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Maine Governor Inauguration’s Biggest Donors: Medical Pot, Casinos

January 4, 2019

Maine’s new and first-ever female governor, Janet Mills, a Democrat, raised $241,000 for her inauguration, with her biggest donor being a medical marijuana dispensary company.

Wellness Connection of Maine, which runs four dispensaries, donated $25,000 to Governor Mills for her inaugural activities, according to a story in thecounty.me, which also reports that two other dispensaries donated $10,000 each.

The report says that “80 percent” of donations to Mills’s inauguration came from “the marijuana, financial, casino, lobbying, paper and energy industries.”

In the wake of her election in November, Mills raised nearly $277,000 for her inauguration and transition. The latter was financed by individual donors, the former, by strictly corporate donors.

According to thecounty.me, the governor’s team “would only allow lobbyists and companies to donate” to the inauguration committee. With funding for the transition coming only from individuals, Mills’s transition raised a modest $25,000.

A 2015 campaign finance law passed by Maine voters requires transition and inauguration committees to report their holdings.

Thecounty.me says Mills had to disclose her financial statements by January 2, 2019 to comply with the new law.

The report notes that “Oxford Casino gave $15,000 and Hollywood Casino in Bangor gave $10,000.”

Other donors, like L.L. Bean and the Maine Credit Union League, which each gave $10,000, have given to governors of both major political parties in the past, thecounty.me reports.

Thecounty.me further reports that Mills “only spent $70,000 of the money raised” and is required by law to give away “excess money by Jan. 31 to the state, to charity or back to donors. Her team hasn’t announced a plan for any leftover money and they can still raise it until month’s end.”

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