Speaker Sara Gideon’s claims that she is refusing corporate PAC contributions
despite ample evidence to the contrary is coming under fire from all sides in a
new video. The video, released by the Collins for Senator campaign, includes
video from two of Gideon’s Democrat primary opponents talking about Gideon’s
As has been
previously covered, Gideon is claiming she is not accepting corporate PAC
contributions in the campaign. That claim isn’t cutting it for her opponents,
who have repeatedly pointed out that Gideon is accepting leadership PAC
contributions. Those PAC contributions are funded largely by corporate PAC contributions.
honestly, if you take money from Chuck Schumer’s PAC, you are taking corporate
PAC money,” says Betsy Sweet, one of Gideon’s opponents in the video. Sweet
appears to have been speaking to a group at an event when the comments were
recorded. “Just because it went through the washing machine doesn’t mean it’s
not the same piece of clothing.”
a lawyer from Portland, is even more direct in the video.
“I think it’s
hypocritical for anyone who says they’re against corporate money to take money
from PACs that take money from corporate PACs,” says Kidman.
The video closes with 2 item checklist:
-Took corporate PAC money
-Still takes corporate PAC money”
history of accepting money from large corporations is well documented. A report
by Maine Examiner last year showed how Gideon essentially built her political
career in Maine on corporate contributions to her leadership PAC. Many of the
very corporations Democrats rail against for their supposed influence in
politics funded Gideon’s leadership PAC.
that donated to Gideon’s leadership PAC as she rose to her current position
included Merck, Anthem Blue Cross & Blue Shield, Eli Lilly, AT&T and
American Express, among others. Energy companies, such as natural gas
suppliers, pharmaceutical corporations and telecom companies appear with
regularity on Gideon’s PAC donation reports.
leadership PAC is also central to the multiple violations of state and federal campaign
finance law that have swirled around Gideon in recent months. Gideon was fined
by the Maine Ethics Commission for a straw donor scheme that, when exposed,
showed her funneling corporate money into federal elections.
federal contributions in her own name and then personally reimbursing herself
from the PAC, Gideon admittedly broke federal campaign finance law and then was
fined by the Maine Ethics Commission for violating state law as well. The complaint
before the Federal Elections Commission against Gideon has yet to be taken up.
are separate from the more recent issues Gideon faces. In television ads and in
speeches, Gideon claims she is not taking corporate PAC money. In reality, she
is accepting funds given by corporations, but through more friendly “Leadership
for Senator Susan Collins and Gideon’s opponents have all pointed to those contributions
as evidence Gideon is not being honest about her claims. Still, Gideon continues
on claiming she is not accepting them, no matter what the campaign finance
records her campaign files with the FEC say.
Gideon was also recently shown to have taken nearly $20,000 in contributions
from Washington D.C. lobbyists in the months leading up to her recent anti-lobbyist
pledge. That story has been covered at Maine Examiner and the Washington
Free Beacon, but there has been little coverage across most of the Maine