- Inaccuracies from Mills camp were reported without verification,leading to coverage that largely and inaccurately favored Mills
- This must serve as a cautionary lesson to reporters to independently verify information, not just parrot Mills campaign talking points
AUGUSTA – The Maine Republican Party is setting the record straight on recent reporting that provided a much more favorable narrative for the Mills for Governor campaign. Misleading statements from the Mills campaign were repeated with no verification by the media. The following are three glaring examples of a job not well done:
On total dollars raised, Janet Mills' campaign for Governor released a statement to the media that portrayed far more favorable results than were true:
Mills' campaign claimed the candidate had raised $1,052,584.67 to-date in the race for Governor.
TRUTH: Mills' campaign raised $1,032, 605.76 and had counted in a campaign loan as funds raised, although they are listed separately on the report.
The media reported the larger number, which allowed them to claim the Mills campaign had raised about $14,000 MORE than the Moody campaign, when the reports themselves show the Mills campaign had raised about $6,000 LESS than Moody.
Had reporters worked to verify the statement from the Mills campaign, instead of just taking their word for it, reports such as these would have been very different:
“Mills, the attorney general, raised just over $1.05 million through July 17, according to her latest filings with the Maine Ethics Commission. That was just ahead of Moody, a businessman whoraised just under $1.04 million in both the primary and general election campaigns combined.” - Bangor Daily News
“Campaign finance figures released Tuesday night show Democratic Attorney General Janet Mills edging out her Republican opponent, businessman Shawn Moody, by less than $20,000.” - Portland Press Herald
CASH ON HAND
The Mills campaign originally reported they had $212,596 “cash on hand” when they actually had only $206,546 cash on hand.
However, the original amount was reported, and even as of the writing of this statement, the original “cash on hand” amount reported by Mills remains in at least one news article:
“While the Mills campaign said a “software issue” prevented it from posting the full reports on the Maine ethics commission website Tuesday night, the campaign reported raising $1,052,585 as of July 17 and ending the most recent reporting period with $212,596 in available cash.” - Portland Press Herald
IN-STATE VS OUT-OF-STATE
The Mills campaign also got away with a pretty big spin line about Mills support from in-state vs out-of-state donors, saying in both the original and updated statements from the Mills campaign:
“Additionally, nearly 80 percent of the total money raised has been from Maine...”
along with a lengthy quote from the campaign about support from “thousands of Mainers.”
The Bangor Daily News accurately provided context that the Moody campaign reported more than 97% of donors were from Maine. A dramatically higher number than Mills, but fair in providing the complete picture of the race.
The Portland Press Herald, however, did not cover the actual numbers and instead provided the full quote the Mills camp provided and followed it up by saying that the Moody campaign “did not immediately comment on the finance reports,” even though the online PPH article shows it was updated Thursday and the Moody campaign statement was issued early Wednesday morning.
Maine Republican Party Communications Director, Nina McLaughlin, weighed in,“We need to caution the press to verify the statements from the Mills campaign before publishing them.
"Janet Mills was allowed to claim she raised more money than Shawn Moody when she did not. She was allowed to present herself as having very strong in-state support from donors when she actually has raised a lower percentage of her money from Maine donors than any of the four well-funded candidates for Governor, and she was allowed to overstate her cash on hand amount significantly.
“All this was supposedly because her campaign reported having a software issue. What a shame.”
JANET MILLS HAS TRACK RECORD OF MISLEADING THE PRESS
Mills was caught lying in television ads in the primary, claiming Governor LePage had tried to take healthcare away from children, using a photo of a young child in television ads, when the issue she was discussing was actually about able-bodied adults.
Mills was also caught lying to the press by saying she had never raised money with disgraced New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman shortly before a flyer of a Mills fundraiser with Schneiderman was discovered and released by the Howie Carr Show.
This afternoon, the Governor of Washington State, Jay Inslee, is joining Janet Mills to talk about Medicaid expansion.
Janet Mills has been a vocal supporter of expanding Medicaid, despite the challenges it presents to our state, including the complete absence of sustainable funding.
While Janet Mills is already a familiar name here in Maine, Jay Inslee is not. Let us do you the favor of introducing Governor Inslee and some of the ways he will advise funding Medicaid:
"The governor’s supplemental budget also includes nearly $162 million to cover anticipated shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid program"
"Many Democrats said the plan puts too heavy a burden on Seattle-area homeowners who could see their tax bills rise by hundreds of dollars a year."
"To backfill the withdrawal, Inslee, a Democrat, said he’ll once again propose a tax on carbon pollution"
For any Mainers and Maine press attending the event today, we have a few questions that may be helpful to ask Governor Inslee and Activist AG Janet Mills:
IS IT ADVISABLE TO MAKE LONG TERM SPENDING COMMITMENTS USING ONE TIME FUNDING?
WHAT HAPPENS IF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT REDUCES MATCHING FUNDS?
IS IT ADVISABLE TO PROVIDE MEDICAID TO ABLE BODIED ADULTS WHILE THERE IS STILL A WAIT LIST FOR OUR ELDERLY TO RECEIVE MEDICAL SERVICES?
HOW WILL THE STATE OF MAINE SUSTAINABLY FUND MEDICAID EXPANSION?
HOW MUCH MORE CAN THE AVERAGE MAINE FAMILY EXPECT TO PAY IN TAXES?
HOW MUCH MONEY WILL THIS TAKE OUT OF EDUCATION FUNDING?
WASHINGTON STATE INCREASED ITS BUDGET 13.5% FROM THE LAST BIENNIAL BUDGET, COULD WE AFFORD THIS IN MAINE?
HOW HAS THIS ALL BEEN WORKING OUT FOR SEATTLE? (https://www.seattletimes.com/opinion/after-14-years-ive-had-it-im-leaving-seattle/)
We look forward to some answers...
For Immediate Release: July 10, 2018
Contact: Nina McLaughlin, email@example.com
AUGUSTA - Maine Republican Party Chair Demi Kouzounas issued the following statement on President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh:
“President Trump kept yet another campaign promise to the American people with the nomination of strong Constitutionalist Judge Brett Kavanaugh to serve on the Supreme Court. Judge Kavanaugh has a distinguished career on the D.C. Circuit Court where he has a proven record of championing the rule of law and bringing common sense to the bench.
Senator Angus King sadly made his decision to obstruct the President's nomination days before a nomination was made. Senator King must put aside Senator Chuck Schumer's political games and confirm Judge Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court.”