Saturday, March 8, 2014
Maine State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin has produced the first television advertisement of Maine’s U.S. Senate race. The ad will run statewide and begin airing this weekend, about eight weeks before the June 12 primary.
The 30-second commercial says Poliquin has attacked spending, borrowing and regulation during his 14 months in the Treasurer’s office. It refers to changes in the state pension system and his questioning of spending within the Maine State Housing Authority.
It also refers to the criticism that Poliquin has attracted to himself as an unusually partisan and outspoken Treasurer. The ad will undoubtedly invite more of that.
Some of the footage in the ad shows Poliquin directing workers on a construction site, although it’s not clear how that is related to his efforts as Treasurer to reduce state spending and borrowing. In fact, the footage highlights the questions raised about whether Poliquin’s private business activities as a developer and beach club owner in Phippsburg violated the constitutional ban on private business activities by the state Treasurer. (The House of Representatives asked for a legal opinion on that, but didn’t get a definitive answer from either the Maine Attorney General's Office or the Maine Supreme Judicial Court.)
The construction footage was shot during a home construction project in 2010, when Poliquin was running for governor, according to an aide. It may simply be in the ad because the Treasurer’s duties are not very visually dramatic, but Poliquin also doesn’t seem worried that the questions and criticism about his private business activities will hurt his chances with conservatives in the GOP primary.
The ad, entitled “Bold Conservative Leadership,” was produced by Ken Kurson of Jamestown Associates, a Republican media consulting firm in Washington, D.C. The ad will run statewide.
It’s not yet clear what the campaign spent to produce the ad or how much it will spend to air it. An aide said details on the “buy size” will be available next week.
Here’s a transcript:
(Voiceover) America is drowning.
<<images of water rising, engulfing a Maine house, sink overflowing, washing machine overflowing, tub overflowing.>>
Spending. Borrowing. Regulations.
As State Treasurer, Bruce Poliquin closed the spigot.
He helped eliminate $1.7 billion of Maine's public pension debt.
Exposed millions in wasteful spending on taxpayer-funded housing.
<<"Treasurer questions $314,000 'affordable housing' apartments" Twin City Times, Nov. 17, 2011>>
And opened government books to taxpayers.
No wonder Bruce's conservative reforms have made him a target of liberal Democrats.
But he's earned the support of hard working Mainers.
I’m Bruce Poliquin and I approve this message.
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or email@example.com
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or email@example.com