Friday, October 12, 2012


Creating advertisements for political offices must be difficult.  The creators also seem to have a complete freedom to say whatever they want, true, exaggerated, or just plain false.  Another bad part of the campaign advertising is not knowing who is responsible for them.  These are the ones created by PACs, or political action committees. 

The best I can figure is the purpose of a PAC isn't to give great support to a particular candidate but rather to rip apart someone they don't want as much as possible.  PACs, however, do not necessarily stop negative advertising, but most of the candidates' ads at least give some hints on how they stand on various issues.  All of the ads bought by candidates include the disclaimer "I'm [candidate] and I approve this message." 

Those ads by the PACs must identify the PAC but it seems to me that disclosure at the end is said so darn fast, and sometimes soft, that it's hard to know who the sponsor really is.  But even when you can identify the PAC, "The [PAC] is responsible for the content for this message and is not endorsed by any candidate," you still really don't know is footing the bill.

Just who is the National Republican Congressional Committee or the National Democrat Congressional Committee?  I may not have those two names absolutely correct but they're close.  On the surface, it seems obvious; but I'm not sure it is.  Also, we don't really know who is providing the funding for these organizations.  That should be public information, but you might learn that finding out may be a rather difficult task.

Now there's another one that has entered the Maine fray, Americans Elect.  It doesn't seem to be an attack dog but rather one to pay for supporting ads for one Independent candidate in Maine.  The Maine Republican Party has filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission against that PAC because, says the MRP, it may have been formed by the candidate or at least by some named members of his campaign.  If that turns out to be true, it might be a violation of the campaign rules.

Those two national party groups have an interesting road.  One group, the democratic one, is trying to make Charlie Summers, the Republican Senatorial candidate, out to be a real bad guy and will cause lots of nasty things if he's elected to the Senate next month.  Their problem is about all they've been able to do is pull out old anti-Republican messages, you know, like the elderly will die, the children will suffer, fire and police protection will become non-existent, things like that if not necessarily those.  They show a bunch of marching men and tell us that all Summers wants to do is fall into step with them.

On the other hand, the republican group can actually pull out the record of Angus King, a former Maine governor running as an Independent.  Events are showing us Mr. King doesn't enjoy having his past brought out.  After all, say the Republicans, his policies as governor are why we have high taxation and growing welfare and economic problems the state is facing today.

What I never see is a discussion of whether King is truly an Independent or truly a Democrat.  His actions would hint the answer.  A few of us still remember that when King first decided to run for Governor, he was a Democrat.  He unenrolled from that party to run as an Independent to avoid having to face a very popular Democrat in the primary that year.  If I remember correctly, that popular Democrat's name was Brennan. 

I can't say too much about the Democrat candidate for Senator, Cynthia Dill.  There isn't too much to say except her ideas are a very long way from mine.  The PACs seem to be letting her take care of herself.

The speed of the election seems to be increasing as the days grow shorter between now and November 6th.  And by then a goodly number of us will already have cast our ballots.