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Ethics Panel: GOP State Lawmaker Violated Clean Elections Law
07/29/2013   Reported By: A.J. Higgins

A Republican state lawmaker from Fort Kent was cleared of some alleged violations of the state Maine Clean Election law, but found to be in violation of others. The state ethics panel concluded that Rep. Allen Michael Nadeau accepted an illegal contribution from his campaign's paid media coordinator, and that the coordinator also violated state law by spending money on the candidate's behalf. A.J. Higgins has more.

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Ethics Panel: GOP State Lawmaker Violated Clean E Listen
 Duration:
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Although state Rep. Allen Michael Nadeau's publicly-financed campaign for House District 1 was found to have accepted a cash contribution in the form of a newspaper ad purchased by his media consultant, members of the state ethics panel concluded they could not prove that Nadeau directed the worker to make the buy.

And although the ad purchase by media consultant James Majka was illegal for a Clean Elections candidate's campaign, things could have gone worse for Nadeau. The commission's executive director, Jonathan Wayne, told the panel it was hard to explain how Nadeau wasn't involved when the ad copy was written in his own handwriting.

"This is the text of the ad that Jim Majka came with him when he arrived at the newspaper office on the afternoon of Monday, Oct. 29th, and it says - in the candidate's own handwriting - 'fiddlehead ad by three o'clock,' and then on the bottom of the page, word-for-word is the exact text of the newspaper ad," Wayne said.

Nadeau's supporters claimed the message had originally been intended as an ad, but was then included instead as text on the candidate's Web site. Ultimately, Majka told the commission he decided to buy the newspaper ad himself as an individual. The commission ruled that Majka was an agent of the campaign and therefore could not make an independent expenditure on the candidate's behalf.

Nadeau and others associated with his campaign faced more serious allegations that suggested the candidate may have used his own money to purchase campaign advertising, in violation of Clean Elections laws. But state ethics Chair Walter McKee said there was no definitive evidence to support the allegation.

"I'm not confident that it came from the family members, but I don't believe we have evidence that it was Mr. Nadeau, the candidate, that passed that money along," McKee said.

The commission has deferred consideration of penalties for Nadeau and Majka to a future meeting.



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