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Maine Today Media owner is Maine’s largest individual donor to legislative leadership PAC’s

Donald Sussman donated seven times more than any other individual to leadership and caucus political action committees in last ten years, also donates to group dedicated to “reducing the influence of big money in politics”

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, an organization dedicated in part to “reducing the influence of big money in politics” released a report today detailing millions in donations to legislative Political Action Committees (PAC’s) from what they call “heavy hitter” donors, which includes one of their own donors.

The report revealed that Donald Sussman, the owner of the Maine Today Media and husband of Maine congresswoman Chellie Pingree, is Maine’s biggest individual contributor to legislative leadership and caucus PAC’s, having given the committees $379,000 in the last ten years. This doesn’t include donations to ballot question committees, individual candidates, or political parties.

Sussman’s $379,000 is more than seven times the total of the next closest individual legislative PAC donor, Robert Bahre, who gave a total of $54,000 over the ten-year period. It also doesn’t come close to revealing the total Sussman has given to all PAC’s. Sussman’s total PAC donations in the same ten-year timeframe the study looks at total more than $3.45 million.

Perhaps more puzzling than Sussman’s well-known “heavy hitter” status as a political donor is that he is a major contributor to MCCE, the group responsible for the report that decries legislative PAC’s and their major donors for how they “distort Maine politics.”

The groups CEO, Andrew Bossie, confirmed that Sussman is “one of their largest donors,” of more than 400 individual donors Bossie says give to the group. He couldn’t recall off-hand if any other donors to the group appeared with Sussman among the state’s most prolific political donors.

Sussman has spent big time money supporting his favorite political committees, including two recent contributions sending $75,000 to the House Democrat Campaign PAC in March, and another $75,000 to the Senate Democrat Campaign PAC in April.

Other major PAC contributions by Sussman include $389,000 given to EqualityMaine PAC in 2010, $370,000 given to the anti-TABOR PAC “Citizens United for Maine’s Future” and $418,000 spent on the “Protect Maine Votes” PAC this past fall to reinstate same-day voter registration in Maine.

Bossie, who advocates for some type of restriction on the amounts people can give to these PAC’s said he was concerned about “big money” donors like Sussman being able to influence legislators with their donations.

“What’s bad is that the system allows so much big money from these people,” Bossie said. When asked if he thought it was strange to have someone who gives money to his group, which advocates for restrictions on “big money in politics,” also be the largest political donor in the state, Bossie said he thought it was a function of the flawed system.

“He’s a big donor giving money…the system is the system, it allows that and it must be reformed.”

Bossie said that when donors like Sussman give to his organization, they understand they will be advocating against “big money in politics.”

Please add your thoughtful comment . . .
BillyFiske says:

Unless you have access to tax records how do you know Mr. Sussman has not declared himself a resident and does not pay any taxes in Maine?

Levanger Hallowell says:

Anyone reading MAINE INSIGHT?

Underwritten and subsidized by Ramona du Houx, Alex’s mommy, the latest issue is nothing but adoration for her creepy, stalking, bully of a son. 

While people are concerned about the Su$$man’s, the media ‘Houx’s’ also deserve our attention. 

Time to shake out all the weasels and snakes in  Maine Politics!

Matelot1 says:

I cancelled my subscription last month after the editor wrote a piece about why voter ID is bad.

How is it that Sussman claims his residence is the U.S.Virgin islands and pays no taxes in Maine, but, by the media in the state he is the number one mainer in the state! I still have a suspicion that Chellie is a front and it’s really a Sussman Frank couple behind closed doors. Don’t know, don’t care, but, it is a suspicion, and Chellie gets the money and unfettered press for her power play. Think about it.

Bogger1 says:

We have been still being governed from away. These people have no loyalty to Maine people we are just vehicle for them to garner power over us then take our money. They all see Maine as a place where they can be a big fish in a small pond. 

mainenowandthen says:

Correct.  I need to check a little more thoroughly myself.

Rparpa says:

actually

tomuchbs says:

Well put Penny, 

The silver lining in this mess is that mainers occasionally win a few battles and we are slowly taking back our state from the whako left.  Governor LePage led the charge and he is doing a stellar job in Augusta.  We can continue our success when we elect a Republican Senator.  Expect the libs to keep squealing…..miusic to our ears.  

mainenowandthen says:

I realize that the PPH is not big on using Spell Check or other proof reading aids, but do you suppose that the new ownership can acutally spell/understand the meaning of “hypocrisy”?

Pennyroyal says:

Having coffee in one of Rockland’s chi-chi bakery coffee shoppes reading “The Maine Magazine” Downeast I was once again reminded of how the 1% who call themselves the 99% have truly and completely taken over certain aspects of Maine life. It would surprise me greatly if there is one native of Maine involved in the editorial aspects of the elitist tome. I have always laughed at Downeast as a joke on the “from aways” but today I was reminded of the political aspects….Angus King from Virginia, Chuck Kruger from New Jersey, Chris Rector from Massachusetts and Chellie Pingree from Minnesota.
The magazine constantly snipes at a native,  Gov. LePage and praises Angus King….this is what it is like living in Mid-coast Maine where the 1% who call themselves the 99% reign supreme and the chi-chi are contemptuous of the real Maine.

tomuchbs says:

The irony of Sussman’s over the top donations to Maine’s failed liberal circus in Augusat  pales in comparison to his financial support of the homosexual perversion being forced on Maine. 

Sussman, his pet congress person and his buddy barney frank are detemined to advance, at considerable cost, this most recent attempt to redefine marraige in support of perverse homosexual alt-lifestyles.  The good news in this particular political cess pool is that  Mainers recognize and respect Marriage as being  between one man and one woman  and a fool and their money are soon parted.

Billionare hedge fund managers from Conn using their cash to sway the Maine electorate is both disturbing and an insult to the voters of Maine. Hopefully after the election of our next President Mr, Romney and the defeat of the homosexual sodomy Marriage proposal in November sussamn and his money will seek a warmer climate for retirement.