George Smith’s recent opinion page column admits not liking the term “clean elections” because it implies candidates who don’t use taxpayer money are “dirty.”

Thanks to Smith, I feel better, not taking a dime of tax money in my three successful Senate campaigns.

Smith’s column jump started particulars that have troubled me about the Clean Election law since its enactment.

I’m an enrolled voter, so some of my tax money in the Clean Election fund will support candidates of my party. Conversely, I’m rightly disgruntled knowing some of my taxes support opposition candidates. And I’m more irked knowing candidates of both parties misspend my taxes.

Taxes of un-enrolled voters go to both political parties; neither one representing them in the primaries. And those candidates are capable of messing around with their taxes as well. I can’t remember the last time I read a letter about the Clean Election law from an un-enrolled voter.

The belief that the law produces “cleaner” legislators lacks evidence. Why are our taxes “cleaner” than the money out of our own pockets? Sure doesn’t say much positive about you and me.


The Senate record of my six years contains recital of my slogan, “My constituents’ agenda leads and my agenda follows.”

One day, as I exited the Rangeley post office, a New Jersey doctor who summered in Maine, someone I’d never previously met, said he’d heard about my campaign and offered $1,000. That, from a person who couldn’t vote for me.

Smith says, “We’re in trouble,” if the $844,722 of matching money spent in the 2010 election was presumed essential to elect people of integrity. He’s not just blowing smoke.


John Benoit


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