PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Maine's big race for United State Senate is being defined, so far, by negative TV ads.
Several weeks ago, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce started airing an ad attacking independent candidate Angus King. Today, Republican Charlie Summers' campaign unveiled its own attack ad-visible only on the campaign's website - criticizing King for criticizing negative ads.
King is considered by pollsters and political experts as the clear front runner in the three-way race for Senate between himself, Republican Summers and Democrat Cynthia Dill. The Summers campaign says it decided to make its first TV ad a negative one after hearing King's campaign criticize negative ads last week.
Summers Campaign manager Lance Dutson says King used a negative ad himself 18 years ago when he ran for Governor against Democrat Joe Brennan. The Summers ad also claims King criticized the use of PAC money in campaigns but raised PAC money himself in Washington. Summers has also raised campaign money in Washington.
The King campaign says King did use that negative ad 18 years ago, but manager Kay Rand says King "didn't like it", and that they will not run negative ads in the Senate campaign. Rand also called the opther charges in the Summers ad "distortions", saying King had never promised not to use PAC money, but that he has promised to fully disclose where it came from. The lack of disclosure or "transparency" of PAC donations, says Rand, is what King had criticized. Neither candidate spoke on the issue in person today, relying instead on campaign staffers. The Dill campaign had no comment.