Recently there were calls coming from out of state that were very unflattering to Mr. LePage and people in this very website were besides themselves asking to know who was makinn those calls...why is it suddenly different when its not the hurting the candidate you support.
Ah, ok. There were also quite a few who didn't see a problem with it. I imagine it has to do with ownership of the ox.
I am among the many people who believe that requiring those silly disclaimers about who authorized what ads, statements, and websites are not just unnecessary, but wrong and an abridgment of the First Amendment.
Anyone with an ounce of sense would do their own research about political statements and fact check ads themselves, since those with sense understand that ads and advocacy groups all have a goal and a point of view.
If allegations are true, it matters not who repeats them; and the sme goes for allegations which are false. Additionally, I believe all opinions are valid opinions, regardless of whether I know whose opinions they are. In fact, in the case of the latter, I think knowing whose opinion I am reading is sometimes a detriment.
But I agree with you: those who thought it important to know who spoke of LePage in a negative manner should also think it is important to know who is speaking of Cutler in a negative manner.
How the heck am I a hypocrit for simply saying i think the author of the web site should be unveiled? And why are people on this site so adamant to hide the author?
You are a hypocrite because you read and post on a site that not only allows posters to hide their identity but bans anyone who outs a secret poster. If you are opposed to anonymous political speech, you should be opposed to AMG.
Okay, by your definition I am a hypocrit...whoopie....I began the day thinking this was a website set up by the dems to let people know more about Cutler, now I think I would be shocked to learn it was a democrat doing this. Are Republicans really that worried that Cutler is coming up in the rear view mirrow so quickly?
I have no idea who is behind the site. I do know the Maine Republican Party has nothing to do with the site. I simply believe in free speech. In this case, the Maine media has given Cutler a complete pass. The guy wants to be Governor and nobody knew him in Maine until he started spending his riches to try to buy the election. The voters deserve to know what he did to get those riches. If the media was doing its job, the site would not be needed.
I reject the claim that posting anonymously is cowardice. Can such posting be cowardly? Yes. Is posting anonymously always cowardly? No.
Also, I am AMG's owner and am very visible, very public, very accessible. That's not true of a site such as the new Cutler site.
Finally, although there are AMGers posting anonymously - I know who they are. No one is anonymous to me. That's also unique, I think.
An Anonymous Anti-Cutler Web Site Emerges
Submitted by Al Diamon on Fri, 09/03/2010 - 12:59pm.
A new Web site called “The Secret File on Eliot Cutler” is anything but secret. Word of its existence spread across the Maine political scene this week with unusual haste. Within hours of it going live, I got e-mails alerting me to the site.... The content/identities of the authors have...been hotly debated on leftist sites, such as Dirigo Blue and rightist ones, such as Pine Tree Politics and As Maine Goes.
After much thought it is now clear to me that Cutler is behind this site.
He is trying to diminish his baggage - get out in front of it so to speak
There is nothing new in terms of content- Not what we would expect from a team of seasoned political types.
The timing of its release is interesting- before a long holiday weekend... Most seasoned political types would have waited til after Labor Day for full impact.
Who would know/care about a college photo? Other than a good friend. old friend or the candidate himself?
Why would anyone feel the need to be so discreet? Other than Cutler?
You could set up a prediction market that may foretell who is actually behind Cutler Files. Listing all the candidates, and other interested parties, and allowing readers to buy futures (i.e., wager) as to whom is responsible would be an interesting experiment. Of course, there is a built in bias amongst AMG members that will skew the results, although the higher pay-off caused by the bias should balance it out.
Updated: Today at 12:51 AM
'Cutler Files' website focus of ethics probe
The independent's campaign faults the anonymous site, saying it violates state laws against 'express advocacy.'
By Susan M. Cover firstname.lastname@example.org
MaineToday Media State House Writer
AUGUSTA - State ethics officials are investigating a website....for possible violations of Maine's campaign disclosure laws.
The Cutler campaign contends..that the website violates Maine law because it doesn't disclose any names or addresses of those who authorized the "express advocacy" against the candidate.
Express advocacy is defined in law as working for the defeat or election of a candidate for public office.
I am now representing the Cutler Files. I was interviewed today by Maine Public Radio and they will have a story on the issue tonight during Maine Things Considered at 5:30 p.m.
Sounds like they picked the right guy to represent them Dan, good luck
I just tried to go to the site and its down.
This could be that all 27 people who listen to MPBN could have gone to the site all at once and brought it down. I'm guessing they didn't spend a lot on hosting it since the total cost is under $100. Or it is down on its own. Or the Cutler camp flooded it with hits to overload it.
The site is up.
Ethics Commission Investigating Web site Attacking Cutler
09/24/2010 Reported By: Anne Mostue
A Web site criticizing Independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler is the focus of an investigation by the Maine Ethics Commission. In question is whether the anonymously-published site is expressly advocating for Cutler's defeat, and whether the publishers should have to identify themselves and their funding sources.
Maine Public Radio
Now Playing:Ethics Commission Investigating Web site Attacking
From the MPBN
A chill in the air: Aggressive Maine journalists (oops, can someone shut off the oxymoron alarm) should be at least a little uneasy about a request by independent Eliot Cutler’s gubernatorial campaign that the state ethics commission investigate a Web site called “The Secret File on Eliot Cutler.”
Cutler Files Complaint Against Website
by WABI-TV5 News Desk - September 24th 2010 06:19pm
Eliot Cutler's gubernatorial campaign has filed a complaint against a website that they claim is calling Cutler names and suggests the candidate lacks the qualifications to become governor.
What a wuss..Running to NANNY and crying....He should have just told them to cut the BS and moved on....LOL...
Nothing like a little free advertising for the site, it is not so secret anymore. Thanks Eliot Cutler for attacking the messenger and not the message.
Cutler Lodges Ethics Complaint Against Website
By Derek Viger
September 25, 2010
Cutler Files began posting all sorts of information about Eliot Cutler about a month ago. The site leveled charges about Cutler’s involvement with Thornburg Mortgage, his work in China, and residency issues. Earlier this month, Cutler’s campaign manager Ted O’Meara called the Cutler Files’ creators gutless cowards and called the content of their site slanderous and libelous.
Pine Tree Politics
I thought "slander" was the spoken word, and "libelous" referred to the written word.
Islander - you're correct on the "publicity" angle. How many Maine residents would have known about the website, were it not for the lawsuit?
"Earlier this month, Cutler’s campaign manager Ted O’Meara called the Cutler Files’ creators gutless cowards and called the content of their site slanderous and libelous."
Could calling someone a "gutless coward" be construed as "slanderous"?
No. That is protected opinion, not a statement of fact.
At what point do we wonder if the modern day political operative for the subject candidate might create the web site himself to create a straw man for accusations of abuse and dirty politics?
I surely would have no problem believing they would do it. If you can put absentee ballot applications on gravestones, you can certainly do this.
Mr. Wayne clearly has no idea what he's talking about when he claims that websites are in the same expenditure realm as advertisements and mailings.
I own more than 30 sites, and most of them cost less than $10.00 to put up, from buying the domain to hosting the site.
Is $10.00 the threshold he wants to use?
Michelle's right - throwing together a website isn't much more expensive than making a large homemade sign. Nor is having a quality website an indicator of professionalism, just an indicator that they cared. Not to offer any specific examples, but it'd be great if more Mainers cared about how their websites looked - it's not hard to make a good one these days.
Separately, does ANYONE think it was a good idea for Cutler to file a complaint about the site if they really didn't want people to read it? I'm sure their traffic has gone through the roof since they were mentioned in the state's big dailies. Wouldn't just ignoring it have been a better strategy? (Again, assuming Cutler really doesn't want people to see it.)
I believe you're right, JFossel. For the last 15 years, I have been -- more than a web designer -- a search engine and traffic expert, and I have to tell you that what Eliot Cutler did for the CutlerFiles what would have cost hundreds in ads and search engine submissions and fees. I wish he would sue me for a couple of my sites!
Dan, would you consider defending me if I find myself being sued by a candidate? I would surely be making enough from the traffic to pay you. :)
Not only did he spike traffic on the site he wants to go away, he has also shown himself to be just another litigious politician, same as so many others since Al Gore set that standard.
Editor's Note: Download Dan Billings' three pdfs which constitute the legal argument and supporting exhibits he is presenting on behalf of the Cutler Files.
My legal defense of the site.
Well, looks like the election commission's on notice the courts will become involved if it rules against the cutler files. I wonder if Cutler will be present at the hearing? Or will he send someone in his place? If I had time I'd attend. Doubt though I 'll be able to.
A point of fact: Paul Mills told me that Cutler registered as a Republican in order to voter in the 2006 primary for his brother.
Cutler opened his candidacy (as near as I can tell) with a BDN guest editorial attacking the MEA. There is, in fact, evidence of growing liberal criticism of the education unions here and there (e.g., the Washington Post, the producer of Gore's global warming documentary, the two professors in CA who have been advocating vouchers for years).
He does fit the familiar pattern of helping to write regulations and then making a fortune litigating them.
The origins of the website are interesting, but the assertions provide are far more so. If the assertions are factual then it does not matter at all whether the authors are communists, Fascists, Republicans of Democrats. Mind you, any assertion that someone was "responsible" for deaths strikes me as inherently dubious.
Cutler leaves out that between his 2006 support for Mills and his 2010 run as an Independent, he gave thousands of dollars to the Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee.