Cleaner elections focus of January meeting

Jan 06, 2014

Rockland — All citizens are welcome to hear BJ McCollister of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections at the Tuesday, Jan. 14 meeting of the Knox County Democrats at the Stella Maris House in Rockland.

At 7 p.m. McCollister will begin with an illustrated presentation on How Independent Expenditures Have Invaded Maine Since Citizens United. This is the subject of the 11th monograph in the Money and Politics Project series, researched and published by the nonpartisan Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, for which McCollister is program director.

He will also discuss Maine’s pioneering 1996 Clean Elections Act, its success in making legislative races winnable for candidates without special interest or big donor funding and its recent weakening as a result of a US Supreme Court decision and by legislative funding decisions here in Maine. He will explain the effort to amend and strengthen the Maine Clean Election Act by means of a citizen-initiated ballot question, signatures for which will be gathered throughout 2014.

Opinion polling and balloting over a number of years throughout the country have shown large majority support from voters of all persuasions for more limits and disclosure of campaign spending and for public funding of campaigns. This is a program and process for all of us, including those who do not vote or even register because they feel that election outcomes no longer represent the democratic will of the people. The Knox County Democrats urge fellow citizens to take this opportunity to learn more about some paths to election reform and to think of how they may become part of the solution. McCollister will close with a question and answer period.

The public is welcome as well to join the usual potluck and open discussion beginning at 6 p.m. for those who bring something to share. A business meeting will follow the public presentation at 7:50 and adjourn at 9 p.m.

The Stella Maris House is at 148 Broadway at the intersection with Route 1. Stella Maris has on-site parking and is accessible to the handicapped. For more information, contact Chair Adrian Humphreys at 763-4691 or adrianh@midcoast.com, or visit knoxmainedemocrats.org or mainecleanelections.org.

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