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Politics

State Penalizes Portland Democrat for Using Email List

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Maine ethics commission is fining a Portland Democrat $500 for failing to report her vast email list from her failed 2016 campaign for state Senate.

Maine's Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices investigated whether Rep. Diane Russell should have reported using an email list containing 130,000 names to raise $90,000 for the primary election.

Commissioners agreed with Russell that she, and not her leadership PAC, owned the list used for fundraising. Russell said initially she didn't think the list had value, and agreed to report it as a $1,500 in-kind contribution.

Russell has previously paid more than $4,000 in campaign finance violations.

Commission Executive Director Jonathan Wayne said staff found no evidence Russell used her PAC to hide financial activity or circumvent contribution limits.