Question 1 is a good law for Mainers, no matter what their political persuasion.

I remember when the Maine Clean Elections Act was created in 1996 by a citizens’ initiative (not the Legislature). For a while, our elections were amazing. The law was so good that Arizona copied parts of it, and added other dubious features of their own. Their law went to the Supreme Court and those dubious parts were largely struck down.

But the fallout from this and other court decisions weakened our law.

After this happened, suddenly the number of out-of-state campaign ads increased and publicly funded candidates decreased. A second citizens’ initiative is now on the ballot to fix some of the issues raised by time and court decisions.

Campaign ads use psychological research gathered over the past century to affect how we vote. So we must all learn to largely ignore these ads and do our own voting research. However, as the ads appear, look at the bottom of the ad for small print telling the supporter of the ad. Copy this down and search up information on the supporter. If the sponsor is not a Maine organization or leads you in a hopeless circle finding nothing, you will know the ad was placed by a non-Mainer who would like to influence our opinion about what is our business, not theirs.

So far, the No on 1 ads seem to be coming mostly from outsiders, and the Yes on 1 ads from Mainers.

I urge others to join me in helping to keep Maine elections about Maine and vote yes on Question 1.

Tom Berger


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