Sen. Susan Collins of Maine, a Republican facing a tough re-election race, has run numerous ads over the last three months featuring testimonials from more than 20 people who were presented as ordinary Mainers — but in fact had close ties to the state’s Republican Party or to Collins herself. While such deception is not obviously illegal, it’s intentionally misleading and suggests that Collins has had trouble attracting supporters outside a tight circle of Maine Republicans.
This wasn’t the first time that Collins’ 2020 campaign has committed an unforced video error. Last summer her campaign drew sardonic criticism after posting several minutes of B-roll of the senator meeting with Mainers in factories, a classroom, a kitchen and so on. The video was mocked as a transparent gift of content for outside groups, which could amount to a campaign finance violation.