By: Ronda Snyder
This article contains political and other commentary which reflects the author’s opinions
Author’s Note: I normally wouldn’t include screenshots with something I write. However, given the circumstances, “receipts” are necessary based on my personal experiences with the individuals discussed in this piece.
In February of 2019, I became aware of a bill in the Maine Legislature, LD 798, which removed religious and philosophical exemptions from mandated school vaccines. Becoming involved with fighting this draconian legislation began my one-and-a-half-year odyssey of dealing with some of the most reprehensible people I’ve ever had the misfortune of interacting with online.
To whom am I referring? Members of the group Maine Families for Vaccines who supported removing these exemptions from the vaccine mandates thereby depriving parents of the ability to protect their children with a philosophical exemption (even after a child already suffered serious adverse reactions) when their child’s doctor was unable or unwilling to write a medical exemption or depriving parents’ rights to decline a vaccine based on their deeply held religious beliefs. I will never be convinced that anyone, not a doctor nor members of Maine Families for Vaccines, knows what’s best for any child more than parents of that child.
Now, Maine Families for Vaccines is endorsing candidates for election in November. When you have finished reading you should ask yourself, are these the type of people whose judgment and morals I trust in endorsing a candidate? Here is a screenshot of the candidates endorsed by Maine Families for Vaccines:
Let’s get started. Over the course of the year and a half that I’ve interacted with members of this group I’ve become aware of and personally subjected to some abhorrent behavior by Maine Families for Vaccines’ (hereinafter “MFV”) members.
MAINE FAMILIES FOR VACCINES – THE BACKGROUND AND HISTORY
Here’s one underhanded tactic. In September 2019, The Bangor Daily News posted a poll about the proposed vaccine law. Members of Maine Families for Vaccines were not pleased that the poll wasn’t going in their favor. MFV didn’t want the opposition to be able to use this poll in advertising if the poll results were positive for the opposition. They schemed ways in which to vote multiple times. Dora Anne Mills, sister of Maine Governor Janet Mills offered this advice:
Brandie Rubin also interjected with a link to assist other Maine Families for Vaccines members in clearing their browsers so that they could vote multiple times to sway the poll in their favor. Heather Abbott let Brandie know “It worked!”
In one post, Genevieve McDonald, House District 134, posted a satirical article comparing parents who choose not to vaccinate to parents who don’t use car seats.
The comments that followed this post are disturbing especially the one from Senator Heather Sanborn, Senate District 28, “I was thinking that it works if there were unrestrained kids killing other drivers by randomly hitting their windshields, but that seemed gruesome.” Whether these comments were made as public officials (they weren’t) or in their personal capacity (this seems to be the case), it shows the disturbing mindset of these individuals that they find humor in violence against children when the assumed nobody was watching. You should note that Maine Families for Vaccines is endorsing both Genevieve McDonald and Heather Sanborn.
During the Veto Campaign of 798, MFV would scour the Facebook pages of YES on 1 supporters. In this instance, Caitlin Gilmet (a co-founder of Maine Families for Vaccines), was certain that a YES on 1 supporter posted a job for paid signature gatherers and posted it as such. However, the job was, in fact, for seaweed gatherers in Machias and had absolutely nothing to do with the YES campaign but Caitlin still publicly posted it along with this comment:
What would be a completely incorrect assumption by MFV without Brandie Rubin adding her two cents? In this comment, Brandie appears to think “files” are kept on MFV members. I’ve often found that when one accuses someone of something such as keeping files it’s because they are doing it themselves.
In this final comment, someone clearly sets forth what happened with Caitlin’s incorrect assumption. Kudos to this commenter for pointing out yet another MFV tactic.
Part of LD 798 legislation was removing religious exemptions from the vaccine school mandate. MFV members appear to have very little respect for personal religious beliefs and openly mock those beliefs. According to Brandie Rubin, if people were this religious they should be in a religious school. The problem with this comment, besides the obvious, is that LD 798 didn’t just change the law for public schools. It also changed the law for private, RELIGIOUS schools, online schools, charter schools, colleges, trade schools and post college graduate schools.
Sources confided in me the following allegations:
- Allegedly MFV or one of its members called the employer of a YES on 1 supporter’s husband. The husband was NOT involved in the YES campaign but his wife was so it seemed to make sense to MFV to contact HIS employer.
- Local hospitals were allegedly contacted to report that a mid-wife and YES on 1 supporter didn’t receive a flu vaccine.
- Local businesses were harassed if they allowed YES on 1 signature gatherers to collect signatures at the business.
- A member of MFV would allegedly move legally placed YES on 1 campaign signs to improper locations and then call to report the signs. A southern Maine police department allegedly contacted this individual and asked her to stop this behavior.
- A mom whose child has severe genetic defect appeared in an advertisement in support of the Veto campaign and medical freedom. The school at which her children took dance lessons was allegedly notified that her children were “unvaccinated.”
I too have been the recipient of lies, harassment and libel at the hands of MFV members and their relatives and they continue this type of behavior to this day (even after the Veto vote is long over). For the record, I have never been “in trouble” for anything in my life. In fact, I’ve never even received a speeding ticket. I’ve never been to a politician’s home nor have I ever had a restraining order against me by anyone at any time. Caitlin’s Gilmet’s comment that she “knows me” and I am a white supremacist is the height of dishonesty and pure libel. These are all complete fabrications and libelous statements by MFV members. This is their tactic when they label an individual such as myself as their enemy.
Brandie Rubin continues to intimate that I’ve doxxed her and that she has blocked me based on “advice of her lawyer.” She’s also said I physically threatened her family in other comments which is another absolute lie. That’s not a tactic I’ve ever employed in my dealings with anyone. Somehow though Brandie continues to know when and what I post so that she can make comments like the one below. Apparently, in Brandie’s view, I am not allowed on the Candidate Pages for MY friends who are running for office. Brandie often implies I’ve made these comments and then I “delete” them which is terribly convenient.
In April 2020 (after the Veto vote was over), when MFV members harassed and attacked Maine Women Magazine for the utter audacity of interviewing and writing an article about someone who MFV deemed unworthy of being interviewed. Sara Kinrade’s (MFV member) brother, Wade Spaulding made this comment about me. You can read other comments on the April 15, 2020 post by Maine Women Magazine on Facebook but you should do so quickly before comments are deleted.
When I explained to Wade that his comment was a complete fabrication, he doubled down and made this comment:
In June, Elizabeth Leibiger, a social justice warrior and mediocre accordion player in a pirate band named Shank Painters, made up a comment about me that I quite literally never said. In response to that fabrication, Caitlin Gilmet, Co-Founder of MFV and Treasurer of the MFV PAC, couldn’t wait to make a comment to attack my reputation. Caitlin Gilmet does NOT know me. She has never met me. Ever. Caitlin’s comment though is a typical tactic of MFV. We also have Wade Spaulding wading in and said he deleted his previous comments because of “retribution” by me. If by retribution, Wade means a libel claim and a No Trespass Order for my business then either of those would have been legitimate LEGAL responses to his false and defamatory comments.
As you can see, if you are deemed opposition or an enemy of MFV, they will stop at nothing to attempt to destroy you, your career, your reputation and/or business with absolutely NO BASIS IN FACT which brings me to their current actions in Maine politics.
CURRENT POLITICAL ACTIVITIES:
October reports filed by Maine Families for Vaccines PAC show payments of $10,000 to Waterfront Strategies to oppose Senator Matt Pouliot and to support Kalie Hess (a Maine Families for Vaccines member). You can read more about Waterfront Strategies’ powerful PAC HERE and read all of the Maine Families for Vaccines PAC filings at www.mainecampaignfinance.com.
The negative attack advertisements against candidates MFV oppose have commenced. It has paid more to Waterfront Strategies to OPPOSE a candidate than the one it supports. A former group who was affiliated with Maine Families for Vaccines in its efforts to support LD 798, Maine Hospital Association, put out a statement distancing themselves from MFV and its attack against Matt Pouliot (Senate District 15).
Maine Families for Vaccines members Andy Schmidt, a lawyer, and Brandie Rubin appeared on Senator Pouliot’s Facebook page to mock him for posting MHA’s statement.
Another member of Maine Families for Vaccines, Amy Fuller, has posted comments on Senator Pouliot’s Facebook page no less than 30 times since October 1, 2020 under the guise of asking about his policies. This is odd because in July 2020, Ms. Fuller, indicated in a letter to the Kennebec Journal, that she was voting for Kalie Hess. Ms. Fuller’s protestations that she is a constituent and has the “right to know” the Senator’s stance on issues is disingenuous at best since she has indicated that she supports his opponent and, in another post, indicated she has already voted.
Other candidates have received similar harassing comments on their Facebook pages but Maine Families for Vaccines considers Senator Matt Pouliot a much bigger threat to them because he is honorable, makes himself available to constituents and most frightening of all…he disagreed with MFV on the legislation for LD 798. It should be quite clear after reading my article what tactics are employed by MFV when they consider someone as opposition or an enemy.
In closing, Maine Families for Vaccines is actively endorsing (and opposing) candidates in the upcoming election. For my part, I couldn’t, in good conscience, support any candidate endorsed by Maine Families for Vaccines based on my previous interactions with its members. I’ll leave you with this thought from MFV member, Brandie Rubin. Yes you did type that “out loud” and we hear you.