Monday, March 10, 2014
The National Republican Senatorial Committee will launch a new ad criticizing independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King and his involvement in the wind industry.
The ad is the second by the NRSC since the primary and its third since King jumped in the race. The 30-second spot is different from its previous attack on King's involvement with Independence Wind. It features interviews with residents involved in the group that attempted to block the 22-turbine, 50-megawatt Record Hill Wind project that Independence Wind installed in Roxbury.
The ad, dubbed "Smooth Operator," relies heavily on sentiment, using interviews from the opposition group who said the wind project sheared off the top of Record Hill and ruined their views without any tangible benefit to residents. The residents describe King as someone who made a lot of promises to the town, but didn't deliver.
The NRSC previously slammed King for a $102 million federal loan guarantee Independence Wind received to finance the project. It's unclear whether the new approach will resonate with voters.
Several polls have reported that wind energy is popular with the majority of Mainers.
The Record Hill project was controversial with some residents in Roxbury, a town with a population of about 400. However, supporters of the project note the $610,000 windfall that the town received this year from Independence Wind. The payment dramatically reduced property taxes this year. According to a report in the Lewiston Sun Journal, residents currently pay $6.93 per $1,000 of assessed value. The mil rate was $16.86 last year.
Independence Wind also sends residents a $111 check every three months to pay their electricity bills.
Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.