The Maine Republican Party complained to election regulators after a television ad from Democratic 2nd Congressional District hopeful Emily Cain debuted this week with insufficient disclosure under federal rules.

Amy Cookson, a spokeswoman for Cain’s campaign, admitted the mistake Thursday, saying the ad will be corrected and re-sent to stations. A political science professor called it a mere oversight.

Cain, an Orono state senator, is running against Republican Bruce Poliquin, a former state treasurer from Oakland, and independent conservative Blaine Richardson of Belfast for the seat now held by U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, a Democrat running for governor.

This week, Cain began running an ad intended to counter claims made in an earlier spot by Poliquin.

Toward the end of the initial version of the ad, Cain said she approves the message, with a written notice saying it was paid for by her campaign also coming onto the screen.

However, FEC rules say that a written notice must say that Cain’s campaign approved the message as well.

That drew the complaint from Republicans, who sent a letter to the FEC on Tuesday asking to them to enforce penalties against Cain. They hit U.S. Sen. Angus King, a Maine independent, for the same thing in his 2012 campaign, and he changed his ad.

“These laws are in place for good reason, and that is to ensure voters, especially those who are hearing impaired, can fully understand where the political messaging on their TV is coming from,” said state Rep. Deb Sanderson, R-Chelsea, a spokeswoman for her party, in a statement.

However, Anthony Corrado, a political science professor at Colby College in Waterville, called the error “more of an oversight than any sort of rules violation.” He said the disclaimer would likely draw little attention from the FEC and would have little impact on anyone who saw it.

“Even if there was some minor fine, you can call me back in 2015 and we can talk about it then,” Corrado said. “It isn’t something they’re likely to take action on anytime soon.”


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