Bloomberg Businessweek has an exclusive inside look at a recent meeting between Republican strategist Karl Rove and potential donors to his super PAC, American Crossroads. The story also has a Maine hook, as Rove gives his assessment of the U.S. Senate race.

The story notes that Rove is uneasy about the race, in which Republican Charlie Summers is trailing independent Angus King. Rove also has a message for Republicans who donated to current U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe: Get your money back.

The reason, Rove notes, is that Snowe isn’t planning to give Summers any of the $3 million in campaign money she accumulated before deciding to drop out of the race in February.

Summers, Rove continued, is a “remarkable” human being. In pointing out that Summers was elected to a traditionally Democratic seat in the state Senate from Portland, Rove said, “Portland, Maine, is sort of like Portland, Ore., only they’re somewhat nicer and don’t smoke as much dope.” He went on to say that Summers, who served in Iraq in the Gulf War, “is a guy who loves to campaign.”

Rove apparently doesn’t tell donors the reason Snowe isn’t giving to Summers. However, The Portland Press Herald, and most recently Politico, have reported that Snowe is unhappy that Summers, her former staffer, declined to endorse her last year when she was facing a tea party primary challenger.

SUMMERS AND DILL SPAR

Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill traded jabs last week over the controversial statements of a state representative from Jay.

Rep. Paul Gilbert, D-Jay, raised questions about the qualifications of Gov. Paul LePage’s nominee to serve as a military representative on the board of the Finance Authority of Maine.

Christopher Pierce, who was confirmed, served in the National Guard in the 1970s, when the guard was not considered military service, according to Gilbert, a U.S. Army veteran.

Summers, a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve, issued a written statement saying Gilbert’s comments were disrespectful to those who made sacrifices in service to the country. And he called on Dill, a state senator, to denounce her fellow Democrat.

“State Sen. Dill’s silence on this issue has been saddening as well. I would hope Sen. Dill would see her way clear to point out the error of her colleague’s ways,” Summers said in the statement.

The Republican’s criticism of Dill might not be a surprise, except that Summers and Dill have so far focused most of their criticism on independent King. Summers needs Dill to rise in the polls and pull Democratic voters from King to give him a better chance to win.

Dill responded to Summers by saying, “I voted to confirm Christopher Pierce to the Finance Authority of Maine’s board and I wish him much success.”

“If Charlie Summers has a disagreement with something Rep. Paul Gilbert said, then Charlie Summers needs to talk to him,” she said.

‘YES ON 1’ RALLY MONDAY

Mainers United for Marriage is scheduled to hold a rally in Portland Monday to officially kick-off the “Yes on 1” campaign.

As you’ll recall, when Maine voted on the issue three years ago, supporters of gay marriage had to vote “no” on the question and opponents voted “yes.” So now that the tables are turned, pro-gay-marriage forces will be asking supporters to peel off their old bumper stickers and replace them.

The rally is set for 1 p.m. Monday on the steps of Portland City Hall.

NURSES GROUP ENDORSES KING

The American Nurses Association and its political action committee have formally endorsed King in the U.S. Senate race.

The group says the independent former governor is among the candidates nationwide who “have demonstrated strong support for nursing and health care issues.”

“The fact that King’s wife is a nurse may not be cause for support alone, but as governor of Maine, he removed barriers so that nurse practitioners could practice to their fullest capabilities,” the association said in a written statement.

The association is especially interested in the elections this fall because of such issues as the Affordable Care Act and access to care, it said. King wants to preserve the Affordable Care Act.

Staff Writer Steve Mistler can be reached at 791-6345 or at:

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Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan Cover can be reached at 621-5643 or at:

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Staff Writer John Richardson can be reached at 791-6324 or at:

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