Bruce Poliquin will not be part of the MPBN Republican primary debate this Thursday due to "personal reasons," according to a post on MPBN political reporter A.J. Higgins' Capitol Connection Facebook page.
When asked, Poliquin campaign manager Brian Phillips declined to say what the candidate would be doing instead
"Campaigns generally don't discuss scheduling decisions," said Phillips by email "That said, it was a tough decision to miss this opportunity. We're confident that our campaign schedule is making good use of Bruce's time and reaching out effectively to voters."
The Poliquin campaign's weekly schedule, distributed by the Maine GOP, shows no public events on either Thursday, May 27th or Friday, May 28th.
The cancellation comes a few days after Higgins referred to Poliquin as a "skunk at the picnic" in an online column due to his estrangement from the other Republican candidates.
From Brian Philips at the Poliquin campaign, in response to the NYA spamming:
The Poliquin campaign did not draft or approve the email. We did not respond to Kate's email but are confident she understands this was all executed by an overzealous supporter acting alone.
Brian Phillips, communications director for Bruce Poliquin, emails over a response to the Jacobson campaign's statement:
"It's disappointing that Matt Jacobson has decided not to attend one of the largest Republican events in the area because he believes that he'll lose a straw poll. The voters deserve to hear from all the candidates and now that won't happen. Attacking the frontrunner is no way to get your message out.
"Contrary to his baseless conspiracy theory, we have no direct or indirect involvement with the organization of the event.
"We understand, as I'm sure Matt does, that it's difficult to do the tough work of raising money in this environment. I'm sure they are being careful with every campaign dollar, but I understand from those close to his campaign that he's having trouble raising money. So, I think that finances may play a factor in his decision not to attend. If Matt would consider changing his mind, we would be happy to pay for both Matt and his campaign manager to attend so the voters can get what they paid their hard-earned money to see."
Someone better page a doctor to the burn ward.
There's obviously no love lost between these campaigns. Both candidates are competing for the same ecological niche (along with several other contenders) - the businessman outsider who "knows how to create jobs."