Maine State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin is viewed by many as one of the frontrunners in the race to succeed retiring Senator Olympia Snowe (R). There are currently five other Republicans and four Democrats running; the primaries are to be held next Tuesday.
While Poliquin has portrayed himself as a conservative, his record should give conservatives pause, according to sources in Maine. Poliquin served on the Natural Resources Council of Maine board of directors, an organization that campaigned against widening the Maine Turnpike on environmental grounds. Poliquin donated $10,000 to that effort, reportedly it’s largest contributor. He also has donated money to “Hand Gun Control, Inc.,” and favors mandatory background checks for purchase of handguns. He has since been attempting to explain away the contribution and contort himself and his past positions in an effort to portray an image of a more stout Second Amendment advocate. Gunners: beware and be wary.
But more than his record, it’s Poliquin’s image that should be troubling. In a downward spiraling economy, American voters are not fond of candidates who seem to revel in the conspicuous consumption of the so-called 1%. And Poliquin revels on a consistent basis. He used a helicopter to build his house on a Maine island. He has sued a neighbor to stop him from expanding his business. He tried to prevent the expansion of a campground because it “disturbed his enjoyment of his beachfront cottage.” His campaign, which has raised over $200,000, is largely self-funded – almost half of that money comes directly from his own pocket.
Poliquin is not a terrible Republican. And it’s not illegal to be an elitist. He’s just a soft Republican, a squishy conservative, and a man with severe egoistic and image issues. In a time when every Republican Senate seat counts, especially given that control of the Supreme Court may weigh in the balance, Maine Republicans should think twice before picking Poliquin over his GOP rivals.