The CREDO SuperPAC has Rep. Frank Guinta in its sights.
The political action committee will target 10 congressmen nationally leading up to the 2012 election. The lawmakers, dubbed the Tea Party 10, are being targeted for what the organization is calling their extreme positions, according to www.credoaction.com. The SuperPAC, which is based in San Francisco, has picked out eight legislators to target so far, including California Rep. Dan Lundgren and Iowa Rep. Steve King.
The Take Down Guinta campaign began last month in New Hampshire with a protest at Guinta’s office.
It’s not about Carol Shea-Porter, Guinta’s presumed competition in the general election.
“This is about holding Frank Guinta accountable,” said Carl Gibson, who is running communications for the Take Down Guinta campaign. “We have no opinion on Carol Shea-Porter.”
SuperPACs are independent of candidates. They cannot work on behalf of a particular candidate, but they can have significant impacts on a race. Shea-Porter has repeatedly asked Guinta to join with her in requesting that SuperPACs not run radio or television ads in their race. Considering the CREDO SuperPAC’s involvement in New Hampshire, the Guinta campaign has called Shea-Porter’s request hypocritical.
Guinta beat Shea-Porter handily in a race for the 1st District seat in 2010. Polls indicate a much closer race this time around, though the district leans Republican.
It seems possible Guinta has fallen victim, to at least a certain extent, not to his extremism but to New Hampshire’s competitiveness. That the organization chose to single out Guinta could have as much to do with his votes as it does with New Hampshire’s battleground status. Gibson said the organization is targeting vulnerable lawmakers in key states, like New Hampshire, Florida and Wisconsin.
Things are just getting up off the ground now for the CREDO SuperPAC’s efforts. Gibson has spent several days out and about the 1st Congressional District getting people’s opinions on Guinta, and he found mostly that people don’t know much about him. He’s aiming to change that.
Take Down Guinta, which is based in Manchester, will be highlighting Guinta’s votes during the past two years, particularly his initial vote against considering reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act, along with Guinta’s support of Rep. Paul Ryan’s budget proposal. They’ll also be pointing out Guinta’s “no exceptions” stance on abortions, Gibson said. (The Violence Against Women Act has since been reauthorized, and Guinta ultimately voted for it.)
Democrats made a stink about a $355,000 account Guinta failed to file in his campaign finance report during the 2010 election. He ultimately filed the amount and said it was an oversight. Many believe he hasn’t sufficiently explained where the money came from. Gibson expects to be talking about that as well. In fact, the organization got some local musicians to write a song about Guinta’s “magic bank account.”
Gibson would not give out many details about the organization’s plans for the congressman, but he hinted that at any time Guinta makes a public appearance in New Hampshire, his organization will probably be there.
Gibson is gearing up now. He figured that once debates start heating up, his organization will get more involved.
“We’re just getting started,” Gibson said.
A non-supportive yes
Gov. John Lynch was active last week.
Lynch decided to let House Bill 1490 become law without his signature. The bill makes changes to the state’s participation in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a controversial cap-and-trade program.
The bill was a compromise between the House and the Senate that altered the program, rather than withdraw the state from it altogether. Lynch had given little indication on how he would handle the bill.
Environmental groups are happy to see the program not repealed, but they’re still concerned that the measure is a step in that direction. Many members of the House would have preferred full repeal.
The bill modifies how energy-efficiency dollars are allocated, with control shifted from the Public Utilities Commission to the state’s existing core utility programs. The legislation requires the legislative oversight committee on electric utility restructuring to monitor and report on certain core energy-efficiency programs. It also lowers the rebate threshold for auction proceeds to $1.
The marquee change is that the bill stipulates that if two New England states withdraw from RGGI or if one New England state representing at least 10 percent of the total load withdraws, New Hampshire will automatically withdraw. Environmental groups see that as delayed repeal.
“We believe HB 1490, which became law today, is a step in the right direction and will provide much-needed relief for New Hampshire ratepayers who have been burdened by this cap-and-trade program for too long,” said Corey Lewandowski, state director of Americans for Prosperity-New Hampshire.
But Americans for Prosperity would certainly have preferred full repeal.
That’s a no.
Lynch did get out his veto pen last week, in what was probably one of his last chances to at least try to make a stand in the face of massive Republican majorities.
Lynch vetoed Senate Bill 289, which would have required voters to show photo identification before voting. The measure is seen as common sense for some and as another obstruction to voting by others.
Lynch said he was prepared to support the bill, but he said the Legislature adopted a more restrictive list of what valid photo identification would be. Lynch vetoed a similar voter identification bill last year.
“Senate Bill 289 would put into place a photo identification system that is far more restrictive than necessary,” Lynch said in his veto statement.
Republican leadership in the House and Senate were gathering votes to try to override the veto.
Lynch also vetoed Senate Bill 409, which would have legalized the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Lynch essentially said in his veto statement that he appreciates the intentions of the bill but he is still concerned with proliferation.