Republican super PAC makes late effort to boost Dill

A super PAC controlled by Republicans is making a late effort to boost Cynthia Dill, the Democratic candidate for Maine’s U.S. Senate seat, in an attempt to divert progressive support from independent former Gov. Angus King.

Safe Nation PAC has spent nearly $25,000 on a mail piece promoting Dill. According to the Associated Press, the mailer touts Dill as “the only Senate candidate progressives can trust.”

Safe Nation PAC was incorporated in late September, according to records on file with the Federal Election Commission, and Dill appears to be the only candidate the committee is supporting. The committee’s treasurer, Atlanta lawyer Bryan Tyson, is a Republican redistricting expert. According to his law office biography, Tyson has been active in both legislative and Congressional redistricting in Georgia over the past decade.

The Safe Nation PAC strategy of encouraging Democrats to side with Dill in an effort to create an opening for Republican Charlie Summers is a familiar one. In August, the Republican-backed super PAC Maine Freedom started airing ads touting Dill as a “Democrat you can feel good about.” The PAC spent $359,000 total on that ad campaign.

Maine Freedom’s treasurer, Michael Adams, is general counsel for the Republican Governors Association. The PAC’s recent quarterly finance report shows the group received its financial backing from donors who often appear on Maine Republican Party donor lists: Houston businessman and Southport summer resident W.E. Bosarge ($100,000), White Rock Distilleries president Paul Coulombe ($200,000, including $100,000 through a G. Coulombe Trust at the same Bonita Hill Springs, Fla., address) and Liberty Media executive John Malone ($100,000), whose firm BBC Land in 2011 purchased nearly 1 million acres in Maine forestland.

The late mailer supporting Dill comes as the national parties’ Senate campaign arms have withdrawn their Maine Senate race advertising. That’s not to say that all outside groups have withdrawn, though. The 501(c)(4) non-profit group Americans Elect continues to spend on King’s behalf while Crossroads GPS this week spent $348,000 more on anti-King advertising. The National Rifle Association also continues to send mailers supporting Summers.

Outside groups have now spent more than $7 million on the Maine Senate contest.