In front of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices tomorrow, the Maine Civil Liberties Union will defend mayor Ed Suslovic against at-large city council challenger Dory Waxman's charges that his campaign materials contain an unethically misleading quote.
The brouhaha concerns one word on a Suslovic leaflet: "visionary." It's a description of Suslovic, quoting Speaker of the Maine House Glenn Cummings from an April Portland Press Herald article. Waxman contends that the inclusion of that quotation is an implied endorsement (Cummings is not endorsing in race, which has gotten nasty over the past week). Suslovic wonders, would they also prevent him from simply handing out copies of that April issue of the PPH?
The MCLU will argue that "the quote was clearly not an endorsement and that the candidates have freedom of speech when it comes to campaign advertisements." They'll relate this case to the larger question of the government's role in regulating campaign speech.