(Originally posted on Dirigo Blue and Maine Progressives Warehouse, 11/26/13)
First there is this "Questionnaires" page on his campaign website, in which Cutler attempts to make his case with Maine voters after failing to garner endorsements from three groups by sharing the actual submitted documents as Scribd documents: The Sierra Club (doc), MSEA/SEIU (doc) and Maine AFL/CIO (doc).
Side note: This comment by Cutler to MSEA-SEIU is especially priceless!
Side-side note: What does Eliot Cutler think the "M" in MSEA stands for, anyways- Minions? Mutton? Millionaires?
Nah- THAT endorsement he would expect to get!
Cutler prefaced the sharing of the document images with passively worded attacks against each. Apparently he never was taught "one collects more flies with honey than vinegar":
"As a candidate for governor, I get questionnaires from all kinds of interest groups – from environmentalists to sportsmen to labor unions.
Often these questionnaires are tied to endorsements that carry with them money, mailings and manpower. But most of these groups are tied to one of the two political parties, and so the endorsement process -- the candidate interviews and the decision-making -- usually takes place behind closed doors. As a result, you never know who has promised what to whom.
I think that's wrong. That's why I am posting each of the questionnaires I complete here on my website. I won't tell these groups anything different than what I'm telling you, the voters. After all, yourendorsement is the only one that really matters. I hope you will ask the other other candidates to share their questionnaire responses, too, and that you will encourage the groups that endorse candidates to host debates and forums with all the candidates, so that we can have an open and honest dialogue about the issues facing our state."
Oh please. "Open and honest"- sounds eerily like a certain Governor's "most transparent administration" issues (2011, 2012, 2013) ... and it also appears that many, MANY of the questionnaires were either not completed by Cutler or simply not EACH being shared as promised.
Anyways, back to the list of endorsements for Mike Michaud- if nothing else, the laundry list can help Team Cutler go back through and find the all the rest of those pesky missing questionnaire document images!
A reminder: All three of the above groups that Cutler shared his questionnaire responses have now publicly come out in support of Mike Michaud for Governor:
- Maine Sierra Club endorsement of Mike (Nov 25)
- MSEA/SEIU and Maine AFL/CIO endorsements of Mike (Oct 28).
- That same press release shares that United Steelworkers Union (USW) and United Auto Workers Union (UAW) also both endorsed Mike: a total of 35,000 Mainers represented in those 4 important Maine workers' groups.
Waiting for similar Cutler passive complaints in regards to USW, UAW and these additional organizations as well, in 3... 2... 1...
- Maine Education Association (MEA) endorsement of Mike (Nov 25)
- Members of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local S-7at Bath Iron Works endorsement of Mike (Nov 21)
- Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland endorsement of Mike(Nov 15)
- Maine Association of Police and the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine endorsement of Mike (Nov 8)
And then we have this one- an Independent (a REAL one, not the old "just like Maine!" tired old chestnut from 2010 or member of the Tea Party, but a real honest-to-gosh, old-fashioned Maine Independent like we USED to know) who-
Wait for it-
Issued an endorsement of Mike (Nov 6).
And then had the sheer audacity, as a currently serving member of the 126th Maine Legislature, to have the same published as an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News!
Some excerpts of Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos' share:
Mike Michaud will make a terrific governor of our state. He has the two characteristics that are sorely lacking in the current administration in Augusta: humility and common sense. He’s a good listener, thoughtful and respectful. It will be such a breath of fresh air when Michaud is elected as our next governor.
Why am I throwing my support to Michaud rather than fellow independent Eliot Cutler? Cutler’s successes have come on the wrong side of the economy at the expense of common people. His relationship as a director of a bankrupt mortgage company, Thornburg Mortgage, whose former top executives are facing allegations of fraud, and his employment and association with the Dallas-based international consultancy Akin Gump, where outsourcing jobs to China is part of the mission, disqualifies Cutler as a person who can lead Maine out of this serious recession Maine people are experiencing.
Contrast this with Michaud, a paper mill worker who understands what it means to keep and develop good paying jobs in Maine."
Some snips, as he unloads not so much on Michaud but on Evangelos, with a not-even-slightly-veiled "Knock it off, bub, or expect to hear from my lawyers!!" threat:
Evangelos refers to me as “a director of a bankrupt mortgage company, Thornburg Mortgage, whose former top executives are facing allegations of fraud” and claims that the mission of my former law firm, Akin Gump, includes “outsourcing jobs to China.” The first statement is misleading. The second is false. (A member of the Maine Legislature’s Ethics Committee, Evangelos ought to be more careful.)"
While class-action lawsuits challenging the conduct and decisions of Thornburg Mortgage officers and directors were filed, the claims made against me and the other independent directors were all found to be without merit and were dismissed by federal courts. No other actions or appeals are pending against the outside directors, nor were they or the company itself ever found to have engaged in fraudulent practices.
Evangelos also recycles the old lie that I exported jobs to China, another oft-repeated claim from 2010 that has no basis in fact and is something this newspaper called “one of the ugly leftovers of the 2010 election.” In an attempt to support this, he refers to an Akin Gump webpage that never mentions China but talks about helping clients with “outsourcing” in the broadest terms.
I did open and manage for several years Akins Gump’s first office in China. That experience has since helped me open new markets for Maine products in China. But not once have I ever worked for or represented a company that moved operations or exported jobs to China.
Finally, Evangelos rips one more out of the 2010 playbook — class warfare — claiming that my successes have come “at the expense of common people.” Any success I have achieved has come through a lot of hard work, the values that I learned from my parents and grandparents, and from growing up in Bangor.
So There! HMPH! And with such, Eliot Cutler has GOTTEN THE FINAL WORD.
Well, not so much.
Because while BDN does have a strict 60 day policy in which contributors can only submit articles, the good representative from Friendship provided, both on the Cutler rebuttal and on his own Facebook page, a full list of cited sources for his claims against Eliot Cutler.
The BDN comment by Evangelos (posted Nov 25; links recoded to correct linkage errors) in full reads:
- Eliot Cutler's response to my endorsement of Congressman Michaud for Governor proves that Harry Truman was right, "If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen." Clearly Cutler is too thin skinned for politics, resorting to a temper tantrum and personal attacks against my integrity, while deploying half truths and misleading information to defend himself.
First, the issues I raised are not "recycled garbage" from 2010. Cutler's statements regarding the class action lawsuits left out the most important details of all:
- "A proposed $2 million settlement has been announced in a class action lawsuit involving shareholders who sued Thornburg Mortgage Inc. for fraud regarding its financial performance."
- Directors and executives agreed to a 2 million dollar settlement that paid defrauded investors for their losses due to the Company's omissions and misrepresentations. Here's a link.
- "Investors in Thornburg Mortgage, once the second largest mortgage lender behind Countrywide, agreed on a settlement with former executives and directors of the company.
A court hearing will be held in Albuquerque, N.M. on Aug. 27, 2012 to consider, among other things, whether the proposed settlement with the Santa Fe, N.M.-based jumbo lender be approved as fair and adequate.
Thornburg Mortgage, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2009 and subsequently renamed TMST, could not be reached for comment.
The settlement fund consists of $2 million in cash. If the settlement is approved, former common and preferred stock shareholders will receive about one penny per damaged share — shares bought when a stock price was artificially high
due to material omissions or misrepresentations, according to the court filing."
"On December 3, 2012, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. On December 10, the Court issued an Order preliminarily approving the settlement. On February 25, 2013, the Court issued a Final Order and Judgment. On the same day, the Court also issued an Order awarding attorneys' fees and expenses. Finally, the Court issued a Final Judgment closing this case." (Source: "Thornburg Mortgage Inc. : Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates")
- Not only does Cutler fail to mention the existence of this settlement, he plays pretend with the facts like they are ancient history. The fact is Mr. Cutler, this is not news from 2010, the settlement was approved on February 25, 2013. And you raise the issue of ethics with me?
- Second, Eliot Cutler was a member of the Board of Directors of Thornburg Mortgage when the company went bankrupt. Subsequent to the bankruptcy, The Securites and Exchange Commission filed accounting fraud charges on March 13, 2012.
The following information can be found on the SEC's website:"The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the senior-most executives at formerly one of the nation’s largest mortgage companies with hiding the company’s deteriorating financial condition at the onset of the financial crisis. The plan backfired and the company lost 90 percent of its value in two weeks.
The SEC alleges that Thornburg Mortgage Inc. chief executive officer Larry Goldstone, chief financial officer Clarence Simmons, and chief accounting officer Jane Starrett schemed to fraudulently overstate the company’s income by more than $400 million and falsely record a profit rather than an actual loss for the fourth quarter in its 2007 annual report."
“The truest test of corporate executives’ commitment to full and accurate shareholder disclosure comes not during times of soaring profits and double-digit growth, but when companies are under financial stress and shareholders have the greatest need for accurate information,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “These Thornburg executives flunked that test by issuing a series of misleading statements andhalf-truths to conceal Thornburg’s rapidly deteriorating situation.”
Again, Cutler's claim that this is "garbage" from 2010 is simply untrue. The SEC filed the charges in 2012 and the investigation is ongoing. Furthermore, the most important duty of any Director, from a school board to a corporation is oversight of the organization and its executives.
Given that the SEC has brought fraud charges against Thornburg's three top executives, including the chief executive officer who reported directly to the Directors, it is clear that Thornburg's Board of Directors failed in their mission. Or as Harry Truman said Mr. Cutler, "The buck stops here."
- Third, information regarding the mission of Akin Gump regarding outsourcing comes directly from their website.
Make no mistake, outsourcing American jobs to low cost alternatives in Asia has served to depress wages in the United States, raise the unemployment rate, with the knock on effect of depressing income tax revenues at the State and Federal levels. I stand by my statement that this activity puts Mr. Cutler on the wrong side of economy at the expense of working people.
And as for Cutler's assertion that I raised the class warfare flag, he ought to examine his own words in rejecting even a modest increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage in Maine has been $7.50 for 5 years while the cost of food, energy, health care, insurance and life's necessities have at the same time risen dramatically. In truth, Mr. Cutler is the person engaging in class warfare, supporting a non-liveable wage for Maine people while he sits at his residence in Cape Elizabeth.
- Fourth, I will stack my ethics up against Mr. Cutler's any day of the week. I split my votes in Augusta based on my conscience and always do what I believe is right. I caucus with neither party. I have the respect of both parties in Augusta because of this. A good example of this is when I rose to defend Governor LePage and his right to receive his pension when a Democratic Legislator attempted to introduce legislation that would strip the Governor of his pension. I may not agree with Paul LePage, but I defended his right to be treated like all other Governor's in our history. That's what real ethics are all about, Mr. Cutler.
Finally, while I endorsed Mike Michaud, I have absolutely no connection to the Michaud for Governor campaign. Your attack against Congressman Michaud is unjustified and a clear sign of desperation. Your attack against my ethics is equally desperate, but I guess when you can't dispute the facts, attacking the messenger will have to suffice. As the boxer Joe Louis once said, you can run but you can't hide.
Representative Jeffrey Evangelos
So, does the image fit?