Money is a force that can’t be taken lightly. Money can be used for a tool of ultimate corruption. Sadly, it’s no foreign concept that people use money to influence others.

For instance: Politicians are supposed to represent all of their constituents fairly, yet often they end up listening more intently to the interests of the wealthy.

This is undoubtedly because the wealthy can contribute far more than Joe down the road. The terrible reality is that the things that benefit owners of corporations don’t always benefit us.

What’s the solution to this problem? The solution is pretty simple: Cut big-money influence out of politics! That’s exactly what Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is working to do.

The group’s aim is for political candidates to receive limited equal amounts of money: both small donations from Maine citizens, and from state funding (not huge donations from a few wealthy contributors). The idea is that it would make our legislators more likely to represent us the people, rather than the special interests of the few mega-rich.

MCCE has crafted a citizen initiative that it says does the following: strengthens the Maine Clean Election Act; requires dark money groups to disclose top donors; discloses governor-elect fundraising; increases fines and penalties for campaign finance law violations and closes a corporate tax loophole.

This is not a partisan issue. As a conservative, I have worked alongside moderates and liberals. Everyone deserves to be fairly heard by our representatives and to have policies that are beneficial to Mainers, not out-of-state interests.

Maine citizens should be 100 percent behind an initiative that puts decisions in the hands of the conscientious people. Let us be heard. Join the campaign.

Erik Squire

Machias


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