Politics


This is the video circulated by conservative Mike Hein. It was altered to slow portions of a video posted by Vita Coco Coconut Water.

August 6, 2013

Speedo clip a laughing matter, says Maine candidate

Eric Brakey, a professional actor, brushes off critics of the clip posted on a conservative website.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
State House Bureau

(Continued from page 1)

Brakey has since been involved with the Defense of Liberty political action committee, a group promoting libertarian causes and lobbying state lawmakers on issues such as taxes and bills promoting privacy.

He recently announced his candidacy for Senate District 15, comprising portions of Auburn, New Gloucester and Poland. The seat is currently held by Sen. John Cleveland, D-Auburn.

Brakey said he wasn't worried about the commercial being used in political attack ads.

"It shows another side of me that voters need to see," he said, adding that there are probably a lot of videos showing him performing. "If people want to look into that, that's OK."

The personal and professional lives of political candidates are frequently used against them, especially when caught on film or video.

Last year, the video gaming habits of state Sen. Colleen Lachowicz, D-Waterville, were blasted in a campaign mailer sent by the Maine Republican Party. The party claimed that Santiaga, Lachowicz's character in the hit video game "World of Warcraft," showed the candidate's "disturbing alter ego" and that the candidate was unfit for office.

In the 2010 U.S. Senate election in Massachusetts, Republican Scott Brown was mocked by Democratic operatives for appearing nude on the cover of Cosmopolitan Magazine when he was a 22-year-old college student. Scott later worked as a part-time model.

Both candidates won their contests despite the attempts to discredit them.

Hein, the activist who circulated the Brakey dance video, is a former Republican legislative candidate from Augusta who has been largely marginalized by Republicans for his strident views about homosexuality and previous attacks against others in his party.

He made news in 2006 by organizing a protest in front of an Augusta lingerie shop that was using scantily clad live models in its window.

Last year, he pleaded guilty to a charge of willful violation of the Maine Clean Election Act and was sentenced to seven days in jail. He had attempted to qualify for public financing under the Clean Election Act and needed qualifying contributions of $5 each from 60 registered voters. Hein pleaded guilty to paying the contributions himself.

Brakey attempted to use Hein's objection to the video to his advantage, calling a press conference Tuesday afternoon to make light of the situation. Earlier in the day he tweeted, "I would be concerned that my campaign wasn't on the right path if we weren't being attacked by Mike Hein."

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

smistler@mainetoday.com

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