AUGUSTA — The Maine Republican Party is alleging that a Democratic candidate’s Facebook ‘like’ suggests illegal collusion with an out-of-state super PAC.

But Maine’s ethics commission declined Wednesday to investigate a progressive group that wants candidate Jonathan Fulford to beat Republican Senate President Michael Thibodeau. The California-based group’s Progressive Maine PAC reported plans to spend $50,000 to hire organizers to train volunteers in Fulford’s district.

The Maine Republican Party sent commissioners a screenshot of a Facebook post about Progressive Maine’s hiring plans that Fulford’s Facebook account liked.

Commissioners called Progressive Maine’s spending unusual but lawful, and said a Facebook like isn’t evidence of coordination.

Three of five commissioners also said the party’s allegations didn’t support investigating whether Progressive Maine failed to report independent expenditures to support Fulford.

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