Snowe's first ad began running last week. It was produced by Sen. Snowe's brother-in-law, Bob McKernan, president of the agency Blue Worldwide, and placed with Maine TV stations by Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm of Alexandria, Va., the company that produced the infamous "Swift Boat Veterans" ad campaign against John Kerry during the 2004 Presidential race. The Stevens, Reed firm is not involved in the production or content of the ad, just its placement, according to the Snowe campaign.
"We expected some distortions," Hay Bright said, "But in this case, instead of taking good deeds and honorable facts and lying about their validity, as was done in the Swift Boat case, this ad ignores Olympia Snowe's pro-war, pro-Bush voting record and claims she holds positions that her voting records shows she does not hold. The result is a feel-good ad that does not bear up under scrutiny."
Hay Bright pointed out the ad portrays Snowe as "standing up for the rights for women," when in fact Snowe voted to confirm to the U.S. Supreme Court Judge Samuel Alito, who, while he was working in the Reagan administration, drew up an action plan to dismantle Roe v. Wade.
Nor does the ad even tell listeners that Snowe is Republican. Instead a soothing voice-over says Snowe is 'an independent voice.' "
"In this ad, Snowe is running away from her party. In reality, she supported the Bush agenda 82 percent of the time during his first term in office," Hay Bright said, "Maine people need to know that she's a Bush-enabler."
Snowe spokesman Lucas Caron told the Bangor Daily News on Wednesday the ad was a way to" re-introduce Snowe to voters." Issue ads, such as one dealing the war were "likely forthcoming," Caron said, who also told the BDN Snowe was "proud to be a Republican."
But Hay Bright was skeptical.
"This ad uses old footage to 're-introduce' us to a politician who no longer exists," Hay Bright said. "Olympia Snowe is not the moderate she used to be. She is not bipartisan. The real Olympia Snowe is not the one portrayed in this ad."
As for Snowe's "likely" Iraq War ad, Hay Bright said, "I can't wait to see that ad. Will she admit that we had no business going into Iraq? Will she explain why her President lied to us about why we invaded a foreign country that had nothing to do with 9/11, a country that not attacked us, had not threatened to attack us, and a country that he knew did not have the means to attack us? Will Olympia Snowe mention in her ad that her Republican Party does not support full medical care for returning troops? Or that she helped passed a bankruptcy bill with no protection for the families of troops serving overseas?"
As for Olympia Snowe running away from her party, "If Olympia Snowe is so proud of being a Republican, why doesn't she say so?"
"Every piece of campaign material I've ever produced says 'Democrat' on it," Hay Bright said. "I'm proud to be a Democrat and to support the core working-class values of the Democratic Party."
NOTE: An earlier version of this report mistakenly said that the ad in question was produced by Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm of Alexandria, Va. That was an error on the part of Hay Bright campaign manager David Bright, who misread the contracts in the public file between the Snowe campaign and several Maine television stations.