A letter from Joe Bruno of Raymond in the PPH:
It is obvious to me and many others that there is a calculated and organized letter-writing campaign trying to denigrate a fine U.S. senator like Susan Collins. This is the work of national organizations like moveon.org [sic]...Yes, the usual baseless charges and manufactured indignation.
As a selectman in Raymond, when we needed help with a federal issue, Sen. Collins' office responded quickly and intervened to address the issue. That's more than I can say about our representative...
Please join me in rejecting negative campaigning by voting for Sen. Collins and keep our highly respected Sen. Collins in the U.S. Senate.
But get a load of this coincidence: Not only is this guy's name Joe Bruno. There's also a former Maine House Republican Leader and state Republican Party Chair named Joe Bruno! And both Joe Brunos hail from Raymond!
What are the chances?
Maybe the next time a GOP bigwig writes in with a cut-and-paste version of the Collins camp's talking points, PPH will insist on a full identification. But I'm not holding my breath.
UPDATE: I'm afraid I may have been a bit too coy above: Let's be clear about what's going on here.
I try to read as many letters to the editor in Maine papers as I can. And over the last year or so, there have been no fewer than eight pro-Collins letters published in Maine papers written by unidentified or under-identified members of the Maine GOP apparatus.
(By contrast, I've spotted literally only a handful of pro-Collins letters that don't seem to be connected to party elites.)
So what we have here is a former House leader and state party chair complaining about a stealth, calculated negative letter writing campaign as part of what appears to be a stealth, calculated negative letter writing campaign.
Blogger Josh Marshall calls this, "up-is-downism." I'll just note that it's a lot easier to get away with sliming your opponent if you can make it sound like he slimed you first.