AUGUSTA — Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, has submitted a legislative proposal to ban corporate contributions to candidates for state office in Maine.

The bill is being presented two years after the U.S. Supreme Court’s 5-4 ruling in Citizens United v. the Federal Election Commission, which gave corporations the right to spend unlimited money on political advertising. The court said corporations have the same First Amendment rights to free speech as people.

Hinck’s bill, entitled “An Act to Limit to Natural Persons the Right to Contribute to Political Campaigns,” is based on a law passed in Montana. Hinck, who is running for the U.S. Senate, said in a written statement he wants to “prevent the corrupting influences of special interest corporations on our elections.”

The bill was submitted after the legislative deadline so is not likely to be taken up by the Legislature in this session. House Speaker Robert Nutting said Hinck will be allowed to present the bill to Legislative leaders this week and ask that they waive the deadline.

Last week, the Portland City Council took a similar stand against the Supreme Court ruling.

The council voted 6-2 Wednesday in support of a nonbinding resolution calling on Maine’s congressional delegation to support an amendment to the U.S. Constitution abolishing “corporate personhood.”


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