December 31, 2013

Eliot Cutler to forgo PAC money in governor’s race

Democrat Mike Michaud said the decision seems politically motivated, while Gov. Paul LePage declines comment.

The Associated Press

AUGUSTA – A Maine independent candidate won’t accept donations from political action committees in his bid for governor in 2014, his campaign staff said Tuesday.

click image to enlarge

Eliot Cutler, independent candidate for governor, says he won’t accept any donations from political action committees.

2010 Press Herald File Photo / Shawn Patrick Ouellette

That decision by Eliot Cutler will benefit Mainers because he won’t be bought by or beholden to special interest groups and political action committees, said a campaign spokeswoman, Crystal Canney.

“PAC money drives the agenda,” Canney said. “People in Maine deserve better than that.”

The year-end fundraising deadline for the governor’s race is midnight Tuesday. Campaigns are expected to file fundraising reports in January, which will shed light on how much money is pouring into the likely three-person race in Maine next November. Cutler lost to Republican Gov. Paul LePage by less than 1 percentage point in a three-way race in 2010.

LePage’s re-election campaign declined to comment Tuesday.

Lizzy Reinholt, a spokeswoman for Democratic candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud, said Cutler’s announcement was disingenuous, arguing that he hasn’t been backed by any major organizations, so he wasn’t likely getting much PAC money anyway.

It seems “more of a political ploy than an actual, genuine effort to keep money out of politics,” she said.

As a businessman and investor, Cutler is able to self-finance his campaign like he did in 2010 with more than a million dollars of his own money, Reinholt said.

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