The negative mailers are here!
Every year, both political parties flood our mailboxes with attack mailers to undermine the other party’s candidates with distortion and innuendo.
The first attack mailer we noticed this year – and one of the most ridiculous we can recall in recent years – arrived earlier this week.
The front of the four-page, fold-out mailer from the Maine Democratic Party features a photo of bumper-to-bumper traffic on the Donald E. Davey bridge in Wiscasset.
“SICK OF THE TRAFFIC ON ROUTE 1?” it screams. “YOU CAN THANK DANA DOW.” Bold, extra-large words the party’s own.
By the end of the mailer, the reader learns that our senator is some sort of sick individual who likes traffic jams and wants everyone to wait in them as long as possible! Could this be true?
Some readers, especially Wiscasset readers, may remember some mild disagreement during the planning of the current construction in Wiscasset.
During this time, business owners in downtown Wiscasset asked Dow to introduce a bill to prevent the removal of parking on Main Street.
The business owners feared the loss of on-street parking would doom their shops.
Dow had his own doubts about whether the Maine Department of Transportation’s plans, including two more traffic lights downtown, would reduce congestion.
He agreed to introduce the bill.
“The intent was to keep everything the same, except not eliminate the parking on the street,” he said.
The bill went nowhere and the project moved forward.
Does this mean Sen. Dow loves traffic? What’s wrong with this guy?
We decided to call Sen. Dow and find out.
“I’ve always pushed for a solution to get the traffic around in Wiscasset, because it’s detrimental to the economy,” Dow said.
He’s skeptical about the current plan, and we don’t blame him. While we’re glad to see something happening in Wiscasset, the jury is most definitely out on whether this work will lessen gridlock.
Dow has long advocated for a bypass. He didn’t particularly like any of the options presented by the state years ago, but had an alternative route in mind.
He continues to support a bypass as the best, perhaps only, long-term solution to seasonal gridlock in Wiscasset.
“It has to be a solution that isn’t a Band-Aid solution,” he said.
The problem will only worsen as more and more vehicles clog Route 1.
“We need to solve the problem and get it on the drawing board and leave it there, not cancel it,” Dow said, referencing Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to scrap the last bypass effort.
Dow said he has sat in Wiscasset traffic several times this year, including multiple times after Labor Day, when the traffic jam was once a memory.
It turns out he feels much like the rest of us about Wiscasset traffic, which is not happy.
Dow saw the mailer. “Somebody showed it to me,” he said. Apparently the Maine Democratic Party skipped his mailbox. Maybe they didn’t think he was a swing voter in this race.
“I thought it was disgusting, actually,” Dow said.
“I’d rather talk about what I want to do than defend ridiculous claims,” he added.
We agree – not necessarily with what Dow may want to do, but with his desire to discuss it.
Maybe the next mailer will say Dow’s opponent, Laura Fortman, is in the pocket of the mosquito lobby.
We are fortunate to have two candidates for Senate this year with excellent qualifications. They have different ideas, but – call us naive – we believe both want what’s best for their home state.
Let’s talk about their ideas, not make one or the other out as a villain. It’s embarrassing and it’s false, and these kind of tactics are exactly why more Maine voters are unenrolled than belong to either party.