Jacobson's first ad, hitting the airwaves only a week before election day:
Abbott's third ad and closing argument, highlighting his endorsements by the Maine Today papers, the Bangor Daily News and support from the chamber of commerce:
For Down East this week, I looked into the apparent theft of the Maine GOP delegate list by the Abbott campaign.
Here's a bonus quote from David Cameron, one of the LePage supporters who brought the issue to my attention:
"Paul wants to run a clean campaign. No dirt, none of that crap. This is from me personally. I just don't feel right that this is occurring."
During the weekend GOP debate, Steve Abbott announced in his closing statement that the main consideration for Republican voters should be electing a nominee who can "do battle" with "issue entrepreneurs" like the Maine People's Alliance.
I imagine this will get some play around the office today. Thanks, Steve.
Steve Abbott's campaign was given a list of GOP convention delegates and their addresses before the other campaigns and used that information to contact a wide swath of the Republican activist base before their competitors.
This has some staffers for other republican campaigns crying foul and claiming favoritism and the Maine Republican Party in full denial mode.
The Abbott campaign sent a postcard to all delegates inviting them to his hospitality suite at the convention. It hit mailboxes two days before the list of delegates was made available to the other campaigns.
Below is the mailer and the email, both sent to me by a staffer at another campaign. The email has representatives from the Otten, Poliquin, Beardsley, LePage and Mills campaigns in the TO: field, with the Jacobson and Abbott campaigns absent.
From: Michelle Dale
To: [staffer emails redacted]
Sent: Friday, April 30, 2010 10:25 AM
Subject: delegate list
We now have the delegate/alternate list available, please let me know if you would like me to email you a copy. Sorry its been a long time coming, we still have people signing up to be a delegate and I wanted to make sure that we had the most current list to get to you.
According to the Abbott campaign, there was nothing nefarious about their receiving the list early.
As campaign spokesperson Lance Dutson explained, "We have people with connections with the party and with a really intimate understanding of the process of conventions."
According to Dutson, because of these connections and knowledge they simply knew to request the information early. He noted that former Maine GOP chair Mark Ellis is now an Abbott staffer.
According to the Maine Republican Party, however, the whole thing never happened.
Maine GOP administrative assistant Michelle Dale, the author of the email above, denies that Abbott got the list early.
"He did not receive it before them," she said flatly when reached by phone today.
When asked about the Abbott postcard, Dale said "you'll have to take that up with the Chairman" and reiterated her denial several times. "No. he didn't get it early."
Steve Abbott's first ad (via Pine Tree Politics):
Al Diamon has made his predictions for this year's gubernatorial race:
I think it’ll come down to Abbott and Rowe in November, with the Republican taking the Blaine House by a narrow margin, thanks to Cutler and Williams siphoning votes from the Democrat.
Diamon was spot on in 2006, but that wasn't exactly a hard race to forecast.
Some video from Abbott's Orono announcement and a statement from Bill Beardsley:
Beardsley is making his official announcement today in Dover Foxcroft. It's a strange choice of venue and it will be interesting to see how many reporters make the hour drive out from Bangor. Beardsley's website is now online as well.
Ignoring Justin Ellis' prohibition, two more Republican candidates have entered the race for governor. Steve Abbott's website is now up, draped in a tasteful maroon reminiscent of his Orono High School days (go Red Riots) and the campaign has three launch events scheduled today in Portland, Orono and Presque Isle. He also has an impressive list of early supporters.
Another Republican seems to be taking a very different tack. Husson College President William Beardsley has registered his candidacy with the ethics commission with zero fanfare.
Update: The BDN reports that Beardsley will have a formal announcement later this week.
Republican sources confirm what Matthew Gagnon is also reporting today - Senator Susan Collins' Chief of Staff Steve Abbott will soon enter the race for governor.
Apparently, Abbott has already made the decision to contest the GOP nomination and was quite open about his intentions while attending the Maine Heritage Policy Center event yesterday in South Portland.
Speculation that Abbott would make the race has been prevalent for more than a year and increased after Abbot sat down for a wide-ranging interview on WLBZ/WCSH last December.