The Maine Republican Party is calling on U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud to denounce the activities of the left-wing Maine People’s Alliance, a controversial advocacy group funded through anonymous donations.
Maine GOP Executive Director Jason Savage’s call follows the MPA’s attack on Rep. Dale Crafts (R-Lisbon). In mailers distributed throughout Crafts district, MPA accused the lawmaker have having “no spine” and failing to “stand up” to Gov. Paul LePage.
Crafts, paralyzed from the waist down for the last 26 years due to a motorcycling accident, uses a wheelchair. The offensive mailer drew widespread condemnation from Republicans and Democrats across the state, but Savage says the mailer is part of a pattern that Michaud needs to distance himself from if he wants to be governor of Maine.
“Mike Michaud can use all the nicest sounding buzzwords about ‘civility’ and ‘respect’ on the campaign trail, but as long as he welcomes the support of this extremist group who is launching vicious attacks and doing misdeeds across the state, his words ring hollow,” said Savage in a prepared statement.
Apart from the recent attack on Crafts, the MPA has drawn criticism over the past year for its members’ activities and the group’s tactics generally.
In September, the MPA orchestrated the photobombing of a LePage event at a hospital. The Maine Wire later uncovered a video of the MPA activist who disrupted the event, Paul Nickerson, harassing a Grey Hound worker and threatening to post videos of the worker online.
In January, an MPA activist was arrested for allegedly stealing money from an elderly woman’s purse while collecting petition signatures for an MPA-backed initiative.
The MPA exclusively supports Democratic candidates and has endorsed Michaud’s gubernatorial bid. The group, which operates as a 501(c)4, is selling Michaud bumper stickers at its Website and has made large donations to Michaud through its political action committee.
“Is this the type of extremism Mike Michaud supports?” Savage asked in the press release. “It is time for Mike Michaud to come clean, is his campaign for Governor about riding herd on a pack of extremists to win the Blaine House, or are his words about civility and respect in Maine politics sincere?”
Savage’s press release also included a link to the following video in which Michaud addresses a crowd of MPA supporters.