Days after joking about Jay mill explosion, Stephen King fundraised for Sara Gideon

Screenshot of Speaker Sara Gideon participating in an online town hall, with screenshots from the DSCC joint fundraising email sent from Stephen King just after King’s twitter joke about the Jay mill explosion.

WASHINGTON D.C. – The day after he made a widely criticized joke about the massive explosion at a mill in Jay, author Stephen King sent a fundraising email attacking Senator Susan Collins and asking donors to make donations to Sara Gideon.

The text of the email, forwarded to Maine Examiner, delivers attack lines against Senator Susan Collins and calls Gideon “phenomenal.”

King also bemoans “dark money” groups he says are blocking Gideon’s path to victory, but does not mention that dark money groups attacking Collins and supporting Gideon have been on the air since early last year. Those liberal dark money groups have spent millions attacking Collins, far outpacing spending from any other groups.

The day of the explosion at the Jay mill, King tweeted a joke saying the mill made toilet paper and people needed to start keeping a “stack of magazines and advertising circulars handy.” The tweet was widely criticized by Mainers, especially those in the area who were now facing economic hardship beyond only the COVID-19 pandemic.

As Maine Examiner reported, Maine people responded with comments such as “So gross”, “Stay classy” and “Not funny, at all.”

Another twitter user weighed in with a local, personal narrative.

“Explosions aren’t a joke. Jay is my hometown and the whole town was sick to their stomachs for hours because so many of our friends and family are employees there. This isn’t funny,” said user ca$h.

Still, the DSCC, the national committee with ties to Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, went out shortly after the explosion and joke.

It isn’t the first time King has entered the political arena. For years King has served as a voice for the left, regularly attacking President Trump, Senator Collins and numerous others.

The donation forms linked in King’s email lead users to a web page supporting Gideon and the DSCC, saying donations through the form will be split between the two.

A search of FEC contribution data shows King has donated more than $50,000 to Gideon and affiliated groups. That includes $5,600 directly to Gideon, $10k to the Sara Gideon Victory Fund and $35,500 to the DSCC, the group that sent the email.

On three of the four donations, King is listed as residing in New York City. On the fourth, his residence is in Bangor, Maine.

There has been no announcement on when the Jay mill, which employs about 500 Mainers, will reopen.

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