Angus King, the liberal former governor of Maine and candidate to replace Senator Olympia Snowe, challenged his opponents today to denounce third-party spending in the race for Senate.
“This money is destroying our politics,” King said of political action committee (PAC) spending that can influence a race without having to disclose where their donations come from. King himself is already being supported in the race by a Super-PAC from away that has to-date spent $23,668 supporting King according to data on OpenSecrets.org.
Icpurple, a Super-PAC formed in California, largely by $300,000 in seed money from the co-founder of Gateway Computers, is supporting Angus’s “independent” run for Senate with commercials and advertisements in Maine. IcPurple, whose treasurer is listed as Tom Grueskin, is located in La Jolla, California.
Before a name change, IcPurple was known as “Independent Leaders, Inc.” and according to the Federal Elections Commission website, along with the $23k they gave Angus, they also dropped $52,000 into two separate congressional races in California.
A Google ad by IcPurple in support of King was seen more than a week ago, and it sent interested parties to a website called Icpurple.org, that promotes what it calls “Independent solutions for a brighter future.”
The website says IcPurple is, “an ever-growing movement of American voters who want to get America working again…By electing decidedly Independent leaders.”
The website features a 30-second TV ad promoting Angus King, because he’s, “not a democrat, not a republican, he’s an American.” The video then invites users to “Learn more about Angus.” (Watch the video below)
The website also offers a biography of King, his “record of independence” and links to King’s campaign websites.
IcPurple also touts what it calls, “The Declaration of Independents” – which is a mock version of the Declaration of Independence that includes the look of an old style document. The “declaration” includes the line, “I believe we urgently need leaders that can rise above the partisan gridlock,” a sentiment King has repeated often so far in his campaign.
The website is clear that it is “not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee” – the exact type of “unregulated third-party campaign spending” King called on his opponents to denounce.
“I think the people of Maine deserve to know where the money is coming from that is attempting to influence their vote in this election,” King said at his press conference. “These so called Super-PAC’s…we need to keep this plague out of Maine.”
It may be too late for King and Maine to avoid the “plague,” since it has already reached him, supporting him with more than $23,000 in advertisements. It will be interesting to see if the “plague” spreads going forward, and if he gets additional support from Super-PAC’s from away.
Like he said, “Maine voters deserve to know.”