Anyone with half a brain in his situation would do the same thing.
The chances of him winning after an allegation of fraud in his campaign is zero.
Trying to raise the money needed -- even without the fraud allegation -- with only 6 weeks to go before the primary is impossible.
Here's the channel 6 story, with the "full text" of his statement.
Richardson quits race
I was particularly impressed by this passage:
When we discovered irregularities associated with two of the three circulators that the commission staff identified, we reported that information immediately to the Ethics Commission staff.
I believe it says, in effect, once the commission staff told us about the problems, we reported the problems to the commission staff.
Other than that, the statement is exactly what you would expect. Not "we screwed up," but more along the lines of "history will be missing out on what we had to offer."
John Michael is partially responsible for John Richardson's demise.
If not for the changes in law that were made as a result of questions raised about John Michael's 2006 Clean Elections submissions, it would have been much less likely that the problems with Richardson's submissions would have been discovered.
Download Ethics Commission Staff Recommendation
DB: The chances of him winning after an allegation of fraud in his campaign is zero.
Here's how the Brunswick newspaper described it:
Citing a decision last week by the Maine Ethics Commission that some signatures collected by three of Richardson’s volunteers were not verifiable, and that he was therefore not eligible for public campaign funding from the Maine Clean Elections fund, Richardson said he would not continue his campaign “for the good of the people of Maine and the good of the Democratic party.”
Dan - Does the paper's wording rise to the level of "fraud?" Or have they sugar coated it?
Richardson's suggestion that he could have won an appeal and been certified is complete b.s. and an insult to the work of the Commission staff. His statement suggests he does not understand how serious the allegations are.
From: Dennis Bailey
Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2010
Subject: Scarcelli Calls for Independent Review of Richardson Election Irregularities
Statement by Rosa Scarcelli
Democratic Candidate for Governor
The news today that John Richardson has pulled out of the race for governor because he has been denied funding under the Maine Clean Elections Act due to alleged illegal activities by members of his campaign is stunning and unfortunate. John was an able competitor who attracted passionate supporters, and his participation in upcoming debates will be missed.
However, the report today by the Ethics Commission raises many disturbing questions. It cannot be the last word. Maine people expect complete openness, transparency and accountability in its government, and we must not sweep this situation under the rug and just move on.
Let's be clear: what the Ethics Commission uncovered is nothing short of an attempted theft of up to $1.8 million in clean election funds, money that belongs to Maine taxpayers. This is a serious violation of the public trust. While there is some consolation in the fact that the process worked in this instance and the Ethics Commission staff spotted the irregularities, it nevertheless raises serious questions about how and why this happened in the first place.
As described by the Ethics Commission, this is not a case of a single rogue campaign worker in one part of the state collecting signatures and $5 checks under fraudulent circumstances, but multiple campaign workers, including paid field staff, from Berwick to Fort Kent to Perry falsifying documents, forging signatures and submitting $5 money orders from people who did not in fact contribute to the campaign or the Clean Elections Fund. Who are these people, what is their association with the campaign, who supervised them and what exactly were they told about how to collect the contributions?
And what does this unfortunate episode say about the Maine Clean Elections Act itself, specifically the use of blank $5 money orders and the practice of paying people for each signature or check collected? Does this open the door to fraud or provide an incentive for unscrupulous individuals to try and defraud the system? The Ethics Commission report makes clear that further investigation would likely find even more instances of abuse by Richardson campaign volunteers and staff.
This is a wake up call for Maine politics, which has always strived to be above board, transparent and beyond reproach. That it involves a system that was put in place to insure "clean" and honest campaign financing makes it doubly sad.
I urge the governor to immediately appoint an outside independent counsel to fully investigate this matter so that all of these questions can be answered and we can restore confidence, integrity and trust to Maine's elections and to state government itself.
My own signature was one of those flagged as potentially bogus. It wasn't, and I paid my 5 bucks. With that said, I understand that my situation was the exception, not the rule, in the contested signatures.
I agree that the "Clean Election" stuff is anything but. I do not think John "wuz robbed" -- he should have started sooner, which would have facilitated more supervision and a bigger buffer of signatures and checks.
Good ol' Dennis. Glad to see that he hasn't lost his exemplary ability to
Welcome back Deb, it's been too long since you and Dana have been giving us your updates and feedback. Sorry about the "three months" mistake, as I was just going by what SEIU had published with that picture.
As for the above statement by Rosa Scarcelli, she has raised some very good questions. “Who are these people, what is their association with the campaign, who supervised them and what exactly were they told about how to collect the contributions?” We deserve to know the answers but it might take some time… and we'll be waiting. :-)
“Who are these people, what is their association with the campaign, who supervised them and what exactly were they told about how to collect the contributions?” We deserve to know the answers
Because as reported:
“The Commission staff also declines to grant MCEA certification because of the submission of documents containing material false statements and other substantial violations of the MCEA.”
Some might think that abuse of the election process and how it happened are issues of compelling public interest. Violations of the public trust.
Some might not. For reasons not always clear.
If these were willfull acts, I want the names of the circulators made public.
If these acts were not willfull but the result of poor training, the buck stops with Richardson himself.
Anyone who can read the form that circulators must sign would know that what was done was improper.
People have been prosecuted for such violations in the past and done jail time. I expect the same will happen here.
People should read the memo linked above. It is an 11 page pdf. It shows the Commission staff take their job seriously. They don't just hand out checks to anyone that shows up.
Agree the Ethics Comm'n report shows real investigative work was performed. Is Scarcelli violating a cardinal rule of politics by fanning the flames of an opponent already in full bonfire? Unless and until the AG is unable to complete its own review of the facts to determine whether charges are warranted, what is the basis for asking for an Independent Prosecutor? Smacks of opportunism and an attempt to grab headlines at a funeral procession. Plus, I would think her press release would draw fire from Richardson and his thug supporters. They will undoubtedly recall being kicked when down, suspect she will find payback is a b+*&%#.
Will Richardson's name still be on the ballot? My understanding of Maine's election law is that he can't withdraw this late and, unless he moves out of state, is not disqualified so as long as he's alive his name should remain on the ballot and if he gets more votes than any other candidate (he won't I know) he should be proclaimed the Democratic nominee, at which point he can then withdraw from the general election ballot if he so chooses. The sentence "A candidate for nomination may not withdraw less than 60 days before the primary election.", which was added in 2007, seems pretty clear to me. He can stop campaigning though, and perhaps there is a level of withdraw with the Ethics Commission that can happen before ones campaign is completely wrapped up regarding paying off debts (1994 Democratic primary Gubernatorial candidate Richard Barringer took over a decade to pay off his campaign debt). Richardson is listed as "Withdrawn" on the Ethics Commission's Public Access Site's list of 2010 candidates by office sought, but that may not mean that he's off the ballot. I heard AJ Higgins when this whole deal was starting to unravel say that Richardson would have to consider "suspending his campaign" if he didn't qualify for Clean Election funding. That may be what he has done and reporters have just called that his withdrawal from the race.
AJ reported tonight that SoS Dunlap said that Richardson's name WILL be on the ballot.
I just tried to download the report, and got "page not found."
Try this link.
Richardson's Withdrawal Shakes Up Maine Democratic Primary
04/26/2010 Reported By: A.J. Higgins
In the meantime, Richardson says he will not throw his support behind any of the remaining four Democrats in the June primary.
"I will not be supporting a Democrat in the primary," he said. "I will be supporting the Democrat who wins the nomination."
Thanks for the information Dan. AJ Higgins is a good reporter, and I didn't use to think that.
A vote for Richardson will be counted as a blank vote.
Ahhhhhh Kenny Beck, Rosa may claim not to be an insider, but I bet Dennis knows all the "cardinal rules," be they real or imagined. This is not the typical isolated bon fire. This comment of his leaves me of the opinion that he is hoping this bonfire is close enough to spread to the other CE candidates: "While there is some consolation in the fact that the process worked in this instance and the Ethics Commission staff spotted the irregularities, it nevertheless raises serious questions about how and why this happened in the first place."
From our Editor's last link (with emphasis added by me):
"Secretary of State Matt Dunlap says that Richardson's withdrawal has arrived too late to be removed fromt he June ballot, so his name will still appear. Should any Democrat check Richardson's name, Dunlap says that ballot will be counted as a blank vote, and will not be considered in the overall count."
I would have thought he would still be treated as a full-fledged candidate in terms of the conduct and count of the primary election by officials. It won't have any real impact on the result of the primary though. Even though that will slightly reduce the denominator in terms of determinining the percentage a candidate lost by which determines whether and how much they have to pay for a recount, no candidate would request a recount in a statewide primary if the margin was well within the 2% margin for a free recount, counting the small percentage of votes for Richardson in the denominator or not.
OK, AJ appears to have been on the trail but failed (like all the rest of the reporters) to obtain the PUBLIC DOCUMENT that was apparently sent out on the 22nd. Perhaps I am wrong and it was not a public document the second it was sent to a candidate seeking to get public money to run his campaign. The PPH and MaineTodayMedia have totally failed with respect to this story, I dont care what Connor says, he is not running a journalistic enterprise. Today's piece was pathetic and I don't think they even care to do serious journalism.
As for AJ's headline, how has this shaken up the race? It is not as if the guy had tons of support and momentum, so it is hard to see that his departure has had any impact other than to allow the jackals (Bailey and his candidate) to feed on the rotting carcass.
Any chance that a volunteer or two sabotaged the campaign purposely...I cant help remembering when the No on 1 people used some tool on Face Book to get people to try to sabotage that petition drive...just wondering...
WILSON, your take on RosaBailey fanning the flames in hopes of the "Clean Election" bonfire jumping the road to Libby and McGowan is probably spot on. I can see a future "dirty" campaign ad which implies all "Clean" candidates are Dirty.
Is it time to start organizing and getting out the "Richardson for Gov" vote. Maybe enough of the mind-numbed union robovoters will check his name to get a "none of the above" to win the Democratic nomination.... (snicker snarf)
Kenny Beck - "RosaBailey" says it all, doesn't it? Not knocking either of them, in this post, just saying that if your message is "I'm the outsider," why Bailey?
To win, an outsider needs the help of insiders who know the game.
Dan - fair enough and no argument. So the message then is "I'm the outsider who can afford to hire the insiders needed to make the transition just comfortable enough for both insiders and outsiders?"