One of Pindell’s Questions for the Weekend caught my eye:
Where is that “Turkey,” Frank Guinta, these days? Is he in New Hampshire?
A little poking around confirmed that, yes, Guinta has been in Turkey — as a guest of the Turkish Coalition of America.
The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) on Feb. 14th wrapped up its twelfth Congressional Delegation to Turkey. … The delegation, comprised of Rep. Frank Guinta (R-N.H.) and three senior Congressional staffers … visited Istanbul and Ankara during their four-day visit.
Ironically, when Guinta campaigned for office, he pledged to co-sponsor an Armenian genocide resolution, which would condemn the 1915 slaughter of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. His promise to co-sponsor the resolution, which is opposed by the TCA, secured the endorsement of the Armenian National Committee of America.
In his response to the ANCA’s 2010 Congressional Candidate Questionnaire, Guinta pledged to co-sponsor the Armenian Genocide Resolution and oppose any kind of historical commission that might be established to question this crime against humanity.
Guinta’s Turkish romance began soon after his election to the House. He joined the Caucus on US Turkish Relations & Turkish Americans, which is sponsored by the TCA, and was rewarded with a $5,000 campaign donation from Yalcin Ayasli, the New Hampshire entrepreneur who founded the TCA. Ayasli has deep pockets. During the 2008 election cycle, he and his family gave $424,050 to politicians and political organizations, making them the nation’s top individual contributors.
Guinta has also received $17,000 in PAC contributions from BAE Systems, a defense contractor with business interests in Turkey who has lobbied against an Armenian genocide resolution.
Last month, Guinta was one of 13 members of Congress to attend a reception celebrating the opening of a new office for the Turkish Coalition of America and the Turkish Cultural Foundation.
Guinta, pictured at the TCA/TCF reception with Yalcin Ayasli, Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC) and Lincoln McCurdy, TCA President.
For the record, Guinta is not a co-sponsor of U.S. House Resolution 304, the Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, which was introduced on June 14, 2011.