For voters who consider themselves either solid Republicans or Democrats, the decision in the congressional race between Rep. Frank Guinta and challenger Carol Shea-Porter is easy.
Guinta is rated the 31st most conservative of Congressional Republicans. That's Tea Party territory.
No surprise, he's already signed on to 32 bills to repeal ObamaCare. He's against raising taxes for the wealthy, and never will because he's signed Grover Norquist's Taxpayer Protection Pledge, which in writing binds its signatories to oppose all tax increases. Guinta, shortsightedly, locked himself in from ever compromising with the Democrats on the budget.
He's also a social conservative, and he once said publicly he would support legislation that would force schools to teach creationism.
Shea-Porter is a classic Democrat, but more slightly moderate in her party than Guinta is in his, and based on her voting record during her two terms in Congress, falls more in the middle of the Democrat pack in voting along party lines.
This race is the most of rancorous of any we've seen this year, and the amount of scare-mail these two have produced attests to that.
Both attended editorial boards at the Sun Wednesday, and both accused each other of dirty politics. It's not easy here to recount those examples as the explanations are arcane, but two years ago we endorsed Shea-Porter in the same race against Guinta; one of the reasons was Guinta couldn't explain how he "forgot" to report $355,000 in one of his bank accounts to the Federal Elections Committee. At the time, state Sen. Jeb Bradley called for Gunita to drop out of the Republican Primary as he couldn't explain the omission. We've never heard an explanation and the FEC is still investigating.
Our suggestion in this race is for voters to look above the weeds and to decide their votes on the major issues.
By that standard we solidly endorse Shea-Porter.
We don't want ObamaCare repealed, we don't have a problem with rich people kicking in a few extra tax dollars, and won't support Tea Party social conservatives who are in powerful enough political positions, like a congressman, to take away civil rights such as same-sex marriage and the right for women to choose.