5/3/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
A Maine political non-profit organization has officially filed a request for an investigation into potential campaign finance violations by Lance Dutson.
The request to the Ethics Commission, made by Maine First Project, also names Dutson’s partner Michael Leavitt and their companies, Red Hill Strategies and Red Maverick Media.
Maine First Media obtained a copy of the letter requesting the investigation, and we’ve included it at the bottom of the story, so you can read the full letter written by Maine First Project President, Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst).
Campaign finance laws are complicated, and it is easy to get lost in the weeds. However, the letter suggests an investigation into possible unreported ties between Dutson and former GOP gubernatorial candidate, Senate President Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo).
Dutson is a principal with the political consulting firm, Red Hill Strategies.
Dutson’s partner at Red Hill Strategies has another company, Red Maverick Media.
Sen. Thibodeau pays Red Maverick Media for campaign work.
Meanwhile, Dutson is a registered lobbyist for Reed & Reed Construction.
Jackson Parker of Reed & Reed was a major contributor to Sen. Thibodeau.
Dutson is also a protege of Sen. Comrade Susan Collins. RINO Duston worked on Collin’s 2007 Senate campaign. He then served as her New Media Director from 2008-2010. Dutson reunited with Sen. Collins in 2014 as the Communication Director for her re-election campaign. Sen. Thibodeau received large contributions from donors with ties to Sen. Collins.
Dutson, in his time as a columnist for Bangor Daily News, often used his platform to advocate for Sen. Thibodeau while attacking Republicans like Gov. LePage who opposed the RINO Senate President’s lousy backroom deals with Democrats.
Maine First Project’s request for an investigation poses four questions to the Ethics Commission:
- Did Dutson receive any financial support directly or indirectly from the failed Thibodeau for Governor Campaign?
- Is Mr. Dutson — or a campaign or political action committee that is working with him — taking steps to conceal the financial support between the campaign/committee and Mr. Dutson?
- Has Senate President Mike Thibodeau complied with Maine Ethics law and election disclosures concerning his relationship with Mr. Dutson, who has often used his media appearances to heap praise upon the ineffective Senate President, attack those that stand up to Thibodeau’s ineffective leadership, and attempt to diminish Candidate Thibodeau’s competitors?
- What disclosures should BDN make when featuring Mr. Dutson’s paid, political advocacy on their websites? Do such efforts qualify as contributions from the BDN to the campaigns or candidates that have paid Mr. Dutson or have caused him to be paid?
The Ethics Commission confirmed it received the request Monday. They tell Rep. Lockman they’re “considering how to handle it.” They’ve informed Dutson and Sen. Thibodeau of the request.
The Commission last met April 25th. The next meeting will be at the end of May.
Dutson cemented his RINO bona fides when he fought against Mainers’ 2nd Amendment Rights in a ballot question to create a gun registry. Dutson also fights against lower energy bills for Maine families by lobbying for the powerful Wind Lobby.
You can read the full request below.