AUGUSTA — A Maine organization that advocates for increased public funding for campaigns is predicting that $26.6 million in private money will be pumped into state gubernatorial and legislative campaigns this year.

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections says it’s anticipating that the amount of private money in this year’s elections will be more than double that of 2010. The amount includes both private funds raised by candidates and those raised by outside groups like political action committees.

The group made its announcement on Tuesday, which is the fourth anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling that opened the way for unlimited independent financing of political advertising campaigns.

Andrew Bossie, the group’s executive director, says Maine must strengthen the state’s Clean Election Act and increase transparency in campaign spending.

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