Maine Democrats fined $5,000

Posted Oct. 27, 2008, at 3:13 p.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s campaign watchdog agency has fined the state Democratic Party $5,000 for filing an expenditure report 20 days late with the state.

The Commission of Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted Monday to issue the fine, which stems from an independent issue flyer sponsored by the party in a state Senate race in Androscoggin County.

The commission decided that because of the late filing, a Clean Election Act payment to the Republican candidate, Sen. Lois Snowe-Mello, was delayed. Snowe-Mello’s opponent is Democrat Deborah Simpson, who’s currently a state representative.

The ethics commission rejected a motion to add $1,000 to the fine.

Maine Democratic Party Executive Director Arden Manning says the case is based on technicality.