Last year, I worked with a bipartisan group of legislators to pass a bill that would prohibit foreign government spending in Maine elections. The bill was eventually vetoed but was then placed on the statewide ballot to be decided by Maine voters. The initiative passed with a historic 86% yes vote, the largest margin of victory for any statewide referendum in Maine’s history.

In spite of the overwhelming voice of Maine people, four lawsuits were recently filed in Federal court attempting to overturn the law and undermine the will of the voters.

Over the past 50 years, Supreme Court cases like Buckley v. Valeo and Citizens United v FEC have created loopholes that allow for unlimited and undisclosed political spending under the guise of free speech. Foreign government entities are now using this loophole to sue the people of Maine, claiming they have a first amendment right to spend millions of dollars to influence our state elections.

The founding fathers understood the importance of protecting our elections from foreign influence. George Washington, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson all spoke out against the threat of outside influence during the nation’s founding. In the Federalist Papers, Alexander Hamilton wrote that foreign interference in our elections is “one of the most deadly adversaries of republican government.”

To ensure that Maine elections are protected from foreign government interference, we need to correct the Supreme Court decisions that wrongly equated money with free speech. The For Our Freedom amendment being proposed by American Promise will restore to state legislatures and Congress the ability to reasonably regulate election spending.

I urge you to hold their elected officials accountable by asking them to support the For Our Freedom amendment. It’s time to restore the people’s voice in government and end the dominance of big-money in our elections.

Rep. Nathan Carlow, R-Buxton

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