Proposed ME Clean Money Initiative to Address Weaknesses in System

Fosters: “Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is expected on Jan. 21 to submit a petition for a citizens’ initiative with well over the 61,123 signatures needed to put the measure on the ballot this fall. The initiative covers those running for the State House, the Senate and the Blaine House, and builds on Maine’s first-in-the-nation Clean Elections Act passed in 1996.

“Key is a mechanism to overcome a recent Supreme Court ruling that disallows state matching funds to be used in clean elections — a key component to any clean elections system. By requiring candidates to garner a series of $5 donations in order to trigger rounds of matching funds, MCCE legal experts believe the initiative will pass constitutional muster because it will show a candidate has continuing support. But that’s not the only provision in the initiative.

“The measure would force the Maine State Legislature to find the $3 million annually to adequately fund clean elections by closing corporate tax loopholes; require governors-elect to report money spent on inaugural and transition activities; and raise the penalties for violations.”

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