AUGUSTA — The chairman of the Maine Republican Party is calling for the resignation of Maine Democratic Party Secretary Susan Cook because of comments she made at Tuesday’s public hearing on reapportionment.

Cook, of Bath, was expressing her opposition to the Republican redistricting plan when she accused Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry, of recording phone calls from constituents.

“The Senate president records calls in an effort to intimidate voters,” she said.

Raye, reached on his cellphone, said that’s not true.

“I have never recorded a phone call in my life,” he said. “I’m not even sure how one would do that. It’s a very strange accusation and frankly, I’m furious. It’s slanderous and politically motivated.”

Raye said Cook left a message on his home answering machine about 18 months ago when she contacted him about an issue in Washington County.

Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster released a statement calling for Cook to resign her position as Democratic Party secretary, saying the accusations were made because Raye is considering a run for U.S. House.

“Democrats have failed in their assault on Republican job-creating policies championed by the Senate president, so they have resorted to personal attacks,” Webster said in the statement. “These extreme, false and slanderous attacks made by the Maine Democratic Party secretary have no place in Maine politics.”

Ben Grant, executive director of the Maine Democratic Party, said Cook was not speaking on behalf of the party when she made her comments. He said he was going to look into the accusation.

“She’s levied a pretty serious accusation here,” he said. “We’re going to do our due diligence at the party to see what’s going on.”

Grant said the secretary position is unpaid and that Cook was elected to the post by the state committee.

 

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: [email protected]