MPA Statement on Blatantly False Attacks:
Today, a new round of attack mailers is landing in mailboxes across the state. These mail pieces, funded by Anthem insurance company and targeting a number of candidates who oppose Anthem's rate hikes, represent one of the most fundamentally dishonest attacks ever committed in Maine politics.
Even by the loose standards of attack ads, the claims made are absolutely indefensible.
The ads claim that the candidates, because they have been endorsed by the Maine People's Alliance, support eliminating the Business Equipment Tax Reimbursement Program (BETR).
This is ludicrous. MPA has taken no such stance on BETR.
Even if MPA had such a position, it would be laughable to attribute it to all candidates endorsed by the organization. Very few candidates endorsed by MPA support each and every one of the organization's issue positions.
The only source listed for these mailers, which were sent by the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC, seems to be a web page posted by Maine People Before Politics (MPBP), an interest group with strong ties to Governor Paul LePage.
Almost every single sentence on the MPBP page is a lie. Here are some of the most obvious:
•"It was not uncommon to see the MPA endorse 60+ candidates in previous elections, this year, they have endorsed just 16."
False. MPA Campaign Vote! has endorsed 75 candidates for the Legislature this election, a full list is included in the latest MPA newsletter mailed to MPA's 32,000 members
•"MPA hasn't endorsed any candidate this year who doesn't support Fair Share Economy."
False. This seems to be a paraphrase in a campus paper of a remark by an MPA organizer and is absolutely and obviously incorrect.
•"...just one of the many taxes they endorsed: increasing taxes on equipment purchases"
False. The only tax change suggested in MPA's fair share plan is the lowering of taxes for the bottom 70% of Mainers and an increase for the top 10% of income earners to the point where they pay 5% more than what the bottom 10% pays now. This change will pay for a job creation fund and universal health care and education.
For the actual Fair Share Economy plan, see this outline or watch the accompanying video:
Where are these lies coming from?
According to MaineToday Media, the Republican State Leadership Committee (RSLC) bankrolled these attacks by "funneling" money through the Maine Senate Republican Majority PAC. The largest donor to the RSLC, by far, is the Anthem/Wellpoint insurance company.
Each of the candidates attacked by Anthem is, like MPA, opposed to the recently-passed health insurance rate hike bill. This bill, now Public Law 90, allows insurance companies to drastically increase premiums on Maine individuals and small business, especially those in rural areas and with older employees. 90% of small businesses have seen a rate hike, with some seeing their rates increase by 125%.
These false attacks would be laughable and could be safely ignored if they weren't so well-funded. The fact that an insurance company can come to our state and spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to lie to Maine people in order to raise rates on small businesses and increase its own bottom line is an attack on democracy. The candidates that have benefited from these ads should call for them to stop, immediately.