In the pantheon of PAC names, “Mainers for Fair Wages” must rank among the least offensive in American electoral history. However, their benign name hides that which their campaign finance disclosure forms reveal: “Mainers for Fair Wages” is fueled by out-of-state money.
EPI analyzed data from the Maine Ethics Commission and found that the PAC has received at least 75 percent of its monetary contributions from out-of-state donors. Accounting for a transfer of funds from the Ballot Question Committee that the PAC shares a name with, it’s possible that Mainers for Fair Wages received as much as 95 percent of its support from outside of Maine.
Such out-of-state contributors to the PAC and Ballot Question Committee include:
- The Fairness Project, a Stanford, California-based political advocacy group conceived by a controversial west-coast labor boss.
- Stephen Silberstein, a California-based member of the secretive left-wing funding group Democracy Alliance.
- Restaurant Opportunities Center, a New York-based advocacy group that’s been sued in the past by its own members for failure to pay minimum wage.
Mainers for Fair Wages is advocating for a 60 percent increase in the state’s minimum wage to $12 an hour, and a 220 percent increase in the minimum wage for tipped employees. Earlier this year, EPI released an analysis by Drs. David Macpherson of Trinity University and William Even of Miami University which found that roughly 3,800 jobs would be lost in the state at $12, the majority of which would come from small businesses. See the full report on the Mainers PAC here.
*This analysis was subsequently confirmed by the Bangor Daily News, one of Maine’s major newspapers.