Campaign of disqualified U.S. Senate candidate continues

Max Linn supporters take their crusade to U.S. District Court
By Ethan Andrews | May 31, 2018
Photo by: Ethan Andrews A large sign for disqualified U.S. Senate candidate Max Linn lies overturned at the corner of Church Street and Northport Avenue. Taped to the sign, a note, presumably from the adjacent homeowner, reads, "This is private property. Please remove."

Belfast — Supporters of a Republican candidate who was disqualified from the U.S. Senate race more than a month ago have filed suit in U.S. District Court to have their votes counted. Meanwhile the candidate continues to campaign in defiance of the ruling and, in the eyes of many observers, common sense.

Max Linn for U.S. Senate signs appeared around the area at the end of May, accompanied by the tagline "Trump strong." The Bar Harbor financial planner entered the race to unseat Independent Angus King in January, but was disqualified in April after Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap looked into a complaint from the campaign of Linn's opponent, Eric Brakey, R-Auburn, and found names that had been duplicated, forged or lifted from deceased voters.

Linn appealed his disqualification in court, and on May 8 lost his final appeal when the Maine Supreme Judicial Court upheld the state's ruling. Under normal circumstances, that would have been the end of it, but Linn apparently wasn't ready to quit.

After two weeks of silence on his social media accounts, he updated his Facebook page profile picture on May 25. The next day, he tweeted, "Trump Strong (stay tuned) #mepolitics #MAGA."

At about the same time, his campaign workers blitzed the state with signs reading "Max Linn, Republican for U.S. Senate" and "Trump Strong."

Further confusing matters, Linn's name will appear on the June 12 primary ballot along with several candidates, including Jonathan Fulford and Rita Horsey, who dropped out voluntarily too late to have their names removed. However, a vote for Linn will not count, according to the Secretary of State's Office.

Linn's renewed presence on social media initially resembled that of an active campaign, but the tone turned defiant as media outlets began to report on the bizarre appearance of signs for a candidate who had been out of the game for a month.

"Establishment: You can’t do that! Our Campaign: Watch us!" Linn tweeted on May 31. "Being #TrumpStrong means not caring about the political systems of the establishment. Cowards do not make history. America First, or get the hell out of the way!"

But where, exactly, Linn imagines he and his followers are going remains unclear.

Those who put up signs locally for Linn appear to have worked outside the party apparatus. Comments on his social media posts suggest at least some of his followers plan to cast ballots for the disqualified candidate.

Michael Cunningham, chairman of Waldo County Republicans, said he's had no communication with Linn's campaign, either before or since his disqualification.

Cunningham said he already had his concerns about Linn, who supported Obama in 2014 and later denied it, despite his having made a documented contribution to the re-election campaign and apparently written a book in support of the Democratic president.

But Cunningham was baffled by the continued campaign from the disqualified candidate, which he described as "civically challenged."

"It's like, what is this? That's the question I keep asking myself," he said.

Cunningham said he and other party leaders would never direct fellow Republican voters to cast a ballot that wouldn't be counted.

On June 4, Linn announced that 14 of his supporters had filed suit in U.S. District Court seeking an injunction to prevent the secretary of state from posting notices at the polls that Linn's candidacy is invalid. The lawsuit also seeks to require Dunlap to count all votes cast for Linn in the primary.

The suit alleges that Linn would have made the 2,000 signature minimum necessary to appear on the ballot, but more than 100 signatures were thrown out because they appeared on petition forms alongside those found to be fraudulent. In the final tally, Linn came up 10 signatures short.

The plaintiffs allege that this "guilt by association" deprives them of their constitutional right to "express their choice of political candidates, to petition for redress, and to use the American electoral process to effectuate changes in our government."

Comments (2)
Posted by: Bradley Williams | Jun 03, 2018 07:55

I can't remember....

Is Crooked Hillary a Republican or a Democrat??

:)



Posted by: from the kitchen | Jun 03, 2018 06:14

Wouldn't be the first time the republicans put a disqualified person in office.



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