For five years, New Hampshire U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta denied accusations that he broke campaign finance laws. Last week, the Federal Election Commission found otherwise.
And now, the Granite State congressman is under mountains of pressure from fellow state Republicans to take a hike.
According to the FEC, Guinta illegally accepted $355,000 in campaign contributions from his parents. The FEC fined him $15,000 and ordered he give back the $355,000. Guinta says that he originally gave the money to his parents, and that he loaned in to his campaign after they gave it back to him.
Fellow state GOPers don’t buy that excuse.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the state’s highest ranking Republican, told WMUR on Monday she would resign if she was in Guinta’s position. Ayotte said she spoke to Guinta and told him resignation was “the right step.’’
On Friday the conservative Union Leader — New Hampshire’s largest newspaper — ran an editorial that was all of six words: “Frank Guinta is a damned liar.’’ On Sunday, the paper called on him to resign.
“Frank is politically dead,’’ former state GOP chairman Fergus Cullen told the National Journal, “There’s no recovery from this.’’
New Hampshire state senate majority leader Jeb Bradley told The Boston Globe that Guinta “is on a pretty lonely island.’’ It should be noted that Guinta was a congressional aide for Bradley, who also once represented the 1st district.
According to the Concord Monitor, State House Speaker Shawn Jasper released a statement that the numbers “simply don’t add up’’ and that Guinta should step down. Senate President Chuck Morse said the same.
“It seems to me that resigning is in the best interest to preserve the public’s trust,’’ Morse told the Monitor.
Guinta said Monday morning he did not intend to resign. And after a meeting behind closed doors Monday, with Guinta answering questions over the phone from D.C., the state Republican executive committee decided not to call for his resignation.
If Guinta did resign, the state would set a special election on a Tuesday between 110 and 124 days from the date of the resignation.