They call him their communications director. But in reality, David Sorensen is the Maine Republican Party’s trash man.

I know, Sorensen’s news release lambasting yours truly for “insulting the hundreds of hard-working Mainers who make an honest living collecting household refuse” will now hit email inboxes all over Maine in three, two, one …

But first, let me draw one key distinction between Sorensen and the guys on the backs of the garbage trucks: The Maine Republicans’ mouthpiece is not making an honest living.

“Michaud Suggests Sen. Collins Performs Graphic Sexual Acts; Maine GOP Condemns,” screamed the headline over a news release Sorensen put out early Friday morning.

Fellow Mainers, I ask you. Do you truly believe that U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, deep into his campaign to unseat Gov. Paul LePage, would risk it all to suggest that anyone “performs graphic sexual acts,” especially U.S. Sen. Susan Collins?

I think not.

Yet here we have Sorensen, peddling this parcel of rotted fish as if it were the gubernatorial game changer all of Maine has been waiting for. It’s a game changer, all right, assuming that the name of the game is “How Low Can We Go?”

To recap:

Back in late July, Alex Steed, a blogger for the Bangor Daily News who also co-owns the multimedia production company KnackFactory, spent a day with his video camera shadowing Michaud on the campaign trail. Steed, with apparently no editorial oversight, posted the four-minute “On the Trail With Mike Michaud” video to his BDN blog on Thursday.

Embedded in the video is a song by Maine rapper Spose that includes the lines “I’m the King of Maine, I’m the King of Maine, I’ve got Susan Collins giving everyone brain.”

Unknown to blogger Steed, and to Michaud campaign staffers who later tweeted the video, such use of “brain” is modern-day slang for oral sex.

Cue the trash man.

“The video, produced by Knack Factory and the Michaud Campaign and called ‘On the Road with Mike Michaud,’ is a collaboration between Michaud and the film makers designed to promote the Congressman’s gubernatorial campaign,” wrote Sorensen in his news release.

Not true. As both Steed and the Michaud campaign were quick to point out, there was no such collaboration whatsoever.

A few paragraphs later, Sorensen quoted Rep. Deborah Sanderson, R-Chelsea, calling her a “Maine Republican Party spokeswoman.”

Opined Sanderson, “It is absolutely appalling and completely inexcusable that Michael Michaud would make a video with such a vulgar reference to Susan Collins. In his quest to win votes from a younger generation, Congressman Michaud has gone way over the line by participating in this depraved insult to Maine’s senior senator.”

Again, Michaud did not “make” the video. Nor did he “participate” in any insult, intended or not, of Collins. And somewhere deep in their conscience, both Sorensen and Sanderson know that.

No matter. Nor does it matter to the garbage crew that Steed, who actually did make the video, spent a good part of his day Friday denouncing the Republicans’ tactics on Twitter and replacing his initial blog post with another one titled “I woke this morning to find I was named in a dishonest press release.”

Wrote Steed, “(Sorensen’s) press release suggested this was done intentionally, that the video was a collaboration with Michaud, and that the message essentially comes from Michaud himself. None of this is true. Had they reached out to me before releasing it, their press release would not be so littered with errors.”

Poor guy. Steed is apparently under the impression that Sorensen and the Republicans actually care about getting their facts right, which they so clearly don’t. Rather, their modus operandi is to 1) manufacture mud, 2) sling it and 3) if it doesn’t sufficiently stick to their target, sling it again.

Back to the trash man. After Steed’s video was removed from both the BDN and the online video clearinghouse Vimeo, Sorensen sent out another blast to the Maine media announcing he’d captured the video and reposted it to YouTube “for your reporting purposes.” He also made sure his original news release, odoriferous as it may be, continued to stink up the Maine Republican Party’s home page.

The problem with Sorenson – and no, nothing the Democrats have done comes even close to this kind of dumpster diving – is that he in no way advances his party’s case for keeping LePage in the Blaine House for another four years. Rather, he panders to the most gullible elements of LePage’s base – “Facts? We don’t need no stinkin’ facts!” – while the rest of the electorate holds its nose and wonders what ever became of Maine’s Grand Old Party.

“We are better than that. Republicans are better than that,” insisted a visibly angry Michaud during a news conference late Friday afternoon at the Portland International Jetport. “To have just a few egotistical activists within the Republican Party do that, particularly to one of their own senators, is just outrageous.”

He’s right. Lost on Sorensen in his dash to the trash is the cringe-worthy use of Collins as a mere prop in this not-suitable-for-family-viewing political theater.

Rather than self-righteously demand an apology from Michaud, who did absolutely nothing wrong here, Sorensen himself owes an apology to the ranking woman of the Maine Republican Party. It was Sorensen, after all, who put the spotlight on what his own news release described as “a shockingly vulgar reference to U.S. Senator Susan Collins performing a sexual act.”

Michaud also said he’d spoken earlier in the day with Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett, with whom Michaud shared a cordial power-sharing arrangement as alternating leaders of a politically balanced Maine Senate back in 2001-02. Bennett told his onetime colleague “he will check into it and he will get back to me,” said Michaud.

Maybe Bennett, whose public silence was downright deafening on Friday, knew about this dirty trick all along and was still neck-deep in damage control. Or maybe Bennett, just like Michaud, never saw this coming.

Either way, it’s high time that Maine’s Republican Party drag itself out of the gutter, apologize to Mainers everywhere and, last but by no means least, show Sorensen the door.

In civil society, we call that putting out the trash.