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Maine: ethics commission votes that Heritage Policy Center is not a PAC

The State House News Service reports: A divided ethics commission decided last week not to subpoena records from the conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center to determine if the organization’s efforts on behalf of the Taxpayer Bill of Rights qualified it as a political action committee – a designation that would allow people to get a better look at its finances.

Instead, the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices voted to require the think tank to file a less-restrictive campaign finance report used by some other nonprofits that got involved in political campaigns during election season. ...

Under law, political action committees, or PACs, are defined as groups whose “major purpose” is advocating the passage or defeat of a ballot question. They have to raise money on behalf of a cause and spend in excess of $1,500 to promote it. PACs have to file regular campaign finance reports listing who contributed money and how they spent it. ...

The vote, however, was tied, with the two Democratic representatives on the commission voting for further investigation and one Republican and the independent member voting against. The fifth member, Jean Ginn Marvin, a Republican, removed herself from the discussion because she’s on the board of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. -- keepMEcurrent.com - Government News - Current Publishing, LLC

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