PORTLAND (AP) – The state ethics commission is looking into whether the largest private contributor in the state’s 2006 gubernatorial race accurately cited its name and address as required by state law.

RECAF Inc. donated $250,000 to a political action committee set up by the Republican Governor’s Association, which wanted to give a boost to Republican Chandler Woodcock in his unsuccessful bid to unseat Democratic Gov. John Baldacci. The address for RECAF on campaign disclosures actually belongs to Cross Creek Programs, a youth treatment center that sits on land owned by a partnership with Robert B. Lichfield, a Republican fundraiser and contributor.

It is a criminal misdemeanor, or a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $500, for a Maine political action committee to accept a campaign contribution from one entity and report it in the name of another, said Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the state ethics commission.

Wayne said he plans to write a letter to the GOP political action committee asking it to clarify whether the contributor’s name and address were accurately reported, as state law requires. “Based on what I’ve heard so far, I would say it sounds like a matter of concern,” Wayne told the Maine Sunday Telegram. Unlike Baldacci, whose campaign was privately financed, Woodcock accepted public financing, so he was barred from receiving private contributions. However, no such fundraising limits apply in Maine to political action committees.

The Republican Governors Association established its Maine PAC on Aug. 8, 2006.

According to campaign finance reports, its first contribution, a $225,000 payment from RECAF, arrived on Aug. 24. A second RECAF payment of $25,000 came on Sept. 7.

The combined contribution was more than twice the next-largest contributions, Republican or Democratic, involving the Maine governor’s race.

Lichfield, whose business interests have no apparent connection to Maine, did not respond to the Telegram’s requests for comment.


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