Skeletons Haunt Senate Hopefuls

June 1, 2012

BY JILLY BADANES,The Washington Guardian

Scott D’Amboise, a self-proclaimed Tea Party candidate, has raised more money than any of his fellow Maine Republicans in the race to replace retiring Sen. Olympia Snowe, winning support by promising to trim government spending and balance the federal budget. He’s even accused Snowe of being “fiscally irresponsible.”

But there was a time not so long ago when D’Amboise couldn’t balance his own budget.

An investigation of public records shows the small business owner filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection in 2003, succumbing to more than $100,000 of debt from credit cards, doctors, hospitals and a mortgage. It’s an episode from his past that is absent from his official campaign biography, and one he doesn’t dwell on while he courts voters in the June 12 primary.

D’Amboise’s campaign blames a medical crisis that required his son to undergo seven operations. “He didn’t have adequate health coverage and was forced to file for bankruptcy,” said Sam Pim, D’Amboise’s campaign manager. “When you have a sick child, you have to do whatever is necessary to help that child.”

Pim said D’Amboise has occasionally mentioned the bankruptcy in the context of the medical crisis on the campaign trail while discussing his opposition to President Barack Obama’s Affordable Health Care Act. “He is in favor of repealing Obamacare,” Pim said.

D’Amboise isn’t the only candidate with past financial troubles. At least 13 politicians currently running for Senate – most with a message of fiscal restraint — have filed for bankruptcy, been hit with liens for overdue taxes or been convicted of crimes, according to an investigation of the 350 candidates running for Senate that was conducted by the nonpartisan research firm InvestigativeCheck ( and shared with the Washington Guardian.

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