PORTLAND — At least a couple more local businesses have decided not to run ads during Rush Limbaugh’s radio show in the wake of controversial comments he made about a law school student speaking to federal lawmakers in favor of health-care coverage of contraception.

Michael Major, the owner of Cunningham Security in Yarmouth, said he asked WGAN not to run his company’s ads during the three-hour show. He said he got about a half-dozen emails and a phone call Tuesday soon after the ad aired.

“The tone was ‘If you’re a responsible Maine business you will take a stand against this type of speech.’ And one of them actually went as far to say ‘If you don’t take a stand you will probably find yourself losing customers,'” Major said.

Major buys several ads each month that air between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. He said he did not choose specific times slots for when they should air.

RSVP Discount Beverage in Portland said on its Facebook page that it was “in the process of having ads moved due to the recent controversy.” A call seeking comment from the business was not returned.

The talk show host called Sandra Fluke a “slut” and a said she was a prostitute because of her remarks. He has since apologized.

“I was just appalled,” said Irv Williams, of Portland, who said he doesn’t regularly listen to Limbaugh’s show and describes himself as a liberal. “I was just totally outraged and most of my friends were outraged.”

Williams said he heard about online petitions calling on companies to pull their ads from the show, but decided an individual approach could be more effective with local advertisers.

“Maybe I’m just old school in my approach and I decided to contact them directly,” he said. “It’s the power of one person. I think I can make the same difference as 20,000 people.”

Williams said he listened to the Limbaugh show Tuesday and, as local advertisements aired, he sent emails to the companies, saying he thought they should pull their ads in light of Limbaugh’s comments.

Brunswick-based Downeast Energy on Monday told the station it did not want its ads running during Limbaugh’s show, citing his repeated pattern of making inflammatory statements that do not align with the company’s values.

A “handful” of advertisers have asked that their ads not be played during the show, said Cary Pahigian, president and general manager of Portland Radio Group, which owns eight stations including WGAN. Pahigian would not discuss specific advertisers or give a more precise figure of how many businesses had made the request, which he said the station would be happy to accommodate.

“People have the right to give their opinion. Whether they should be picking up the phone and calling up a merchant and strongly advising them how to use their advertising dollars, I think there would be a question of whether that’s good practice,” he said.

Pahigian said if the aim is to silence Limbaugh, they should turn off their radios and tell their friends to do the same. He said interest in Limbaugh is higher this week than last, when it was already very popular. WGAN is not considering dropping the show, he said.

On Tuesday, radio station WBEC in Pittsfield, Mass., said it is no longer airing Limbaugh’s show and apologized to anyone who may have been offended by the commentator’s remarks, The Associated Press reported. KPUA in Hilo, Hawaii, had already stopped airing the show.

The wire service reported that ProFlowers and Legal Zoom pulled their ads over the weekend and that AOL Inc. and Tax Resolution Services Co. did so on Monday, bringing the number of advertisers fleeing the show to nine as of Monday.

Fluke, who attends Georgetown University’s law school, had testified in front of congressional Democrats in support of their national health-care policy that would compel the Jesuit college’s health plan to cover her birth control,

Charlotte Warren, associate director of the Maine Women’s Lobby, called Limbaugh’s comments disappointing and disgusting when others were working hard to inspire leadership in young women. She said the organization wasn’t involved in trying to persuade advertisers to abandon Limbaugh’s show.

“In the world we work on, I can’t imagine anyone would want to be associated with that kind of talk. I can’t imagine radio stations would choose to be associated with it, or advertisers. But that’s not the kind of work we do,” she said.

Ray Richardson, the host of a conservative talk show on WLOB Radio and WPME TV, said he found Limbaugh’s comments degrading and disgusting, while noting that Limbaugh has the right to say what he wants.

Richardson said Limbaugh also took the focus of an extremely important issue and put it on himself. “Bottom line for me is Rush has the right to say it, I have a right not to listen and people have a right not to support advertisers,” he said. “Personally, I respect the right of people to (pressure advertisers), but I don’t think they’re effective. Because at the end of the day, if Rush has lost nine advertisers, there are nine people waiting in line to advertise.”

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