Ethics panel fines pro-gay-marriage group in Maine
The ethics commission today voted to fine L PAC, an out-of-state political action committee that supports gay marriage, for missing filing deadlines leading up to the Nov. 6 election. In early September, the group solicited donations in support of Question 1 by asking for contributions through its Facebook page, but had not yet filed as a PAC with the state, said Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Even after it did register, the group then missed three more filing deadlines. L PAC donated $40,000 to Mainers United for Marriage, the lead group in support of the ballot question. Mainers voted 53 percent to 47 percent to approve the initiative. In total, Mainers United raised $4.8 million and received nearly $1 million in in-kind services, according to reports filed late Tuesday with the state. At Wednesday's meeting, ethics commission members agreed to reduce the penalty from a possible $11,558 to $889.50 because the group said it was unfamiliar with Maine laws and because they attempted to comply.