The biggest knock on former Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s campaign to win Maine’s 2nd Congressional District (besides being a tea party Republican) is the carpetbagger label he will have to overcome. He has lived in Georgetown for almost 20 years, which is at least an hour’s drive from the closest town in the district. And his hometown of Waterville, where he was born and grew up, was in the 1st CD for his entire upbringing.
To that end, I fully expected he would make sure to focus his initial fundraising in a way that showed his in-district support. Well, imagine my surprise when his first report came out and of the 118 contributions he lists only 13 came from the second CD. Thirteen!
That means of the people willing to support his campaign financially, barely one in 10 comes from the district he wants to represent in Congress!
Now, lest you start to think that economic times are so tough in northern Maine that no one has the means to donate, note that fellow Republican former Senate President Kevin Raye received 74 contributions from the 2nd District (in a mere 17 days). And those 74 make up more than 70 percent of his contributors.
Now, maybe in the un-itemized portion of Poliquin’s report there are more in-district donors (only donations larger than $200 have to be itemized), but the total amount raised in that category is less than $5,000. Plus, if they are 2nd District donors, why in the world didn’t Poliquin itemize them to show the breadth of his support? Did those donors not want to be listed or are they also from outside the district making his report look worse?
I am not sure who is running his campaign (rumor on the street is that he has hired Matt Gagnon for some consulting), and far be it from me to offer a tea partier advice. However, whoever is running the show over there had better get focused on showing the 2nd District that Poliquin has support in the district.
Posted by Ethan Strimling