Lazy Maine Media
Looks like the Maine media has been scooped by the Rick Bennett for Senate campaign. Angus King donated $6,000 to the Democratic National Committee the day after Olympia Snowe announced she was giving up on Washington D.C. Thing is, this story should have come from one of Maine's many political reporters because it's so damn easy to find out the info.
I feel as though I have an excuse for not writing about Angus King for the last month. Been busy finishing the final drafts of my new book Marijuana Valley, planting gardens, tending sheep, hens and broiler chickens while trying not to worry about the two escaped piglets who disappeared into the swamp.
Besides, I've written over 12,000 words about Angus King since he decided the vacant Senate seat was his. In addition to my blog, there was my cover story for the Bollard, plus an audio piece about prank-calling Angus King back in the 1990s. And politics isn't even supposed to be my beat, though with all the mad cash involved in the game these days, it does qualify as part of the seamy side of Maine life.
For the first time in ages, Maine's media is on the move and increasing, rather than decreasing, the size of newsrooms. The Portland Press Herald and Bangor Daily News are both beefing up staff and coverage. Yet despite the extra reporters and resources, the media misses stories like Angus King giving six grand to the Dems' national committee, despite his constant claim that he stands independent of the political parties. And the media also missed the story, despite me giving everyone the heads up, that Angus King wanted the Federal Election Commission to bend the rules and allow the Portland power brokers at Pierce-Atwood (who holds federal contracts) to donate pro-bono legal services to the Angus King campaign. Yikes. Am I the only one that thinks that smells fishy?
Well, I marked May 10th on my calendar to follow up on the King-Pierce-Atwood issue. On May 11th, it took less than 30 seconds to find the announcement by the feds that the F.E.C. staff was saying that it was totally okay for the Angus King campaign to get free legal advice, even though the firm has federal contracts. (Thank goodness for smooth lawyering by the King team!!!)
King-sters will say it’s no big deal. Pierce Atwood is a reputable Maine company with a right, as a corporation, to give money and services to whomever it pleases. Okay. Whatever. Like I’m supposed to believe that P-A isn’t gonna be asking for – and getting -- favors if their boy Angus King reaches Washington D.C.?
Why does Angus King need free advice from Maine’s biggest law firm anyway? That doesn’t fit with his “I’m a common Mainer” theme. And didn’t he just raise gobs of cash from the Lee Auto Mall and a bunch of lawyers and developers? He seems to have lots of money to play with. After all, his two biggest campaign expenditures – so far – were $17,742 to buy, not lease, computers from a Massachusetts company and the purchase of $7,600 in audio-visual equipment.
Drives me crazy that the Maine-stream media refuses to look closely at King’s schemes, scams and his opportunistic mumbo-jumbo, the kind frequently spouted by him and the rest of the one-percenters and oligarchs who believe corporatism is the way of America. Just ‘cuz the dude has a Harley, a quick smile and a propensity for quoting long passages of Abe Lincoln, doesn’t make him one of the guys.
Today, I’m headed to a lunch meeting in Portland with a media entity who believes a muckraking endeavor like the Crash Report should be in print on a weekly basis. The publisher called me and offered a sweet gig. And I’m into it. Because in this era of big biz subjugating the masses through Wall Street fraud and devious bankers, it feels as though the true indie-populists voices in Maine are being drowned out by the siren-song of money-men pretending to know how the decade of recession impacted real people.
I’ll be sure to tell you what happens.