Last November, 86% of Maine voters approved an initiative to prohibit foreign government spending in state elections. In a swift punch to the nose of us voters, however, four federal lawsuits have since been filed against the new law by Central Maine Power, Versant and others. They allege that foreign-government controlled entities have a First Amendment right to unlimited spending to influence our elections under the guise of free speech.

This infuriating argument relies on the 2010 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United vs FEC which permitted corporations and unions to spend as much as they wish on U.S. elections. Since then, as we all know, campaign spending has skyrocketed and our campaign finance system has devolved into a non-transparent mess.

Serious campaign finance reform will continue to be challenged in Maine, and across the U.S., until we pass a constitutional amendment to undo Citizens United. The For Our Freedom Amendment, being proposed by American Promise, will empower states and Congress to set reasonable limits on political spending.

2024 is projected to be the most expensive election cycle ever, with nearly $16 billion expected to be spent on political ads. It’s time to take a stand. Join me in signing the American Promise Citizen Pledge to demand an amendment to the U.S. Constitution and end the dominance of big money in politics.

Phil Steele

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