For me, it began sort of innocently enough when George Smith, writer, blogger, activist, and former executive director for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine (SAM), published a not very nice blog in his Bangor Daily News safe haven. Smith stated that sportsmen in Maine should not support or vote for incumbent Governor Paul LePage mostly because he says LePage failed in his promises to sportsmen in the last election.
Nothing that Smith wrote took me by surprise. Smith typically writes about himself, reliving his days at SAM and wishing to perpetuate the thoughts that these were his glory days. Many have not been able to understand why, after having been absent from his job at SAM for several years, he continues to present himself as a mouth piece for the organization. However, Smith has made no bones about the fact that he dislikes LePage and perhaps it is only coincidental that it appears his dislike for the Governor grew when his sister was fired from the Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife (MDIFW). Smith has in subsequent writings denied that any love lost with the governor has anything to do with that incident.
Therefore, Smith’s rant in the Bangor Daily News really should not have come as any big surprise. Personally, I thought the article was a lot of whining and what credibility Smith might have had with Maine sportsmen in his perspectives and positions on Gov. Paul LePage, were caught up in the swirl as the toilet bowl emptied into the septic tank.
But one thing that caught my eye appeared in the comments section when a reader wrote:
George, You should probably disclose that you and your sister are advising LePage’s opponents in this race. This is pretty dishonest.
I have not been able to confirm whether this statement was true and have decided up to this point to remain quiet on this issue because, one, I don’t really care what George Smith thinks about Paul LePage, and two, until I can find confirmation that Smith is working, for pay, for Eliot Cutler and/or Mike Michaud, then I would continue to remain silent. If this is true, not only is Smith wrong to not reveal this but the Bangor Daily News is culpable as well.
To the criticisms Smith received from his first rant, he rebuts many of the claims on his own website and does very little to smooth the water or add back any sort of credibility. I wonder if anyone has ever told Smith that readers, generally, don’t find much interest in reading a person so full of himself?
Today, the Maine Wire provides evidence, from emails, that Smith is working as an adviser to Mike Michaud and Eliot Cutler.
In the July email exchange provided by SAM, Smith attempted to procure LePage’s SAM survey for use in a blog post. The survey would have provided Smith with LePage’s positions on various sportsman’s issues.
Cherly[SIC] C. Timberlake, the chair of SAM’s board of directors, declined to provide Smith with the information and raised questions about his work on behalf of candidates for statewide offices.
“I am helping both Michaud and Cutler and have made no secret of it,” Smith wrote in response.
In Smith’s I-am-the-greatest-of-all-time rebuttal, he states that he is not getting paid to advise either Michaud or Cutler:
I have given free advice (not paid as some charged) to Mike Michaud and Eliot Cutler and any other politician who asked…
If Smith is “advising” without pay, it lessens the degree of dishonesty in not disclosing his agenda, but it still appears dishonest and heaps troubles on a man who may be suffering from the lack of credibility, at least credibility when it comes to Paul LePage issues.
Some have asked why SAM allows, if that would be the correct terminology, Smith to continue falling back on and presenting himself as a representative of SAM. To that question I have no idea the answer. There is no need to make enemies between Smith and SAM but when certain claims by Smith go unanswered by SAM, people begin to assume that SAM must agree. It would best handled, in my opinion, if Smith would move beyond his SAM “glory days” and let the present personality of SAM do its thing.
I’m not sure that we have heard the end of this issue. However, now that a few Maine sportsmen have woken up, Gov. LePage would benefit by stepping up to the batters box and taking a swing. He’s gotten a sign, now he should swing away and see if he can drive in some runs for the Maine sportsmen. If not, perhaps Michaud and Cutler will do his pinch hitting.