BANGOR, Maine — The Maine Democratic Party has filed a complaint with the state alleging that an out-of-state political action committee that recently spent $400,000 to target five state senate races violated Maine Clean Elections Law.
The Maine Ethics Commission scheduled a special meeting on Tuesday to hear the complaint, which Democrats say has the potential to be the largest ethics violation in state history.
“This is a huge amount of money that’s being spent to oppose these candidates,” said Arden Manning of the Maine Democratic Party.
The races that have been targeted for opposition by the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee are Senate districts 15, 24, 25, 28 and 32.
Manning said it’s not the amount of money that’s being spent but the timing of filing reports to the state that prompted the ethics complaint. The reporting delay, Manning said, did not allow Maine Clean Elections Act candidates from receiving matching funds in time to use them.
Maine Republicans have been hopeful that they can seize control of the senate for the first time in several years. Democrats currently hold a 20-15 edge, but the GOP needs to flip only three seats to gain a majority.