To the Editor:
As most residents of Maine’s 2nd Congressional District are aware, Rep. Bruce Poliquin faces a rematch with former state Sen. Emily Cain this November.
I decided to visit their online websites and see what appears to be animating their campaigns right now. Clearly it is Medicare. From what I read online, Medicare as we know it is clearly at risk. Poliquin and Cain each have at least one Super PAC supporting them. Super PACs came into existence after Citizens United was overturned by the Supreme Court, effectively allowing unlimited spending in political races with no guarantee of traditional accountability.
One of the PACs supporting Poliquin on Medicare issues is the American Action Network, which, according to Wikipedia, was formed to support center-right policies by actively involving itself in supporting candidates for the U.S. House in key districts. American Action Network is a tax-exempt 501c(4) “social-welfare” nonprofit. The “social-welfare” in this case appears to be supporting Republican candidates.
None of its donors needs to declare anything. They are invisible. However, I did learn that a number of its board members are executives on Wall Street.
The bottom line: money speaks. Cain, on the other hand, is being supported by a different sort of Super PAC – End Citizens United. Its focus is clear: trying to get big money back out of politics. Unlike the American Action Network, it lists its donors online for all to see.
So what, we might say? What does all this have to do with Medicare?
The answer is that the American Action Network has been instrumental in supporting the House Republicans’ proposal to change Medicare as we know it, substituting an untried “premium support” proposal, commonly referred to as a “voucher” program, for tried and true Medicare.
I did my homework and will be voting for Emily Cain to save Medicare and keep big money out of politics.