Maine’s ethics commission will meet Friday to decide whether to investigate a pair of complaints filed this week in connection with the governor’s race.

The Maine Democratic Party filed a complaint Tuesday alleging that Republican Gov. Paul LePage has been using state resources for his re-election campaign in violation of state law.

Later in the day, the Maine Republican Party filed a complaint accusing U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud of improperly using federal election funds to support his race for governor.

Politicians who hold office and seek re-election often benefit from this during campaigns, particularly in their ability to be in the news. Although laws exist to separate campaigning from governing, in practice it can be difficult to draw a clear line between the two.

The Democratic Party cited three instances in September in which Alex Willette, the LePage campaign’s spokesman, was seen entering or exiting a black SUV that the governor uses at taxpayer expense. The party said the presence of Willette, a campaign employee, is an indication that a state-owned vehicle is being used for non-state purposes.

The Republican Party’s complaint alleges that Michaud made approximately $10,000 in possibly illegal contributions from his federal campaign committee that “were clearly designed to support (his) state-level race for governor.”

Even if the ethics commission decides to investigate either complaint, there is no guarantee it would reach any conclusions before Election Day, which is less than a month away.

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