Thom Rhoads statement on Cutler Files

Posted Jan. 27, 2011, at 3:09 p.m.

At the urging of friends and family, I have decided to make a statement today to explain my involvement in the so-called “Cutler Files” web site. I have waited until today to speak out in order to first allow the Maine Ethics Commission to make its final determination.

I have fully cooperated with the Ethics Commission’s investigation and am gratified that I have been cleared of wrongdoing.

While I was not the author, creator or owner of the website, I assisted the person who was. As a private citizen, I performed independent research on my own time and my own accord. Although I did not create the website itself, much of the information I found eventually became a part of that website.

I stand by the content and research I performed. The accuracy of information I found has not been disproved. I believed then and I believe now that it is important that the public have the information – news articles and other public documents – in order to make an informed decision regarding the next governor of the state of Maine.

I am not a professional researcher. I was never paid for my research, nor did I pay anyone else for what amounted to printing out articles I found using one of the most common (and free) computer applications in the world – Google.

In the interest of protecting my family and respecting the Ethics Commission’s process, I kept my identity private until this point.  But at the urging of friends and family – most significantly, my wife – I have come forward.

I want to be clear – my wife had no involvement in this endeavor. When she learned of it, she was extremely disappointed.  She asked that I cooperate fully with the Ethics Commission investigation – which I have done – as well as come forward to the public – which I am doing today.

No candidate or campaign had any involvement with my research activities, or participated in the website in any way. My actions were entirely my own. Period.

Even though anonymous speech is legal and often appropriate, I also understand that an important part of campaigns should be disclosure, transparency, and personal responsibility.

I remain extremely proud of my wife and the positive campaign that she ran in the gubernatorial primary, based on new ideas and finding a new way to get Maine working again.

I’m glad the Ethics Commission has completed its work and I look forward to moving on.

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