Not the best news in the world for incumbent New Hampshire governor Democrat Maggie Hassan:
The state Attorney General’s Office says it will review a complaint received from the New Hampshire Republican Party Wednesday charging that a union strongly favoring the Northern Pass project made an illegal campaign contribution to Gov. Maggie Hassan’s campaign committee – and that the Hassan campaign illegally accepted it.
The NHGOP says the $25,000 contribution on June 12 from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers political action committee “dramatically exceeded” the state contribution limit. The Republicans also say the IBEW campaign spending report of June 18 is questionable because although it lists total receipts of $143,667, it does not list any itemized receipts.
The Northern Pass project is, for those wondering, a project to bring in Canadian electrical power via a big, honking set of power lines. The unions like the idea: environmentalists (and Maggie Hassan) do not. I have no opinion about the project itself (I never even heard of it until now), but it does look at least a little problematic that the unions are throwing so much money into Gov. Hassan’s campaign coffers. That’s one traditional way to buy influence, and everybody involved knows it.
PS: Was it illegal? Honestly, based on the article: nobody actually knows, given that the legality hinges on any number of arcane and byzantine conditions happening in a certain time and order. You can tell, by the way, that nobody’s really sure by the way that Democrats avoided being rude about the GOP in their quotes; Democrats only do that when they’re not sure that the branch limb really will hold their weight. Welcome to the wonderful world of campaign finance ‘reform:’ here’s your accordion.