MaineCasinoNow Spending, By the Numbers

Price Item Purchased From …

$10.90 Lye for making biodiesel Farmington Farmer’s Union

$257.99 100 pounds of popcorn, butter, bags North Center Food Service in Augusta

$306.00 Ugolini cold drink dispenser eBay

$25.64 Cups for fairs Reed Party Store in Auburn

$30.00 Two custom fair workers’ shirts Little Shop of Ours in Winthrop

Casino PAC in black

LEWISTON – A group promoting a casino initiative in western Maine is in the black, with about $16,000 in its coffers, according to the state ethics commission.

Previous filings showed the political action committee, MaineCasinoNow, was running a more than $100,000 deficit, but amended filings show the PAC is solvent.

The conflicting records were the result of inaccurate filings by Rumford lawyer Seth Carey, who formed the PAC and is leading the casino effort, ethics officials said.

Carey met with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to sort out the situation, said Jeremy Brown, the state’s PAC registrar.

Brown said the clerical problem arose from Carey using the same bank account for his PAC and his company, Evergreen Mountain Enterprises, LLC. The commission wanted more transparency in the filings and has allowed Carey to amend previous filings. Because of Carey’s willingness to work with the state in rectifying his reports, disciplinary action against his PAC is not anticipated, Brown said.

“It just wasn’t exactly the best way to do it,” Brown said of Carey’s accounting methods.

Carey confirmed his group is in the black.

State law requires itemized public records of all contributions and expenses of more than $1,500 on behalf of initiating, promoting or influencing ballot questions. Carey had made regular filings of his MaineCasinoNow PAC, but had listed contributions of nearly $18,000 to the PAC from his company, Evergreen Mountain Enterprises. It turned out the contribution was from Carey himself.

The filing update was not complete, Brown said. Some of the new records reveal several outstanding loans that are keeping the PAC afloat.

Paul Thornton of Long Island, Maine, loaned $100,000 to the PAC last fall and Ryan Boudreau of Saco loaned the group $5,000 last June, in addition to loans from Carey and his father, lawyer Tom Carey of Rumford. Seth Carey also listed a $14,000 personal loan from Bank of America.

But the group isn’t only gathering money; it’s spending it. Carey is stocked and ready for his tour of Maine fairs later this summer, according to the most recent filing, covering financial activity from May 28 to July 15. It shows the PAC has purchased an old U-Haul truck and the supplies needed to modify its engine to run on biofuel. The PAC also purchased popcorn, a frozen drink machine, a Sirius satellite radio and thousands of bumper stickers, pens and fliers.

On Nov. 4, voters statewide will have the chance to vote on legislation drafted by Carey that would create a privately run casino in Oxford County. As written, the initiative would give 39 percent of the casino’s profits to the state, earmarked to specific programs including health care, student loan repayment and an east-west highway.

The bill includes several other provisions, including lowering the state gambling age from 21 to 19, placing a 10-year moratorium on building other casinos in Maine and granting the casino’s president a seat on all of the boards of state agencies and programs that benefit from it financially. Some of those agencies include the University of Maine System, the Finance Authority of Maine and the Land for Maine’s Future Fund.

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