Augusta, MAINE – Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett issued the following statement in response to the Maine GOP’s nonsensical rebuttal of MDP’s ethics complaint:

“It seems like the Maine Republican Party is either confused or once again trying to mislead. The fundamental issue here is that digital fingerprints clearly tie the Maine GOP’s Executive Director directly to the Maine Examiner website – and their failure to report the Maine Examiner’s misleading and propagandist stories as expenditures is what we believe violates campaign finance reporting laws.

"Their focus on anything else is nothing but smoke and mirrors. Jason Savage, the Party’s Executive Director, chose to conceal his identity in order to peddle misleading information meant to deceive people and achieve the party's political goals. We look forward to the Ethics Commission’s consideration of our complaint because the Republican Party’s defense just isn’t stacking up.”

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 in the past 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.

The Maine Ethics Commission today informed the Maine Democratic Party 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.