AUGUSTA – The Professional Logging Contractors (PLC) of Maine is calling for the campaign of 2nd Congressional District candidate Emily Cain (D-Orono) to suspend airing of a television advertisement attacking her Republican opponent, Rep. Bruce Poliquin, that purports to represent the views of Maine loggers.
In the ad, three men identified as Maine loggers criticize Poliquin for allegedly abusing a state current use tax law. They go on to state that the law is designed to benefit loggers, and that Poliquin is not a logger and the Paul Bunyan statue in Bangor has probably cut down more trees and paid more taxes than Poliquin. It is implied that these individuals represent the view of loggers across the state and that loggers are endorsing one specific candidate over another.
The PLC does not endorse political candidates, but the organization is charged with representing the interests of Maine’s loggers and is deeply concerned that this ad misrepresents the views and policy priorities of loggers in the state of Maine. It is also the position of the PLC that attack ads which attempt to represent the views of all loggers are unacceptable.
Emily Cain did not reach out to the PLC to solicit its opinion regarding the issues endorsed in this ad nor has she met with the PLC at any time to discuss issues related to loggers. To clearly understand this industry and what it means to the Maine economy, the PLC encourages all candidates, like Mrs. Cain, to make time to meet with the organization to learn more about the industry.
“The men appearing in this ad are not members of the PLC nor was the organization contacted about the content of the ad,” PLC Executive Director Dana Doran, said. “We feel the ad is very misleading, misrepresents the views of the majority of Maine loggers, and unfairly attacks Congressman Poliquin. We have asked the campaign to remove the ad and to base any future ads which comment on the logging industry in our state on the facts and the general consensus in the industry rather than a skewed minority opinion leveraged to achieve a political result.”
Congressman Poliquin has supported many policies important to Maine loggers and been responsible and engaged on issues of importance to the industry including working to preserve access for loggers in the Katahdin Region where a new national monument has been established, fighting to require federal regulators to consider biomass fuels as carbon neutral, advocating for highway and trucking regulations favorable to logging firms and to family logging businesses and introducing a bill which will sustain family logging operations for years to come.
Maine’s loggers are a vital part of the state’s forest products sector, which is worth an estimated $8.5 billion annually. A recent study showed the industry contributed $882 million to the state economy in 2014 and supported more than 7,300 jobs in the state.