Challenges keep coming on Senate campaign conduct

They started almost the moment Charlie Summers and Cynthia Dill emerged victorious last Tuesday from their respective party primaries.

Since the six-way field in the race to replace U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe solidified, the campaigns have been issuing challenges to each other on proper conduct of the campaign ahead.

Former Gov. Angus King stole some of Dill and Summers’ thunder the morning after the primary with a challenge to them and the three other independents in the race to disavow outside, independent spending from so-called super-PACs. King proposed crafting an agreement with his opponents to lay out the terms by which they could discourage super-PAC spending. Fellow independent Steve Woods said he would agree to it, Dill said she needed to see more details before committing, and Summers didn’t say whether he’d consider it.

The same day, Woods issued a challenge to King in hopes of preventing a situation in which either of them becomes a spoiler in the six-way race. Woods proposed to King that if one of the two men is trailing the other in polls by 10 points or more a week before the November election, then the trailing candidate should drop out and endorse the other. King agreed that he didn’t want to be a spoiler in the Senate race, but wasn’t ready to take Woods up on his offer last week.

Another independent candidate, Andrew Ian Dodge, is out today with the latest candidate-to-candidate challenge. Dirigo Blue has this challenge from Dodge, which he says he emailed to all Senate candidates: “I am proposing that we agree not to go to DC to seek funds from any out of state lobbyist.”

The challenge, of course, stems from King’s recent meetings with lobbyists in Washington, D.C., reported on by Politico. Politico reported that King reiterated his oft-repeated statement with the lobbyists that he hasn’t decided which party he’d caucus with if elected to the Senate.