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REPORT: Sara Gideon takes another $20k from Washington DC Lobbyists, despite anti-lobbyist pledge

Maine House Speaker Sara Gideon speaks at a press conference with Governor Janet Mills in the Governor’s cabinet room.

AUGUSTA – Sara Gideon may claim to be anti-lobbyist, but a new report analyzing her most recent campaign contributions shows she’s still taking their money. The Washington Free Beacon is reporting that Gideon, who is one of four candidates vying for the Democratic nomination to challenge Senator Susan Collins, took almost $20,000 from 22 Washington D.C. lobbyists in her most recently filed finance report with the Federal Election Commission.

That news violates the spirit of Gideon’s recent pledge to reject gifts from lobbyists and oppose their influence in politics.

It’s also not the first time Gideon has accepted significant donations from lobbyists or from interests she now claims to oppose. The Free Beacon reported that in the previous quarter, Gideon had accepted a similar amount of donations from lobbyists in the previous fundraising quarter.

At least one of the donations is from a lobbyist who had ties to the Podesta Group, which shuttered in the fallout of the Mueller investigation after one of the firm’s principals was revealed in an indictment to have been working for the interests of a Ukrainian President aligned with Russia.

Gideon also is taking heat for claiming she opposes corporate PAC money while being fined for at least one ethics violation related to a federal straw donor scheme with money from her leadership PAC, which was funded with corporate donations.

Other reports have shown how Gideon ushered certain policies through the Maine Legislature that appear to contradict her position on “green” public policy, at a point where an energy lobbyist was serving as treasurer of her corporate-funded PAC.

Gideon was fined by the Maine Ethics Commission for one violation of state campaign finance law by her corporate-funded PAC, known as Gideon Leadership PAC. A complaint filed with the FEC related to that federal straw donor scheme, has yet to be heard. At the time the story broke, Gideon did issue a statement essentially admitting the violation and sent a check to the U.S. Treasury.

However, Gideon now also faces another complaint in Maine, for failing to report more than $3,400 in campaign expenditures from her leadership PAC in the 2018 election cycle.

Sara Gideon’s “reform agenda”, released as part of her campaign for U.S. Senate, rails against the influence of lobbyists and corporate money, repeatedly calling out the influence of lobbyists and presenting Gideon as an opponent of their influence.

To read the original report from the Washington Free Beacon, click here.

To read the most recently filed ethics complaint against Sara Gideon for unreported campaign expenditures from her corporate-funded Leadership PAC, click here.

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