U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter says Republican opponent Frank Guinta’s latest television ad against her is misleading because it uses a “poison pill” vote in the House to claim that she voted to allow members of Congress “first class travel and health care for life.”
Shea-Porter campaign spokesman Marjorie Connolly says Guinta should take the ad off the air because the provision being cited was buried in a GOP budget that she said included cuts to Medicare and other key programs and would have repealed the Affordable Care Act. That’s why Shea-Porter voted against it, said Connolly, not because of the travel ban or other “poison pill,” politically-based provisions.
Connolly said that ironically, when the same language was included in a Democratic budget alternative, Guinta himself voted against that bill – and in effect, in favor of allowing first class travel and health care for life. Connolly said that added “hypocrisy to trickery.”
The provision has been the subject of ads across the country. In New York, a television station removed a similar ad from the air, according to a news report cited by the Shea-Porter campaign.
The Guinta ad takes a snippet from Shea-Porter’s own ad in which she says, “You know who I stand for.” Although in the Shea-Porter ad, she means the middle class, the Guinta ad communicates that Shea-Porter “stands” for herself.
View the ad below.
It says she voted “to collect her salary even if Congress doesn’t pass a budget” as well as “first class travel and health care for life.”
Connolly of the Shea-Porter campaign said, “Frank Guinta is once again trying to trick the voters. He should be embarrassed for polluting New Hampshire airwaves with this deceptive attack ad, and we call on him to take it down immediately.”
But Guinta campaign manager Jay Ruais responded, “The Congresswoman may not like what her voting history says about her priorities, but facts are stubborn things. Whether it be her votes in Washington or her cross country California wine trip to raise money with Nancy Pelosi , Rep. Shea-Porter continues to prove just how out of touch she is with Granite Staters. Try as she might, she cannot outrun her record.”
The Shea-Porter campaign said the Guinta ad is “meant to distract from his two-year record of utter failure.” Connolly said that as a member of the House Budget Committee, Guinta “wrote budgets that voucherized Medicare and raised the Social security age – budget so extreme they led to gridlock an prevented Congress from doing its job.”
Connolly said Shea-Porter “compromised on a budget” which became law, the two-year Bipartisan Budget Act signed into law last year by President Obama.
Shea-Porter: ‘Distancing’ herself from anti-Guinta gun ad?
On a separate issue, Shea-Porter’s comments about an ad against Guinta being aired by Americans for Responsible Solutions, a group that says it wants “sensible” gun laws and is viewed by staunch pro-Second Amendment proponents as a “gun control” group, have gained a measure of national coverage.
The ad contends Guinta “supports the loophole that lets stalkers buy guns without a background check” and “will slash funding to prevent domestic violence.”
Shea-Porter’s 2008 campaign manager, Pia Carusone, is now a senior adviser to ARS, which was co-founded by Democratic former Arizona U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and her husband, Mark Kelly, after Giffords was shot in the head during a shooting rampage in January 2011.
In a debate on Sept. 25 in North Conway, Shea-Porter said, “My former chief of staff is not running those ads.”
Guinta answered, “She works for Gabby, she runs the PAC. She runs the PAC and you know it.”
Last week the National Journal and the staunchly conservative web site Breitbart.com reported, based on Shea-Porter’s comment in the Sept. 25 debate, that Shea-Porter “distanced herself” from the ARS ad.
But Shea-Porter spokesman Connolly said that since the ARS ad is an independent expenditure, “of course she doesn’t have any association with it, as she wouldn’t with any independent expenditure.”
Connolly would not say whether Shea-Porter believes the ad is accurate.