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Mark Ellis

I Knew It!

Mainetoday.com has a story up written by Betty Adams at the Kennebec Journal about how the bookkeeper for the Maine GOP has been indicted for embezzling almost $50,000 from the state party over a period of three years.

The article notes that a statement from Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster and former chairman Mark Ellis is available "on the Republican Party website" and provides a link. Clicking there, however, takes you to a post on As Maine Goes, the conservative online forum.

Here's a screencap with the link selected:

The actual Maine GOP website does not have a release posted on the subject.

Maine GOP Chair Weighs In on Controversial Song

Turn Maine Blue has a post and a diary today noting a Politico story with a quote from Maine GOP Chair Mark Ellis. Ellis expressed his approval of RNC Chair candidate Chip Saltsman's decision to distribute a CD to RNC members that included the song Barack the Magic Negro. Gerald uses the quote as proof that the GOP is "the party of white people".

While the GOP does have a problem with endemic racism, this particular incident isn't nearly so cut and dry. Ellis wrote more about the subject on his own blog, and explains that he came to his view of the song after comparing it to his own personal experiences with racism.

I listened to the entire CD and, aside from fueling my growing disdain for "conservative" talk radio (many of these tracks have found their way onto Rush Limbaugh’s show), I didn’t find anything offensive. In fact, Shanklin strikes me as a gifted parodist[...]

Blackwell points to the "hypersensitivity" of the press on racial issues as the cause of the controversy and I agree. Relative to experiences with racism, I’ll go toe to toe with anyone who wishes to engage in the game of one-upmanship; I’ve got five decades of personal experience with the beast and this ain’t it. There isn’t even a hint of it here.

McCain Not Coming

The McCain campaign has shot down Maine GOP Chairman Mark Ellis' recent statement.

Maine GOP Hits Monks Hard

The Maine GOP sent out a release today disowning former State Republican Party Chair and three-time Republican US Senate candidate Robert A.G. Monks.

Chairman Mark Ellis and House Minority Leader Josh Tardy rightly point out that Monks has given more money to Independents and Democrats than Republicans lately, but that's not the main focus of the release. The main claim they make is that Republicans want nothing to do with him because of his campaign tactics.

"If Bob Monks is the kind of player the Obama campaign wants to associate with, they can have him," said Maine Republican party Chair Mark Ellis. "Monks has a long career of attacking Republicans, even Maine’s beloved U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Monks’ kind of tactics and games are not something with which the Republican Party wishes to associate. Republicans haven’t considered Bob Monks a Republican in years." [...]

In 1972, Robert A.G. Monks ran in the primary for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith. In December of 1971, just before he officially announced his candidacy, Monks had 74 roses delivered to Sen. Smith on the Senate floor on her birthday – pointing out her age as an encouragement for her to retire. It was an inappropriate and tactless message from an immature and politically inexperienced Monks to send to a highly respected woman and U.S. Senator who had served Maine well for decades. Monks [sic] tactics did not go over well with Maine people.

Those tactics did go over well with Maine Republicans, however. They chose him as their nominee for US Senate in 1976 and leader of their party in 1977.

Even more than two decades later, in another Senate race in which the GOP now lambastes his questionable political tactics, Monks had rock-solid support from the Republican party (and this was after he had supported Independent Angus King in 1994). In fact, party leaders even starred in an ad for him. Here's the script:

Announcer: "Why do we need Bob Monks in the U.S. Senate?"

State Senate President Jeff Butland: "Let's face it, things in Washington are a mess."

House GOP Leader Walt Whitcomb: "Bob Monks has taken on the establishment and won in Washington."

Georgia Chomas of Auburn: "Bob Monks is a leader."

State Sen. Peter Mills of Skowhegan: "Bob Monks is incapable of becoming merely one of the crowd."

Clare Payne of Holden: "He's met a payroll, he's provided jobs."

Charles Webster, former Senate GOP leader: "I like the fact he's run a business."

Butland: "Bob Monks will go down there . . . he will say no to the special interests . . . get the deficit in line."

Harvey Berman of Cape Elizabeth: "I think he'd make a great senator."

Mills: "He's another Bill Cohen."

Announcer: "Bob Monks for U.S. Senate."

Mills: "He'll be a marvelous leader for Maine."

The accusation that he now often supports Democrats is right on the money, but the claim that the GOP has always abhorred his campaign tactics is laughable.

Hat tip: Politicker ME

Not the GOP

State Republican Chairman Mark Ellis responds by email to say the party had nothing to do with the pulled posts.

"The story was removed from both sites before we knew about it."

PolitickerME has a bunch more, including an interview with Jarody.

UPDATE: OK, now I know why the GOP didn't want Jarody on the ballot, and it's not because he's a Ron Paul supporter (site not safe for anyone).

Republicans Ruin My Fun

The online newsletter of the Christian Civic League, who are themselves a great source of amusement, reports that a 24 year-old Republican activist named Jarody (he legally removed his last name), who had been chosen by the GOP city committee as the Republican nominee for state house district 57, is removing himself from the ballot.

Jarody was a frequent commenter on As Maine Goes and, like many on the conservative site, appears to be a few fries short of a happy meal. A quick search of his posting history shows some interesting interactions, including his belief that the state of Israel should be eliminated and his thoughts about being detained by police for carrying a loaded gun around a Hannaford parking lot a few weeks ago.

Sadly for those of us who look to local politics for our entertainment, the state GOP felt that he was a bit too colorful for the party, and House Leader Josh Tardy and Chairman Mark Ellis asked him to sit out the election or face disowning by the party.

My advice to Jarody: don't go quietly. The Christian Civic League has your back (they tout his pro-life, anti-gay marriage views), and I'm sure you can find some folks on As Maine Goes that would support your candidacy (and share your delusions). Please, stay in the race and make this election a bit more interesting.