Gov. Paul LePage says he isn’t aware of the Maine Examiner, the anonymous website that is the focus of an ethics complaint Maine’s Democratic Party has filed against the state’s Republican Party.

During an interview with Maine Public’s “Maine Calling” radio show Tuesday, the governor denied any knowledge of the conservative-oriented website.

“I don’t know anything about it,” LePage said. “What’s the Maine Examiner?”

The Maine Examiner has been publishing conservative-leaning stories since September, including a series that ran shortly before Lewiston’s mayoral runoff election in December focused on controversial internal campaign emails written by Ben Chin, who lost narrowly to Republican Shane Bouchard.

Pointing to digital fingerprints discovered in the site’s metadata and error logs, Democrats claim the Maine Republican Party has direct ties to the site, perhaps violating state campaign finance laws. Those digital records indicate a connection between the Examiner and Jason Savage, the party’s executive director. Savage has not yet explained how photos that have appeared on the website bear digital evidence that they were saved or copied on his computer.

Phil Bartlett, the state Democratic chairman, said LePage “frequently likes to say that he doesn’t know about a lot of the things going on around him, but if he truly doesn’t know about the dishonest behavior that his party has been engaging in, then we would encourage him to pick up the phone and call Jason Savage, who is well-versed in the operation of the Maine Examiner.”

The Maine Republican Party has denied any wrongdoing. The Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices plans to discuss the Democrats’ complaint at its February meeting.

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