Tuesday September 18, 2012 | 03:55 PM

Two more waves of anti-Angus King TV ads will hit the airwaves this week, as national pro-Republican groups continue to focus their dollars on Maine's U.S. Senate race.

King’s campaign called it a continuation of “the worst negative television advertising and outright lies the state has ever been inundated with during a campaign.” It also posted a video countering the criticism of King's budget management as governor.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is launching a second version of its TV ad criticizing King’s financial management as governor.

The new ad is a slightly different version of the first commercial, which called the independent U.S. Senate candidate the “king of mismanagement.” The new ads says King isn’t worried about issues facing middle class Mainers.

And new Federal Elections Commission spending reports show that Maine Freedom, a group led by Republican strategists, is also dumping more money into advertising aimed at cutting into King’s lead. The group’s ad has been running for weeks, and touts the Democratic candidate, Cynthia Dill, in an effort to take Democratic voters away from King.

The new ad buys mean outside groups have now spent about $1.5 million on anti-King TV commercials statewide, and there are still seven weeks to go before the Nov. 6 election.

Maine Freedom spent another $110,000 to air its ad, bringing their total to $359,000, according to FEC records.

The U.S. Chamber has not disclosed its latest investment and it has not yet been posted by the FEC. The King campaign said it believes the latest Chamber ad buy totals $227,000, which would bring its total to $627,000.

Meanwhile, the National Republican Senatorial Committee is reportedly planning to spend $600,000 to air its ad criticizing both King and Dill.

All three groups are hoping to help elect Republican Charlie Summers, although Summers is not mentioned in the ads.

The King campaign’s response focused mostly on the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, saying the group is “continuing their series of mistruths about Angus King’s gubernatorial record claiming he left a deficit.”

King’s communications director, Crystal Canney, released a video with economic experts explaining why King did not technically leave a deficit at all.
King left office in 2003 when the economy was slowing and state revenues were declining. The state was forced to close a projected gap of nearly $1 billion between spending and revenues.

There was no deficit, the King campaign says, because the Legislature closed the gap and adjusted projected spending to match projected revenues, as it does every year. While the federal government routinely borrows money to cover  ongoing budget deficits, Maine is legeally required to balance its state budget every year.

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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.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Eric Russell is covering Independent Eliot Cutler during the 2014 governor's race. He is a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald.
Eric can be reached at 791-6344 or erussell@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @pphericrussell

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.
Matt can be reached at 791-6303 or mbyrne@pressherald.com
On Twitter: @mattbyrnePPH

Randy Billings is covering Democrat Mike Michaud during the 2014 governor's race. He covers Portland City Hall for the Portland Press Herald.
Randy can be reached at 791-6346 or rbillings@pressherald.com
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.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or mshepherd@centralmaine.com
On Twitter: @mikeshepherdME

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