Newspaper condemns conservative survey name tied to company

July 19, 2022 GMT

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The newspaper in Maine’s largest city is decrying the use of its parent company name in a national conservative group’s political survey.

The name of the American Principles Project survey — “Maine Today & Public Insight” — led some to believe it had something to do with MaineToday Media, which owns the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel.

The survey asked questions about welfare for illegal immigrants, critical race theory and gender issues.

Steve Greenlee, executive editor of the Press Herald, called on the conservative think tank to stop using the newspaper’s name.

“Everyone knows that MaineToday Media is the company that publishes the Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel,” Greenlee said in a written statement. “Misappropriating the name of a news organization in an attempt to legitimatize a survey is unacceptable and unethical, and we demand that whoever is behind this cease doing so immediately.”

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The American Principles Project produced anti-Gov. Janet Mills advertisements that could be deployed depending on the survey results, said Terry Schilling, the group’s president.

“This is just like a poll, except instead of polling a question we’re polling messages and advertisements,” Schilling told the newspaper. “We’re going to look at how effective they are and then make a decision about whether or not to get involved in the election in Maine.”

Schilling said Monday he’s checking into why the out-of-state vendor that conducted the survey chose to use the name Maine Today. It was primarily an online survey that closed Sunday evening, he said.