The Aug. 14 Maine Compass column, “State’s ballot question system exploited regularly by outside interests,” demonstrates the crass hypocrisy of the conservative think tank The Maine Heritage Policy Center. The column decries allowing money from liberal groups outside the state to support or oppose ballot referendums in Maine, yet ignores powerful outside conservative funding that routinely dump millions into Maine elections.

When I went to this newspaper’s website, I was greeted with a political ad demonizing Jared Golden, a candidate running against Republican incumbent Bruce Poliquin. The ad was paid for by House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Congressional Leadership Fund PAC, whose major contributors include Sheldon Adelson, the Las Vegas casino magnate.

Where’s the Maine Heritage Policy Center on this issue? The referendum money the policy center bemoans is peanuts compared to the billions in PACs and super PACs that flow into poor “red” states from outside contributors in every election cycle. What’s fair is fair. Why criticize funding from outside liberal groups on referendum issues when really big money is dumped in poorer states from outside interests routinely? The answer is simple. The Maine Heritage Policy Center’s top priority is to fight liberal causes and keep political power in the hands of conservative Republicans who have for decades turned a blind eye to the Mainers who need a helping hand. A great example is the expansion of Medicaid.

George Martin

Mount Vernon

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