I hate nasty political ads — and when they are not true, that makes them especially disgusting.

On Aug. 11, I read in this newspaper that Congressman Bruce Poliquin had launched a TV ad attacking his opponent, Jared Golden. That bothered me. And that night when I actually saw the ad, it enraged me. It’s nasty and full of lies. Shame on Bruce Poliquin.

The ad assailed Golden as “too radical and too risky,” and said he is supporting a risky scheme to end Medicare as we know it and endangering our senior citizens. All of that is untrue. Golden has actually been talking about the possibility of expanding Medicare for older workers who are not quite retirement age. The ad showed Jared jogging, and Poliquin even criticized Golden’s T-shirt. Sad.

It’s particularly wrong for Poliquin to attack Golden on health care issues, given that Poliquin voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would have stripped tens of thousands of Mainers of their health insurance. Thankfully Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins helped block that move in the Senate.

In that same newspaper was another report that Poliquin voted the way President Donald Trump wanted 97 percent of the time. Yikes! So much for putting Mainers first.

It really bothers me that Poliquin attacked such a wonderful young man as Golden, a Marine who led troops in combat. Everyone who knows Jared Golden is very proud of him. I had hoped for a very positive campaign in which each candidate would stress his credentials and his hopes and dreams for all of us Mainers. Guess I was naïve. Obviously, we’re going to get a nasty campaign from Rep. Poliquin. That is truly a shame.

I was also told that Poliquin moved his Bangor office to a side street and locked the door so you can’t get in without an appointment. Apparently, he doesn’t understand that we paid for that office and we should have access to it.

In the 1970s I worked for Congressman Dave Emery, and if I remember right we were the first member of Congress to have more than two district offices. We opened four district offices because we wanted Mainers to have easy access to our staff. And I can tell you those offices were very busy places. I cannot imagine shutting your constituents out of your office.

Earlier this month, I was one of many who received a letter from Poliquin, essentially using taxpayer money to campaign for re-election. Two years ago, Poliquin spent more taxpayer money on mass mailings to his constituents than any other member of Congress during the final weeks before that is prohibited in an election year.

In one of the recent letters, Poliquin bragged about getting an award from the 60 Plus Association’s Guardian of Seniors Rights. That sounded impressive until a little research told me the very conservative Koch brothers are funding this group, which is known for its advocacy of privatizing Social Security and senior citizen health programs. Poliquin failed to tell us he supports those very bad ideas.

I have another concern about this campaign because that Aug. 11 news story reported that Poliquin had $2.7 million in his campaign account at the end of June, compared to only $357,000 for Golden. Yup, brace yourself for more nasty negative ads from our congressman.

Just please be aware that they are not true, and you should make time to get to know Jared Golden. I guarantee you will be impressed.

On his website, Golden offers his thoughts and positions on everything from the economy to health care to the opioid epidemic to education.

I like that he offers ideas for rural Maine, and that he’s an advocate for early childhood education, something I have written about. That’s what is offered at Educare in Waterville, a wonderful and amazing program for young children. Yes, early education can make a huge difference for our children.

As I was writing this column, Sen. King popped into my mind. We are very lucky to have such a kind and caring senator. Angus is also very thoughtful and is deeply involved in many critical issues in Washington, especially through his work on the Intelligence Committee, a committee on which Sen. Collins also serves. I’d be surprised if any other state has both their senators serving on this important committee.

Angus’s Republican opponent, Eric Brakey, recently suggested that Angus wouldn’t mind if the United States was attacked by a nuclear bomb because it would mean President Trump’s foreign policy has failed. Honestly, we can’t make up stupid statements like this. But we should demand better of these candidates.

Despite the disappointment of nasty ads, it’s good to know that we all can vote for Angus in November, and for Jared Golden if you live in the 2nd Congressional District, as I do.

George Smith can be reached at 34 Blake Hill Road, Mount Vernon, ME 04352, or [email protected]. Read more of Smith’s writings at www.georgesmithmaine.com.

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