Tomorrow is the filing deadline for the most recent campaign finance period for all state political candidates, from governor all the way down to county commissioners and district attorneys.
The deadline marks 42 days before the general election on Nov. 4, and the reports will detail the campaign fundraising and spending between July 15 and Sept. 16. Most attention will be paid, obviously, to the three Blaine House candidates, whose races will cost much, much more than the others.
Last week, Eliot Cutler attempted to get a jump on the news cycle by releasing a sketch of his fundraising total for the two-month period: About $500,000 (including a $100,000 loan from Cutler himself). A half a million dollars is clearly nothing to sneeze at, but tomorrow we’ll get additional details such as available cash and total expenditures that will put Cutler’s campaign, and the others, in context.
In the last reporting period (read the story here), Democratic candidate and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud was leading the pack in fundraising from individuals with $267,000, followed by Cutler with $176,000 and incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage with $158,000. But Cutler led total fundraising, thanks to a $588,000 cash infusion from his own private coffers.
Check out the great visual breakdown of the candidates’ financial reports by our resident campaign finance guru, Darren “Charts” Fishell, for more info.
As we get closer to election day, and the candidates spend more and more on airtime, mailers and piles of take-out pizza to feed hungry volunteers, the numbers will climb and climb — to say nothing of the millions being spent by independent groups.
Campaigns often wait until the last possible minute to file their reports. They’ve got until midnight tomorrow to submit their paperwork to the Maine Ethics Commission. We’ll have a roundup for you not long after.
In the meantime, here’s 7 stories from last week to keep you busy:
- The BDN revealed that LePage had instituted a new vacation policy in February to gave his political appointees and staff more paid time off than other state employees who had been employed longer. More than 50 of LePage’s closest allies in the administration received an average of eight days of additional vacation time for every year they have served with the governor in Augusta. Michaud and the public employees’ union were not pleased.
- A federal court judge has agreed to allow a second plaintiff to join the lawsuit against the Maine Center for Disease Control. The new plaintiff, office manager Katie Woodbury, joins a former division director who claims her bosses at the CDC ordered her to shred documents.
- The Maine Municipal Association released full video recordings of their gubernatorial candidate interviews. Michaud and Cutler spoke with the group, LePage opted out.
- Questions have been raised about the shape of the race in House District 99, where the Democratic incumbent candidate, Rep. Brian Jones of Freedom, is currently in rehab for alcoholism. Jones said his drinking problem contributed to his recent arrest on charges of indecent conduct, after he was allegedly caught having sex with a woman who wasn’t his wife at a parked van in the West Gardiner Park & Ride.
- LePage, speaking to the editorial board of the Portsmouth Herald, said he’d bet hard-earned American money — $1,000 to be precise — the GOP would win a majority in the Maine House of Representatives this November.
- Me, Myself and I: The most commonly used words in TV ads in the governor’s race.
- Republicans on Friday suggested that Michaud was responsible for demeaning lyrics about U.S. Sen. Susan Collins contained in a rap song played during a five-minute documentary about his campaign. The problem: Michaud had nothing to do with the song, its placement in the video, or the production of the video. The mud-slinging had the six-term Congressman pretty mad.