Steve Abbott's campaign was given a list of GOP convention delegates and their addresses before the other campaigns and used that information to contact a wide swath of the Republican activist base before their competitors.
This has some staffers for other republican campaigns crying foul and claiming favoritism and the Maine Republican Party in full denial mode.
The Abbott campaign sent a postcard to all delegates inviting them to his hospitality suite at the convention. It hit mailboxes two days before the list of delegates was made available to the other campaigns.
Below is the mailer and the email, both sent to me by a staffer at another campaign. The email has representatives from the Otten, Poliquin, Beardsley, LePage and Mills campaigns in the TO: field, with the Jacobson and Abbott campaigns absent.
From: Michelle Dale
To: [staffer emails redacted]
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 10:25 AM
Subject: delegate list
We now have the delegate/alternate list available, please let me know if you would like me to email you a copy. Sorry its been a long time coming, we still have people signing up to be a delegate and I wanted to make sure that we had the most current list to get to you.
According to the Abbott campaign, there was nothing nefarious about their receiving the list early.
As campaign spokesperson Lance Dutson explained, "We have people with connections with the party and with a really intimate understanding of the process of conventions."
According to Dutson, because of these connections and knowledge they simply knew to request the information early. He noted that former Maine GOP chair Mark Ellis is now an Abbott staffer.
According to the Maine Republican Party, however, the whole thing never happened.
Maine GOP administrative assistant Michelle Dale, the author of the email above, denies that Abbott got the list early.
"He did not receive it before them," she said flatly when reached by phone today.
When asked about the Abbott postcard, Dale said "you'll have to take that up with the Chairman" and reiterated her denial several times. "No. he didn't get it early."