State PAC with Ron Paul ties pulls in more than $30,000

Defense of Liberty, the state political action committee formed by the former directors of Ron Paul’s presidential campaign in Maine, raised more than $30,000 between June 6 and July 17, the committee’s most recent campaign finance report shows.

The campaign finance report filed earlier this week with the Maine Ethics Commission offers the first glimpse into the group’s financial strength and, potentially, how active it will be in legislative campaigns in the coming months.

The report shows the committee raised $32,500, with the bulk of that money coming from L.L. Bean heiress and businesswoman Linda Bean, her sister, Diana Bean, and their mother, Hazel Dyer. The three — who were early donors to Paul LePage’s gubernatorial bid — gave $10,000 each.

The Defense of Liberty PAC launched earlier this month, saying it planned to target races across the state by ”identifying, supporting and electing liberty-minded candidates to public office.” The PAC’s mission “is to make Maine a model of economic and personal freedom for the rest of the nation.”

The campaign finance report offers a glimpse into some of those races Defense of Liberty is targeting. The committee spent almost $3,000 in Washington County helping Kathleen Caso in her state Senate primary against Rep. David C. Burns.

The other candidates that received some level of Defense of Liberty support during their primary races were four incumbent Republican House members — Deborah Sanderson of Chelsea, Heather Sirocki of Scarborough, Aaron Libby of Waterboro and Beth O’Connor of Berwick — and three House aspirants — Matthew Maloney of Westbrook and Davian Akers and Gwen Tuttle, both of Portland.

Tuttle was among a group of 20 Republicans who, earlier this week, announced they planned to vote in favor and campaign on behalf of November’s same-sex marriage ballot measure.