BANGOR – Maine Democrats on Friday drew attention to Republican state Senate candidate Cary Weston’s lawful campaign finance activities.
The attack mailer, which landed in Penobscot County mailboxes this week, criticizes Weston for paying his print company, Sutherland Weston, to produce mailers for his campaign against incumbent Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot).
Weston’s business partner, Elizabeth Sutherland, responded to the strange attack on Friday in a press release.
“Our company and our employees are supportive of Cary’s run for office. We wish him the best of luck. And many of us have offered to volunteer to help get him elected,” said Sutherland. “To abide by Maine’s election regulations we are charging Cary’s campaign the same way we would charge any other political campaign or candidate.”
Maine campaign finance regulations prohibit employees at Weston’s firm from volunteering for his campaign. “So, Weston’s campaign is paying them. As the rules require,” the campaign said in its press release.
As part of the bizarre attack, Maine Democrats also pointed up the business Weston’s company has previously done with other Republican candidates and the Maine Republican Party.
“I’m proud of our team and their efforts for my campaign and for the work we’ve done for other candidates and issues,” Weston said in a written statement.
“From the Bangor Public Library roof, to Bangor’s new arena, to expanding dental access for rural Mainers, we’ve worked on many political campaigns that we believe make Maine a better place,” he said. “It’s too bad the Maine Democratic Party is attacking my small business and its 15 employees. I think it’s great that the work is staying here, in Maine, at a locally owned company, regardless of the political party.”
Weston is running as a privately finance candidate, while Gratwick has accepted taxpayer funding for his campaign. According to Maine campaign finance records, Gratwick has received $23,580 in taxpayer funding for his campaign.
According to the itemized spending report, he used the lion’s share of that taxpayer funding to pay companies from Austin, Texas and Baton Rouge, Louisiana for campaign materials.
The mailers in Weston’s district are just the latest in a series of controversial mailers sponsored by the Maine Democratic Party.