Maine’s delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia agree that Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz should resign as Democratic Party chairwoman, but some feel that her resignation at the end of this week’s convention doesn’t go far enough and suggested there should be a thorough housecleaning at the top of the party.

Maine Attorney General Janet Mills said hacked emails indicating that Democratic Party leaders favored Hillary Clinton over U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders in the presidential primaries are a non-issue in her opinion.

“I don’t believe they are a big deal. No one here has been talking about them,” Mills, a Clinton delegate, said in a telephone interview Sunday night.

Mills predicted that Democrats will remain focused on the issues facing the nation and not be distracted by the emails. “I don’t see them as changing anything,” she said.

Phil Bartlett of Portland, a Maine superdelegate and chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, issued a statement Sunday night on behalf of the party.

“The resignation of Debbie Wasserman Schultz is absolutely appropriate and will enable our party to move forward,” he said. “We remain committed to talking to voters about the issues that matter, like how to rebuild our economy here in Maine, which, thanks to Republican leadership, lags behind the rest of New England and remains in the bottom ten in the nation.”


Bartlett added that if party members are talking about Wasserman Schultz, “we’re not talking about how Donald Trump – who manufactures his clothing line overseas and believes that wages are too high – would leave working Mainers behind. It is right that she should go.”

In an email, Trevor Doiron, a Clinton delegate from Jay, said “it is unfortunate that the DNC server was hacked by Russian state-sponsored groups who are trying to damage our party to ensure the election of Donald Trump, who has sung Putin’s praises and would rule with the iron fist that Putin does. That said, I think the resignation of (Wasserman Schultz) is necessary to allow us to continue to move toward unity as we work to defeat Donald Trump.”

However, state Rep. Diane Russell, a Sanders delegate from Portland, offered a different opinion on the email controversy.

“I think these emails were indicative of a culture of dismissiveness. They confirmed many people’s worst fears,” Russell said. “The whole upper echelon of the party should go. We need fresh leadership.”

Troy Jackson, a superdelegate from Allagash who supports Sanders said “the emails don’t shock me at all. These emails are further proof of the elitist attitude of party leaders.”

Jackson, who works in the logging industry, said he supports Sanders because the Vermont senator represents the interests of the working class.


“Leadership has been tone-deaf to what is going on in this country with the working class,” Jackson added. “I haven’t been happy with them for a long time.”

Despite the controversy, Jackson said, the Democratic Party and Clinton “are still better than Donald Trump and the Republicans, by 100 percent.”

Seth Berner, a Sanders delegate from Portland, said he remains impressed with Sanders and what he accomplished during the presidential primaries and caucuses. For him to have come so close to winning the party’s nomination demonstrates that Sanders did not need to be propped up, Berner said.

“I feel Bernie Sanders would be a much stronger candidate in the election against Donald Trump than Hillary would be,” Berner said. “Just imagine what he could do with a level playing field.”


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