October 23, 2010

Democratic mailing on Eliot Cutler stirs controversy

Eliot Cutler has demanded that candidate Libby Mitchell repudiate the mailing. Her campaign declined.

By Rebekah Metzler rmetzler@mainetoday.com
MaineToday Media State House Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor, became visibly upset with Democratic candidate Libby Mitchell at a forum in Portland on Thursday.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

O'Meara also rebutted the Maine Democratic Party's allegation that Cutler helped a state-owned Chinese company try to buy Union Oil Co. of California, which is now part of Chevron. The deal failed.

Manning said the assertion was made based on a quote from Cutler to Chinese media in 2009.

"the time the client came to us and asked for our help to get the deal approved, the deal unfortunately already was structured in a way that failed to take into account the political significance of foreign ownership of oil and gas reserves located in the U.S.," Cutler said in the Global Times, a Chinese publication.

O'Meara said Cutler was not directly involved in the 2005 deal, but was discussing how the situation should have been handled for success. The Chinese company was more interested in acquiring Asian-held assets, not oil and gas holdings in the United States, O'Meara said.

"The point is that (Cutler) or the team that he was working with, would have advised them to have a U.S. partner," said O'Meara, explaining Cutler's comments.

"Because there were some assets in the U.S., that raised all the red flags and got Congress involved," he said. "What he was saying was, strategically, looking back several years, was, 'If you had come to us earlier, we would have advised you and helped you find a U.S. partner that would have kept the U.S. assets -- what you didn't really want -- and allowed you to acquire the Asian assets, which you did really want."'

Manning of the Democratic Party said his group stands by its mailer.

not asking her party to retract the statements, O'Meara said, Mitchell is tacitly agreeing with it.

"Whatever you think of (Cutler), he has principles," O'Meara said.


MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at: rmetzler@mainetoday.com


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