Independent Green candidate for the US Senate Lisa Savage has already announced the remainder of her ad spend will be done here in Maine with Maine media organizations. Today, she emphasized that she is also committed to ensuring her ads and messaging have a positive message and focus on her own plans and priorities, rather than denigrating her opponents. While the vast majority of her spend was already in Maine, Savage committed specifically to spend zero dollars with social media companies or national outlets. She has never run any advertising that negatively portrays a fellow candidate.
“Mark Zuckerberg has enough money,” said Savage, “and his company has done great harm to our democracy, whether via the Cambridge Analytica scandal or the company’s admitted tendency to encourage radicalization and polarization. In this time of pandemic, our local media are struggling; these ad dollars help fuel local journalism and therefore democracy itself.”
Of course, the Savage ad budget pales in comparison to that of her opponents’, particularly the major-party candidates who have spent tens of millions on advertising already and stand to spend millions more. Savage therefore calls on her opponents to make a similar pledge: Buy your ads and support local media here in Maine.
“And with the news of our Senate race being the most negative of all the races in the United States,” Savage said, “I’m also calling on my opponents to stop with the negative ads that have plagued our airwaves and internet and are clearly disliked by Mainers from Kittery to Caribou.”
“At this point,” Savage continued, “anyone who has consumed any media in the past six months is well aware of the Collins and Gideon positions. The least they could do is spend their money with Maine media organizations who can use the money to pay reporters and editors to inform Maine voters.”
The Savage budget for ads is modest, but the campaign has already worked with five newspapers, six radio stations, and four television stations, spreading the ad buy out amongst a variety of media outlets, big and small. Savage said she knows how vital these publications -- especially the small weeklies -- are to their communities and how many of them have been forced to close in recent years.
This summer, the pandemic forced the century-old Bridgton News into temporary closure, and while their return to publication is heartening, it’s hard not to see the Irregular’s move to end print publication as a sign of further pandemic damage to the journalistic ecosystem here in Maine, which already suffers from consolidation and a lack of options.
“If I had millions to spend,” said Savage, “I can assure you I wouldn’t be funneling those dollars to Hulu, Google, Facebook, and other Silicon Valley companies. I’d be making sure to keep that money right here in Maine. And I’d be using the same positive, policy-based messaging I’ve used since the beginning of this race.”
Find information about Lisa Savage, her policy positions, background, and how to support her people-powered campaign at www.LisaforMaine.org.