Scott D’Amboise Is Not A Serious Candidate

The time is ripe for conservatives, unhappy with the centrism of Senator Olympia Snowe, to challenge and beat her in a primary with a more conservative candidate.  They’ve never had a better chance.

There have been several rumors about former Maine Senator Carol Weston or businessman Eric Cianchette throwing their hat in the ring to challenge Snowe.  Conservative activists had better hope they or another adult human being does, because Scott D’Amboise is proving every day that he is not a serious candidate for office.

First it was the opportunistic, downright pathetic and borderline desperate start to his campaign, which began well before the previous election cycle was anywhere near heated up, let alone concluded.  That reeked of somebody who saw an electoral wave and wanted to get out in front to ride it, rather than a principled critic called to run.

Always beware somebody so blatant about their electoral self-interest that they are prepared to make a mockery of running for office in such a way.  Seriously, running for office two cycles ahead of time?

Then there was the cynical, opportunistic (again), and so foolish that it is worth of outright scorn demand that Senator Snowe resign in light of the recent news that the Department of Justice was joining a lawsuit against Education Management Corporation (EDMC).  The company has employed Snowe’s husband, former Governor John McKernan, for more than a decade. This “resign now!” stunt came despite the fact that McKernan is not a defendant in the suit, and Snowe herself is entirely uninvolved.

So amateurish was this demand from D’Amboise that it provoked a particularly scathing editorial from the Press Herald, scolding him harshly:

Here is a sampling of the D’Amboise release in which he recklessly and falsely says of McKernan: ” a federal investigation revealed that he had been defrauding the government of taxpayer funded financial aid through his company Education Management Corporation (EDMC).”

This happens to be a flat-out lie with absolutely no substantiation.


In any case, this is a civil suit against the company, not against McKernan. The truth is, McKernan wasn’t even CEO of the company when the plan in question was adopted.

D’Amboise’s statements are beyond reckless. They are baldfaced lies.

But it doesn’t end there, of course.

As I reported two weeks ago, D’Amboise not only had underwhelming fundraising numbers, but was making extremely questionable decisions about who he associated with.  D’Amboise decided it would be a good idea to drop by a John Birch Society information booth at the Moxie Day Festival in Lisbon on July 9th.  When I ran the piece he rather quickly dropped his attendance to that event, but don’t worry, I saved a screen shot of it for proof just in case.

It was suggested that I was unfair to Mr. D’Amboise about that event, as it was simply an “information booth” and not a Bircher meeting.  Fair enough, but that’s the kind of hair splitting that really doesn’t matter in the grand scheme of things.  In the end, he was trolling for votes in the den of extremists and conspiracy theories, which is not the best of ideas if you are entirely unknown and want to be taken seriously.

We have seen a consistent pattern here already, but today we were treated to yet another nonsensical, embarrassing moment in what is becoming a long list of nonsensical, embarrassing moments.

D’Amboise decided to give an interview to the very moderate, right leaning site FrumForum.  In the interview, he gave a series of maddeningly ignorant quotes.  First:

“The President, he says he is Christian but yet he’s exercises a lot of Muslim faith too. Me personally, I’m a Christian conservative. I don’t hold any malice to anybody, whether they are Muslim, or Jewish, or Catholic, or anything else. I just believe that he needs to come forward with his views a little bit clearer.”

And then:

When asked whether D’Amboise believed that Obama was secretly a Muslim — or how holding Muslim sympathies might effect his policies — D’Amboise replied: “I don’t know if he is or isn’t, but I don’t believe he’s a Christian.”

And then:

D’Amboise said that it was offensive that Obama “cancelled” the National Day of Prayer because he knows Obama celebrated a “Muslim holiday” or some similar occasion. D’Amboise could not remember the name of the celebration that he thinks Obama celebrated.

He also expressed support for the anti-illegal immigration border vigilantes, the Minuteman PAC, a group who has endorsed him, and one who still believes despite idiot proof evidence to the contrary that the president is not a United States citizen, and his birth certificate was forged.

Which brings us to this:

D’Amboise told FrumForum that there are more important things to do than worry about the veracity of the president’s birth certificate. He described the issue as “frustrating” and a “dead horse, literally.”

“It doesn’t matter what the view is – he’s already elected president. There’s nothing we can do,” he said. “I don’t agree completely with [the claim that the document is fake].”

And there is more, but I think that will do for now.

This is such an enormous collection of stupidity in one place that I barely know where to start.  But one thing is for sure, with this kind of political activity no one in the Republican Party (to which I will remind everyone, I am a proud and not at all moderate member) should take Scott D’Amboise seriously as a candidate any longer.

This list of grievances with the president is a laundry list of untrue, ignorant conspiracy beliefs that have uniformly been debunked, and the people who believe in them humiliated.

Regarding President Obama expressing Muslim beliefs, D’Amboise provides no evidence.  And he doesn’t, because there isn’t any.  The President reaching out to the Muslim community both at home and abroad does not mean he worships in a mosque.

Regarding President Obama needing to “come forward with his views a little bit clearer” on religion, I would suggest that a candidate running for high office pay a little more attention to the news.  Perhaps he missed (or chose to ignore) the president himself explaining his own Christian faith (“I am a Christian by choice“), or how he described his faith during the campaign (“I believe Jesus Christ died for my sins and I am redeemed through him”), or the constant repetition from his communications team regarding his faith?

Just what does D’Amboise think the president is being “unclear” about?

This is also an insultingly stupid line of attack, given that the most damning (and much more legitimate) conservative attack against Obama during the 2008 campaign was due to his affiliation with Reverend Jeremiah Wright.  This highlighted Obama’s particular Christian church, and the pastor he was close to.  When it was convenient to talk about the president as a Christian then, we didn’t hear anything about Obama’s religious ambiguity.

Regarding his belief that Obama is not a Christian, it seems rather obvious to anyone with half a brain that the president is what a rather substantial portion of America is, a Christian who doesn’t attend church as often as he probably should.  That’s about it.  There is no verifiable evidence of “secret Muslim beliefs” or any such thing.

As for his “cancelled” National Day of Prayer nonsense, I would recommend that Mr. D’Amboise stops reading inflammatory email forwards from obviously phony sources and exercises some common sense.  The idea that President Obama cancelled the National Day of Prayer is so stupid conceptually that any rational thinking person should be skeptical immediately.  But even if you wanted to be sure, it would take about five seconds on Google to find that it is completely false.

It is so completely false that the rumor has been ripped to shreds and debunked as totally false by Snopes,,  and countless other urban legend investigation outfits.

Do you feel comfortable voting for somebody for Senate who formulates his opinions on people and world events based on what crazy Uncle Jimmy forwarded to him in an obviously misleading and inaccurate email?

But we aren’t done, there is still the birtherism to deal with.

Let’s start off by saying this: even conservatives have figured out by now that President Obama loves this nonsense.  He gets to portray all conservatives as conspiracy theory believing lunatics, and raise money off it.  He gets to spend time talking about and rebutting this easy to refute foolishness, and avoid talking about the 9.2% unemployment rate or mountains of debt he has handed to our kids.  This ignorant garbage is his best friend.

But the idea that he openly suggests that he buys into birtherism, lamenting that “there isn’t anything we can do about it” (notice how cute he tried to get there?).  He doesn’t “agree completely” with the idea that the president used photoshop to fake his birth certificate in a massive conspiracy to fraudulently capture the White House and destroy the United States from within?  So, he agrees with most of that?

In case anyone missed it, the birther conspiracy is dead, and anyone clinging to it is delusional.  Apparently, that includes Scott D’Amboise.  I even spoke about this with fellow primary challenger, Andrew Ian Dodge, who gave me the following statement:

While Maine and the country suffer under a poor economy, out of control spending and debt, [Scott] D’Amboise concentrates on debunked conspiracy theories.

Folks, there isn’t much left to say about Scott D’Amboise.

I am a Republican, of the libertarian variety.  I am considerably more conservative than Senator Snowe.  I dare say that on fiscal issues, I may even be further to the right than D’Amboise says he is.

But Scott D’Amboise is an embarrassment to not only the party, but to the conservative movement and I would sooner support Matt Dunlap or any other Democrat than him.  At least then I would be able to oppose somebody philosophically, rather than constantly being forced to defend a man who doesn’t deserve it, or attack somebody on my own side.

He and people like him make it immeasurably harder for the adult human beings who are on the right to be taken seriously or get elected.  Yes, even those on the “far right”.  This happened far too much in 2010, and candidates across the country were forced to respond to nonsense like this, and ended up having to defend themselves from the idiocy within their own party.

Maine Republicans can not be foolish enough to vote for this man.  Not only does he have zero general election viability, but he is simply not a serious enough person to trust with governance.  Maybe he might vote the way you want (though given his history, I’d doubt it), were he to get elected, but he so obviously formulates his opinions based on lazy observations, consults conspiracy nuts, and can’t be bothered to act like a rational person, that I would be very concerned about his ability to legislate anything.

I wouldn’t vote for D’Amboise for dog catcher.

If conservative values are what you care about, so be it.  But I would politely suggest if that is your priority that you find another, more serious candidate to support.  If non emerges, focus your energy on trying to lobby Senator Snowe to vote more conservatively.

This man does not belong in Washington.


EDIT:  Since the original publication of this article, FrumForum has continued to investigate D’Amboise, and has found increasingly disturbing things.  Namely, that he has been a repeated guest on the “Aroostook Watchmen” program, and has spent far too much time agreeing with crazy conspiracy theories, or coming up with rather insane policy ideas of his own.  His candidacy is even more of a joke than we originally thought.


Matthew Gagnon

About Matthew Gagnon

Matthew Gagnon, of Yarmouth, is the Chief Executive Officer of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, a free market policy think tank based in Portland. Prior to Maine Heritage, he served as a senior strategist for the Republican Governors Association in Washington, D.C. Originally from Hampden, he has been involved with Maine politics for more than a decade.