I have known state Rep. Diane Russell for years, and greatly admire the energy and enthusiasm that she brings to organizing grassroots support for democracy reforms, progressive issues and candidates. She has been a leader in the efforts to get ranked-choice voting on the ballot, stop repeal of Election Day voter registration, and defend Maine’s Clean Elections law.
The work Diane does through her Working Families PAC has helped build a list of grassroots activists and small donors, supported candidates with their fundraising and outreach, and motivated progressive voters.
The Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting story that ran in The Forecaster last week cast that activity in a negative light, but missed the more important point: it’s all transparent. For better or worse, Maine’s PAC law has very few restrictions on what anyone can do with a PAC, but the upside is that it all gets reported and is available for public review. The same work could be done through a consulting firm or nonprofit, and no one would see or question it. Hats off to Diane for having the bravery to choose the transparent path.