George Soros' Open Society Foundation and the medical-device billionaire philanthropist Hansjörg Wyss were instrumental in the nonprofit purchase of nearly two dozen respected local newspapers in Maine, including the Portland Press Herald, the Lewiston Sun Journal, and the Kennebec Journal, reported.

The National Trust for Local News says it received funding from Soros' organization, but denies that the Open Society Foundations provided funding specifically for the purchase of the local papers.

But Semafor reported that Soros and Wyss did donate funds so the National Trust could acquire the papers, and the donations had not been previously reported.

In total, the Soros-backed National Trust acquired five daily papers and a further 17 weekly publications in Maine, the Daily Caller reported.

Both Open Society and Wyss gave millions to the National Trust for the purchase of the Maine newspapers, Semafor reported.

Wyss is a major funder of American progressive organizations, funneling nearly $500 million into left-wing advocacy groups. Americans for Public Trust, a watchdog group, alleges that the Swiss billionaire uses a foreign influence loophole to perform his philanthropy.

A Media Research Center report found that Soros has donated $52 million to media organizations since 2003. According to the MRC, some of these donations breach the Society of Professional Journalists' ethical code regarding conflicts of interest.

Conservative political money is investing in Maine, too, Semafor observed. According to financial filings shared separately with Semafor by Accountable.US, conservative judicial activist Leonard Leo's political network has been partially financing a local right-wing publication in Maine, The Maine Wire. It is a small digital media site that publishes state and national news.

According to filings shared with Semafor, in 2020 and 2021, The Maine Wire's parent organization, the Maine Policy Institute, received funding from several nonprofits backed by Leo, including the Schwab Charitable Fund and DonorsTrust.

Maine has elected both Democrats and Republicans. In the Senate it is represented by Susan Collins, a Republican, and Angus King, an independent who caucuses with the Democrats.

Former President Donald Trump lost Maine in 2016, though by less than 3 points.