National Republican group commits $600K for late attack ads in Maine’s 2nd District

The Congressional Leadership Fund announced Tuesday that it will spend $600,000 between now and Election Day in a bid to foil Democrat Emily Cain’s bid to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin in Maine’s 2nd District.

The fund, which is a super-PAC backed by House Republican leadership, said the money will be used for a statewide television and digital advertising campaign in the final two weeks before Election Day. The Congressional Leadership Fund has already been campaigning against Cain with web-based attempts to link her and her policy beliefs to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton.

“Emily Cain will have no place to hide from her support of the failed Obama-Clinton agenda that has made our country less safe and less prosperous,” said Ruth Guerra, a spokeswoman for the Congressional Leadership Fund.

Cain said in a written statement that the $600,000 will add to a flood of special interest funding Poliquin has already received.

“Poliquin has consistently sold out working families to his Wall Street donors and this is his reward,” said Cain. “This wave of secret special interest ads won’t be pretty. My advice to everyone as our airwaves become flooded with nonsense is, ‘trust your gut.’ If something sounds too crazy to be true, it’s probably a lie.”

Brent Littlefield, a campaign consultant for Poliquin, shot back.

“It is the Cain campaign which has been largely funded by Super PACs running attack ads against the congressman, paid for by billionaires and millionaires,” said Littlefield in a written statement. “It is the classic case of saying one thing and doing another.”

Independent expenditures from the fund will include buys across the Portland, Bangor and Presque Isle media markets, according to a news release. The Congressional Leadership Fund’s spending in this election cycle has surpassed $21 million across 16 congressional races. That total surpasses the $20 million spent by the fund and the American Action Network, its sister organization, in 2014.

The 2nd District race is nationally targeted, with Poliquin and Cain already raising a combined $4.3 million as of the end of June and outside groups already spending more than $2 million for and against the candidates, with more pledged.

Recent polls have shown Poliquin leading Cain by up to 10 percentage points, though there are still enough undecided voters in the district to sway the election either way.


Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.