Green group targets Maine Dem in primary

The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has added Troy Jackson, a candidate in Maine’s Democratic House primary, to its “Dirty Dozen” and launched a $150,000 mail campaign against him, it said Monday.

Jackson is running against Emily Cain to represent Democrats in the race for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, currently occupied by Rep. Mike Michaud (D), who is not running this year.

Jackson, currently a state senator, has become the first Democratic candidate this year to end up on the LCV’s Dirty Dozen, a list of candidates the group said “consistently side against the environment.”

“Too often, Troy Jackson put the interests of polluting special interests and their allies ahead of doing what’s right to protect our environment and public health,” League President Gene Karpinski said in a statement. “Maine needs an environment champion in Congress, not an ally of corporate polluters.”

Jackson has voted against limiting carbon dioxide emissions from coal power plants, to repeal the state’s pesticide notification registry and supported a measure to eliminate the state’s targets for wind energy development, the LCV said.

The LCV’s mailings will reach more than 28,500 voters in the district, which includes Bangor and Lewiston.

Brian Lacey, Jackson’s campaign manager, called the LCV’s decision “an interesting investment,” since Cain has outraised Jackson 3 to 1.

“The fact that an outside group is spending that kind of money against us just shows us how close we are and how close this race is,” Lacey said. The campaign’s internal polling has shown that the race is very close, he said.

Lacey also noted that the Sierra Club, another major player in environmental politics, has not gotten involved in the primary.

Jackson is the third candidate to end up on the Dirty Dozen in this election cycle, joining Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) running for Senate and Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.), who won a special election in March for his seat.

In the 2012 election cycle, Tim Holden in Pennsylvania was the only Democrat on the Dirty Dozen for the November election, and he lost. Texas Democrat Ciro Rodriguez was on the list for his primary and lost.

In all, 11 of the 12 candidates LCV targeted for the 2012 general election were defeated.