We may not have seen an October surprise in the presidential race, but local races in Maine have seen plenty of late-breaking events and political attacks in the last few days before the election.
Republican House candidate Ken Lindell was accused of "fraud" and "deceit" in a mailer from the Democratic Party based on what Lindell describes as a "misunderstanding" with a client that occurred six years ago and resulted in the suspension of his securities license.
A shadowy PAC has sent a flier to Portland residents attacking mayor Ed Suslovic on a variety of issues. The Bollard has labeled the race "the ugliest Portland political campaign in recent memory".
Fed Up With Taxes, the PAC supporting the beverage tax veto, is facing more than $10,000 in fines for failing to report expenditures.
District 44 Representative Robert Walker has sent a Halloween-themed mailer accusing his opponent, Democrat Andrew O'Brien, of using "dirty tricks". Walker admits the charge is untrue, but says he sent the piece in anticipation of potential Democratic attacks.
Not to be outdone, the Maine Family Policy Council (the right-wing group formerly known as the Christian Civic League) has published an article on their website comparing Barack Obama to Castro, Hitler and Pol Pot.
Chris Busby at The Bollard has some advice for candidates regarding political signs, including "If you're running for the school board, don't misspell common words on your campaign signs."
School Board candidate Anna Trevorrow made that mistake when she tried to rhyme her last name with "tommorrow" on her campaign signs, which are meant to look like a yellow school bus.
Busby also faults at-large city council candidate Tina Smith for placing a sign inside a public art installation.
Smith may have more to worry about than angry artists, however. The League of Young Voters, a Portland-based civic group, has released their endorsements and Smith isn't on the list. The League instead endorsed her opponent, incumbent mayor Ed Suslovic, explaining that Smith's "lack of experience with strategic planning, policy, and budgets would not make her an effective advocate on the Council."
This wouldn't be a big deal, except that Smith has been an organizer with the League for the past four years and has based her entire campaign on that work.