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Maine People’s Alliance attack on disabled Republican may have been deliberate

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One week after the Maine People’s Alliance was enveloped in a media firestorm for a controversial attack it made on a wheelchair-bound Republican lawmaker, new evidence has surfaced suggesting the attack was not accidental as the group has repeatedly claimed.

The kerfuffle began when the MPA, a radical left-wing political group based in Portland, sent mailers to the district of Rep. Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon Falls) criticizing him for having “no spine” and for failing to “stand up” to Gov. Paul LePage’s bullying.

Crafts has been paralyzed for 26 years as the result of a motorcycling accident.

After The Maine Wire and several other media outlets put a spotlight on the offensive attack, Mike Tipping, MPA’s communications director, called Craft, apologized, and defended his group on social media, radio and in a blog post at the Bangor Daily News.

Tipping’s defense all along has been that the flier was a carbon-copy, one-size-fits-all palm card sent to many districts, that it did not specifically target Crafts. The offensive language was an oversight by some anonymous staffer, he said. (Definitely not him, no.)

But the Maine GOP has produced copies of fliers sent to other districts and a comparison of the fliers suggests Crafts’ was custom designed.

As the Republicans note, one of these fliers does not look like the others. Tipping now should explain why the offensive flier is not, as he has claimed, a carbon copy of other fliers sent to different lawmakers, but is in fact unique.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

“The most likely explanation is that the person(s) who created the flier attacking Rep. Crafts knew full well he is confined to a wheelchair, and chose to modify the flier just a little bit to make it slightly less literal before attacking him,” the GOP Executive Director Jason Savage said in a blog post.

The unwanted attention for MPA, a 501(c)4 nonprofit, also puts U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud in a difficult bind.

Michaud, running for governor as a Democrat, has been endorsed by MPA (they exclusively endorse liberal Democrats). Republicans are calling on him to condemn the offensive tactics the MPA uses, but Michaud likely knows he needs the MPA’s out-of-state paid canvassers to help him win in November.

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is Editor Emeritus of The Maine Wire and currently producer for the Howie Carr Show. Follow him on Twitter @Stevie_Rob or send him an email at Steve@HowieCarrShow.com.

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