Shea-Porter won in 2006 with a grassroots, people-powered campaign, not drawing very much attention outside New Hampshire—even in the netroots—until her surprise win. She's one of those candidates who inspires fierce devotion from her district's hardcore progressive activists, and that, much more than money, is what fueled her campaigns. In fact, she's never been a very strong fundraiser, which is one reason our help can make a difference in this race.
Carol Shea-Porter legislated as a progressive and that's how she's running today—you can see her answers to our Orange to Blue questionnaire below the fold. She didn't just cast the right votes on the big issues, she pushed for provisions limiting open air burn pits in the National Defense Authorization Act, she was one of those fighting to close the Medicare donut hole in the Affordable Care Act, and she was pushing to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell in 2009.
Rep. Frank Guinta stands out among Republicans mostly as a corrupt weasel. He's a Republican who votes with his party, which means we could pick out dozens of terrible votes he's taken—he voted to pass the Ryan budget out of committee, for instance, and for the horrendous Republican version of the Violence Against Women Act. He's also engaged in your typical Republican hypocrisy, showing up to cut the ribbon on projects he voted against funding, ranking as one of the most extravagant users of his congressional franking privilege after having campaigned against Shea-Porter in 2010 for supposedly abusing franking.
But what makes Guinta special are things like this: In 2010, he loaned his campaign $355,000 out of a bank account he had never disclosed in his time as an elected local official. Since he'd been earning around $75,000 a year and had student loans he had yet to pay off, it was pretty damn clear he hadn't had $355,000 sitting around in a bank account for years, undisclosed and unused until he was in a tough race for House. The source of that money has remained a mystery—family members or a rich supporter getting around campaign finance laws? We don't know, but what we do know is that if the money was really Guinta's, he could have easily proven it. But he hasn't, and while in office, he's been involved in a weird mini-scandal involving fundraising calls to the Republican Governors Association.
When Carol Shea-Porter was elected in 2006, she was the first woman to be elected to federal office from New Hampshire. Today, both the state's senators are women (Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayotte); if Shea-Porter and her fellow Orange to Blue candidate, Annie Kuster, both win, New Hampshire could have an all-woman congressional delegation. But the most important thing is getting corrupt, extremist Republicans like Frank Guinta out of office, especially when the alternative is someone as honorable and progressive as Carol Shea-Porter.
1. Do you support:
a) A public health insurance option, offered by the federal government and tied to Medicare reimbursement rates plus 5% (H.R. 3200, Subtitle B, including § 223(b)(1)(A), as introduced in the House, 111th Congress)? Yes.
b) The Medicare You Can Buy Into Act (H.R. 4789, 111th Congress), which would allow all citizens or permanent residents to buy into Medicare?
Yes, I co-sponsored H.R. 4789 when I was in Congress.
2. Do you agree that any immigration reform bill should:
a) Contain a meaningful path to citizenship — one that does not include overly-punitive fines or a touchback requirement — for law-abiding undocumented immigrants currently in the United States;
b) Ensure that expanded legal permanent immigration, rather than expansion of temporary worker programs, serves as the United States' primary external answer to workforce shortages; and
c) Ensure that any non-agricultural temporary worker programs maintain current caps on the total number of non-agricultural temporary worker visas issued, and also include a meaningful prevailing wage requirement keyed to the Service Contract Act and the Davis-Bacon Act?
3. Do you oppose each of the following changes to Social Security and Medicare:
a) Raising the retirement age;
b) Eliminating or reducing the cost of living adjustment;
c) Directly reducing benefits;
d) Means-testing recipients; and
e) Privatization, so-called "personal accounts," and vouchers?
4. Do you support the Employee Free Choice Act (H.R. 1409/S. 560, 111th Congress), including the provision known as "card check"?
Yes, I voted for this bill when I served in Congress.
5. Do you pledge to vote against any efforts to extend the temporary tax cuts for income over $250,000 (Public Law 111-312)?
I am against extending the tax cuts for higher incomes, and I voted against extending them in December,2010. However, due to the increasing pressure of higher education costs on middle class families, I prefer to see the level set at $300,000.
6. If elected to the House, do you pledge not to join the Blue Dog Coalition?
I did not join in my two terms in Congress and would not join if reelected.
7. If elected to the Senate, do you pledge to restore majority rule to the Senate and work/vote to end the filibuster?