*GideonGate Update* RINO House Leader Puts Partisan Politics Above Safety of Young Women

9/13/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,

As the smoke begins to settle on GideonGate, we are getting an inside look at the motives of one of the RINOs who voted against investigating Speaker of the Swamp Sara Gideon for her inept handling of the Dillon Bates scandal.

Maine First Media has obtained an e-mail exchange between Assistant House Minority Leader, Ellie Espling (R-New Gloucester) and a long-time conservative activist, Helen Tutwiler.

Rep. Espling was one of four Republicans to vote against the House Order sponsored by Rep. Paula Sutton (R-Warren) that — if it had passed — would have convened the House Ethics Committee to investigate Democrat House “leadership” as to why no investigation was launched to determine if then-Rep. Bates was guilty of the allegations made against him. Did he, or did he not, have multiple inappropriate relationships with minor girls while he was a teacher and coach at, the now-defunct, Maine Girls’ Academy?

Maine First Media has previously explained in detail why Rep. Sutton was insisting on an investigation into Swamp Speaker Gideon and her minions Rep. Erin Herbig (D-Belfast) (now running for the State Senate) and Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston) (now running for the 2nd Congressional District seat).

Tutwiler e-mailed Rep. Espling and House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport) expressing her disappointment in their votes. As you can read below in the e-mail exchange, Rep. Espling gets more contentious as the back-and-forth goes on.

From: Helen Tutwiler
Cc: Paula Sutton
Sent: Monday, September 03, 2018 7:30 PM
Subject: HO 75 “House Order, That the House Committee on Ethics Convene To Consider the Speaker’s Actions with Regard to Former Representative Dillon Bates” Sponsored by Representative Paula Sutton
Dear Rep. Fredette & Rep. Espling,
I find it reprehensible that both of you agreed with the House Speaker Gideon to table the house order Rep. Sutton put forth. I did a lit drop for you Rep. Espling. Never again. My Rep. Gay Grant supported the rest of the Republicans and she is a Democrat. Both of you are hypocrites. You have no interest in protecting our children from sexual predators.
Helen Tutwiler


On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 1:53 PM, Ellie Espling <[email protected]> wrote:

Helen, Thanks for expressing your frustration. The House order would never pass and Rep. Bates has resigned.  I disagreed with Rep. Sutton’s handling of the situation. I also disagreed with the Speaker’s handling of the situation. Attacking Republicans we disagree with will surely get Democrats elected this fall, keep up the good work!
Rep. Ellie Espling
Assistant Republican Leader
Maine House of Representatives
District 65 – New Gloucester, Poland (Part)
12 Lewiston Rd
New Gloucester, ME 04260
[email protected]
Believing in a Better Maine
From: Helen Tutwiler
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2018 2:35 PM
Subject: Re: HO 75 “House Order, That the House Committee on Ethics Convene To Consider the Speaker’s Actions with Regard to Former Representative Dillon Bates” Sponsored by Representative Paula Sutton
What handling are you talking about?? Rep Sutton had the support of the rest of the Republicans.


On Tuesday, September 4, 2018, 3:28 PM, Ellie Espling <[email protected]> wrote:

Other Republicans voted to table the order as well. I don’t agree with Rep. Sutton’s approach to move an order that can’t pass, it accomplishes nothing. If Rep. Bates had not resigned I would have supported an order to bring him before Ethics. The real battle is winning in the election so we can have a republican majority and choose a new speaker.  We have to win in November, so much is at stake. I am focused on what I know we can and should win, seats.

There you have it, straight from the fingers of the Assistant Minority Leader — she’s focused on winning seats, NOT protecting Maine children or ensuring the Constitutional right of due process.

And that is the exact mentality that has the Maine Republican Party in the minority.
As for Rep. Espling’s assertion that other Republicans voted against the House Order — well, she is right, technically. Her boss, Rep. Fredette, joined her in voting to cover up the cover-up. And a whopping two other Republicans — Rep. Matt Harrington (R-Stanford) and Rep. Will Tuell (R-East Machias) — voted against even debating the investigation.
While Rep. Espling attempts to make it sound like it was a bipartisan effort, only four of  70 Republicans voted to table the House Order.
Rep. Espling is running for the State Senate in the 20th District. She had been an ardent supporter of making a deal with Speaker Gideon on Candidate Welfare in an attempt to conclude the never-ending legislative session. Incumbents cannot raise money from lobbyists while the legislature is in session.

  • I like your website and read it regularly. However, I think your doing our state a great disservice calling Ellie Espling a RINO! I also question her vote here, but a RINO? Here we have a brilliant young, Pro-Life, conservative woman, with leadership abilities, working her up the ladder. Other then this questionable vote can you point to any other reasons to label one of our star prospects a RINO? Please produce it or back off.
    Keep up the otherwise good work.

    • Thank you for being a loyal reader Greg. And I appreciate you taking the time to comment. But I don’t think we’re going to see eye-to-eye on this one.

      I wouldn’t use the terms “brilliant,” “conservative,” or “leadership abilities,” to describe Espling. She’s not led on any meaningful fights in recent memory.

      Espling not only threw Due Process and every young Maine girl under the bus with her GideonGate vote, but she has a history of wheeling and dealing w/ the Speaker of the Swamp.

      Espling worked hard behind the scenes to ensure Candidate Welfare would live on. https://mainefirstmedia.com/2018/07/the-never-ending-session-candidate-welfare-vs-tax-conformity/

      What both stories have in common, Espling valued her State Senate bid higher than she values the Mainers she’s supposed to represent. The markings of a true swamp creature.

    • Greg, “one of our star prospects”??? Really?? Good God, that kind of thinking is what is dooming the GOP.
      I can guarantee you, Greg, that Paul LePage and Donald Trump were NEVER considered “star prospects” for the GOP. Yet they have done much for the state and country. Bruce Poliquin was never even considered a “star prospect”; he just kept plugging.
      So spare us this “star prospect” crap, please.

      Espling stinks to high heaven as a swamp creature in the above email exchange. She got into bed with WIL TUELL, of all people.

      • Great points Jim. Only 4 Republicans voted against Rep. Sutton’s House Order…arguably the most liberal “Republican” in the House (Tuell), Matt Harrington and the House Minority Leader and Assistant Minority Leader…interesting…

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