In the final days of a tight gubernatorial race, the campaigns tend to get desperate, then frantic, then crazy.

That progression leads to increasingly wacky attacks on the opposition, few of which turn out to be true, although many of them ought to be.

This political phase is lots more entertaining than the months preceding it, which were spent listening to Republican Paul LePage trying to decide which of his positions on teaching Creationism in public schools he’ll try out today, or Democrat Libby Mitchell finding yet another way of saying she isn’t going to change a single thing about state government, or independent Eliot Cutler attempting to work the late Ed Muskie’s name into his answer to every question, or independent Shawn Moody talking about running government like his auto-repair business by offering speedy estimates and free coffee, or independent Kevin Scott acting as if his meds need adjusting.

Instead of that crap, it’s time for baseless accusations of the juiciest and vilest sort. Such as:

Libby Mitchell should be disqualified from the race because she’s really Gov. John Baldacci in drag. Paul LePage has made a secret promise that once he’s sworn into office, he’ll make swearing illegal. While trying to govern from the middle of the road, Eliot Cutler gets clipped by a pulp truck. Shawn Moody promises to stop referring to himself in the third person, telling a press conference, “Shawn Moody will not mention Shawn Moody, anymore.” Scientists discover a primitive single cell life-form that’s voting for Kevin Scott.

The pulp-truck driver who flattened Cutler finishes third in the latest Rasmussen poll. LePage is caught on video laughing at “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart’s jokes about Republicans. A former friend releases a photo of Libby Mitchell dressed in a “Ditto-Head” T-shirt. The friend claims, “She’s a devoted Rush Limbaugh listener.” A TV station hires a medium to conduct a séance to contact Ed Muskie. Says Muskie’s ghost, “Eliot who?” Moody calls for civility in the campaign’s final days: “I hope my dishonest, intellectually creepy and physically repulsive opponents will heed Shawn Moody’s plea.” Scott accuses a columnist of bias because he doesn’t insult him as often as the other candidates.

A poll conducted for the Cutler campaign shows he’s already won the election. Cutler warns the other candidates that if they don’t concede defeat immediately, he’ll sue them. And on a related note: The Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s annual fundraising auction offers the high bidder a chance to “punch Statehouse reporter A.J. Higgins in the mouth.”

It’s not just the gubernatorial campaigns that tend to fly off the tracks.

The congressional candidates are also inclined to twist the truth. Democratic 1st District U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree says using her multi-millionaire fiancé Donald Sussman’s private jet to violate the no-fly zone and buzz the White House did not violate any House ethics rules.

Concerned that his conservative social positions will cost him votes, GOP 1st District candidate Dean Scontras announces his engagement to a man.

Pingree says a sex-and-drug party on Sussman’s jet with Barney Frank, Lindsay Lohan, Amy Winehouse, the entire cast of “Jersey Shore” and several members of the New York Jets’ offensive line did not violate any House ethics rules.

Scontras admits he’s opposed to government funding of abortions for low-income women, but says that’s not because he’s ideologically rigid. “If elected,” he said, “I’ll personally perform that procedure for free on anybody who asks.”

In the 2nd District, Republican challenger Jason Levesque releases a 30-minute infomercial titled “Democratic Congressman Mike Michaud: The Al Qaeda Years.”

Michaud responds by asking Pingree to use Sussman’s jet to strafe Levesque’s campaign headquarters. Pingree agrees, but only after consulting with the House Ethics Committee and finding that strafing doesn’t violate any rules.

Levesque releases an infomercial claiming Michaud uses Botox to remove his wrinkles and “dangerous chemical hair-whiteners” in an effort to look more distinguished.

Michaud releases documents showing Levesque’s marketing company makes infomercials for both Botox and something called “Dangerous, Chemical Hair-Whitener for that Distinguished Political Look.”

Libby Mitchell is caught on tape buying both products. LePage bids his entire campaign treasury and wins the auction to punch out A.J. Higgins. Cutler announces he will sue any newspaper or Web site that fails to endorse him. He also files a complaint with the State Ethics Commission about certain TV spots that “make me look stupid.” His complaint is dismissed after it’s discovered the ads were produced by Cutler’s campaign.

On Sussman’s jet, Pingree hosts what’s described in Federal Aviation Administration documents as a “tea party.” A unanimous House Ethics Committee recommends she be expelled from Congress.

I’ve taken my cheap shots. Now, it’s your turn. E-mail me at