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Edith Smith

Otten, Potholm Join The Fray

This email is now making the rounds among Maine Republicans:

---- Forwarded Message ----
From: Chris Potholm
To: Edith Smith
Cc: Tom Elliman; Les Otten; Potholm Erik
Sent: Saturday, September 26, 2009 10:16:55 AM
Subject: Re: October 8th event in Portland

Brilliant. Perfect. What a super response and you've but the Pol Pot campaign on notice that Edie been doing politics in Maine for a long time and will not be fooled. Great job.

Edith Smith wrote:
> Tom:
> After careful consideration, Les Otten and our campaign will not be participating in the Portland Republican City Committee event on October 8.
> As I have outlined in emails and on the phone with you, the $750 fee for attending was problematic for our campaign right from the beginning. In my 30 years of being a Republican in Maine, I haven't run across that type of fee charged to candidates, especially this early in an election cycle, and I believe it sends the wrong message to all our hard-working candidates.
> This week, with the addition of the straw poll to your event agenda which was not part of the original invitation, and with the steep fee of $50/person, it is no longer the type of event that we believe is healthy for the image of the Republican Party, or for the current Gubernatorial Primary.
> The straw poll puts the candidates in an adversarial position that evening. While Les was certainly willing to participate to share ideas with the audience and show a united Republican front amongst all the candidates, the straw poll adds nothing beneficial to the evening.
> And finally, I received information yesterday that Bruce Poliquin's fundraiser, Darcy Johnston of Johnston Consulting, Inc. in Vermont is the organizer of the October 8 event. I am dismayed by this blatent conflict of interest. To know that Darcy is receiving a commission from proceeds of the evening at the same time she is the fundraiser for the Poliquin campaign is inappropriate.
> I hope you understand the awkward position the event puts our campaign in and the reasons why we will not be participating.
> We would be happy and willing to work with the City Committee on an alternative event that promotes party unity and helps moves the Republican agenda forward in Maine.
> Thank you,
> Edie Smith
> Campaign Manager
> Les Otten for Governor Exploratory Campaign


It appears that Otten has pulled out of the event citing concerns similar to those raised by Jacobson.

It also appears that Otten's campaign is being supported by Chris Potholm, a longtime Maine political consultant, professor and author. The email is also cc'd to Potholm's son Erik, a partner at the media firm that created the infamous "swift boat" ads attacking John Kerry.

I've contacted the Otten campaign to see if the Potholms are playing an official role.