A perfect representative of today's Tea PartyPORTLAND — Erick Bennett, a conservative Portland consultant who has launched a Republican primary campaign against incumbent U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, says his experience with the justice system — which he obtained when he was convicted of domestic violence assault 10 years ago — is driving him toward what he calls a “pro-family” agenda.
**...controversy over his self-described role as a staffer for Gov. Paul LePage’s 2010 campaign — a role that others in LePage’s campaign team said Bennett never played.
** Bennett was convicted of Class D assault in a 2003 District Court ruling after attacking his wife.
** ...it [Bennett's conviction] was affirmed by the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, which ruled that “the court did not commit clear error or abuse its discretion in excluding irrelevant evidence at trial,” and that “sufficient evidence does exist in the record to support his conviction.”
** Bennett said Collins had supported laws that made it easier for victims to obtain convictions, but would not give any specific examples of which laws. He said he could provide specific information at a later date.
** “The fact that I have been jailed repeatedly for not agreeing to admit to something I didn’t do should speak to the fact of how much guts and integrity I have,” he said. Or, how much of a liar you are?
** Bennett also defended his claim that he had been a staffer for LePage’s 2010 campaign, saying he worked for the governor for about a year. He has previously said he worked on the governor’s digital team.
“I was compensated for this, and there was a typo in the report, and my name was filed under something else, instead of my accurate name. I can’t remember what it was,” he said.
Jason Savage, now executive director of the Maine Republican Party, ran LePage’s digital team in 2010. He said he recalled Bennett voicing his support for LePage from his own Facebook account, but said he never worked as a staffer.
~~** Bennett’s political experience includes a failed bid to get on the ballot as a mayoral candidate in Portland and in leading the Maine Equal Rights Center, a conservative group that fought against same-sex marriage in 2012.
** He caused some controversy recently with comments some perceived as homophobic posted on Facebook about U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat from Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, who recently came out as gay.
** He (Bennett) is also a gun rights activist who is working to do away with concealed carry permits. Maybe he doesn't want his past or any future wives to know he's carrying?
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