New Republican ad continues wind assault on King

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is out with another ad targeting Angus King and his wind energy business. The spot, titled “Smooth Operator,” asks, “Angus King got a sweetheart deal for his windmills. What did Mainers get?”

The spot then features five unidentified residents from the area of the 22-turbine Record Hill wind project in which King and business partner Rob Gardiner held a 10 percent stake until January 2011. They accuse King of profiting from a wind turbine installation that’s changed the area where they live.

“‘We all need to get used to seeing turbines where we used to see ridges,’ is what Angus King told us,” says one man.

“We’re not going to retrieve the tops of those mountains,” a woman says.

“I just don’t like the idea of him being our senator,” the last man to speak in the ad says. “I just think it’s wrong.”

A National Republican Senatorial Committee official confirmed the ad is the second in a two-week, statewide ad buy worth $650,000. The first ad also targeted King on the wind energy front and targeted Democrat Cynthia Dill for what the ad called her “liberal policies.”

While wind turbine installations in Maine have elicited opposition from area residents, the Sun Journal reported in August that taxpayers in Roxbury have seen their property tax bills drop since the Record Hill project’s installation.

Roxbury’s mill rate dropped to $6.93 for every $1,000 in property value for the 2012-13 tax year from $16.86 the previous year.

From the Sun Journal article:

The Record Hill wind towers pay roughly $610,000 in taxes to the town of Roxbury, thus, affording the citizens a break in their taxes.

“It’s been overwhelming to hear from the taxpayers,” noted [town clerk Renee] Hodsdon. “I’ve gotten phone calls from people asking if there was a mistake. Asking if they can expect the second bill later in the year. Everyone I’ve spoken to are pretty pleased.”

Taxpayers also see another break, in that, they receive a check for $111 every three months to cover the cost of their power supply.

King’s campaign isn’t immediately responding to the new ad, but the campaign has launched a new ad of its own that features Law & Order star Sam Waterston coming to King’s defense against spending by outside groups like the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“I think they’re afraid of Angus in Washington, which might be the best reason to send him there,” Waterston says.