that they know they are paying too much and there’s a small segment of large landowners not paying their fair share.  They’d probably vote Democratic, just a hunch, but since that conversation has only occurred on a meaningful basis within the Democratic party, one might safely conclude that.

Much better to keep those folks home and why wait until November when the Voter ID law becomes an actual law, how about have a practice run, heck what could it hurt if this election some folks don’t turn up or go home without getting to exercise their right to perform the most important civic duty in the nation.

In the accompanying report on how the practice run went, it is explained that those who did in fact challenge the law will be chased down by mail, then if there’s a letter sent back they’ll send agents out we assume to track these people down and the Secretary of State’s office will pour over each and every affidavit to verify whether the voter exists or not.  Looks like the Secretary of State’s office will be hiring folks pretty soon.  Amazing how that works; legislation that grows government comes from an administration that claims to do just the opposite.  Guess the work will be done by special little Fairies for Freedom, to find those practically non-existent fraudulent voters.

But what about the people who walked away from the polls unable to vote? What does that do to our election?  Uh-oh, thinking too much.  In the Union Leader/Republican world those little people don’t matter and the results.  We just gotta live with it, because dammit, there are brown people, poor people, aged, students and disabled folks who we know vote overwhelmingly Democrat and who cares if they stay home?

Of course the richest misunderstanding of the law is encapsulated by the editorial writer’s comment, “Well, the constitution gives qualified voters the right to vote.” Yup, that’s right and there’s nothing in the constitution about presenting an ID.  More than likely the framers never envisioned a system would develop in which certain individuals would work and live in this country and not be eligible to vote — oh wait! We tried that too didn’t we? How did that work out?

One has to wonder, with all the fervor that never seems to end about “qualifying” voters, what exactly is the motive?  Could it be that not only a threat exists from the millions of truly “qualified” citizens actually exercising their right to vote enmasse, what would happen if those who fall between the cracks of citizenship, living, working and contributing to businesses and the economy, like the many that work in Manchester, Nashua and elsewhere in the state starting suddenly voting? Yes, its a scary thought indeed.

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