By Carol McCracken (Post # 1,716)
Dennis Bailey, an author of The Cutler Files, conceded yesterday that he is assisting the anti-Midtown campaign in its effort to stop the development of Midtown, a four tower rental housing project slated for the Bayside area of Portland. In an email to mhn.com, Bailey acknowledged that he is helping the non-profit by responding to emails from the public as well as assisting with the group’s website. He would not be more specific than that.
However, Peter Monroe, a co-founder of the non-profit, confirmed this afternoon over the telephone that Bailey has served as a paid-consultant for the anti-Midtown campaign since September of 2013. He serves as a social-media consultant and works with the press as well. Monroe confirmed that Bailey is on retainer, although wouldn’t say for how much. Monroe said that as of Monday, he will be working full-time on the anti-Midtown campaign. “Dennis is highly qualified to do the work he’s doing for us. We are lucky to have him,” Monroe said Defensively.
Political watchers will remember that Bailey become embroiled in a political scandal regarding what became known as The Cutler Files. It was a website launched to target the gubernatorial race of independent candidate Eliot Cutler during the 2010 race. At the time, Bailey was a consultant to Shawn Moody’s gubernatorial race. While at first Bailey denied any knowledge of the creators of the webpage that made controversial claims about Cutler, he later admitted a role in the website’s creation.
Following complaints from the Cutler campaign that the website contained false information, Bailey was investigated by the state Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Cutler is a former Washington, D.C. attorney who founded his own law firm there. There was a fine of $200. for one of the defendants in the case, but it is not known which one of the two. Governor Paul LePage won the election by a slim margin in a three-way race. Monroe said angrily: “What we are doing in Bayside is far more important that a $200. fine for the Cutler Files.”
Bailey’s website for Savvy promises many services to his customers. Among the services, Savvy can “generate leads and make news….our proven methods will get you higher up on search engines and have customers – and the news media – coming to you,” the website claims. The website also promises “to get attention for your cause,” as well as other services to be provided to clients. The website lists a number of corporations, non-profits and other politicians for whom Bailey has worked over the years.
This past Wednesday, the non-profit filed an appeal against the planning board’s decision to approve the Midtown housing project in Bayside claiming that the plans by Federated Cos. did not comply with the Comprehensive Plan and that the planning board did not have the authority to grant numerous waivers to the developer. The following day, the group issued a provocative news release in which it accused the planning office of incompetence in its record keeping system. It also referred to the famous alleged erasing of Watergate tapes by President Nixon’s secretary Rose Mary Woods inferring that some sort of dirty tricks may have happened at city hall as well. Monroe admitted that he, Tim Paradis and Dennis Bailey all authored the provocative news release jointly. * The city of Portland has since responded in writing that these accusations are false. “We are not in violation of the Freedom of Information Act,” said Jeff Levine, Director of the Planning Office yesterday. “We were having equipment difficulty and have ordered replacement equipment in our next budget cycle”
Bailey has not responded to two emails from mhn.com requesting more details on his relationship with the non-profit, although Monroe did respond to a telephone inquiry from mhn.com this afternoon.
* This bloggette is old enough to remember well the Watergate Scandal. I remember well as do others of the same age what a serious matter it was for the country. To compare any part of that Scandal to how the Portland City Hall operates is not only erroneous , but does this generation a disservice by misrepresenting the significance of the Watergate Scandal on our country. Tone it down, guys!