Snowe primary opponent calls for Maine GOP chair’s resignation

Andrew Ian Dodge, a tea party-backed Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe, called for Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster to resign because of his connection to a series of ads calling for a “no” vote on Question 1.

The ad in question has been called “distasteful” by some and “homophobic” by others because they question the motives of EqualityMaine in supporting Question 1. EqualityMaine is behind a citizens’ initiative that would allow same-sex couples the right to marry.

Dodge’s words Tuesday were particularly strong.

“The gay-bashing and xenophobic advertisements run recently by those against ballot Question 1 should be condemned by all Maine residents,” the candidate wrote in a statement. “This kind of campaigning totally undermines Maine’s image — especially to those looking to invest or to relocate a business here.

“If Charlie Webster is behind the content of these advertisements, he should step down. The tone of such publicity is detrimental to the good reputation of the Republican Party and the State of Maine.

Webster has defended the ads.

“We’ve talked about the different left-of-center groups that are supporting this referendum and questioned why they’re doing that,” Webster told the Sun Journal of Lewiston. “That’s all this is.”