Maine GOP behind ‘distasteful’ ‘No on 1′ ads

According to filings with the Maine Ethics Commission, it appears the Maine Republican Party is behind a series of advertisements that recently ran in weekly newspapers urging voters to cast “no” on Question 1.

Question 1 ask voters if they want to keep in place a new law banning Election Day voter registration or overturn the law. Maine GOP Chairman Charlie Webster was among the supporters of the voting change and claimed that, without it, Maine’s election were rife with fraud and abuse. No fraud was ever discovered, even after a lengthy investigation by the Secretary of State’s Office.

It’s not a surprise that the Maine GOP would run ads in opposition of Question 1, but the latest ads appear to target prospective voters who are less-than-sympathetic to gays and lesbians.The ads ran in a number of weekly papers, including the Calais Observer, the St. John Valley Times and the Franklin Journal.

See the ad for yourself here (courtesy of Dirigo Blue). Blogger Gerald Weinand said he talked to Harold Clough, treasurer for the No on 1 campaign, and Clough called the ads “distasteful and irrelevant.”

Is this a good cop-bad cop routine or are there competing forces in the No on 1 camp? There is often an “anything goes” mentality for last-minute ad campaigns, but is this one out of bounds?

-ER