Thursday, January 20, 2011

Maine: Who bankrolled LePage - a closer look

Regular readers are aware I'm a firm believer in following the money in politics, and that recently been paying close attention to the corporate cash that fueled much of Maine Gov. Paul LePage's successful electoral bid. If corporations, unions, and wealthy individuals are to be granted unlimited rights to spend money to influence our elections, the public had best be aware of who has done so and what they might be hoping to get out of their investments.

My story in this week's issue of the Portland Phoenix explores the possible Maine interests of the fifty out-of-state corporations that funded the Republican Governors Association Maine PAC, which raised over $1.8 million and spent more than a million of it on ads supporting Mr. LePage or attacking his opponents. (That's more than LePage's own campaign.) As you'll see, some donors have clear and documentable interests -- indeed, they've had lobbyists in Augusta for years -- while others' angle can only be speculated at.

For more on the 2010 campaign in the Pine Tree State, try my Down East pieces on negative and false ads in the race (Feb. 2011) the significance of the election (Jan. 2011), and the moderates loss of control of the Maine GOP (Sept. 2010.)

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