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We just watched the most expensive gubernatorial race in Maine history - a whopping $23 million was spent by outside groups in the contest between Governor Janet Mills and Paul LePage. This shatters the record $18 million set in 2018. Meanwhile, the State Senate race in Aroostook County surpassed $1 million in spending, more than twice what was spent on any other state legislative race this year. Over 93 percent of this spending came from outside groups.


This is part of a growing trend of big money being spent by outside groups to sway elections in Maine. Last year, groups on both sides of the Question 1 debate spent nearly $100 million to decide the future of the CMP corridor, the most expensive referendum campaign in state history. More than half of that money came from CMP and its partners, including parent company Iberdrola in Spain and Hydro-Quebec in Canada. In 2020, the Senate race between Sarah Gideon and Susan Collins saw over $200 million in spending.


The rapid increase in campaign spending is hardly a Maine-specific problem. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. FEC opened the door to unlimited campaign spending, corporations and outside groups have increased their election spending by 900 percent with little to no accountability.


This trend is not merely an increasingly irritating barrage of political advertising and campaign emails. It’s a clear sign that wealthy donors and special interests are drowning out the voices of everyday Mainers. The only way we can hope to restore a democracy that works for us is to get big money out of politics.


Maine legislators and citizens alike are taking steps to address the problem of outside spending in state elections. This year, the group Protect Maine Elections gathered over 80,000 signatures from voters to put a question on next year’s ballot to ban spending on referendum campaigns by corporations with partial foreign ownership, including Versant. Maine is also one of 19 states that publicly supports a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United. The proposed referendum on spending by multinational corporations reaffirms this support.


Sign if you agree: Maine must put a stop to the flood of big money in politics.


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Did you know that people are more likely to vote if they have a plan in place ahead of time? Writing out a voting plan or talking about it with someone lets you understand what you need to know ahead of time to make Election Day a breeze.


So what does a voting plan entail? Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Where is your polling place? Maine.gov offers a handy Voter Information Lookup System to help you know for sure. This tool will also show you which candidates are on your ballot.

  • When do you plan to vote? There are a couple of easy ways you can cast your ballot between now and Election Day.

  • If you’re planning to vote early via an in-person absentee ballot, meaning you fill out your absentee ballot at your town clerk’s office, you can do so through November 3.

  • If you plan to vote on Election Day, pick a time that works best for you. Some polling places open as early as 6 AM, and polls close statewide at 8 PM. Check your town website or contact your town clerk to find out when your polling place opens.

  • How are you getting to the polls? Are you walking to the polls or driving yourself there? Are you getting a ride from someone or giving another person a ride? Will you take public transportation? A few things to know:

  • Public transportation in the Greater Portland, Bangor, and Lewiston-Auburn areas has been free on Election Day in the past, and will likely be so again.

  • Uber and Lyft are offering 50% off rides to the polls.

  • Are there actions you need to take to execute your voting plan? Do you need to take time off work or secure childcare in order to cast your vote? If you haven’t voted in Maine before or have recently moved, you may also want to check your voter registration status. Same-day voter registration is available, but make sure you bring your driver's license number or Social Security number and a form of ID with your name and address (a piece of mail addressed to you at your physical address also counts).

Making a voting plan is one of the easiest and most important ways you can prepare yourself to cast your ballot. It’s never been easier to vote in Maine, so make sure you get out and vote on or before November 8!


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In response to this year’s massive swing in electric rates, the Maine Legislature and Governor Mills passed LD 2010 – a bill proposed by Senate President Troy Jackson to provide small businesses some relief from high energy costs. This legislation makes tiered credits available for small businesses with high electricity costs based on their usage.


Now the Governor’s office has announced that more than 2,900 small businesses across the state will be receiving these one-time utility assistance credits as part of Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan. More than $7 million was invested in this program, meaning each business will receive a credit of at least $2,300 to offset its energy costs.


“Increases in the cost of energy are hurting Maine small businesses, and we are stepping up to help,” said Governor Janet Mills. “This utility credit will provide more than $2,000 in relief to help small businesses deal with higher energy prices, delivering a small measure of relief for our business owners. We will continue to do all we can to help Maine businesses and Maine people deal with high costs.”


“In the middle of an energy crisis driven in part by conflict overseas and corporate greed, we must do everything we can to help small business owners and everyday Maine families. This starts with the tiered energy credit for eligible small businesses,” said Senate President Troy Jackson. “I’m hopeful that this credit will provide some much-needed relief to businesses with higher energy burdens that are an essential part of rural communities like mine."


Thank you to Senator Jackson and Governor Mills for working together to curb electric costs for our small businesses!



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