Today, Maine voters will get barraged with the first anti-gay campaign commercial of the season – filmed in a San Francisco studio, with actors solicited on Craigslist. Mainers don’t appreciate outsiders telling them how to live their lives, so this stunt by the “Yes on 1” effort to repeal marriage equality could turn into a P.R. disaster. As some bloggers discovered last week, the “Yes on 1” campaign solicited actors
online who have “Maine middle-class” accents – and after a brief audition, flew them out to San Francisco for the local firm Criswell & Associates
to film the ads. Criswell is a large political consulting firm, whose clients have included Tom McClintock, Wal-Mart, the American Plastics Council and the “gathering storm” ads of the National Organization for Marriage. But it will be hard for most San Franciscans to learn much online about this local connection, and how it’s aiding the effort in Maine. Despite an impressive web presence, Criswell suddenly shut down
its website yesterday, along with its Facebook page and YouTube account. Could it be they are weathering the storm of bad publicity, hoping that Maine voters never find out?