May 15, 2015 3:51 PM

First on NH1 News: Guinta defends loans to his campaign, will release documents

CONCORD - Congressman Frank Guinta, R-NH, apologized for incorrectly filing a disclosure form five years ago but insisted the only money loaned to his 2010 campaign was his own.

During his first broadcast interview on the controversy with NH1 Political Director Paul Steinhauser, Guinta said the bank account controlled by his parents is meant for him and have 40 years of records to prove his point.

“I utilized a loan from my portion of that account in the 2010 campaign and I have documents and records going back to the mid 1970’s that show the dollars that I contributed,’’ Guinta said.

And Guinta says the Federal Elections Commission only decided to investigate his finances because he failed to include the bank account on his personal financial form required of all candidates for federal office.

"I made a mistake. I regret making that mistake,’’ Guinta continued. "I wish I didn’t make that mistake having the opportunity now to finally resolve this and put it behind me is the right thing to do.”

Guinta said he’ll soon disclose the deposits he made into the account to prove the money was his.

“I utilized a loan from my portion of that account in the 2010 campaign and I have documents and records going back to the mid 1970’s that show the dollars that I contributed," Guinta said.

He says he has no intention of changing plans to run again in 2016.

“I will show that those records to ensure that people understand that this was my money from the start," Guinta said.

The critical commentary continues to flood in as Congressman Frank Guinta, R-NH, wraps up his first work week since news that federal regulators fined and made him pay back $355,000 in loans to his 2010 campaign.

The Federal Elections Commission found Guinta broke campaign laws by using for loan money nine checks in 2009-10 from accounts controlled by his parents.

In response, Guinta has said over the years he has deposited into this account more money than he received in loans.

The Union Leader of New Hampshire was the most blunt and direct with this one lined editorial in today’s editions: ``Frank Guinta is a damned liar.”

The Telegraph of Nashua wrote that people should not accept Guinta’s claim that the money was really his.

"Maybe that’s true, but after five years of deceiving the public about the source of the money, the days when the public can take Frank Guinta’s word for anything are behind him," The Telegraph wrote.

"He should produce the deposit slips and bank records to support his latest claim and prove to voters that he’s not just piling up yet another lie on top of the others.
"He doesn’t have to, of course. That’s Guinta’s prerogative. Sort of like telling the truth."

Meanwhile, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, said Guinta needs to do the right thing.

"Public service is an honor and when you are elected to serve the people of New Hampshire one of your responsibilities is to hold the public’s trust, and with the findings of the FEC has made there is certainly there's certainly serious and troubling and he needs to not only pay the money but the fine associated with the FEC findings, but most importantly answer all questions for the people of New Hampshire and fully explain and account for his actions,’’ Ayotte told NH1 News.

Guinta said he doesn’t blame Ayotte for being critical.

“I understand that Kelly is disappointed. I’m disappointed,’’ Guinta added.

Last year, Ayotte supported Guinta in his campaign to get back to Washington even though there was a contested GOP primary with Portsmouth businessman Dan Innis.

Guinta won back the First District seat he holds last November, unseating Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter, D-NH. This was the third contest between the two. Guinta has already said he intends to run for re-election.


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