As reported here on Friday, the Maine League of Conservation Voters will begin running a television ad contrasting the environmental records of gubernatorial candidates Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and Republican Gov. Paul LePage.
The ad buy is significant -- over $400,000 -- and begins running this week in the Bangor and Portland markets. The 30-second spot slams LePage for proposals to rollback the state's environmental regulations and for not supporting measures to strengthen water quality and a law designed to phase out chemicals harmful to pregnant women and children. The ad uses dark, sudsy waters and barren landscapes when discussing the governor, while using pristine vistas when mentioning Michaud.
Michaud won the group's backing in February, one of a string of interest group endorsements racked up by the six-term congressman. LePage did not seek the group's endorsement and his campaign has rejected its efforts to portray the governor as a champion of smokestacks and polluters. Independent Eliot Cutler, who is not mentioned in the ad, sought LCV's backing but his campaign later attacked the organization as "another special interest group backing the Democratic Party candidate just like they did in 2010” when he did not receive it.
The Maine LCV has played an active role in recent elections and has increased its spending to help elect Democratic legislative candidates while targeting Republicans deemed as working to undercut environmental regulations. The spending coincides with a similar effort by the local group's parent organization, which in 2012 combined with other progressive organizations to spend over $1 billion.
“Governor LePage has taken a wrecking ball to our state. Only Mike Michaud can bring Maine people together again to clean up our waters and move us toward a safer, cleaner future,” said Maureen Drouin, Executive Director, MCV Action Fund, in a statement.
Alex Willette, a spokesman for the LePage, said in a statement that the governor "has worked hard to preserve Maine's pristine environment. As Governor his administration issued the second largest envoronmental penalty in two decades, and has continually protected funding for the states natural resource agencies in his budgets to ensure our natural resources are protected."