“Hi. This is Frank Guinta, candidate for Congress, running against Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter. I’m running to end the broken culture of Washington.”
Simple. Effective. Everybody hates Washington. Congratulations Frank, you're elected.
The problem is, this is not a transcript of a robocall that Mayor Guinta ran in 2010. It is a robocall that Representative Guinta ran in the summer of 2012. That's right. These are his re-election calls. Frank Guinta is pretending to be the challenger. It's shameless.
Rep. Guinta must be thinking that it worked so well being the challenger the first time, why not do it again? Everybody hates congress, especially this congress. That he's not actually the challenger this time -- that's just one of those pesky facts that can be glossed over. Like Mitt, apparently Frank isn't going to let his campaign be dictated by fact checkers. He obviously thinks his constituents are idiots. At least the ones that he assumes will be fooled by this call into voting for him.
I suppose the irony is that an incumbent pretending to be the challenger "running to end to broken culture of Washington" is a prime example of the broken culture of Washington.
I've looked at a fair number of articles about this. The only defense from the Guinta campaign is that they were "showing respect" for Carol Shea-Porter by using her old title. Well, you have to admire the audacity of his campaign for calling their deceitful tactic "showing respect." Where I come from that's called chutzpah. Apparently they do not feel the need to apply the same standard of respect to their own candidate, Congressman Guinta, whose title is never mentioned in the call.
At least the Guinta campaign admits they made the calls. I've read through the comments in the articles, and not even Frank Guinta's supporters have gone with "showing respect." The most they can muster is to call Carol Shea-Porter names.
The Concord Monitor notes a similar tactic used by the National Republican Congressional Committee this cycle. The Committee said it's time to "replace" Shea-Porter and other Democrats who supported President Obama's health care law. Some of the articles cited below talk about how our Mr. Guinta is not the only Republican congressman to run for reelection by pretending he's not a congressman.
I would simply love to get a recording of this call. Somebody still has this message on their answering machine or in their voice mail. I never delete -- I may still have it. But I probably wasn't on the list of numbers to be called. If anyone can point me at a recording of this call, they'll get a special place of honor at NotIntaGuinta.org.
Let's give Frank the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he's just forgotten that he won in 2010. After all, he forget about his $355,000 bank account. He should get his memory checked while he still has his congressional health care.
Here are some references:
August 3, 2012 Concord Monitor Guinta camp: Shea-Porter is incumbent. Campaign calls frame rep as the challenger
August 13, 2012 Union Leader editorial. Good grief: Guinta disowns Congress
July 19, 2012 Miscellany: Blue. Incumbent Frank Guinta catches anti-incumbent fever
August 6, 2012 maddowblog The challenges of incumbency
August 27, 2012 seacoastonline opinion. The two faces of Rep. Frank Guinta