Snowe votes, TV ad statements, don't mesh
September 14, 2006
Democrat Jean Hay Bright Thursday cautioned Maine voters to "listen
between the words" in the television ads run by her opponent Olympia
Snowe in this year's U.S. Senate race.
Snowe's first ad began running last week. It was produced by Sen.
Snowe's brother-in-law, Bob McKernan, president of the agency Blue
Worldwide, and placed with Maine TV stations by Stevens Reed Curcio and
Potholm of Alexandria, Va., the company that produced the infamous
"Swift Boat Veterans" ad campaign against John Kerry during the 2004
Presidential race. The Stevens, Reed firm is not involved in the
production or content of the ad, just its placement, according to the
"We expected distortions in Snowe's ads," Hay Bright said, "But in this
case, instead of taking good deeds and honorable facts and lying about
their validity, as was done in the Swift Boat case, this ad ignores
Olympia Snowe's pro-war, pro-Bush voting record and claims she holds
positions that her voting records shows she does not hold. The result is
a feel-good ad that does not bear up under scrutiny."
Hay Bright pointed out the ad portrays Snowe as "standing up for the
rights for women," when in fact Snowe voted to confirm to the U.S.
Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito, who, while he was working in the
Reagan administration, drew up an action plan to dismantle Roe v. Wade.
"The ad says Snowe fought for prescription drug coverage for seniors,
but it doesn't tell you that she voted for Medicare Part D, knowing all
the while that the bill did not allow negotiation of drug prices, and
knowing that the 'donut hole' would be devastating to low-income
seniors," Hay Bright said.
Nor does the ad even tell listeners that Snowe is Republican. Instead a
soothing voice-over says Snowe is 'an independent voice.' "
"In this ad, Snowe is running away from her party. In reality, she
supported the Bush agenda 82 percent of the time during his first term
in office," Hay Bright said, "Maine people need to know that she's a
But the worst omission, Hay Bright said, is that the ad says nothing
about Snowe's continued support for the war in Iraq, her vote for the
Iraq War Resolution in 2002, and for all those funding bills since then.
Snowe spokesman Lucas Caron told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday the
ad was a way to" re-introduce Snowe to voters." Issue ads, such as one
dealing the war were "likely forthcoming," Caron said, who also told the
BDN Snowe was "proud to be a Republican."
But Hay Bright was skeptical.
"This ad uses old footage to 're-introduce' us to a politician who no
longer exists," Hay Bright said. "Olympia Snowe is not the moderate she
used to be. She is not bipartisan. The real Olympia Snowe is not the one
portrayed in this ad."
As for Snowe's "likely" Iraq War ad, Hay Bright said, "I can't wait to
see that ad. Will she admit that we had no business going into Iraq?
Will she explain why her President lied to us about why we invaded a
foreign country that had nothing to do with 9/11, a country that not
attacked us, had not threatened to attack us, and a country that he knew
did not have the means to attack us? Will Olympia Snowe mention in her
ad that her Republican Party does not support full medical care for
returning troops? Or that she helped passed a bankruptcy bill with no
protection for the families of troops serving overseas?"
As for Olympia Snowe running away from her party, "If Olympia Snowe is
so proud of being a Republican, why doesn't she say so?"
"Every piece of campaign material I've ever produced says 'Democrat' on
it," Hay Bright said. "I'm proud to be a Democrat and to support the
core working-class values of the Democratic Party."
NOTE: An earlier version of this report mistakenly said that the ad in
question was produced by Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm of Alexandria,
Va. That was an error on the part of Hay Bright campaign manager David
Bright, who misread the contracts in the public file between the Snowe
campaign and several Maine television stations.