Tuesday October 30, 2012 | 12:06 PM

 

 

WASHINGTON – Crossroads GPS, the conservative group heavily involved in races across the country, is spending another $335,000 in Maine on a new ad targeting independent Senate candidate Angus King during the campaign's final week.

Crossroads’ additional involvement in the Senate race comes at a time when other national groups – including the campaign committees of Senate Republicans and Democrats – appear to be withdrawing or scaling back their presence in Maine. The committees are reportedly shifting money to more competitive races, signaling that King enjoys a sizable lead over Republican Charlie Summers.

The Crossroads ad repeats many of the claims made in an earlier Crossroads spot against King, accusing the former governor of slashing funding for schools, increasing taxes and “using his influence on a government task force to help windmill companies like his.” It also targets King for supporting aspects of President Obama’s health care law, although it does not specifically mention the law.

A MaineToday Media analysis of Crossroads’ last ad found the school funding claim to be half-true, noting that while King did cut school budgets in 2002, funding for education outpaced inflation during the King administration.

On the wind energy issue, however, the analysis dubbed the original ad’s claims “a total fabrication” because  the task force focused on offshore wind projects and tidal energy, not the type of land-based wind project developed by his former company, Independence Wind. While the first ad said King “helped his windmill company” through his seat on the task force, this most recent ad tweaks that phrasing by accusing the former governor of helping “windmill companies like his.”

The airtime purchase by Crossroads GPS – the nonprofit arm of a super PAC created by Republican strategists Karl Rove and Ed Gillespie – ensures that Mainers will continue to see both pro-King and anti-King ads through Election Day even if the national Republican and Democratic PACs stay out of the race.

 

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Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
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