I call on the Legislature to fund Question 1 to ensure the integrity of Clean Elections as intended, and I call on all candidates to use the system to run clean.

An additional $1 million in Clean Election funding must be transferred to the Clean Election Fund by Feb. 20.

In addition, the House’s Taxation Committee should eliminate wasteful corporate giveaways to offset the funding for Clean Elections, as mandated in the referendum.

Funding the new Clean Election law is not an option. It is an obligation and the law. If funding does not come from closing wasteful tax giveaways, then lawmakers will have to find it elsewhere.

Maine’s campaign for Question 1 was truly of, by and for the people. More than a year before Election Day 2015, over 1,000 Mainers collected more than 80,000 signatures to place Question 1 on the ballot.

The voters spoke by passing Question 1 with a clear majority. By a wide margin, Democrats, Republicans, Greens and independents said loudly and clearly that they want a strong Clean Election system, transparency and government accountability. Now it is time for Maine’s elected leaders to listen and act by fully implementing and funding Question 1 as the voters intended.

I am encouraged that over 60 percent of declared House candidates and 80 percent of declared Senate candidates are running using the strengthened Clean Election system. This is an outstanding increase and demonstrates the need we had for Question 1 to stop the erosion of the election process by outside interests.

I challenge those who have not chosen the clean path to free themselves and represent the people they are running to serve – not wealthy special interests, corporations and lobbyists.

Ginny Schneider

Portland


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