Augusta, MAINE – Today, the Maine Democratic Party filed a complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission requesting that it launch an investigation into campaign finance violations by the Maine Examiner and the Maine Republican Party. Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement:
“It’s beyond hypocritical that the Maine Republican Party decries fake news but then happily turns around and peddles it to achieve their political goals,” said Bartlett.
“To put it plainly, this is the worst of politics: pushing misleading or outright false claims while hiding behind the safety of anonymity. Mainers don’t hide their faces – they stand up, speak, and own their beliefs. Whoever is behind the Maine Examiner should do the same, not cower behind a mask of secrecy – and the Maine GOP should be upfront with the people of Maine and tell them whether or not they are purposefully using this bogus website to advance their partisan agenda.”
The complaint alleges that the Maine Examiner, an anonymous website that pushes Republican propaganda posing as legitimate news, violated Maine campaign finance laws governing the use and reporting of independent expenditures by publishing fake news stories with the clear intent of defeating then-Lewiston mayoral candidate Ben Chin within the 35 days preceding the election. The complaint also requests that the Ethics Commission investigate whether the Maine Republican Party is affiliated with or has coordinated with the Maine Examiner.
Several news reports have uncovered the close relationship that the Maine Republican Party appears to have with the Maine Examiner, oftentimes sharing the website’s posts within moments of their posting. The Maine GOP has said that it is unaware of who operates the website and has declined to say whether or not the Maine Republican Party coordinates with the Maine Examiner.
In addition to peddling much of the misleading content created by the Maine Examiner, the Maine GOP regularly posts its own “News You Can Trust” videos intended to undermine the legitimacy of fair and balanced news outlets while also pushing their partisan perspective.
To read the complaint, click HERE.