Tuesday, March 11, 2014
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.
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