Politics

Sen. Olympia Snowe bashes 2012 primary opponent in response to call for her to resign

Matthew Boyle Investigative Reporter

Republican Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe ripped her 2012 GOP primary opponent, Scott D’Amboise, in a statement responding to his call for her to immediately resign.

“These comments by Mr. D’Amboise are outrageous, false, and libelous against my husband,” Snowe said. “The level of discourse coming from my opponents in this campaign is a reflection of their character. This is just what voters are sick of – smear tactics with no basis in fact. What voters deserve is an issue oriented discussion on how we restore jobs and improve our economy.”

D’Amboise, a self-identifying Tea Partier, announced his official candidacy in February 2010, and plans to challenge Snowe in the 2012 GOP primary for her U.S. Senate seat. Snowe’s husband, former Maine Gov. John McKernan, is under fire after the U.S. Department of Justice joined a lawsuit alleging his employer, Education Management Corporation (EDMC), defrauded the government of financial aid funding. McKernan has been a top executive at EDMC for the past dozen years.*

D’Amboise said Snowe “directly benefited” from her husband’s financial activity, which he describes as, “defrauding of taxpayers, pocketing millions of dollars – millions of our hard earned tax dollars.” D’Amboise also said Snowe “became a millionaire with our money.”

D’Amboise called for Snowe to explain the case and resign immediately. Snowe said she can’t address details of the lawsuit against her husband’s company because she’s not a lawyer, but understands it was “filed by some former employees against the company my husband works for.”

“I do know, though, from the statement that was issued by the company, that the compensation plan the company implemented was thoroughly vetted by outside lawyers who gave the company a legal opinion that the plan met all the requirements of the law, and was adopted by the company before my husband was CEO,” Snowe said. “The Justice Department has said it intends to intervene in the case in some way, but they haven’t filed anything yet to my knowledge.”

She said she finds it “deeply regrettable that my opponents apparently are going to run their campaigns based on slurs and innuendo and not facts.”

*This article has been corrected. It originally incorrectly stated that McKernan was a defendant on the lawsuit.