Mainers should see right through 'No on 1' TV ad

What would an election season be without a classic bogeyman ad?

This is the TV spot or mailer that takes the cake for deceitfulness, exaggeration and hypocrisy, while playing on fears of mysterious outsiders ruining the lives of ordinary Mainers.

Last year, the Maine Democratic Party used the bogeyman in a mailer featuring a pair of fortune cookies and suggesting Maine workers would be speaking Chinese if Eliot Cutler were elected governor.

This year, the political action committee Secure Maine’s Ballot has a strong contender for the most duplicitous ad of the election cycle.

The group opposes Question 1, which seeks to protect Maine’s 38-year-old law allowing a citizen to register to vote on Election Day.

The Maine Legislature repealed that law amid unspecified allegations of voter fraud, but the repeal was put on hold by the referendum.

The group’s 15-second ad asks, “Who should decide Maine’s elections, Mainers or outsiders from other states?”

This, we think, may be a reference to Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster’s discredited attempt to prove that a couple hundred Maine college students from out of state voted illegally in past elections.

Republican Secretary of State Charlie Summers later investigated Webster’s complaint and found the students were eligible to vote here.

The Secure Maine’s Ballot ad continues: “Today, outside interests are trying to get rid of Maine’s ethics law.”

These “outside interests” are also not specified. What’s more, the spokeswoman for the No on 1 campaign could not identify them when questioned by the Sun Journal.

The ad, according to Jen Webber, was created by an outside ad agency, which she apparently believes relieves her group from fully understanding or explaining its meaning.

This is, again, a shameless attempt to gin up fears of shadowy outsiders.

Immediately after the Legislature repealed same-day voter registration, a coalition of Maine groups came together and pledged to block that action.

It was a large group, which quickly gained enough signatures to put the issue on the Nov. 8 ballot.

If there is some sort of outside conspiracy behind that effort, No on 1 has a responsibility to identify it for voters.

The statement about “trying to get rid of Maine’s ethics law” is even foggier.

Maine does have a Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, and it does have rules about how election campaigns should be run.

But Question 1 makes no mention of that law or that commission.

It is, instead, about one clear issue: whether citizens should be allowed to register to vote on Election Day.

That’s not an ethics issue; it’s simply an election practice.

“Keep Maine’s elections decided by Mainers,” the TV ad concludes.

Again with the scary outsiders.

Maine elections are decided by Mainers, whether they happen to live here all their lives, part of their lives, are stationed here by the military or attending college. That’s according to the U.S. Supreme Court.

There’s a reason professional politicians prefer TV ads. It’s because they can be crafted to toy with voters’ emotions while avoiding the facts.

The Secure Maine’s Ballot ad is a classic example of that.

Mainers should ignore it and Vote Yes on Question 1.

rrhoades@sunjournal.com

The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and editorial board.

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Comments

Political Bull

To much talk and no reall action. Bottom line is that same day voter registration should not be allowed. People should get off their lazy butts and get into an town or city clerks office as soon as they arrive to live in the said twon or city and stop costing extra wages being paid to put extra people on to take care of same day registrations. Are there things that should be tweaked? Yes there are. But the present people in office who put through these changes really didn't think it through thoroughly. Bottom line it is not a party change to enhance one over the other. It was an attempt to stop voting day from possible fraud. It should be about saving money. People complain about rising expenses in town government which means higher taxes but have blinders on when common sense should prevail. Same day registration costs money. Make changes should be changed. Let's take it one step further. Do away with the party system. Anyone can run for office because they want to do for the people as a whole and not for political parties. That's why this country is doomed along with states. Politicals parties have ruined the American way.

Mark Elliott's picture

Actually Frank, there WAS

Actually Frank, there WAS real action not too long ago when the state senate passed the ban and it was signed by our Governor........

Lori Cole's picture

My little town's office is

My little town's office is only open one afternoon/evening a week. If someone moved to town 6 days or fewer prior to the election s/he would be unable to vote. Do you think that is fair?

 's picture

Yes.

Yes.

Lori Cole's picture

More fool you, then.

More fool you, then.

Jonathan McKane's picture

The Sun Journal, like the

The Sun Journal, like the other Maine Dailys, is determined to not be on the wrong side of a peoples veto a second time and will attack the No side with whatever they can. Their arguments are weak and obviously biased.

 's picture

Speaking of weak and biased...

...have you seen the latest "NO" commercial?

 's picture

Who's buying now?

we, citizens of Maine and across the US, need to demand answers. Since politics has become so influenced by the electronic advertising of our day we must know where the money comes from. By not telling us where the money comes from these people are lying to us, and that should be an insult to us all.

RONALD RIML's picture

Reference that ad....

39% of Mainers were crazy enough to vote for LePage....

God knows they'll take the bait on that ad, Rex......

 's picture

Crazy thing

34% voted for Baldachi's 2nd term

Mark Elliott's picture

and 38% were crazy enough to

and 38% were crazy enough to vote for Baldaci, that argument is moot, get off it. ......you liberals should be happy he won with 39% vote. After all, that is what made it so easy for you all to get the peoples veto. Had he won with 70%, you'd still be hunting for signatures!

RONALD RIML's picture

Yadda, yadda, yadda

Your guy still sucks....

AL PELLETIER's picture

Speaking of your boy sucks

Lepage just made his views public about casinos. He said 5 won't work in Maine. For once I agree with him but he sure has pissed off a lot of people in Biddeford, Lewiston and Calais, but what's new?

Mark Elliott's picture

Contrary to liberal beliefs,

Contrary to liberal beliefs, LePage is not out to piss people off. He's a common sense conservative and his stance on this issue is only common sense. There are a LOT of people in those three towns that do NOT want more casinos so I suspect, although he may have pissed off a few, he hasn't pissed off as many as you might think.

AL PELLETIER's picture

common sense?

Mark, perhaps he's not out to piss people off, but when I take to the road I'm not out to create a ten car pile up. I know of one he pissed off for sure, his last name is Gilbert.

Mark Elliott's picture

He's only one who's time is

He's only one who's time is just about up and he puts his pants on one leg at a time just like you an I.

AL PELLETIER's picture

pants

And your guy sticks his foot in his mouth one foot at a time---I'll extricate myself from this forum and go to bed---good night John Boy. OOPS, Mark Boy

Mark Elliott's picture

Wow Riml, I'm impressed! That

Wow Riml, I'm impressed! That was such a well thought out articulate response, I'm gonna give it to you by not clicking "disagree"......normally you'd have a slew spun of "data" and "testimony" in your response but you clam right up on this one......why is that??

Liberal Rule: When you can win a debate, throw out an insult and extricate yourself.

Glen Lee's picture

Rimi

When a liberal looses a debate what do they do next??

Mark Elliott's picture

error: "Liberal Rule: When

error: "Liberal Rule: When you CAN'T win a debate, throw out an insult and extricate yourself."

RONALD RIML's picture

Conservative Rule....

Conservative Rule...

Throw out da bait and hope others follow. But I didn't

The original debate was about 'Bogeyman Ad' - I referenced your overwhelming collective tendency toward irrationality - and you made it about electing Baldacci by a minority.

So you extricated thy ownself.....

Mark Elliott's picture

Oh Riml, you've had almost 48

Oh Riml, you've had almost 48 hours to come up with a good spin and this is the best you can do? You're slipping! I had responded to your words: "39% of Mainers were crazy enough to vote for LePage....".....therefore, it was you that made this into a "minority vote" issue. Your very words are right there for all to see. Can't deny that........

Mark Elliott's picture

and PS Riml, you did bite, at

and PS Riml, you did bite, at 10:04 this morning! ;)

GARY SAVARD's picture

...And your guy didn't? Being

...And your guy didn't? Being a career politician, he was just very good at covering it up. It fooled a lot of people, and, apparently, you included.

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