Polling, And The Lawn Dart Issue

While back in Maine on a short vacation before heading back to Florida for a new gig, I thought it might be good to chime in on the latest developments in the clown rodeo that has become the Maine Governor Race.

With the possible exception of poll numbers that look like a blindly tossed lawn-dart on its swift return, not a lot has changed.

Perhaps that is why lawn darts went illegal years ago..too much similarity to independent political campaigns.

A latest check with Real Clear Politics has him floating an average 17.3% with likely Maine voters. Over at the HuffingOnPaint (who would quite frankly elect Ted Bundy if he were a registered Dem…and not dead) shows an estimate of 15 percent.

For perspective, that is just one point higher than the frequency rate of Chlamydia.

LePage is wallowing in his recent scandal. I’ve lost track of what it is, there are so many. Michaud will feel a dead-cat-bounce from last weeks Dem convention, but the VA thing is gonna be a thing, Baby.

Meanwhile, I’ve been asked to pass along any juicy tidbits. I’m PARTICULARLY interested in you know, all that lawyer stuff…like did Ol’ Barnjacket ever even take the bar exam, anywhere…ever.

Or, as my sniffer tells me, he’s all spooked up.

 

Of Interest

Earlier this week, a friend passed on to me the following snippet from Forbes magazine.

In modern America, however, it appears the man in Rockwell’s painting might be advised to be very careful what he says, how he says it, and to whom he says it at the town hall.  A few wrong moves and one of the townspeople wearing ties might report him to the local election commission.  He might be required to register as a Political Action Committee and make filings with the state. He could face significant administrative expenses, and need to hire a financial staff.  Indeed, it would probably be best if he brought an attorney with him to the meeting, lest he run afoul of the rules regarding political speech and advocacy.

 

Read the article here.

This puts my site in an interesting conundrum. I’ve noticed an increase in daily traffic over the past few weeks, meaning the campaign trackers have put it on “the list.”

Will I eventually suffer the fate of DB and be summoned to the halls of power in Augusta, accused of goodness knows what?  The disclaimer below.

I own the “site.” I create the content. It is my opinion. Nobody pays me to do so. It is hosted on a “free” site. I neither employ nor am in the employ of anyone. I don’t raise money.

If anyone has any fancy ideas, they can refer to what I call rule#1 in the subpoena department. “Salt it and suck it.”

 

Delicious…And Tangy.

Have to hand it to Steve Mistler over at the PPH. Major hat tip on this one. Mike Michaud filed his paperwork for the Gubernatorial run, with a shocker for the Cutler campaign.

Snip—”

Still, there was at least one important nugget in the Ethics Commission filing: Bonnie Porta.

Porta will be Michaud’s campaign treasurer. This matters.

Two reasons:

First, Porta and her husband, Robert C.S. Monks, are prolific donors to the Maine Democratic Party. Second, both gave money to independent candidate Eliot Cutler in 2010. “

In the words of George Takei…”OH…MY”

That means, among the backfield from Cutler’s last run, the only person likely to be picking up the phone when it comes to fundraising is Tin Cup.

The most appropriate theme music I could come up with was this gem.

 

 

 

 

 

After a moment to go smoke, get a fresh iced tea and whatnot, I have determined the penultimate IDEAL theme music for this revelation. http://youtu.be/qT_c-x0kSTQ

“A little of the old in/out, in/out.”

Master of doublespeak EC hit the air on WGAN this morning for that weekly mutual masturbation session called “The Cutler Conversation.”  Each week, Ken or Mike dutifully asks him if he will officially announce. This morning, he did…sort of.

Audio Here.

Yes, he’s running, but that official announcement isn’t quite as official, as he intends to officially announce in the Fall. The reason? MONEY.

He can raise a LOT of funds between now and then, without tipping his hand on just who the donors are.

He can keep that cushy once a month gig on the weekends at WGAN, the “Inside Politics” show, at least until he officially declares. At that point,  station management will sort of have to do a back an fill. Is  his show a political advertisement, and should they allow ALL the other candidates equal time, or will they fess up and admit he’s buying the time?

Guess everyone forgot about that.

As Predicted.

As predicted, at USM School of Business event on Thursday, Ted O’Meara didn’t waste a second in informing me (complete with waggling finger, though to his credit not the one I suspected he’d use) that “You’ve got your facts all wrong.”

He went on to point out that a candidate committee is NOT a PAC. I knew that, and stated as much. He went further to say that the state has not yet published the filing guidelines for the 2014 campaign.

Two things of note. I guess restating to me what I stated in the post could technically be called a correction. At least he had a chance to add a billable hour.

The other thing…the pointy barbs are getting to them. Even with minor pageviews (under 30,) that says a lot.

“Strike One…”

Yes, I caught the Rebekah Metzler piece (Link: ) a few weeks back about the BIG fundraiser for EC and the rest of the not-quite-ready-for-primetime-players down in DC. This makes an average reporter with an IQ higher than a turnip start digging in and asking questions.

Unfortunately, those turnips are winning. Consider the following.

1. In January, EC filed the necessary paperwork to be considered a candidate. Not the signatures to get on the ballot, mind you, but that fiddly little bit of legal stuff that says he’s planning on running, and will be planning on fundraising.

2. His campaign committee is called “Cutler For Maine,” as listed on his candidate report. (link here)

3 That campaign committee never filed a PAC report, as due on April 10th. He could argue that no report was filed since it isn’t a PAC, but what exactly is it? Further, the planned fundraiser swankiness certainly has some up-front expenses that have to be paid, and reported if they fall within the time frame of the period in question. Caterers, stringed musicians and such. Can’t quite plan a fundraiser with the “K-Street” set unless you’ve purchased plenty of whiskey, either.

4. The $1500 a ticket price virtually guarantees that the buyers of influence set will be setting the agenda for his campaign. Not a shocker, but keep bringing that up the next time he gives the “Aw, shucks” local boy shrug.

5 Such funds, raised at this time and left unreported, could quite literally be spent on anything. Attack ads, Justin Schair’s salary, Ted O’Meara’s pre-consulting fees, a whiskey and hookers lawn dart party…we’ll never know.

DISCLOSURE: I have had several questions about who is paying for this blog.

Me. In the interest of full disclosure, I took myself out a week ago and bought myself a beer for the effort. Thursday, I’ll likely run in to O’Meara at this event (“The Business of Politics”) so I promise to leave the recorder running when I ask him about future plans for the big piles of untraceable cash.

 

Failure to Launch

Ah, the past is a wonderful thing. Looking back over the old “Cutler Files” I found a reference to EC calling himself the “Architect” of the Denver Airport. You probably won’t hear that claim this time around, for a simple reason.
Success has a thousand fathers…but failure is an orphan.
This study took a look at the DIA baggage fiasco. among the failures listed were these;
The Denver debacle is a template for failure that many other projects have followed. As with so many other failures, Denver suffered from;
1.The underestimation of complexity
2.A lack of planning resulting in subsequent changes in strategy
3.Excessive schedule pressure
4.Lack of due diligence
5.Making firm commitments in the face of massive risks
and uncertainty
6.Poor stakeholder management
7.Communications breakdowns
8.People working in silos
9.Poor design
10.Failure to perform risk management
11.Failure to understand the implication change requests
might have
           12.Lack of management oversight
Still feel like calling yourself an architect there, Eliot?
BTW, these are SURELY qualities we need in Maine’s next Governor, right?
RIGHT?!?

Keep on Chuggin’

The majority of the Maine Media has been absolutely buggy with the latest trend, that of the Maine Greens effort to get the left handed lettuce legalized here in the Pine Tree State.

Nobody ever asked EC his position on “puffin’” during the last election. Nobody.

Seeing as that is the talk of the week, I’m wondering if THIS time, anyone will.

If so, after thoughtful consideration and waving a wet finger in the air, I think the answer will look a little something like this.

Brief Update

Aside

Have been ill a good part of the week, so just a brief update today.

Thornburg. OMB. Lawsuits. China Trade Policy. Elections and campaign “issues.”

Ever notice how a man who was involved in all these things claims to have never been around, or in the loop when all the bad decisions were made?

Coincidence?

The Sting-Part 1

I was always taught a simple thing. Never juggle numbers, as they are sharp little buggers that tend to slip at the last moment and slice your fingers off.

In that spirit, I bring you the ghost of Ricky Ricardo, who would look at the data presented below and come to the conclusion that “Somebody got some ‘splainin’ to do.”

I start off with Angus King and his Senate campaign not because I opposed him (H/T to Crash Barry) but because what happened is still fresh in everyone’s mind.

Eliot Cutler was one of Angus’ campaign chairs.

He was also on the Board of Directors of “Americans Elect.”

Americans Elect donated a whopping $500,000 to AK’s campaign on October 5th, a month before the election. Clearly a campaign violation, the Maine GOP cried “Foul” to the Federal Election Commission, who seem to have filed the complaint somewhere under the Lost Ark of The Covenant.

See the complaint here.

Cutler shrugs this off, presenting an affidavit that he resigned from the board of AE on June 26th, and that the website never changed to reflect that.

Hmm.

Checking this post over at Breitbart, things get muddier. “No one other than Americans Elect founder Peter Ackerman contributed any money to Americans Elect prior to Monday, October 1, 2012. He donated $250,000 on August 8, $100,000 on September 7, and $150,000 on October 1.

John Burbank III did not donate his $750,000 until Monday, October 1, a mere four days before the first ads supporting Angus King appeared on Maine television stations.

Michael Bloomberg did not donate his $500,000 until Thursday, October 4, just one day before the first ads supporting King appeared on Maine television stations.

No vendor was paid a penny prior to Friday, October 5, the day the television ads ran.

Americans Elect, however, must have incurred obligations to several vendors long before October 5, the day the television ads first ran. Television production timelines can be lengthy–one week to a month, pollsters incur expenses to take polls, and television stations will usually not reserve valuable advertising air time without prepayment.”

Over at the AETransparency site, it gets a bit more interesting.

“Last Friday, Americans Elect released a copy of Cutler’s letter of resignation from Americans Elect’s board, dated and “effective the close of business on June 26, 2012″. But an Americans Elect filing submitted to and posted on the web site of South Dakota’s Secretary of State includes an AE board resolution, executed June 23/24 2012, which states in part “the undersigned, being all of the members of the Board of Directors of Americans Elect,” and does not include the name or signature of Eliot Cutler among those signatories.

 

In short, Cutler’s resignation letter declares that he was a member of AE’s board through June 26th, 2012, whereas AE’s South Dakota filing declares that he was not. At least one of these two statements must therefore be false.”

Whoops.

Interesting email exchange here. Especially liked the part about Eliot  still being described as on the board…in August.

All of the smoke and mirrors show STILL can’t explain a simple fact, that AE claims to have sent a letter to the Secretaries of State of all the states they got ballot access in July, telling them that the organization had been disbanded.

Eliot would have been at that meeting.

Funds would have been either allocated at that point, to be spent down the road.

Even if he were NOT at that meeting, Eliot took the position of being one of AK’s chairs in MARCH.

I guess three months of coordinating campaigns between a shady 501(c)(4) that doesn’t have to disclose donors, fundraising, or anything else for that matter falls beneath the cracks of FEC interest.

 

EC claims to still be “thinking about” running.

It gets worse from here.

Think harder.