Maine Democrats have been criticizing a website called the Maine Examiner for some time, accusing the online publication of slander, but until now they were unable to determine just who was behind the content.
It turns out, as some suspected, that Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage runs the Maine Examiner and writes all commentary himself. His lawyers are attempting to say the venture is nothing more than a personal hobby and has no connection to his post within the Republican Party.
Savage's attorneys claim the website falls within the requirements for press exemption because the letter at hand makes the Maine Examiner's ownership public, and the website is not owned or controlled by a political party, PAC, BQC or candidate.
"Finally, the Maine Examiner clearly satisfies the requirement of publishing news stories, commentaries or editorials on a variety of topics and continues to do so to the present day," the letter reads. "The Maine Examiner meets the regulatory criteria set forth in the Commission’s rules and is therefore entitled to claim the press exemption."
But Democrats have called the recent admissions a "sad, last-ditch Hail Mary to bail themselves out."
"There aren't any ifs, ands, or buts about it: Jason Savage is the heart of the Maine Republican Party, and he created this misleading content with the singular goal of using his party’s apparatus to amplify it," Maine Democratic Party Chairman Phil Bartlett wrote in a press release. "He did so deceitfully, under the cloak of secrecy, and with the intent to mislead Maine people."
"What Savage did was wrong, and he owes the people of Maine nothing short of an apology," he said. Bartlett also called for Savage to resign.