Crown Politics

Tangles remain in how Maine Clean Election candidates will get $1 million owed to them

AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage’s administration moved toward releasing $1 million in taxpayer funds to 2018 legislative and gubernatorial candidates in response to a judge’s order on Tuesday, but they may be slightly delayed because of a bureaucratic move.

It could end one legal fight over Maine’s Clean Election program, but another could be on the way. The money to be released Tuesday to about 120 state candidates was originally due in June, while another $4.8 million in the fund is locked away because of a legislative drafting error.

In June, the Republican governor drew a lawsuit from advocates by trying to run the clock out on just under $1 million in Clean Election funding by refusing to sign financial orders to cover the $1.4 million for which candidates had qualified by the end of the last fiscal year on June 30. Instead, candidates got about a quarter of that amount, which was all that was left in the fund.

Maine judge ruled last week that a fiscal order wasn’t required to allocate money to the fund and ordered the LePage administration to make the full amount of money — just under $1 million in all, according to Maine Ethics Commission data — available to candidates by Tuesday.

To read the rest of “Tangles remain in how Maine Clean Election candidates will get $1 million owed to them,” an article by contributing Bangor Daily News staff writer Michael Shepherd, please follow this link to the BDN online.

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