Political spending for our U.S. Senate election is a deluge. The candidates are from Maine, of course, but the money is mostly not. Approximately 90% comes from out-of-state, with only 10% from our fellow Mainers. Furthermore, this election is shaping up as the most expensive in our history, in excess of $40 million.

We must stop this nonsense. According to the Constitution, our senators represent us. Yet, with all that money coming from out-of-staters, we can expect that it came with reminders that “you owe me” on some legislation coming before the winning senator when in Congress.

Fortunately, there is an organization, American Promise, with a Maine chapter, leading an effort for a constitutional amendment to allow reasonable limits on campaign finance, one that can be passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress and then by Maine and another 33 states initially (then later ratified by 38 states).

The Maine Legislature passed a resolution in 2013 in support of such a constitutional amendment. American Promise-Maine’s “Stand with Maine” effort wants the Legislature to repeat the call to limit political spending.

The question we need to ask all candidates for Congress and the Legislature: “If elected, will you advance a constitutional amendment to allow reasonable limits on money in politics?” We voters deserve to know.

 

Peter Garrett

Winslow


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