GOP Operative Accused Of Offensive Comments
The blog AsMaineGoesLolz.com is an example of one of my favorite kinds of websites: the single-topic, single-author labor of love. Except, instead of chronicling the history of PacMan or exhibiting a collection of fast food condiment packages, the anonymous Lolz author monitors and examines the goings-on at the right-wing online forum As Maine Goes.
Usually, as the name of the blog suggests, the author is just looking for laughs at the expense of the site’s conservative posters, but every once in a while the blog stumbles onto something that has broader political implications. For instance, the site was one of the first to note Paul LePage’s now-famous appearance on the Aroostook Watchmen radio show.
That seemed to be the case again last week, when the blog reported that a preponderance of evidence suggests that one of the pseudonymous posters on As Maine Goes, a member known as “The Distributist,” was actually independent gubernatorial candidate Kevin Scott’s campaign manager, Michael Pajak.
Some of the evidence is circumstantial – such as that both The Distributist and Pajak live in the same area and subscribe to the same general political philosophy – but other facts are much more damning. The Distributist once accidentally misposted a link to an image and instead revealed a file directory on his own computer with the name “mpajak.” Also, someone who appears to be the same The Distributist also posted on a different blog and identified himself with a link to Pajak’s company, Trendology Research.
It’s technically possible that these could be a very strange and unlikely set of coincidences, or that someone is attempting to frame Pajak, but it’s much more likely that The Distribust and Michael Pajak are one and the same.
Why does this matter? Two Reasons:
First, Pajak has been a very public voice in Maine politics. In addition to his work for Scott, he managed Bill Beardsley’s Republican primary campaign and in 2008 managed the campaign of Dean Scontras, the Republican now challenging Chellie Pingree in District 1. He was also a paid staffer for the Maine Senate Republicans during the 122nd Legislature. These are all positions of power and visibility within the mainstream of Maine GOP politics.
Second, The Distibutist is, as the Lolz site notes, “one of the most hateful persons posting on As Maine Goes,” a sentiment with which I would have to agree.
The blog gives some examples of his posts about gay people (who he says have a “mental illness”), Muslims (“Aw, isn’t that cute, a little muslim boy preparing to be a muslim man… they blow up so fast!”), and his poetry about the Maine Department of Health and Human Services:
laden with lesbians
who have as their mission
the dismantling of the traditional family.
Many, many other examples are easy to find. A quick Google search brings up tons more posts of a similar bent, like this thread from 2006 about a pig’s head being thrown into a Lewiston mosque during prayer service, in which he declares that “The battle for welfare turf has begun!” and expresses his belief that “any Muslim that has not yet joined the jihad simply has not been delivered his ultimatum by his Imam to join or die yet.”
When I spoke to Pajak, he repeatedly and pointedly refused to deny or to confirm that he had written the comments and angrily questioned why I was asking him about a “fictional character.”
I also spoke to Kevin Scott, who at first said Pajak was still working for him on a part-time basis, but when I outlined the allegations that had been made, quickly said that Pajak was no longer employed by the campaign and that he had been untruthful about the status of his former campaign manager’s employment in order to hide the fact that he could no longer afford Pajak’s services.
Scott didn’t defend Pajak, instead saying that the kinds of comments made by The Distributist don’t reflect the tone or focus of his campaign.
“I wouldn't be supportive of that in any way,” said Scott. “I don't know why people do things like that.”