One of the decisions I have to make in our primary a week from tomorrow is whether to vote for Frank Guinta or Dan Innis to oppose my current CongressCritter/Toothache, Carol Shea-Porter. I've been getting negative mailers for both: Innis trashing Guinta, Guinta trashing Innis. I can't imagine what Pun Salad Manor's mailbox is going to look like for the next few days. (I wish I had easy access to a scanner, so I could stick the ugly-ass things somewhere you could see them. Trust me.)
But based solely on the mailers, I'm leaning toward Innis.
Guinta (actually "Friends of Frank Guinta") tells me:
DAN INNIS & CAROL SHEA-PORTER. ONE IN THE SAME.
Yes, that last bit is in red and manages to botch the cliché "one and the same".
Innis's crimes? Well, he's a "liberal professor". (Eek!) And, back in February, he was willing to (hypothetically) vote for the "clean" debt ceiling increase then under consideration. (Only 28 Republicans voted for that, which was just enough to squeak it through.) He (allegedly) supported a gas tax increase.
And, Guinta claims, Innis fails to support a "Balanced Budget Amendment".
Whatever Innis's other sins, this last bit sticks in my craw. A Constitutional amendment to mandate a balanced budget is a real stupid and phony idea. If Innis doesn't support it, good for him.
Why? You may remember from civics class the process for getting a balanced-budget amendment: Two-thirds vote from both houses plus ratification from 38 state legislatures.
But the procedure for getting a balanced budget is: a simple majority vote in both houses. (With maybe a two-thirds vote to override any veto.) Much simpler.
A BBA-advocating politician, especially one running for Congress, is basically promising to evade his or her own responsibility for keeping spending in line with revenues. Why would you vote for anyone like that?
[Innis's official proposals on taxes and spending can be found here (PDF). Modulo the usual campaign vagueness, they look OK to me. Guinta, on the other hand, is short on specifics. His tax proposals are OK, if pretty standard.]
Not that Innis's mailer's are a lot better. Actually, they're not from Innis, but the "American Unity [Super] PAC", and they are careful to state: "Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee." This PAC was established by billionaire hedge fund manager Paul E. Singer, who is conservative and gay. And the PAC is pretty much organized to support gay and gay-friendly conservatives. And Innis is both.
Anyway, the mailers are even less issue-oriented than Guinta's: each points out the stunningly obvious: Dan Innis is neither Frank Guinta nor Carol Shea-Porter! Who, together, have represented our Congressional district for the past eight years. "Seems longer!"
There's a hint of cleverness: on one mailer, portraits of Carol and Guinta are labelled: "Mrs. Been There" and "Mr. Done That." Heh!
My fearless prediction: Guinta will trounce Innis next week, with or without my vote. And (in any case) I will hold my nose as much as necessary to vote against Carol Shea-Porter in November. Polls show a tight race, so in addition to holding my nose, I'll also have to cross my fingers.
[Update 2017-11-30: Innis lost the primary, Guinta lost to CSP, and now CSP has declined to run again in 2018. "May you live in interesting times."]