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Still waiting for answers from Guinta



Last modified: Friday, November 12, 2010
During his campaign for Congress, Frank Guinta refused to produce proof that more than $350,000 that was funneled into his campaign was not the result of an illegal donation. As a result, both Democrats and Republicans called on the Federal Elections Commission to investigate the source of this mystery money, and a similar complaint was filed with the U.S. Attorney's office in New Hampshire.

Recently, the FEC requested additional copies of the complaint and source materials filed by the New Hampshire Democratic Party. We are complying with this request and will do the same for any future requests that are made. This was not an election year issue. We are committed to ensuring that Granite State citizens are told the truth, that justice is served, and that if Congressman-elect Guinta broke the law, he and anyone else involved is held fully accountable.

Over the summer, Guinta amended his financial disclosure form to add a bank account worth between a quarter and half million dollars.

Not only had this account not appeared on his two previous disclosure forms filed with the FEC, nor his mayoral or aldermanic disclosure forms, but it was worth more than all the rest of his assets combined.

Half his life savings

It seemed suspicious to people of all political persuasions that Guinta forgot to disclose half his life savings in a clerical error. It was also dubious that, during the worst recession in over 75 years, someone who had been a full time student, then a state representative, an alderman, and mayor over the past 12 years could save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

This suspicion is compounded by the fact that at the same time he was raising a family and had to take out a very large mortgage to purchase his personal residence. In addition, he borrowed money to buy a small residential condominium; when he bought a three-family investment property, he had to sell that condominium and take out another mortgage to pay the purchase price - despite all that money allegedly sitting in his bank account.

The explanations that Guinta has offered since Republicans first brought this issue to the public's attention have been equally confusing and implausible.

First, his campaign manager said the money was from 'stock market and mutual fund assets.'

But Guinta himself quickly contradicted that notion, claiming he earned the money 'working in the working world,' and that his campaign manager was 'wrong.'

'Not very likely'

New Hampshire Public Radio tested this latest assertion.

It compiled all of Guinta's work history, annual salaries and possible investment and rental income. NHPR's conclusion was that it was 'not very likely' that Guinta was able to earn the money himself.

The fact is, we have no idea where this money came from.

It could be from relatives, a campaign supporter, a corporation or dropped out of the sky.

But if the money came from anywhere but Guinta's own savings, then federal law has been violated.

New Hampshire deserves a congressman who is honest and transparent with the voters.

That is why we will continue to pursue this issue to the fullest extent of the law, or until Guinta releases his bank statements proving that this money was not an illegal campaign contribution, and that he hasn't violated the public trust.

(Mike Brunelle is executive director of the New Hampshire Democratic Party.)