AUGUSTA – The Portland Press Herald has reported that Maine Attorney General Janet Mills went to lengths in July 2017 to construct an 'ethical wall' in her office so she would not hear about or influence her office's work on ranked-choice voting.
The Press Herald article goes on to report that Mills now has plans to introduce legislation to change the law around ranked-choice voting--nullifying her 'ethical wall' pledge.
“What on earth is she doing? This must be a 'wall in name only',” said Maine GOP Communications and Political Director, Garrett Murch. “For Attorney General Mills to say she's built this 'ethical wall' and then do a 180 and ignore it the second there is a political advantage is political opportunism at its worst--certainly not the Maine way.”
“Either Attorney General Mills believes in her 'ethical wall' or she doesn't,” Murch continued. "It's that simple."
“The confusion of yesterday is much more clear now,” Murch said. “Maine's entire election process is about to be plunged into chaos because our Attorney General is running for Governor and playing politics at the same time."
"This is not right," Murch continued. "Mills should stand down, leave the 'ethical wall' in place, and rely on her team who have been working on this issue for months.”
As the Portland Press Herald reported:
“As the chaos over ranked-choice voting spread Thursday, Mills’ office released a copy of a memo dated July 7, 2017, laying out the process creating an “ethical wall” between Mills and Gardiner in the event that Mills ran for governor. The memo stated that Gardiner would report directly to a deputy attorney general and that Mills would avoid “all informal communication or exchange of information” concerning the 2018 gubernatorial elections with Gardiner or her supervisors..."
WILL IT BE IMPLEMENTED?
Mills said she planned to seek a legislative fix for the situation.
The Press Herald article continued...
“The issue raised by the secretary of state this morning, which I was made aware of for the first time today, needs to be addressed immediately so that the will of the people may be respected,” Mills said in a statement. “The more than 62,000 citizens who signed the Peoples’ Veto petitions deserve to have their voices heard. The will of the people must not be thwarted by some technicality in the law. I will file legislation today to be presented to the Legislative Council to ensure that ranked-choice voting is in full effect for this June’s primary as the people have dictated.”
Today, Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas made the following statement upon this weekend's passing of a true Maine icon, Don Collins:
"Our hearts go out to Senator Collins, her family, and all those who knew Don Collins and his dedication to his family, community and Maine.
Married to his lovely wife, Pat, for seventy years, Don also admirably served Caribou and our state as a sincere and dedicated public servant, while also playing an important role in Aroostook County's economy.
An amazing life like his is too rare. Maine needs more men like Don."