By Associated Press - Tuesday, February 25, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine’s former governor says that he was paid by a lobbying firm to advocate for the state utility’s hydropower corridor.

Former Republican Gov. Paul LePage said in a statement Monday to the Bangor Daily News that he was paid $7,500 last year by a high-powered lobbying firm to promote Central Maine Power’s $1 billion proposal.

The firm Mitchell Tardy Jackson has been working with the utility since last year to fend off legislative proposals aimed at killing the proposal.

The project, which would bring Hydro-Quebec power to the regional grid through a 145-mile transmission line, has become a hot button issue for LePage’s Democratic successor Gov. Janet Mills.

The project is under threat after opponents delivered more than 75,000 signatures to the state in a bid to get a referendum question on the November ballot.

LePage adviser Brent Littlefield said the former governor was paid last year by the firm to provide “factual data” on the project and his work did not required him to register as a lobbyist under state law.

“I will continue to advocate for this project whether I receive any compensation because it’s the right thing to do,” LePage said in a statement.

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