This morning, Cutler campaign manager Ted O'Meara responded by email:
The person who commented is correct. The bumper sticker should have a disclaimer. My fault – I approved the final design. Here’s what we are doing: I have notified the Ethics Commission of the error. I have contacted our graphic designer in Portland and asked her for a new layout with the disclaimer. We are not distributing any more bumper strips until we have new ones printed.
Independent Eliot Cutler is the first candidate to take me up on my buttons for blog posts offer. His campaign sent over a package including buttons, a bumper sticker, a copy of his platform and several brochure designs. They also sent a bag of Cutler-branded M&Ms (in blue and green, of course).
The Cutler logo design is a bit busy. It looks like they just kept adding words and a clip-art tree until they made a square. The letterforms used also strangely change from his first name to his last (look at the L and E) but I really like the way the design works on the candidate's new website.
The most interesting part of this package wasn't the buttons and other visual material, however, but the six page Strategy for Maine booklet which outline's Cutler's policy platform.
Back in December, when I spoke to Cutler for a Down East column, I asked the candidate about his thoughts on health care. He said he wanted to bring down cost by rewarding healthy behaviors and punishing unhealthy ones, like smoking. I was confused about how this would be accomplished on a statewide level, as this kind of system wouldn't easily plug into any of the current ways in which the state interacts with the provision of health care and most people in Maine don't get their care through a state system. In the health policy section of his booklet (all of four-paragraphs), Cutler answers this question and raises some new ones.
The policy note calls for "ending Dirigo and MaineCare and providing essential health-care services for all Maine citizens through Maine Wellness, a new statewide framework within which coverage and care will be provided at a price that Maine businesses and taxpayers can afford." The section also promises universal access to essential care.
The whole thing is light on details, but based on the way it's written, it looks like he's calling for a beefed-up, fully-inclusive version of the state-level health care exchanges that are part of the new federal health care reform legislation. This may be an idea to watch.
At Down East this week, I share some thoughts on gubernatorial candidates' campaign material and make an offer: anyone candidate for governor or congress who sends me a campaign button gets a write-up on the blog. The same goes for candidates for state legislature or other local offices who send a sticker.
I've had a lot of reaction to the piece so far. Several campaigns are sending over materials and the Poliquin campaign would like it noted that their design has dark blue text, not black.
Al Diamon also points out that John Richardson's design may actually be an attempt to evoke Joe Brennan's logo from his successful 1978 run for governor. Now that I look, it also seems to share some similarities with former Governor Jock McKernan's campaign logo. I don't have a good image of either of these designs, so if anyone has an old Brennan or McKernan button or bumper sticker they can take a photo of, please send me a note.