The Underground War For Maine Republican Chair

We stand just ten days away from the general election, where everything seems to be up in the air. A close race for the presidency, the U.S. Senate balance, and the stability of the Maine Legislature’s Republican majority fill a series of storylines that will be fulfilled in less than two weeks. But another battle is brewing in the Maine Republican Party, underground and quietly. Two candidates are up for the top job, according to popular rumor. One confirmed, David Jones, is making a dash with no background in Republican politics, aside from being an unknown in Maine politics. The other candidate, a rumor, but still persistent, is Representative Rich Cebra of Naples. As time ticks, a vicious smear campaign is silently targeting Representative Cebra.

Meet David Jones, who is already confirmed to be campaigning, according to multiple State Committee members who have received calls from him. Jones political background is so bare, he makes President Obama look like a career politician. He is the pick of the Defense of Liberty PAC team, although while not officially endorsed by the organization, the leadership is all behind him. This point is interesting, when you consider what Jones is to DOLPAC. A member of the six-person Board of Advisors, he is also the father of DOLPAC-endorsed State House candidate, John Jones. Candidate Jones is roommates with Executive Director David Boyer. The organization also has a faithful member to cover rent, as David Jones pays $600 per month for their office space. Before moving onto the next paragraph, please research the term “conflict of interest.”

What’s more interesting, is the smear campaign being advanced by members of this organization. Behind the scenes, various people have advanced a few pieces of deceptive information about Representative Cebra. Among these, is the idea that he supported Senator Bill Diamond against Republican challenger Ann-Marie Grenier a few years back. The first part of the claim is that Representative Cebra had a Diamond campaign sign on his front lawn. This was not the case however. The unfortunate part about government-owned roads, is that a certain amount of space off the side of the road is public property. This enables politicians to be able to place signs in front of houses without the resident being able to legally touch them. This was the case here. Do the Jones supporters expect a sitting State Representative jeopardize himself by breaking the law over a sign? Looks like the cheap Democratic tactics are working for more than just the Democrats.

The truth about Representative Cebra, which you won’t hear from his mudslinging opponents however, is that he is a principled man. As far as his liberty record goes, he’s introduced a number of pieces of legislation to protect freedom, even going to the extent to push nullification in Augusta. He has been Cumberland County Republican Chairman, and has been a leader for the Republican cause. Ask any Republican in the State House of Representatives about Cebra and you’ll hear praise. His tireless effort, extensive knowledge, and leadership capabilities are respected among many.

So why is Representative Cebra being opposed by someone without any background in the party? Beyond that, why is Representative Cebra being targeted by a vicious and dirty smear campaign? It makes no strategic sense if you’re an organization with the stated mission of advancing the cause of liberty within the Republican Party. This is going to alienate Republicans and drive a deeper wedge through the party’s already significant divide. Furthermore, it’s going to give the entire Ron Paul movement a worse name with the Party mainstream, and most are unaware of what is going on. The liberty movement is being sabotaged behind their backs by leadership that is acting contrary to Congressman Paul’s personal opposition to smearing and personal attacks.

When asked about the rumors, Representative Cebra responded, “I have been asked to run and I am considering a run for Maine Republican Party Chair but won’t publicly comment to avoid any undue distractions from the November 6th elections. I am focused on helping several Republican Candidates in both federal and state elections in the most important elections of our lifetime.” While David Jones campaigns for himself, instead of helping advance the party he’d like to lead, Representative Cebra has placed aside his personal ambitions to work to advance the party everyone knows he can lead. Faux leadership vs. true leadership will be an intriguing storyline after the November elections, leading into December. It promises to be quite the mess for a party that has been through enough already this year. But here’s to hoping that the State Committee will make the correct choice in December to lead the party in the right direction in the post-Webster era.

Chris Dixon

About Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is a libertarian-leaning activist who is State Coordinator of the Maine Tenth Amendment Center and former Androscoggin County co-coordinator for the Ron Paul 2012 presidential campaign. These thoughts are his own, and not on behalf of any organization he works for.