September 22, 2010

Paul LePage nets $400,000, leads field in fundraising

The GOP front-runner for Maine governor trails Libby Mitchell, who is publicly financed, in cash on hand.

By REBEKAH METZLER and SUSAN M. COVER MaineToday Media State House Writers

AUGUSTA — Republican gubernatorial nominee Paul LePage raised about $400,000 during the last campaign-finance reporting period, according to reports filed Tuesday with Maine's ethics commission.

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Paul LePage, the mayor of Waterville, began the reporting period – which ran from July 14 through Sept. 14 – with about $260,000, according to his records. After expenses, he now has about $535,000 in available cash.

AP

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LePage, the front-runner in the race, raised far more than independents Shawn Moody of Gorham and Kevin Scott of Andover, the other privately financed candidates who filed Tuesday. Moody raised about $30,000 and Scott raised $8,650.

Four of the five gubernatorial candidates on November's ballot had submitted paperwork to the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices by early Tuesday evening. The reports were due at midnight, but because of display issues with the commission's website, candidates were given another day to file.

Details on the campaign-finance report of independent candidate Eliot Cutler of Cape Elizabeth are expected to be available today.

Democrat Libby Mitchell of Vassalboro is the only candidate using money from the Maine Clean Election Act to fund her campaign.

LePage, the mayor of Waterville, began the reporting period – which ran from July 14 through Sept. 14 – with about $260,000, according to his records. He spent about $123,000, leaving him with about $535,000 in available cash. His campaign has about $11,000 in unpaid debt.

By state law, privately financed candidates can accept individual donations of as much as $750.

LePage received individual contributions of more than $100 from about 1,800 Mainers, making up the majority of his fundraising, according to his report. He received about $24,000 in unitemized donations of less than $150.

Most of LePage's spending during the period was for consulting fees and staffers' salaries, totaling about $58,000. About $30,000 was spent on campaign literature and about $16,000 was spent on fundraising, according to the report.

Moody began his candidacy by loaning his campaign $500,000 before the reporting period began.

During the two-month reporting period, most of the money that Moody raised came from individuals. He had more than 60 donors who gave more than $100, according to his report.

Moody spent about $139,000 on television, print and Web advertising, about $40,000 on staff salaries and consulting fees, and about $29,000 on campaign literature. He spent a total of $231,000 and has about $151,000 in available cash, his report said.

Mitchell, as a Clean Election candidate, received an initial $600,000 disbursement and has permission to spend an additional $323,939, triggered by opponents' spending, according to the ethics commission.

Because her spending is capped at $1.2 million for the campaign, she can receive as much as $276,060 in additional money, said Paul Lavin, assistant director of the commission.

Mitchell had more than $585,000 in cash on hand, with $5,000 in unpaid debts, according to the report filed Tuesday.

During the reporting period, Mitchell spent $269,455. Expenditures included $159,000 on television ads, $36,152 on consultants, $26,700 on polling and $4,328 on bumper stickers and lawn signs.

For more detailed information, visit the Maine ethics commission website.

This post has been updated.

MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at: rmetzler@centralmaine.com

 

MaineToday Media State House Writer Susan M. Cover can be contacted at 620-7015 or at: scover@centralmaine.com

 

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