NO on 1 Calls Out Admitted Misrepresentation in Political Ads

Portland, Maine (Wednesday, October 21, 2009)— Jesse Connolly, campaign manager for NO on 1/Protect Maine Equality called on Mark Mutty, the Question 1 campaign manager, to stop advertising false statements that even Mutty concedes have misled Maine voters.  In addition, Connolly called on Mutty to “rein in his supporters and end the anti-gay attacks” that have run in local newspapers and faxed anonymously to offices and homes across Maine.

This week, in response to questions from the Maine Public Broadcasting Network (MPBN), Mutty acknowledged that the political ads asserting a link between marriage equality and schools are misleading.  Nonetheless, in the same interview, Mutty made clear that the misleading ads would continue to dominate their political advertising.

“We understand that schools will not be mandated to provide one curriculum or another,”  Mutty told MPBN.  “We never said that schools will be mandated, or actually, perhaps, we did in one ad, or certainly led people to believe that inadvertently.”

“Even Marc Mutty can’t spin his way out of these falsehoods. He knows these ads are wrong and do a disservice to Maine voters,” said Connolly.  “It’s becoming increasingly clear that accuracy and truth-telling are not part of their campaign.”

At the same time, Connolly pointed to two advertisements based on homophobia and hate and called on Mutty to rein in his supporters and end the anti-gay attacks.

One full page ad by a group called the Maine Grass Roots Coalition appeared in more than a dozen newspapers including the Lewiston Leader, Auburn Highlights and Greater Lisbon Ledger.  It suggests that “homosexuals now appear to be put in line for adopting children ahead of heterosexual parents,” among other offensive statements.

The Maine Grass Roots Coalition was founded by Paul Madore.  The organization’s website notes that Madore “joined with the Christian Civic League of Maine and the Christian Coalition of Maine in multiple statewide battles between 1994 and 2000” and that his new organization’s mission is to “save Maine families from the horror of homosexuality.”

Another leaflet, this one faxed to homes and businesses, targets Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, and President Barack Obama for supporting the Matthew Shepard Hate Crimes Prevention Act.  The flyer condemned the legislation as part of a “homosexual agenda” that is “liberal” and “godless.”  It also urges readers to “check out the Obama killer song on You Tube.”

“These ads and flyers are not only despicable, they are disturbing at every level,” said Connolly.  “To not only debase Mainers in this way, but to directly attack our two senators and the President is deeply troubling.  We urge the Question 1 campaign to call a halt to these hateful missives.”

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