As I wrote yesterday, Maine ‘Pay-per-Gate’ blogger Lance Dutson has been relieved of a multi-million dollar lawsuit brought against him, thanks in part to his attorneys, Maine State Rep Stephen Bowen, and the public relations and legal work of the MBA (disclosure: I’m on the board of the MBA).
So at least nationally, this sad, sordid saga is over. But as this story began locally, I believe it’s still active locally. Warren Kremer Paino may have buckled under the pressure of the blogosphere, national media, and a lone brave state rep coming to bear on them, but I believe you can also make the argument that by dropping the suit, they win in a different way.
After all, with this decisive victory in Lance’s favor, national attention will turn away and onto other matters of importance. I haven’t heard anything different from our silent state government, so I can only assume that WKP will be back at work Monday spending our tax dollars to sue our residents.
The full story goes beyond WKP, as well. The fact remains that some of the most bizarre and inept behavior committed against Lance was never even raised on the national scale. And unfortunately, while Warren Kremer Paino has learned it cannot intimidiate a Maine resident while acting on behalf of our government, the sad reality remains that Dann Lewis, Maine Tourism director, still has his job. And Nancy Marshall, head of the PR firm representing the state agency, is still retained as official flack. Both have yet to be held fully accountable for their actions to date.
I trust that Lance will continue to follow these issues, and if he does (and I know he will), it will nearly impossible not to uncover further and greater incompetence. Now that he knows he has the full weight of a million other bloggers, plenty of legal help, and at least one state rep behind him, I hope that Lance’s efforts to hold those in power accountable is helped by more of his own fellow Mainers.
We owe it to Lance to support him, as he has come a long way to make it here. But we also owe it to him to help in any other way we can. There is still much left to be done.