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CHELLIE PINGREE: BUSTED Maine Congresswoman Caught Red-Handed In Act of Pure Hypocrisy
Maine Republican Victory Campaign FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE | September 23, 2010 | Lance Dutson FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Posted on 09/23/2010 1:35:11 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay

AUGUSTA - Congresswoman Chellie Pingree built her career on her professed mission to keep money out of politics. Today, she has been unmasked as a Washington elitist and an unmitigated hypocrite.

The website is reporting today that Chellie Pingree has been traveling on the private jet of hedge fund billionaire Donald Sussman, despite previous denials from Pingree's spokesman. A video taken at the Portland Jetport last week shows Pingree stepping off the lavish plane, reportedly worth $25 million.

In testimony before Congress in 2006, Pingree had this to say about House members flying on private aircraft:

"Most Americans never have and never will fly on a chartered jet, much less a fancy corporate jet complete with wet bar and leather couches. So when members of Congress constantly fly around on corporate jets and pay only the cost of a commercial ticket, it contributes to the corrosive public perception that members of Congress are more like the fat cats of Wall Street than they are like the rest of us."

Sussman's jet is estimated to cost nearly $5,000 an hour to operate. is also reporting that flight logs show Pingree may be using the jet to commute between Maine and Washington, DC regularly, and gives plausible evidence that Pingree may be using the plane to travel to campaign fundraisers.

"Chellie Pingree's hypocrisy is simply stunning," said Maine GOP Executive Director Christie-Lee McNally. "She has made herself out to be a champion of the underclass, but now we see she's turned into the same 'Wall Street Fat Cat' she railed against."

Pingree's activity opens up a whole host of ethical and legal questions. House Ethics Rules specifically forbid House members from flying on private aircraft for House or campaign business:

"A flight may not be accepted on the basis of personal friendship when the primary purpose of the trip is either to conduct House business or engage in campaign activity."


Federal Election law would require Pingree to report the trips as in-kind donations from Sussman's company, or reimburse the company for the cost of the trip. Review of Pingree's FEC reports so far show no record of such reporting, or reimbursement for the alleged flights.

"There are so many unanswered questions here," continued McNally. "Chellie Pingree needs to come forward and explain to the people of Maine why it's ok for her to fly around in luxury while her constituents struggle to make ends meet."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Maine
KEYWORDS: campaignfinance; chelliepingree; commoncause; donaldsussman; ethics; mainewatchdogorg; palomapartners
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An investigation by MaineWatchdog found that Pingree has been traveling on a private plane owned by the corporation of her significant other [? my note: thought she was married], Donald Sussman, Founder and Chairman of Paloma Partners, a billion dollar hedge fund. In January 2006, JP Morgan acquired the backoffice operations platform of Paloma Partners Management Company. Sussman, George Soros, the SEIU, and Hollywood businessman Steve Bing, reported formed a 527 group called 'Fund for America' in 2008. Sussman donated $1 million to the fund, which in turn, donated $200,000 of that money to ACORN.

The Bollard's Chris Busby described the financial relationship between Sussman and Pingree in 2008 when primary candidate Ethan Strimling began complaining (2008) that Pingree had raked in nearly $60,000 from people associated with Paloma Partners, a hedge fund headquartered in the Virgin Islands. Further digging by Strimling’s campaign has revealed exceeds of $100,000.

Pingree’s communications director, Willy Ritch, said he was unaware...“We don’t know what every donor’s relationship is with other people"...“We don’t track that stuff down.”

Sussman, was said to have donated most of the money in support of the Dirigo soda tax in Maine.

When AOL reported in late July that Pingree’s office was reimbursed for more travel expenses than any other house member in 2009. MaineWatchdog asked if those reimbursements were related to travel on private planes. A Pingree spokesman said: “To my knowledge, the Congresswoman does not fly on privately chartered jets.”

This investigation produced a video of Representative Pingree and Sussman disembarking at Portland International Jetport after a flight from Bridgeport, Conn., on September 17, 2010.[VIDEO]

Pingree and Sussman landed in Portland at 1:26 p.m., at which point a red carpet was rolled out for them on the non-commercial apron.

A snapshot of the couple driving off says confirms that Pingree was on board.

In the aftermath of the Abramoff scandal, Pingree lobbied for a tough ethics-reform law that would have, among other things, completely banned privately funded travel. When a weaker bill was introduced, Pingree called the drafted bill “window dressing.”

It is not clear whether Pingree’s use of Sussman’s aircraft was limited to the incident on September 17.

Flight logs of Sussman’s plane obtained by MaineWatchdog indicate that Pingree may have used the aircraft on several other occasions.

Pingree has said she favors closing a tax loophole for hedge fund managers that would take billions out of the pockets of people like Sussman. She also favors greater regulation of the industry. According to Mother Jones, Sussman gave $320,000 to Democrats in 2000 in an effort to quash a hedge-fund reform bill before Congress. The legislation subsequently “died a quiet death,” the magazine reported.....“If she was dating Joe Blow from Cumberland who gave 100 bucks, it would be immaterial,” said Bailey. “It’s a little different when the person in question here is responsible for [over $100,000 contributed] to her campaign and has all kinds of interests before Congress.” From Chasing Chellie

Then there’s her high-profile [ former CEO for Common Cause] work for Common Cause, an organization that’s hardly shy about poking its nose in politicians’ personal business. After eight years in the Maine State Senate (including four as majority leader) and an unsuccessful run for U.S. Senate against Susan Collins in 2002, Pingree was hired to lead the nonpartisan national watchdog group, whose central mission is to promote “honest, open and accountable government.”

Common Cause routinely decries shady aspects of the personal relationships between lawmakers and lobbyists, big donors and cronies — gifts, vacation trips, rides on corporate aircraft.."

In 2003, Pingree’s hiring to lead Common Cause was criticized because she’d raised over $1 million in soft money through national party committees — a practice Congress outlawed in late 2002 at the urging of, among others, Common Cause."

There are other similar cases where Pingree’s movement parallels that of Sussman’s plane. MaineWatchdog compared Pingree’s voting record to the movement of Sussman’s plane

MaineWatchdog is waiting for Pingree’s office to provide receipts for all commercial flights that the Congresswoman booked over the last several months.

Down East Magazine wrote Jan 2009: 2010, Pingree expects to take a break and start a family with husband filmmaker Jason Mann.

I guess that all changed: Dean Scontras, a Republican, true conservative, endorsed and with a recent visit from Rudy Giuliani is now challenging incumbent Rep. Chellie Pingree, D Maine, in the state's First Congressional District.


1 posted on 09/23/2010 1:35:14 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

Will no doubt be HEAVILY featured on CNN.


2 posted on 09/23/2010 1:37:37 PM PDT by Oldpuppymax
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To: Oldpuppymax

Must be a file of flight plans for that aircraft somewhere.

3 posted on 09/23/2010 1:40:01 PM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

4 posted on 09/23/2010 1:41:16 PM PDT by SandRat (Duty, Honor, Country! What else needs said?)
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To: fight_truth_decay

what do you expect?

They’re North Eastern liberals.

And try to act surprised when Maine elects all these jerks.

5 posted on 09/23/2010 1:43:09 PM PDT by Tzimisce (No thanks. We have enough government already. - The Tick)
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To: fight_truth_decay
"A flight may not be accepted on the basis of personal friendship when the primary purpose of the trip is either to conduct House business or engage in campaign activity."

Then it must be SEX...............

6 posted on 09/23/2010 1:43:40 PM PDT by Red Badger (No, Obama's not the Antichrist. But he does have him in his MY FAVES.............)
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To: Red Badger

Is she married?

7 posted on 09/23/2010 2:05:43 PM PDT by Loyal Buckeye
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To: rockinqsranch

There is, but there will be no public record of who was on the aircraft.

8 posted on 09/23/2010 2:11:50 PM PDT by Blood of Tyrants (Islam is the religion of Satan and Mohammed was his minion.)
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To: fight_truth_decay

Common Cause is non partisan? Since when?

9 posted on 09/23/2010 2:13:03 PM PDT by rahbert
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To: Oldpuppymax

I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked.

A Dem Hypocrite.

10 posted on 09/23/2010 2:13:40 PM PDT by CPT Clay (Pick up your weapon and follow me.)
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To: Oldpuppymax
Sussman owns a home on North Haven,ME where Pingree resides [guess that is cleared up] -- but listed his address as St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

According to the Portland Assessor’s Office, Sussman also owns two parcels of land on Newberry Street. One parcel is an empty lot; the other is a two-story building with opaquely tinted windows.

1981 Sussman married into the notable Tisch family [Loews Corporation], taking as his bride Laurie Tisch. The couple are now divorced with two daughters, Carolyn and Emily Sussman

Sussman also has been a big campaign contributor to Democratic causes. In 2004, he gave a combined $500,000 to America Coming Together and Joint Victory Campaign for their effort to defeat President George W. Bush

S. Donald Sussman, 37-acre estate in backcountry Greenwich was the scene of a tragic murder 12/2009....Sussman’s landscaper was found in a home on Sussman’s Greenwich Estate having apparently stabbed his daughter to death. Adam Dobrzanski had also attempted to take his own life with a knife, but the police arrived in time to transport him to the hospital. Mrs. Dobrzanski, the wife and Sussman’s personal chef, was with the Sussman family in the U.S. Virgin Islands at the time of the tragedy.

Dobrzanski is a native of Poland and had lived in Connecticut for the past three years. Police believe Dobrzanski slit his daughter's throat before attempting to kill himself. Dobrzanski was assisted by a Polish interpreter in court. He was said to have been treated for mental illness, a divorce had been filed by his wife who sought alimony and educational support. Source

11 posted on 09/23/2010 2:25:27 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: rockinqsranch

It's all in the story..where and when, what votes were scheduled...up in comments. A click away!

12 posted on 09/23/2010 2:28:14 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay

This is the women who certainly had time on Monday to bask in the reflected glow of Lady Gaga pushing for DADT repeal; this is the same woman who could not be bothered the summer before last to hold a single town hall meeting concerning the health care bill. Such a hypocrite. And, sadly, right at home in this district.

13 posted on 09/23/2010 2:33:43 PM PDT by RAR
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To: Tzimisce

Dean Scontras is very much needed in Maine—

and a new change for Governor Le Page
Great story on Paul Le Page *****VIDEO****** Le Page has an amazing story to tell..left home at 11 as abused,hospitalized..lived on the streets...

Eventually taken in by two local families, LePage graduated from high school and was admitted to Husson College in Bangor after someone intervened to help him take the comprehension exams in French, the language he grew up speaking.

After graduating from Husson in 1972, LePage moved to Canada, married and went to work for Arthurette Lumber. But the couple divorced, LePage said, and he moved back to Maine.

He earned his MBA from the University of Maine and spent several decades working in the pulp and paper industry, in manufacturing and as a “turn-around” consultant for struggling companies.

In 1996, he was hired as general manager of the famous Maine-based discount chain Marden’s and placed in charge of sales and the company’s expansion efforts. In the years since, Marden’s has grown from six stores to 15.

September, LePage was leading his nearest rival, Democrat Libby Mitchell, by 14 points

As a popular Mayor, Waterville’s tax rates have dropped by 13 percent, the city’s rainy day fund has grown from $1 million to $10 million and one of the major credit agencies has boosted the city’s rating two levels. (Empire Falls was filmed in Waterville one of the last films directed by Paul Newman)..near Belgrade lakes region and a now beautiful area especially for an old mill town.

Told he didnt have a chance for governor now September, LePage was leading his nearest rival, Democrat Libby Mitchell, by 14 points. He brings both sides together and that takes a special talent in politics.

Help Maine is support of the candidates, we give to the candidates in other states. Then we can overcome the ones you are reading about—Dean Scontras in the Pingree race.

Scontras is a true Reagan conservative, Le Page is business based conservative proven by his history.. backed by the Tea Party and won the election spending only $160,000. From the streets at 11 to Le Page’s story isn’t over yet!

14 posted on 09/23/2010 2:52:06 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: CPT Clay
I’m shocked I tell you. Shocked.


15 posted on 09/23/2010 3:04:02 PM PDT by Stentor ( "All cults of personality begin as high drama and end as low comedy.")
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To: Blood of Tyrants
Well, read the investigation all linked (took some time to do)..shows the flight plans for PWM where she got off, where she got back on, where she went for fund raising events, and continued on to Washington for votes, the campain financing questioned even 2 years ago.. video, etc..she lives in a home he owns. They are being followed around now by the group doing the research, all in the links, and stories are running today in Maine papers..It's in the comments. No response from her staff in updates. Just google.

Real investigative journalism..

16 posted on 09/23/2010 3:04:24 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: fight_truth_decay
From a large private jet into a large black SUV, she's almost certain to be a fervent supporter of Cap & Trade for the rest of us.
17 posted on 09/23/2010 3:10:43 PM PDT by RJL
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To: Loyal Buckeye

After term limits ended her state Senate career at eight years, Pingree lost a 2002 U.S. Senate bid to unseat Collins and was appointed president of Common Cause.

At 55, Pingree is a divorced mother of three adult children, has one grandchild and another on the way — courtesy of her eldest daughter, Hannah Pingree, who is currently speaker of the Maine House and nearing the end of her fourth and final term.

I thought the press piece or she was misleading (it was a question put to her) when she said she would be settling down with her husband mentioned above, but that was 2009 because of term limits..but that all changed as we can see..she’s got money (billions) around her now and contacts on the Left like you couldn’t believe. Thanks to Sussman?

18 posted on 09/23/2010 3:21:51 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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To: Tzimisce
Tom Daschle came to stump for Chellie Pingree’s in her challenge vs Susan Collins in 2002. Daschel was on his way out but just didn't know it yet. I told her daughter at that time that Daschel would be Pingree's demise and he helped. Her daughter in an email disagreed. She lost. I won my case -58 percent to 42. Collins [3rd term] went on to beat Tom Allen "the vote skipper" and Beverly Hills lib (that's where he campaigned)by over 60%. Tom Allen, lobbyist, went on to run the trade group that represents American book publishers.[American Book Publisher's Association]

So Maine's cup is 1/2 full not 1/2 empty.

Pingree's present totals by the nonpartisan Center for Responsive Politics shows that 85 percent of her contributions of more than $200 have come from away. The largest percentage originated from the New York metropolitan area. [where she was just flown again by private jet--the NYC theatrical people, 'perhaps' Joy Behar was there??-perhaps not as Behar said on the View that Snowe was a senator from VT, so intelligence lacks ]. It was a Palin bast fest at the time.

Challenger Scontras is 74 percent of such contributions coming from Maine, which is to be expected for a challenger without wide name recognition outside the state.

There was some attempt by one opinionater to compare Pingree to Palin, but only as Maine and Alaska have pine trees, snow and ice. It was a stretch ;)

We're trying..

19 posted on 09/23/2010 3:50:19 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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...and moose!
20 posted on 09/23/2010 3:52:42 PM PDT by fight_truth_decay
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