Campaign 2010

Jul 28, 2014

Frank Guinta Turns to Fellow Disgraced NH Politician for Help

Last week, former New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta announced that former New Hampshire Governor Craig Benson has endorsed him in his third bid for Congress. Like Guinta, Benson served only one term and left office in a cloud of scandal.

“It comes as no surprise that Frank Guinta, who is still dogged by questions surrounding his own shady campaign finances, is touting the endorsement of someone notorious for allegations of corruption,” said Marc Brumer of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “Voters threw Guinta out of office for his irresponsible agenda that stacks the deck in favor of the special interests and the ultra-wealthy by shifting the burden onto hard working middle class families, and now Frank Guinta is once again turning to his special interest allies to help his reckless campaign. No amount of help from his corrupt cronies and special interest allies can help Frank Guinta shed the baggage of his own shady past and his failed tenure that hurt New Hampshire’s middle class families.”

BACKGROUND:

Guinta Was Investigated by the Federal Election Commission. Guinta was under investigation by the FEC for campaign finance violations and a “forgotten” bank account. He was named one of the “most corrupt” members of Congress by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. [CREW, accessed 7/28/14]

Guinta Was Endorsed by former Governor Craig Benson. "1st congressional district candidate Frank Guinta is the latest Republican to receive the endorsement of Craig Benson, New Hampshire’s only Republican governor in the past 18 years. He served only one term and faced numerous allegations of corrupt practices within his office. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from soliciting his endorsements." [Concord Monitor, 7/27/14]

Executives at Benson’s former Company Were Sentenced to Federal Prison For Conspiring to Inflate Revenue. In August 2007, three Enterasys Networks executives were sentenced to federal prison after testifying against five other former executives for conspiring to use accounting schemes to inflate revenue when Enterasys was spun off of Cabletron Systems. Four of the other five executives were found guilty. Carig Benson was a Cabletron co-founder who, despite having left the company, was the largest shareholder at the time. [New Hampshire Business Review, 8/30/07]

One of the Convicted Executives Implicated Benson. In July 2008, former Enterasys CFO Robert Gargalis, who had been convicted of securities fraud, said that “these questionable practices dated back to Cabletron and the firm’s top executives from those days - Benson, co-founder and former CEO, Piyush Patel, Benson’s successor as CEO at Cabletron, David Kirkpatrick, Cabletron’s chief financial officer, and Eric Jaeger, executive vice president, all of whom still held power in Enterasys."  [New Hampshire Business Review, 7/18/08]

Benson was Interviewed by the FBI and the Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Case. In May 2003, The FBI and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Morse interviewed Benson in connection with the Enterasys case. [New Hampshire Business Review, 7/18/08]

Cabletron Stockholders Filed a Class Action Lawsuit against Benson. "After Cabletron's stock plummeted 67 percent in 1997, stockholders filed a class-action lawsuit against the company and several of its directors, including Benson. The lawsuit alleged Cabletron's corporate leaders 'knew of, but failed to disclose to the public, serious problems' that caused revenues to drop, according to court papers. That lawsuit ended in 2006, with Enterasys agreeing to pay $10.5 million to settle the suit against its predecessor." [Concord Monitor, 8/3/08]

Benson Appointee Illegally Collected Fees. In October 2004, Democratic Gubernatorial candidate John Lynch criticized Benson for a number of incidents that occurred on his watch, including a gubernatorial appointee who was found to have illegally collected $187,000 in brokerage fees. [Boston Globe, 10/26/04]

Benson was Accused of Manipulating a Sexual Misconduct Investigation. "In 2004, Flynn made headlines when an outside prosecutor's investigation found that Flynn and Benson manipulated an investigation into a sexual misconduct complaint against then-Attorney General Peter Heed." [Concord Monitor, 9/1/08]