The campaign for U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud,a Democrat, is in hot water after a supporter published a video that includes a lewd sex joke about Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins.
“I’m the King of Maine, I’m the King of Maine, I’ve got Susan Collins giving everyone brain,” the soundtrack on the video says as Michaud is depicted climbing out of a black GMC Suburban.
According to the Maine Republican Party, which first found the vulgar lyrics, “brain” is a pop culture reference to oral sex.
“The song is called “King of Maine” and the artist, Spose, is known for his obscene lyrics,” the Maine GOP said in a press release.
The video was produced by Knack Factory. Alex Steed, a Bangor Daily News blogger and co-founder of Knack Factory, has denied that the video was a collaboration with Michaud’s campaign; however, the footage in the video includes private, personal shots of Michaud at various campaign events filmed over the last three months. It would appear that Michaud cooperated fully in the production of the video, though he might not have been aware of the sexually graphic reference.
Michaud also tweeted out a link to the video from his official Twitter account:
Lizzy Reinholt, communications director for Michaud, also apparently enjoyed the video and tweeted about it last night:
Steed said in his blog post Friday morning that he was unaware of the meaning behind the slang term and pulled the video from the internet once it was brought to his attention.
According to the Press Herald, Steed had originally intended to do similar videos for Michaud’s opponents — Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler — but decided to focus only on Michaud because he and his coworkers were “awed” by the “historic nature” of his candidacy.
The video also raises potential campaign finance issue. Because it was clearly intended to promote Michaud’s campaign and was itself promoted by the campaign, it may be considered an in-kind contribution to Michaud. Additionally, footage from the video includes shots of Michaud’s official, taxpayer funded office. Federal rules prohibit the use of official House and Senate offices for campaign related productions.
Maine GOP spokeswoman Deborah Sanderson called the sexually graphic reference to Collins a “depraved insult” to Maine’s senior senator that was designed to help Michaud appeal to younger voters.
“Michaud must denounce this video, have it immediately taken down, and offer a sincere apology to Senator Collins and all Maine women for his endorsement of such a tasteless depiction of one of America’s most prominent women,” said Sanderson.
This is not the first time the Michaud campaign or people tied to it have gotten in trouble for posting sexually explicit content online. In July, Ben Gagnon, an intern with Michaud’s campaign, was suspended after posting a collection of vulgar statements on his Twitter account.
Here’s a picture of Michaud posing with the rapper, who apparently goes by the nickname, Spizzy Spose:
UPDATE: In a statement Friday morning, Maine Democratic Party Chairman Ben Grant accused the Maine GOP of playing gutter politics. You can read his statement here.