Ban Corporate Contributions from Maine Politics
Every issue that matters to the hardworking families of Maine, from guaranteeing affordable healthcare to ensuring access to clean water and sustainable fisheries, is influenced by the role of money in politics. Since the Supreme Court’s 2010 decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which ruled that campaign contributions from corporations constitute political speech, money has poured into our elections and everyday policymaking with few restrictions.
Maine is no exception. According to Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, corporations spent more than $90 million attempting to influence elections and policy between 2008 and May 2020. Central Maine Power alone has spent nearly $15 million in the past 15 months in favor of the controversial Clean Energy Corridor project.
But this may all be about to change.
LD 1417, “An Act Regarding Campaign Finance Reform,” was recently passed by the legislature’s Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs. Co-sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson, Assistant House Majority Leader Rachel Talbot-Ross, and Senator Louis Luchini of Ellsworth, the bill would place a blanket ban on corporate contributions made directly to state legislators or to their political action committees.
”For far too long, large corporations have been able to buy state governments, and regular people just don’t have the money to buy them back,” Senator Jackson said at a press conference announcing the bill. “Maine has routinely led the nation on ethical reforms, campaign finance reform, and I believe this is the natural next step in the evolution.”
Mainers for Working Families strongly supports LD 1417 and applauds Senator Jackson, Senator Luchini, and Representative Talbot-Ross for their efforts to restore control of our democracy to the people of Maine. Getting corporate money out of politics is critical to our fight to ensure that our policies work for all Mainers, not just those at the top.