Susan Collins Ads Claim To Feature ‘Ordinary’ People. They Were GOP Officials.
According to Salon, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME) who is facing a “tough re-election race, has run numerous ads over the last three months featuring testimonials from more than 20 people who were presented as ordinary Mainers — but in fact had close ties to the state’s Republican Party or to Collins herself.”
- This deception is not illegal, but “it’s intentionally misleading and suggests that Collins has had trouble attracting supporters outside a tight circle of Maine Republicans,” the report said.
- Salon reported that last summer, her campaign video “was mocked as a transparent gift of content for outside groups, which could amount to a campaign finance violation.” This year, “the campaign might catch flak for a July 30 campaign ad that features lobsterman and small business owner Wayne Parry accusing Sara Gideon, speaker of the Maine House and Collins’ Democratic opponent, of ‘not being honest’ about her criticism of the Paycheck Protection Program.”
- The ad never mentioned that Parry “also served as a Republican State House representative from 2010 to 2018, and is on the ballot as a candidate again in 2020,” Salon wrote.
Below is a list of a few of Collins’ “intentionally misleading” campaign videos:
- “Back in May, the Collins campaign put out a paid social media testimonial from a GOP selectman named Ryan Lorrain, without disclosing his party affiliation.”
- The campaign ran “a paid social media testimonial in May from former Maine GOP chair Mark Ellis. In 2010, Ellis worked as political director on the gubernatorial campaign of Steve Abbott, who now serves as Collins’ chief of staff.”
- Another Collins-funded social media testimonial came from Bill and Jamie Logan, whose daughter, Jessie, once worked in Collins’ Senate office in Bangor. Their personal connection to the candidate was not disclosed.”
- In July, “former Maine House member and state Republican Party executive director Julie O’Brien gave a Facebook testimonial for Collins’ campaign. In 2017, her son, Cameron, was hired as a legislative aide in Collins’ Washington office.”
- Collins ran “three testimonials from young Mainers in June 2020 without disclosing their connections to her Senate office or the Maine GOP.”
- In addition, the testimonials “have also featured a number of controversial Maine Republicans, some of whom have voiced conspiracy theories about the coronavirus pandemic.”
- Salon also added that the Collins campaign posted in May “a testimonial from former Republican Maine State House member Brian Hobart. In June, Hobart posted a Facebook message telling Black Lives Matter protesters to ‘quit bitching.’”
"Stay in your own lane. Quit bitching. Mind your own business. Be thankful for what you have. Don't keep looking for the truth because you couldn't handle the truth if you found it," Hobart posted.