Colin Woodward has done some great work investigating the dodgy campaign finance issues of the election. Aside from such Orwellian misnomers as the "Green Jobs for Maine PAC" that was actually a slot-machine supporter's PAC (I guess slots ARE emissions free), the race was also inundated with money from out of state PACs supporting Governor LePage. According to Woodward:
Fifty out of state corporations and industry associations to whom LePage owes a great debt including:
- Drugmakers AstraZeneca (donated $344,000) Pfizer ($94,000)Amgen ($74,000) and Glaxo-Smith Kline ($99,000) and their industry association, Pharmaceutical Research (PhRMA; $144,000).
- The members of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce($225,000)
- The Corrections Corporation of America, operators of private prisons ($25,000)
- Weapons firms EADS North America ($44,000) and Demmer Corp. ($44,000)
- For-profit charter school curriculum developer K12 Management Inc ($19,000)
- MAXIMUS and ResCare Inc. ($50,000 each) , firms specializing in for-profit outsourcing of social services.
- Offshore oil services firm Alliance Marine Services (which donated $25,000 early on, some of which was used to payvideo tracker Lauren Chatmas.)
From these facts we can be fairly certain why LePage is just giddy at the prospect of wasting millions of Maine dollars in a fruitless challenge of the Affordable Care Act. We should also expect to soon see pledges to privatize our prisons, strip public schools of funding in favor of vouchers to attend charters, the rolling back of our environmental protections to mollify energy companies, and, last but not least, lots of casual talk about how great a vacation spot Michigan makes!
Seriously, though, does anyone understand that Michigan Chamber donation? I get that LePage is a chamber kinda guy ("durrrrr, CUT THE RED TAPE, durrrrr), but Michigan? Do state chambers donate money to other state's gubernatorial candidates in some kind of baity-switchy trickery? Did the Maine Chamber of Commerce send money to North Carolina or something? Should we expect the Michigan Chamber of Commerce to get some free billboard space? I hope it means more Bell's Beer in our local packies!