Republicans also concerned about Maine treasurer’s business dealings

Posted Feb. 29, 2012, at 12:37 p.m.
Last modified Feb. 29, 2012, at 4:09 p.m.
 Bruce Poliquin
Derek Davis
Bruce Poliquin

AUGUSTA, Maine — House Republicans on Wednesday offered their own request to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court that it look into a possible violation of the Maine Constitution by Treasurer Bruce Poliquin.

The House order, introduced by Majority Leader Philip Curtis, R-Madison, is similar to an order introduced earlier in the week by Rep. Mark Dion, D-Portland.

Curtis’ order reads, in part: “If it is determined that the Treasurer of State has engaged in any business of trade or commerce, or as a broker, or as an agent or factor for any merchant or trader, does that finding affect or have an impact on the validity of the actions taken by the Treasurer of State in the performance of his official duties as used in the Constitution of Maine, Article V, Part Third, Section 3?”

House members are expected to take up the matter on Thursday.

Dion addressed his own order on the House floor Wednesday, an order he said “speaks to our fundamental responsibility to uphold the constitution.”

For several weeks, Democrats have questioned Poliquin’s business connections, in particular his plans to expand the Popham Beach Club, which he owns, and his real estate company, Dirigo Holdings LLC.

Dion has been pushing the issue and requested an opinion from Maine’s attorney general. The attorney general said Poliquin should not be actively involved in any business dealings going forward but did not say whether he thought Poliquin had violated the constitution.

House Speaker Robert Nutting said both orders are sitting in the House and could come up on Thursday.

“Instead of a three-page order, which is really loaded with a lot of political speech, we’ve narrowed it down,” Nutting said.

Also on Wednesday, the Maine Ethics Commission ruled on a complaint from the Maine Democratic Party that Poliquin failed to disclose all of his finances in 2010. The commission said Poliquin’s original disclosure form was substantially compliant but was incomplete. It has now been made complete through an amended filing. The commission recommended no penalty.

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