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Maine Turnpike Officials to Stop Hiring Lobbyists
03/28/2011 04:19 PM ET  

The Maine Turnpike Authority has canceled its contracts for outside lobbyists, ending a practice that was called into question by the Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA).

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ The decision, announced Monday, comes after the board of the turnpike authority voted last week to end the practice of making donations to outside groups and organizations. Spokesman Scott Tompkins says lobbying expenses during a five-year time frame totaled $133,689, far lower than the $577,237 figure cited by Maine's OPEGA. The turnpike has been under fire since news broke that turnpike executives gave away $157,000 in gift cards from high-end hotels and restaurants. OPEGA, also identified at least $454,000 in additional sponsorships and donations.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)



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