CasinosNO! has written a letter to Maine TV stations asking them to cease airing a Yes on 2 campaign ad featuring a state legislator pledging to fix the many serious problems with Question 2 if it passes, when in fact the legislator making the pledge is prohibited from running for re-election and will not be a member of the Maine Legislature next year. CasinosNO! believes the ad is a deliberate attempt to mislead voters into believing that a consensus exists for "fixing" the law should it pass, when no such consensus exists. It is particularly misleading and deceitful to have a Maine Legislator pledging to fix a law when in fact he will have no role in doing so.
See the attached letter sent to Maine television stations today.
Don’t Gamble Away Maine’s Future
Oct. 18, 2008
Dear Station Manager,
An advertisement airing on your station by the Yes on 2 campaign is false and misleading.
The advertisement features two state legislators who say they will “fix” Question 2 “when it is passed” by voters on Nov. 4. However, the legislator making that pledge, Rep. John Patrick, D-Rumford, is prohibited from running for re-election this year and will not be a member of the Legislature during the next session to fix the casino bill or anything else.
In the ad, Rep. Patrick says, “We sit on the committee that oversees Maine gambling laws.” While it’s true that Rep. Patrick was a member of the Legislature’s Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee during the last session of the Legislature, he will not be a member of the committee, nor a member of the Maine Legislature, should this bill pass and return to the committee for action. The suggestion that he continues to have authority over Maine gambling laws is false and misleading. (A list of term-limited legislators can be found at http://janus.state.me.us/house/123_term.htm)
Rep. Patrick further states in the ad, “We pledge when Question 2 passes the committee will change it to meet existing Maine law.”
Rep. Patrick is in no position to speak for the committee since he will not be a member of the Maine Legislature. In fact, there is no guarantee the Legislature will do anything to amend Question 2 if it passes. As Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap noted in Sept. 22nd article in the Portland Press Herald, “the Legislature tends to be ‘extraordinarily reluctant to tinker too much’ with legislation that reflects the will of voters.”
This deceptive advertisement is a deliberate attempt to mislead voters into believing the many serious problems in Question 2 can and will be fixed, when in fact the Legislator making the pledge will have no role in making those changes next year, or whether any changes will be made at all.
In the interest of accuracy and fairness, we request that you cease airing this false and misleading ad.