October 11, 2012

In debate, Senate hopefuls turn up heat

Exchanges become more pointed as the candidates wrangle for the second time in as many days.

By Steve Mistler smistler@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

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"Some guy in D.C. is more important to (Summers) than the people of Maine," King said.

Dill also targeted Summers, saying he tried to take away "voting rights" as secretary of state.

Dill was referring to Summers' endorsement of a law that ended Maine's 38-year history of same-day voter registration, before voters overturned the law last year, and his role in an investigation into whether college students had committed voter fraud.

The investigation yielded no charges or formal report by the attorney general, and it was criticized as a stunt to provoke fears of voter fraud.

Dill joined King in labeling Summers as a climate change denier.

The criticism stems from a forum held by the Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine. During the forum, the moderator asked the candidates, "Do you accept the scientific consensus that climate change is happening and is being primarily caused by human activities?"

"No, I don't," Summers said, adding that while humans are having an effect on the environment, factors such as volcanic eruptions also play a role.

Summers gave a similar response to an online questionnaire. His campaign has since sought to clarify his position.

His spokesman, Drew Brandewie, told the Portland Press Herald recently that the questionnaire response was "a mistake," and Summers believes climate change "is happening, humans are contributing to it, but there are other factors."

Wednesday's forum was the second in as many days for the Senate candidates. As in several other debates, only the three major candidates were invited. Independents Danny Dalton, Andrew Ian Dodge and Steve Woods have been invited to only one debate so far.

Steve Mistler can be contacted at 791-6345 or at:


Twitter: stevemistler

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