politics

Michaud airs first TV campaign commercial

Posted Sept. 29, 2010, at 11:56 p.m.
JUNE 2006 FILE PHOTO
JOEL PAGE | AP
JUNE 2006 FILE PHOTO
Jason Levesque  (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT)



CAPTION



Jason J. Levesque. Canditate for Congress, Maine's 2nd District. Image made in Bangor on Jan. 21, 2010. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)
Jason Levesque (BANGOR DAILY NEWS PHOTO BY KEVIN BENNETT) CAPTION Jason J. Levesque. Canditate for Congress, Maine's 2nd District. Image made in Bangor on Jan. 21, 2010. (Bangor Daily News/Kevin Bennett)

U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud is rolling out his first new television campaign ad in four years, and Republican challenger Jason Levesque is not terribly impressed.

The 2nd District Democratic incumbent’s 30-second spot debuted Tuesday. The debut comes as a Critical Insights poll shows Michaud’s support slipping from 48 percent to 44 percent, while Levesque’s increased from 28 percent to 32 percent. Twenty-four percent remained undecided.

The new Michaud ad features several military veterans of varying ages relating how Michaud, as chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health, has successfully pushed for four new medical access points for veterans that are either completed or being planned in Bangor, Houlton, Lewiston and Lincoln.

“The congressman serves on the Veterans Affairs Committee and has had strong successes in delivering results for Maine,” Michaud campaign manager Greg Olson said Wednesday.

Construction of Bangor’s new facility started last spring; Lewiston’s will begin next year. Lincoln’s full-time clinic and Houlton’s one-day-a-week clinic at Houlton Regional Hospital opened in 2008.

A retired U.S. Army staff sergeant who runs a telemarketing business in Auburn, Levesque said he couldn’t fault Michaud’s record for helping veterans, but wondered why Michaud wasn’t mentioning other issues in his ad.

“I am a third-generation veteran and I have always fully supported any piece of legislation that can improve the lives of veterans and honor the sacrifices they have made,” Levesque said. “But I am kind of curious about why he is not bragging about his vote on the health care bill, the cap and trade bill and about increasing the federal debt ceiling by about $2 trillion.”

“It is very apparent that he does not want the people of Maine to know how he has voted on the issues,” added Levesque, whose father served in the U.S. Navy in the 1960s and grandfather served in Europe during World War II, also as an army staff sergeant.

“Mike’s priorities have a lot to do with what’s important for Maine,” Olson said. “The voters sent him to Congress to do a job and represent Maine. There is more to that than what is on the agenda for the national parties.”

The ad also coincides with an endorsement of Michaud this week by the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee, Olson said. The ad will run in the Bangor area media market for the rest of the week and in other markets next week.

Levesque’s campaign will also have television and radio ads, said Alicia Preston, his campaign manager.

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