AUGUSTA — Maine Republicans said Monday that leaked emails leading to a shakeup in the Democratic Party’s national leadership show that Maine’s top Democratic officials were among those playing favorites for presumptive presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

The emails among national Democratic officials were posted online just three days before the start of the party’s national convention and led to the Democratic National Committee chairwoman’s resignation over what appeared to be bias favoring Clinton during the contested party primaries.

Some Maine delegates to the Democratic National Convention told the Portland Press Herald on Sunday that they agreed with the resignation of the DNC chairwoman, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, who announced she will step down and opted not to gavel in the convention Monday.

“Unsurprisingly, the exposed corruption doesn’t end at the national level but extends to the state level, with some key communication between members of the Maine Democratic Party and the DNC,” Maine Republican Party communications director Nina McLaughlin said in a news release Monday. “This communication finally proves, beyond a doubt, that Hillary Clinton and the DNC establishment have been misleading the public since the beginning of the presidential campaign season.”

Clinton’s rival for the Democratic nomination, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, won the party’s caucuses in Maine with more than 60 percent of the vote, and most of the state’s 30-member delegation to the national convention are Sanders supporters. Clinton, however, won more delegates nationwide and is scheduled to be formally nominated during the convention this week in Philadelphia.

Much of the criticism from Maine Republicans on Monday was aimed at former Maine Democratic Party Executive Director Jeremy Kennedy, who is now working on the Clinton campaign. Citing a January 2016 report by the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting, McLaughlin said Monday that Kennedy misled Maine Democrats over the state party’s role in raising funds that ultimately went to Clinton and the national party.


“In short, Kennedy was funneling the cash to Clinton … and once Clinton had the nomination locked up, Kennedy jumped from being the ‘impartial’ director of the Maine Democratic Party (think caucuses and convention) – to joining Clinton’s staff,” McLaughlin wrote.

Kennedy resigned as executive director when he decided to work for Clinton’s campaign, said Katie Baker, communications director for the Maine Democratic Party.

Baker said Maine Republican Party leadership was “grabbing at straws for a story.”

Kennedy declined to comment Monday, saying only that he could confirm Baker’s comments were accurate.

The leaked emails also include references to a Maine Democrat’s efforts to eliminate superdelegates – party officials and insiders who are members of the convention delegation and can choose whichever candidate they wish regardless of who wins the primaries or caucuses in their states.

Among the leaked emails is one between Amy Dacey, the DNC’s chief executive officer, and Donna Brazile, a top Democratic strategist and CNN commentator, regarding a news release from Maine state Rep. Diane Russell, D-Portland. Russell, a Sanders supporter, led an effort to rid the DNC of its use of superdelegates during the presidential nomination process.


Dacey and Brazile exchange comments about Russell’s news release, which pushed Maine Democrats to support eliminating superdelegates to the DNC.

“Another lunacy,” Brazile writes of the news release, to which Dacey responds, “Yes especially since they have no jurisdiction to do so. … We talked about it this a.m. in senior staff.”

Russell declined to comment on the matter Monday night.

Brazile is the DNC’s vice chairwoman for civic engagement and voter participation and is expected to become the interim chairwoman after Wasserman Schultz departs.

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