The Maine Republican Party and Governor LePage’s head political consultant are accusing the Democratic candidate for Governor, Mike Michaud, of lying in a campaign video and trying to cover it up.
In a video titled “Made in Maine” that appeared on Michaud’s campaign website he’s seen telling voters that Maine is one of only three states in the U.S. that lost jobs last year.
“I understand what people are going through. The hard times they’re facing. Whether or not they have a job today or tomorrow. If you look at Maine being one of three states which has actually lost jobs over the last year,” Michaud says in the video.
According to the seasonally adjusted civilian labor force statistics provided by the Maine Department of Labor, the state is up about 7,000 jobs from the bottom of the recession.
Michaud spokesperson Lizzy Reinholt told TV5 Thursday, the campaign used data taken from a report published by a national non-profit and the video was edited when they realized those numbers were wrong.
“In June, Stateline, the Daily News Service of the Pew Charitable Trust, released a report that ranked job creation numbers for all 50 states. The information showed that Maine was among three states that lost jobs. The statistic was based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics,” Reinholt said in a statement. “The information from Pew was widely reported by the Maine media and continued to be reported as accurate until recently.”
Jason Savage, the Executive Director of the Maine Republican Party says the Michaud camp tried to deceive voters and then cover it up.
“No matter what excuse they put forward now the fact remains that Mike Michaud looked into the camera, told the people of Maine something that just was not true and then tried to delete it under the cover of darkness when nobody would notice,” Savage said.
Savage calls this just the latest in a pattern of false statements, pointing to a negative campaign advertisement that Michaud ran against his 2012 congressional opponent Kevin Raye. In the ad, Michaud says one of Raye’s first acts was to decorate the Republican lounge and put a private kitchen in his office that cost $20,000. The Portland Press Herald called the ad one of the most misleading of that campaign season.
Savage and Republicans say Michaud is intentionally trying to make the Maine economy appear worse than it is to score political points and they’re demanding that Michaud apologize to the Maine people for the video.
It doesn’t appear an apology is coming from the Michaud camp, who admit their numbers may have been wrong, but say the spirit of the point Michaud was making in the video is very much valid.
“The bottom line is that Maine’s economy is still struggling to recover,” Rienholt said. “Working and middle class families are having a hard time making ends meet, and Governor LePage and his policies are making it worse. This is an attempt to obscure those facts.”