Dem candidate for US Senate says End Citizens United group is “gaslighting” for corporate-funded politicians

Bre Kidman, who is running for the United States Senate as a Democrat against Betsy Sweet and Sara Gideon, says the group Stop Citizens United is “gaslighting Maine” by endorsing Gideon despite her corporate PAC donation history, which the group claims to oppose. Photo courtesy of Bre Kidman for U.S. Senate website.

PORTLAND – Democratic candidate for US Senate Bre Kidman issued a Twitter beat down to the group Stop Citizens United and her primary opponent Sara Gideon on Friday.

At issue was the fact that the group, Stop Citizens United, chose to endorse Sara Gideon in the primary, despite her history of corporate PAC contributions.

That issue has been a contentious one, with Gideon running ads saying she opposes such contributions, despite the fact that publicly available disclosures show her accepting contributions from major pharmaceutical companies, health insurance companies, telecom and energy companies and special interest groups. Those contributions were made to “Gideon Leadership PAC”, which Gideon used as a state legislator.

On Twitter, Kidman directly asked Stop Citizens United, @stopbigmoney on Twitter, if they even looked at Gideon’s leadership PAC, and then told them to stop “gaslighting Maine.”

Gaslighting is commonly thought of as a sort of psychological manipulation and abuse by which someone withholds or manipulates information to systematically cause an individual or group of people to question their own memory or perception.

Both Kidman and Betsy Sweet, who are running against Gideon in the primary, appear to have sincere positions opposed to accepting corporate contributions. Sweet actually claims to have written Maine’s so-called “Clean Elections” law. Those facts apparently did not deter Gideon’s endorsement.

In a tweet a couple hours later, Kidman said that she received calls trying to convince her not to run, and that whomever had made those calls said they had been working “for years” to put Sara Gideon in this position.

End Citizens United is a national group that claims to oppose big money in politics and routinely rails against “dark money” political operations. But “dark money” groups supporting Democrats are already working in Maine to undermine Senator Susan Collins and assist End Citizens United in their efforts to elect Gideon.

For her part, Gideon tweeted that she was “proud” to have the endorsement and didn’t acknowledge her corporate PAC donation history when claiming that Mainers have “had enough” of big money influencing elections.

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