October 27, 2012

Truth Test: PAC's ad tries to discredit King, but trips on facts

Crossroads GPS makes two very misleading statements in the ad, one far worse than the other.

By Michael Shepherd mshepherd@centralmaine.com
Staff Writer

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Image from YouTube


TRUTH TEST is a feature of MaineToday Media's campaign coverage in which we cast a critical eye on the truthfulness of advertising and public comments by political candidates and groups.

As the Crossroads ad suggests, the Ocean Energy Task Force's final report says government subsidies would likely "increase the pace of development" in ocean energy. But those subsidies wouldn't be able to help King's Independence Wind, which was involved in two land-based projects at its peak. Robert Gardiner, King's partner in the company, called King's seat on the task force "volunteer work" that "had nothing to do with Independence Wind."

One Independence Wind project is in the Oxford County town of Roxbury; the other is in Somerset County's Highland Plantation. Independence Wind got bought out of the Roxbury project, and the Highland Plantation project is on hold, according to MPBN.

"If they're just trying to say 'wind in general,' that's quite a stretch," said Fitts, the Republican legislator, of the ad. "At this stage of the campaign, I think all bets are off as far as making a truthful claim."

Perkins, the research institute CEO, said King did function as a spokesman for offshore power. He certainly did, and there are plenty of videos on YouTube of him speaking about it in 2008 and 2009 to prove that.

"He was promoting the idea of the Gulf of Maine being the Saudi Arabia of ocean energy," Perkins said. "That was his shtick at the time."

Verdict: King sat on the task force, but recommendations it made couldn't have impacted his business. The ad's claim is a total fabrication, intermingling a task force's work on a totally different issue and conflating land-based and offshore wind.

We rate this statement false.

Crossroads makes two very misleading statements in the ad, one far worse than the other. While the schools claim has a grain of truth to it, the task force assertion is plucked out of thin air, making it a particularly brazen attempt at misleading Maine's public.

We rate this ad mostly false.

Staff Writer Michael Shepherd can be reached at 621-5632 or at: mshepherd@mainetoday.com


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