Ethics panel wants to look at anti-corridor group’s donors
AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — A group that opposes a hydropower transmission corridor in western Maine must disclose financial information so the ethics commission can continue investigating whether campaign finance laws were broken.
The ethics commission unanimously ordered the disclosures Friday following a complaint against Stop the Corridor.
Stop the Corridor spent more than $1 million on television and Facebook ads opposing the 145-mile transmission line earlier this year. But it never disclosed the source of the money.
Clean Energy Matters, a CMP-affiliated committee, alleged that Stop the Corridor was required to register as a political committee because it had received and spent more than $1,500 to influence a ballot question.
Stop the Corridor said it did not have to disclose donors because it intended to influence the permitting process, not the referendum vote.
Mainers are set to vote on the project in November.
Central Maine Power’s proposed $1 billion New England Clean Energy Connect would serve as a conduit for up to 1,200 megawatts of Canadian hydropower to reach the regional power grid.
Under the proposal, most of the 145-mile transmission line would follow an established utility corridor that would need to be widened. A new path also would be cut through 53 miles of wilderness.