More than 85,000 signatures were delivered to the secretary of state’s office on Jan. 21 to qualify the Clean Elections Initiative for the 2015 ballot. They represented people from all over the state. From Republicans and Democrats, to the Greens and the unenrolled, untraceable overspending in Maine’s elections has been a concern shared by many.
When candidates run for office, campaign finance strategy should require the least of their time. Reducing the influence of money and increasing transparency forces candidates to talk directly to Maine voters. This initiative will help preserve a government in Maine whose representation remains highly competitive and whose legislature remains a marketplace of ideas.
I believe our democracy is a truer marketplace of ideas when our representation is accessible to more than the candidates who can afford it. Everywhere I have traveled, when asked “where’s home?” I’ve always replied “Maine.” This is our home, our democracy. Since its passage in 1996, Mainers have collectively stood to keep a separation between wealthy special interests and our elections.
The CEI will embolden accountability. It will improve and help sustain transparency in our electoral process, a transparency we deserve. Truly consider what a government “of the people” means, for it certainly refers to more than a few.”