FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ANNOUNCE SUPPORT FOR PROTECTING MAINE ELECTIONS
FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS ANNOUNCE SUPPORT FOR
PROTECTING MAINE ELECTIONS
Former Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME1) and former Congressman Dave Emery (R-ME1) join the growing coalition of Maine leaders calling on the legislature to pass LD 1610/IB1.
Augusta, ME – The Protect Maine Elections campaign today announced that former Congressman Tom Allen (D-ME1) and former Congressman Dave Emery (R-ME1) have joined the growing coalition of Maine leaders calling on the legislature to pass LD 1610/IB1, “An Act To Prohibit Campaign Spending by Foreign Governments and Promote an Anticorruption Amendment to the United States Constitution.”
As a Citizens Initiative, LD 1610 is sponsored by the voters of Maine. In November 2022, the campaign submitted the signatures of over 80,000 Mainers to the Secretary of State, who subsequently certified the petitions. Now, the 131st Legislature has the opportunity to pass the initiative outright or send it to the Nov. 2023 ballot.
“The massive amount of dark money pouring into our elections is threatening the integrity of our democracy and I am grateful for the voters of Maine for initiating this critically important bill,” said former Congressman Tom Allen. “We have a collective responsibility to protect the free speech, representation, and votes of all Mainers, and I encourage the Maine Legislature to pass LD 1610 and affirm our support for an anti-corruption amendment to the U.S. Constitution.”
LD 1610 bill affirms Maine’s support for an anti-corruption amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It directs Maine’s congressional delegation to advance such an amendment that would allow for reasonable campaign fundraising and spending limits in Maine and across the country and also charges the Maine Ethics Commission to report annually on the progress made by Maine’s delegation – an important accountability measure.
“I have witnessed firsthand how foreign governments try to disrupt our democracy for their own benefit,” said former Congressman Dave Emery, who also served as Deputy Director of the United States Arms Control and Disarmament Agency. “This bill is long overdue and should be passed immediately in order to protect our elections as well as our national security.”
The bill will also protect Maine’s elections from foreign government interference and dark money special interest groups. While foreign governments are not permitted to contribute to candidate campaigns, the Federal Elections Commission recently ruled that it has no jurisdiction over state referendum campaigns, creating a dangerous loophole that allows foreign government spending in referendum campaigns unless explicitly prohibited by state law. The initiative gives Mainers the opportunity to make Maine one of a growing number of states and municipalities to ban foreign government spending in referendums.
“We deeply appreciate Congressman Allen and Congressman Emery’s leadership and support for protecting our elections from foreign government interference and dark money special interest groups,” said Kaitlin LaCasse, campaign manager for Protect Maine Elections. “There are few other issues – if any – that garner such clear consensus among voters and we join the Congressmen and Mainers around the state in asking the Legislature to pass this initiative outright.”
There is significant and growing bipartisan support for passing the Protect Maine Elections initiative outright. Former Congressman Allen and Former Congressman Emery join Congressman Jared Golden (D-ME2), Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross (D-Portland), House Minority Leader Billy Bob Faulkingham (R-Winter Harbor), Senate Assistant Minority Leader Lisa Keim (R-Oxford), Co-Chair of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee Senator Craig Hickman (D-Kennebec), former House Republican Leader and Candidate for Governor Ken Fredette (R-Newport), campaign chair Senator Rick Bennett (R-Oxford), Senator Nicole Grohoski (D-Hancock County), Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, League of Women Voters of Maine, Maine Unitarian Universalist State Advocacy Network, American Promise, RepresentUs, and more.
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