King campaign launches first TV spot

Former Gov. Angus King’s campaign launched its first TV ad of the campaign season Friday with a 30-second spot that brands the Senate candidate “a leader who thinks independently and gets things done.”

The launch of King’s ad means that two of the three major Senate campaigns have now taken to the airwaves. Republican Charlie Summers launched a biographical spot at the beginning of the week.

King’s campaign didn’t disclose the size of its ad buy, but said the spot will run statewide for two weeks. Campaign manager Kay Rand also promised more ads in the weeks to come leading up to the Nov. 6 election.

Some of those spots “will be humorous, others more serious in nature,” Rand said in a news release.

King has appeared in two television ads already during the race to replace Olympia Snowe in the U.S. Senate, but they’ve both been negative spots targeting the independent former governor. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce kicked off the ad wars in July with a $400,000 campaign dubbing King the “King of Mismanagement.” More recently, a seemingly Republican-backed group called Maine Freedom launched a $137,000 ad campaign aimed at encouraging Democrats to abandon King for Democratic nominee Cynthia Dill.

In launching his first ad, King’s campaign tried to draw a contrast to the negative campaigning.

“This is a creative and positive television ad,” Rand said in the news release. “Again, this campaign is committed to showcasing the positive aspects of the candidate. We are committed to breathing some fresh air and positive politics into this race.”

Summers — whose campaign claimed victory in the race to the airwaves earlier this week — preempted the launch of King’s ad with a news release pointing out that King, about two weeks, ago said in a video on his campaign website that the campaign hadn’t yet raised funds for airtime.

Update, 7:38 p.m.

The King campaign touted the ad for its use of Google Earth technology. Google’s political action committee, Google NetPAC, was an early PAC donor to King’s campaign, giving the former governor $5,000.

Meanwhile, the Republican party says it has its legal team looking into King’s use of Google’s logo in the ad. The first question the party posed was, “Has Google endorsed the Angus King campaign?”

Update #2: The King campaign says it had all legal rights to use Google’s logo in its ad and called the GOP’s questioning of it “a ridiculous legal claim.”

Update #3: Here’s the contract the King campaign’s producer signed to secure the rights to use the Google Earth images and the company’s logo. King spokeswoman Crystal Canney said the campaign paid $418.95 for the license. She added that King hasn’t received Google’s endorsement.