Ocean Properties has made the first big independent expenditure to influence legislative races here in Maine over the past few days, dumping over $13,000 into three Democratic primary races in the Biddeford-Saco area, where their proposed racino would be located. The sum exceeds that of all six candidates' war chests combined and comes a week before the primary.
For details, here's my story in this morning's Portland Press Herald.
Two corrections in regards to background from 2011: the story says the racino was defeated 60-40 by the state's voters last year. The actual number was 54.3-44.6 (with some blank ballots making up the difference.) My fault there.
Also, although the Maine ethics commission website currently says Ocean Properties contributed $8.5 million on the ballot question, Peter Connell tells me the figure was more like $4 million. The discrepancy appears to lie with how the commission website tabulates OP's loans, but I haven't yet gotten to the bottom of it.
For more background on Ocean Properties' involvement in Portland's Maine State Pier project, read this.