Politics
Maine independent Senate candidate Angus King. Photo: Robert F. Bukaty / AP  Maine independent Senate candidate Angus King. Photo: Robert F. Bukaty / AP   

Angus King edits newspaper profile before putting it on campaign website

Photo of Alexis Levinson
Alexis Levinson
Political Reporter

Former Maine Gov. Angus King redacted a newspaper profile of him before posting it on his senatorial campaign website, the Portland Press Herald reported, removing several sections that contained unflattering views of the independent candidate for U.S. Senate.

The story appeared in the Maine Sunday Telegram on Sunday. It was later posted on King’s campaign website, but the version posted was about 1,500 words shorter than the original 4,000 word piece. The campaign site did, however, link to the original column.

After complaints from the newspaper, the King campaign removed the edited version from their website.

Several of the passages removed were unflattering to King; others were benign.

For instance, the King campaign removed a paragraph discussing King’s membership on the “championship team in the inaugural season of ‘It’s Academic,’ a television quiz show.”

But the campaign also axed a quote from former Portland Press Herald State House reporter Paul Carrier that King “could be thin-skinned and controlling behind the scenes.”

The Portland Press Herald pointed out that another, positive quote from Carrier was left in the piece: that King “made Mainers feel good about being Mainers.”

“[I]t seems to me that if the King campaign redacted my quote about him being ‘thin-skinned and controlling,’ it suggests that he’s thin-skinned and controlling,” Carrier emailed the Press Herald in response.

Another edit removed a quote by Sandy Maisel, a political science professor at Colby College, who said, “I don’t think [King’s] second term held up to his first.”

King’s campaign defended the edits, saying they were made for practical, not political, reasons.

“I think we took out some of the positive stuff and some of the negative stuff to try and reduce the length of the piece because it was a lengthy piece,” King spokeswoman Crystal Canney told the Press Herald.

In an email to The Daily Caller, Canney said, “It was a post edited by a web administrator and we promptly corrected.”

But King’s Republican and Democratic opponents were unwilling to be so charitable.

In a statement provided to TheDC, a spokesman for Republican Charlie Summers’ campaign, Drew Brandewie, attacked King for “manipulating a news story to deceive voters.”

“How can King continue to tell Mainers with a straight face he’s a different type of politician who will change Washington?” he asked

“If voters have learned anything about Angus King in recent weeks it’s that he has a very thin skin and does not take criticism lightly, however accurate the criticisms might be,” National Republican Senatorial Committee Communications Director Brian Walsh told TheDC. “But it should give any voter pause when they see a candidate go to such lengths to mislead the public record.”

“Another day, another embarrassing stumble for Angus King,” said Rob Engstrom, political director for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which has been running ads attacking King. “But it’s more than that: A disturbing pattern has now emerged and King’s campaign for Senate is being managed as poorly as his time as governor.”

“King left Maine in a hole when he left office and now, every day it seems, he picks up the shovel and keeps digging,” Engstrom added. “Shovel-ready indeed.”

Democrat Cynthia Dill also opined that the edits were politically motivated.

“The piece as written by Colin Woodard was very interesting to read and very well-written,” Dill told the Portland Press Herald. “I don’t know why the King campaign wouldn’t want readers to have all of the information as presented by one of Maine’s finest reporters.”

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