AUGUSTA — Republican Gov. Paul LePage said a political action committee he’s fundraising for will spend its money to help legislative candidates, but he declined to identify them during a news conference at the State House Wednesday.

“That’s an attempt to raise some money to help candidates,” LePage said, when asked about the ICE PAC. When questioned about who would benefit, LePage said, “That’s up to you to find out and me to know. I’m not going to tell you that. If I tell you it’s no secret.”

The PAC, formed by two former LePage staffers, has spent only a small fraction of what it has raised and appears to be sitting on a war chest of more than $300,000, according to the latest filings at the Maine Ethics Commission. The PAC’s registration form says it is intended to help candidates who are “pro-economic growth and who strive to lower the tax burden on Maine citizens.”

ICE PAC was formed in July by Holly Lusk, who was once LePage’s senior advisor on health policy, and Mike Hersey, a former director of business development and innovation for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development.

Hersey has said that ICE stands for Increasing Citizen Engagement.

Based on a campaign finance filing this month, the largest expenditures the PAC has made to date, totaling just over $21,000, have gone to help the Maine Republican Party make its payroll.

The other expenditures for the PAC appear to be legal costs or reimbursements for a variety of fund-raising related activities. The PAC’s official registration was amended in September to list LePage as a fundraiser and decision maker.

The PAC’s donors come from a wide variety of Maine businesses and business people, with some of the most notable including some of founding partners of the Oxford Casino, Suzanne Grover and James Boldebook, who gave $20,000 and $2,000 to the PAC respectively; Lewiston-Auburn developer and businessman George Schott gave $20,000; Waterville-based Central Maine Motors gave $10,000; Jackman-based logging company E.J. Carrier, Inc., gave $20,750; and Shucks Maine Lobster, LLC in Richmond gave $10,000.


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