Law firms, lobbyists, businesses pay to open Mills

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AUGUSTA, Minn. (AP) — More than a quarter of a million dollars, including donations from law firms, lobbyists and businesses, will fund Democratic Gov. Janet Mills’ inaugural campaign, which will cap off with a party Thursday evening.

Law firm Bernstein Shur and ND Paper Inc., which owns a paper mill in Old Town, each donated $20,000, according to the first reports released this week, while Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Charter Communications and Co. Pierce Atwood’s lawyers donated $10,000 each. . A final fundraising report is due next month.

The money was used to pay for the governor’s official inauguration on Wednesday, along with a party Thursday evening with food and entertainment, both at the Augusta Civic Center.

The menu for Thursday’s invitation-only event nods to Maine’s diverse culture, with Italian sandwiches, crawfish mac and cheese, coastal Maine sardine stew, and African chicken and peanut stew. Music was performed by three groups.

After his first election, it took nearly a year for Mills’ campaign to stabilize after doing an additional round of fundraising to cover spending that was $60,000 more than expected. This led to a $2,000 fine from the Ethics Commission under the 2015 Inaugural Finance Act.

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