- Associated Press - Thursday, March 2, 2017

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Lawmakers in Maine voted along party lines to quash an effort to investigate a Democratic legislator’s employment for a ballot campaign committee.

Assistant House Republican Leader Ellie Espling said the House Ethics Committee should investigate whether Rep. Ryan Tipping’s employment violated legislative ethics rules.

The House voted 77-64 on Thursday against Espling’s motion.

Tipping is the taxation committee’s House chair and received at least $9,000 by a group that successfully pushed an income surtax to fund schools.

Tipping and Democratic leaders say many lawmakers have jobs related to bills they work on and that Tipping cleared his employment with the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices. Republican lawmakers noted the commission’s executive director gave the informal opinion that it’s unlikely Tipping’s job would pose a conflict of interest.

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