Thursday April 12, 2012 | 11:15 AM

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.

 

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Open Season is your guide to the 2014 campaign. Our team of political writers has its sights set on Maine’s major elections, from the Blaine House to the U.S. Capitol.

Steve Mistler is covering the 2014 governor's race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.
Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
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Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
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Matt Byrne is covering Republican Paul LePage during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Falmouth, Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Freeport for the Portland Press Herald.
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Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
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On Twitter: @randybillings

Kevin Miller is covering Maine's U.S. Senate race and 1st Congressional District race. He covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or kmiller@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @kevinmillerdc

Michael Shepherd is covering Maine's 2nd Congressional District race. He is a news and State House reporter for the Kennebec Journal.
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