To the Editor:
After the hard work of many volunteers from all over Maine collecting signatures and working for the campaign, the Clean Election Initiative put before the people passed with a great margin of victory.
This means that the majority of candidates of all caucuses can use the public option this election cycle. Candidates for office have been using the system since the year 2000.
However, because of insufficient funding and diversion of funds for other reasons, the Clean Election program has been shortchanged by more than $6 million. Last year’s 2015 initiative increased the annual transfer of funds from $2 million to $3 million. Thankfully, the $3 million required for 2016 has been transferred, but the fund still needs to be paid back what is owed, instead of taking an advance from future funds.
On April 6, many Clean Election advocates visited the Maine State House in Augusta letting legislators know that they must pay back the money owed to this fund. The legislature came through, just passing LD 1579 through the House and Senate, thus reappropriating $500,000 to the Clean Election Fund in an attempt to partially close the gap in the shortfall. The money must be there for use in future elections – government by and for the people.
Now, let us all hope that Gov. Paul LePage will support the will of the people – and not veto it.