Congresswoman Chellie Pingree criticized a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to suspend a portion of a campaign finance law in Arizona, similar to the Clean Elections system in Maine.
 
“The system has worked well in Maine and in states that have followed Maine’s lead, like Arizona and Connecticut,” Pingree said. “But it seems that the Supreme Court under Chief Justice Roberts has set out to systematically dismantle the campaign finance reforms that people around the country have adopted.”

Two of the candidates for governor in Maine on the ballot in Tuesday’s primary election – Libby Mitchell and Pat McGowan – received matching payments under a provision similar to the one in the Arizona law that the Supreme Court blocked.
 
In the Arizona case, the Supreme Court issued an injunction preventing the state from giving extra money to publicly funded candidates facing privately funded rivals and changing the election rules in the thick of primary season.

The court stopped Arizona from disbursing so-called matching funds at least until it decides whether to hear the opponents’ full appeal.

As they await a final ruling that may not come until the fall or even later, candidates and their advisers are reworking their strategies, with publicly funded candidates having to compete with fewer dollars.

Pingree has introduced the Fair Elections Now Act with Congressman John Larson, D-Conn., to create a national system for Congressional campaigns similar to Maine’s Clean Elections law.  But she says the law was specifically crafted to avoid the kind of court challenge that has impacted the Arizona law.