November’s off-year election will feature an important initiative to strengthen Maine’s Clean Election law. Maine voters need to vote “yes” on this initiative to restore the law to its original status, which was weakened by a 2011 U.S. Supreme Court decision.

One example of why Maine needs to strengthen the law was illustrated by the recent Maine Sunday Telegram article “Shrewd financiers exploit unsophisticated Maine legislators on taxpayers’ dime” (April 26).

A mere $16,000 in campaign contributions was given to key Maine legislators by out-of-state financiers to influence the passage of legislation that made it legal to fleece the taxpayers of Maine for millions (yes, millions) of dollars. In return, the taxpayers got the shutdown of a paper mill and the loss of 200 jobs.

Returning Maine’s Clean Election law to its original status would mean that legislators would be less likely to be influenced by corporate campaign contributions. No system for public funding will ever be perfect, but the people of Maine liked the original law.

The majority (80 percent) of Maine candidates used the public funding provided by the law. It’s time to restore it. It will be good for the people of Maine and bad for corporate influence over our elections.

Tom Mikulka

Cape Elizabeth