AUGUSTA — A Lewiston-based political consultant and former state lawmaker was paid more than $760,000 in a recent effort to collect voter signatures for a failed ballot question campaign for a Southern Maine casino.

According to records filed with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, Olympic Consulting, headed by Stavros Mendros, a former Republican state lawmaker and a former Lewiston city councilor, was one of two companies paid by the Horseracing Jobs Fairness campaign to gather signatures in Maine.

In all, the campaign spent more than $2.9 million, putting it among the most costly ballot campaigns in state history. Nearly all of the campaign’s cash came from a single donor, Lisa Scott, a Miami-based real estate developer.

The other company hired to collect signatures in Maine was the Cheyenne, Wyo.-based Silver Bullet Group. That company was paid $1.1 million for its role in the failed effort, according to a recent campaign finance report filed by the campaign’s treasurer, Cheryl Timberlake, an Augusta-based lobbyist.

The report detailed a wide range of other expenses, including airlines, car rental companies, hotels, day-labor firms and even a comic book store.

During the campaign, out-of-state workers hired to gather signatures complained to the media that they were not being fully paid for their work. When confronted by journalists on the streets in Bangor and Lewiston, some circulators refused to identify themselves or to say for whom they were working.

The campaign finance filing, as required under Maine’s elections laws, comes in the wake of a recent Kennebec County Superior Court ruling that affirmed Maine Secretary of State Matt Dunlap’s decision to disqualify the campaign based on invalid signatures.

Dunlap’s staff threw out thousands of voter signatures on petitions notarized by Mendros because his signatures on the petitions did not match his verified signature on file at the secretary of state’s office.

Mendros said Friday he was disputing the campaign’s finance report.

He said additional expenditures he made for the campaign were not included in the report. He also said his company only received $668,000 and that the campaign owed him an additional $300,000.

“That’s why I haven’t been able to pay people,” Mendros said.

He intends to contest the details in the report with the ethics commission, he said.

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April Quarterly Campaign Finance Report for Horseracing Jobs Fairness Campaign


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