Shenna Bellows: Maine can make history next week on money in politics
Next week, Maine can make history again. We can take an important next step in reducing the damaging influence of big money in our politics.
We took the first step almost twenty years ago when we passed the Maine Clean Election Act. We created a system where anyone – no matter how much money she had – could run for the state legislature. It worked. Maine has had more women, more young people, more everyday Mainers of all socioeconomic backgrounds representing us in Augusta.
But the Supreme Court and then Governor LePage dealt a devastating one-two blow to the system. First the Supreme Court ruled the matching funds part of our Clean Elections system was unconstitutional. They were wrong, but it didn’t matter. Then, Governor LePage cut funding for Clean Elections.
That’s why Question 1 is so important. We can restore Clean Elections funding and improve transparency and accountability by supporting Yes on 1. It’s the next step in vitally important campaign finance reforms.
Our chances of winning Yes on Question 1 are good because most Mainers believe big money in politics is a problem. But we are vulnerable. Yesterday, a family member asked me about the vote. She had heard all of the falsehoods broadcast by the Governor. We should not underestimate Governor LePage and his allies who are using scare tactics and lies to defeat Question 1.
That’s why it is crucial in these last few days before the election that the campaign reaches as many voters as possible to set the record straight: voting Yes on Question 1 means reforming campaign finance limits, increasing fines and penalties for those who break election rules and strengthening our transparency and disclosure laws.
The vote is Tuesday, November 3, and the time to pitch in to help ensure Yes on Question 1 prevails is right now. Please Volunteer and contribute today to help take back our elections and restore a democracy of, by and for the people of Maine.
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