Dark money



To the Editor:

Maine election law requires candidates and PACs to publicly disclose major campaign contributions and expenditures made in the final two weeks of a campaign within 24 hours of the transactions. Republican Senate Leader Garrett Mason has sponsored a bill that will scrap that law and allow a candidate or PAC to make the required disclosures 42 days after the election. I guess Mason and the bill’s supporters never heard the trope about the “barn door and the horse.”

Shockingly, the bill has bipartisan backing. Perhaps Mason hasn’t been keeping up on current events, but here’s a news flash: dark money, especially from outside interest groups, is stealing our democracy.

The Supreme Court decision in the Citizens United case exacerbated an already intolerable situation in which dark money has transformed our democracy into a marketplace where dollars determine outcomes.

The bill’s supporters contend the reporting requirement is burdensome, among other excuses. Here’s some advice: If you are too inexperienced to comply or find the existing reporting requirement burdensome, get out of public life and find a job that does not rest on the trust of Maine’s voters.

Alan Lieberman

Trenton

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