November 11, 2012

Outside campaign funds flooded state in negativity

This year's State House election drew an unprecedented $3.53 million from away, but did it make a difference?

By Colin Woodard cwoodard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 2)

Today's poll: Campaign finance

Do you think Maine is less likely to have “citizen-legislators” due to the influence of money in politics?

Yes

No

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The biggest outside expenditures came from the Maine Republican Party (more than $920,000), the Maine Democratic Party (almost $840,000) and the Committee to Rebuild Maine's Middle Class (about $760,000), largely financed by national labor unions and traditional Maine Democratic donors, including S. Donald Sussman.

Sussman is the majority share owner of MaineToday Media, which owns the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, the Kennebec Journal in Augusta, the Morning Sentinel in Waterville and other media outlets in Maine.

The Maine Senate Republican Majority (financed by a national Republican Party entity whose largest donors include Anthem, tobacco companies and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce) spent $304,000; Citizens Who Support Maine's Public Schools -- financed by the National Education Association, a teacher's union -- spent over $170,000, while Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform spent almost $65,000.

"I think it's clear that outside money distorts our politics, muddying the messages between candidates and voters," said Andrew Bossie of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections. "We encourage voters to take full advantage of our disclosure laws and look for that message that tells you who is behind the ad and see if you think it's really true."

Staff Writer Colin Woodard can be contacted at 791-6317 or at: cwoodard@pressherald.com

 

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Today's poll: Campaign finance

Do you think Maine is less likely to have “citizen-legislators” due to the influence of money in politics?

Yes

No

View Results