By Michael Shepherd, BDN Staff • January 17, 2020 3:49 pm
Updated: January 17, 2020 4:21 pm
AUGUSTA, Maine — A dark-money group that has aired ads opposing Central Maine Power’s proposed hydropower corridor was hit with a Friday ethics complaint by a political committee funded by the utility in a move that could force the group to disclose donors.
It’s the second ethics complaint in the nascent campaign over the $1 billion corridor that would take Hydro-Quebec power to the regional grid with a 145-mile transmission line through western Maine as opponents collect signatures to put a question on the 2020 ballot to kill the project, which has won two required permits from regulators and awaits others.
During the final three months of 2019, CMP dumped $2.3 million into a political committee opposing the referendum bid. On Friday, that committee, Clean Energy Matters, filed a complaint with the Maine Ethics Commission against Stop the Corridor, a nonprofit that has not disclosed donors and has run $1.3 million in TV and Facebook ads against the project.
Filings with the commission indicate that Stop the Corridor gave nearly $50,000 in in-kind contributions to a political committee run by project opponents. That committee, No CMP Corridor, raised more than $26,000 in other contributions by December’s end.
The complaint alleges Stop the Corridor violated Maine law that makes entities register as political committees if they raise or spend more than $1,500 in a calendar year to influence a political campaign and that is its major purpose. If the nonprofit is forced to register as a political committee, it would have to disclose past donors and it could pay a fine.
Continue reading at: https://bangordailynews.com/2020/01/17/politics/maine-anti-corridor...
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