June 26, 2012

Truth Test: Michaud's outspent 2-1 claim proves false

By Michael Shepherd
Staff Writer

"When I first ran for Congress 10 years ago, they said ... Republicans were fired up at winning the 2nd Congressional District ... and that we would be outspent by a Republican opponent, which we were by 2-to-1. ..." -- U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District

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U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, D-2nd District, speaks during the Democratic convention at the Augusta Civic Center last Friday.

Derek Davis/Staff Photographer

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Truth Test is a regular feature of MaineToday Media’s campaign coverage, in which we cast a critical eye on the truthfulness of advertising and public comments by political candidates.

Michaud's speech, to a friendly crowd that packed the Augusta Civic Center last weekend for the Democratic State Convention, was a reference to his race again Kevin Raye, the Republican from Perry who is now president of the Maine Senate. If Raye wins a GOP primary election Tuesday against Blaine Richardson, Raye and Michaud will face off again in November.

Michaud's statement to the party faithful in Augusta was inaccurate, however.

Michaud took in $1,185,955 and spent $1,172,764 in the 2002 election, while Raye took in $1,130,810 and spent $1,128,820, according to, a nonpartisan website that uses Federal Election Commission data. So Michaud actually outspent his GOP opponent by about $43,000.

When asked about Michaud's "2-to-1" assertion, campaign manager Greg Olson said Michaud meant the "whole kit and caboodle" spent by arms of the Republican Party, including the state party, on ad buys and mailers in the race. He referenced Federal Election Commission numbers that showed millions in contributions to the Maine Republican Party during the 2001-02 election cycle.

"This is a rough, back-of-the-envelope estimate on our part," Olson said. "I doubt anyone has a full handle on the picture."

Verdict: Whether anyone has a full handle on the picture or not, Michaud's assertion that Raye outspent him 2-to-1 is simply not supported by the facts.

We rate this statement false.

Michael Shepherd -- 621-5632

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