Catching up on the Cain campaign

Emily Cain’s campaign announced Thursday that it had raised more than $670,000 in the third quarter of the election cycle, bringing their total to $1.5 million. The Democratic state senator from Orono is running for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District against the former state treasurer, Bruce Poliquin.

According to the campaign, 5,000 people, who represent every county in the district, have made donations and nearly 70 percent of donors have given less than $100.

The filing deadline for the third quarter, which ended Sept. 30, is not until Oct. 15.

Cain also got some attention from outside groups this week, including EMILY’s List, a national organization that supports pro-choice, Democratic candidates. The group entered the fray with a 10-day television ad buy in the Portland and Bangor markets. They won’t say exactly how much they’re spending on behalf of Cain, only that it’s a six-figure number.

The ads first appeared on Oct. 7th and will run through the 17th. They attack Poliquin by saying he supports “a plan that cuts taxes for millionaires while turning Medicare into a voucher scheme, forcing seniors to pay thousands more.”

Here’s the ad:

The plan referred to here is the budget proposed by Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan, which a June Bangor Daily New editorial said Poliquin supported. But in an August Bangor Daily News op-ed, he said he was mis-characterized by the paper and does “not endorse any one congressional plan from the past.”

Under Ryan’s plan, people who become seniors and qualify for Medicare in 2024 and beyond would be given the choice of using Medicare funds for a private plan — hence the claim that it’s a voucher scheme — or receiving the traditional Medicare program. Under the plan, the age eligibility for Medicare would also rise from 65 to 67, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Poliquin said on Tuesday that he firmly believes that Medicare should remain as it is for seniors and people who have already begun to pay into the system. But for younger generations, he said, “we need to make sure we have a very serious discussion so that we try to save the program for them.”

When asked whether there are specific parts of Ryan’s budget that he does not agree with, he said, “I’m not commenting on any of the specifics.”

The other group to make moves this week on behalf of Cain was the League of Conservation voters, a Washington D.C.-based organization that supports “pro-environment” candidates. They announced that they will spend $100,000 on mailers and phone calls that the group says will reach 75,000 people in the district.

A press release announcing the program said it would focus on likely Cain supporters who voted in the 2012 election but sat out of the last midterm election, in 2010.

Those are the voters that First Lady Michelle Obama was trying to reach last Friday when she stumped for Congressman Mike Michaud, who’s running for governor, at the University of Maine — Democrats who are mobilized by the presidential elections but “tune out,” as she said, during the midterms.  

“That’s what folks are counting on on the other side this year,” she told an audience that was made up of many women and young people. 

The LCV press release calls Poliquin “a climate science denier” and quotes an interview he did with MPBN. In that interview he said: “Clearly our climate is changing; the question is, is man responsible for that climate change? I personally am suspect.”

On Tuesday, Poliquin said, “the Earth’s climate and temperature have changed in very long cycles to the best of our knowledge for centuries.”

He would not say definitively whether he believes humans have contributed to that but he stressed that he thinks there’s a way to balance “cleaning up our environment” and “making sure there is a measured response to any kind of environmental issues such that we don’t ruin jobs.”

Finally, Cain’s campaign touted accolades the senator had received from an unlikely supporter this week: Gov. Paul LePage.

In an interview with WMTW, LePage said, “I’ll tell you, there are some good leaders up there. When Emily Cain and Barry Hobbins were there we got all kinds of meetings together working. We didn’t always agree, but we could talk.”

The campaign has repeatedly pushed the message that Cain can work across the aisle, often siting her work with the Republican governor as evidence.

Nell Gluckman

About Nell Gluckman

Nell is the education reporter for the Bangor Daily News, but she will be helping out the political team by covering the 2nd Congressional District election this year. Before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2013, Nell worked for the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting. She is a graduate of George Washington and Columbia Universities. Originally from New York City, Nell now lives in Bangor.