WASHINGTON — I am deeply worried about the future of our democracy.

Its fundamental principle has always been that the people govern. But the massive amount of money that flows into our system today only undermines that by drowning out the voices of everyday people.

The result is a problem I’ve talked about often: partisanship, one-upmanship and an inability to get things done that truly matter to the people of this country.

Big money is influencing our political system. Even worse, a staggering amount of it is secret and flowing from rich individuals and corporations who can hide behind a cloak of anonymity – all thanks to a haphazardly thought-out Supreme Court decision that begs for a legislative correction.

I am working hard to take action at the federal level by introducing several pieces of legislation requiring disclosure of all contributions intended to influence elections. Change will not happen until the people rise up and demand it.

That’s why it’s essential that voters across Maine lead the way and stand together in supporting Question 1 on the Nov. 3 statewide ballot.


Question 1 is an important step forward in reforming state campaign finance laws to limit the influence of dark money groups on elected officials, increase transparency and ensure that politicians are accountable to the people of Maine. It will apply only to state-level candidates and campaigns.

Its reforms are common sense. Its impact will be monumental.

Question 1 demands transparency. It will pull back the curtain on secret money in elections by requiring outside groups spending big money in support of or in opposition to state candidates to disclose their top three donors on all political ads because Mainers deserve to know where politicians get their money.

It will toughen fines and penalties for those who break Maine’s election laws so they are truly held accountable to the people. And it will encourage strict campaign spending and contribution limits by strengthening the state’s landmark Clean Elections system so that candidates throughout Maine can run for office without being reliant on special interests and big money donors.

I’ve watched as Maine’s Clean Elections system has transformed the state’s Legislature and opened the door for everyday people like plumbers, teachers, carpenters and firefighters to be able to run for office and compete against deep-pocketed or well-connected opponents.

By putting a focus on low-dollar donations and taking special interest money out of the equation, Clean Elections makes a $5 donor become a political player in our system and ensure that politicians answer to the people. That’s why Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents have been such strong supporters of the system.


Unfortunately, because of misguided changes at the state and federal level in recent years, our Clean Elections system has been severely weakened. Question 1 gives us an opportunity to make it strong once again.

By passing Question 1, we can halt the unprecedented shift in campaign financing and return control of our elections to the hands of the people, restoring faith in our political system and protecting the fundamental principle of having a government that is of, by and for the people.

It’s that principle that has brought so many Mainers together to fight in support of Question 1.

As a state, we understand that free speech means we all have a right to have our voices heard.

Together, Mainers collected more than 80,000 signatures to place Question 1 on the ballot this Nov. 3. And now, it’s important that together we pass Question 1 at the ballot box.

The louder our call for change is, the larger the impact it will have in Maine and across the country. And the sooner we, the people, will be able to take back control of our elections once and for all.

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