Saturday, March 8, 2014
The Maine Small Business Coalition, a group representing 3,300 businesses in Maine, is blasting an ad attacking Angus King, the independent candidate for U.S. Senate.
The ad, which is expected to hit television airwaves today, is part of an estimated $200,000 ad buy by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. The ad dubs King, who served two terms as Maine's governor, the "king of spending" and "mismanagement."
MSBC director Kevin Simowitz, in a press release, said the U.S. Chamber "does not speak for Maine businesses and they don't care about our economy."
He added, "The Chamber is an interest group for large out-of-state and multinational corporations, especially health insurance companies."
Simowitz, whose organization supports the federal health care law, said insurance companies are funneling millions through the Chamber in an effort to overturn the Affordable Care Act.
"These attacks won't stop with the U.S. Senate race," Simowitz said. "They're going to spend millions in Maine on attack ads at every lever, right down to state representative races."
In addition to supporting the health care law, MSBC also backs financial industry regulations, immigration reform and repealing the Bush tax cuts. The group is also aligned with the progressive organization Maine People's Alliance. The two organizations participated in protests last year at Bank of America locations, claiming that the company used loopholes to avoid paying its fair share of taxes.
Meanwhile, the King camp expanded its comments about the ads. Crystal Canney, King's spokeswoman, emphasized the U.S. Chamber's ability to shield its donors.
"It is nameless, faceless outside money trying to influence Maine voters," Canney said.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.