Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Wide spectrum of Mainers voting yes on Question 1

It is refreshing to see so many prominent Mainers from across the political spectrum unite to support something positive for all of us.

Republican George Smith who is the former longtime head of the Sportsman's Alliance of Maine, former Republican State Senator Ed Youngblood of Brewer, Republican State Senator Roger Katz of Augusta, former Independent State Senator Jill Goldthwait of Bar Harbor, Independent U.S. Senator Angus King, and former Democratic U.S. Senator George Mitchell all agree that voting Yes on Question 1 to strengthen our longstanding Clean Elections law is a positive step toward improving democracy in Maine.

In recent years Maine Republican Party Chairman Rick Bennett has also voiced strong support for Clean Elections. Question 1 will increase penalties for violating our campaign finance laws, increase transparency by requiring political ads to name their top donors, and reduce the need for political candidates to take special interest money thereby making them more accountable to their constituents.

Clean Elections works and has been widely used for about 20 years by candidates in Maine regardless of their political party. Please support Clean Elections on Nov. 3 by Voting Yes on Question 1.

Ron Bilancia
Brewer

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7 Responses »

  1. Here's a good unbiased presentation pros and cons of the matter on Ballotpedia.

    I think I will vote NO. There are so many loopholes that money in politics won't be reduced, just disguised.

  2. Keep in mind that this Referendum Number One has already been discussed on the Daily Bulldog. To get the "other side" of the issue as it was presented please see :

    http://www.dailybulldog.com/db/opinion/letter-to-the-editor-so-what-about-question-1/

  3. "to strengthen our longstanding Clean Elections law is a positive step toward improving democracy in Maine."

    I wish more might appreciate that solutions to any problem oft start with a single step

  4. Mr. Bilancia, why do you suppose a “wide spectrum” of Maine politicians, Democrat, Republican, and even our own Independent (Democrat) Senator King, would be in favor of this? Might it not be, that, if the referendum passes, they, regardless of party, will have generous free money to run? That will eliminate the need to ask people who might support them, for their money, which is an annoying chore they don’t like. There is a SOLID reason why this “wide spectrum” of Maine politicians are in favor of this sort of welfare for them. Think about it!

  5. It's a bill written by the political class to support the political class by taking more money out of our pockets and lining theirs.

  6. In the other thread on the topic of Referendum One Crazy Man made a good point when he wrote "I don't like the idea of supporting the campaign of a candidate that I don't agree with." I agree with Crazy Man. Tax money would be used to support candidates I don't agree with. I don't think that is right to do that.

  7. The original clean elections legislation was passed by referendum in 1996. It went into effect in the 2000 elections. Its supporters hail it as a great success, but none of them have explained how it has improved the quality, speed, analysis and successes of the cleaned up legislature.

    And volunteers? Mr. Bilancia?

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