Augusta, MAINE – The Maine Ethics Commission today informed the Maine Democratic Party (MDP) that it has scheduled for initial consideration MDP’s complaint against the Maine Examiner and the Maine Republican Party. 

The initial consideration is scheduled to occur on February 22, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at the Maine Ethics Commission’s office in Augusta. During the meeting, the Commissioners are expected to decide whether or not to conduct an investigation into the Maine Examiner and the Maine Republican Party. 

Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett released the following statement in response:

“We are pleased that the Maine Ethics Commission has moved in such an expeditious manner and that it plans to conduct an initial review of what we believe to be a strong case. Given the mounting evidence directly tying the Maine Republican Party to the Maine Examiner, we are confident that the Commission will find our complaint justified and move forward with a thorough investigation. The Maine GOP has acted in an unethical, dishonest, and downright deceitful way, and the people of Maine deserve an explanation.”

The Maine Democratic Party late last night filed an addendum to its original complaint requesting an investigation into the Maine Republican Party and its ties to the shadowy, anonymous “news” site the Maine Examiner. 

Several news reports have uncovered the close relationship that the Maine Republican Party appears to have with the Maine Examiner. Spokesman for the Maine GOP, Garrett Murch, has said that he is does not know who operates the website and has declined to say whether or not the Maine Republican Party coordinates with the Maine Examiner.

However, news reports from the past two days have uncovered deepening ties between the Maine Republican Party – specifically Executive Director Jason Savage – and the Maine Examiner, noting that an electronic error log on the Maine Examiner website appears to show that Savage also owns or controls the hosting account responsible for the website.

In the Maine GOP’s response yesterday, Chair Demi Kouzounas did not defend Savage or Murch and did not deny that the Maine Republican Party is directly connected to the Maine Examiner.