Thursday, July 21, 2011

MCEA "matching funds" case

A Republican serving in the Maine House of Representatives filed a lawsuit last August, which was ruled on yesterday. Andre Cushing had not taken advantage of Maine's Clean Elections funds in 2008 and 20010; and he felt that it was unfair to taxpayers, as well as a violation of his right to free speech, that - quoting from the story - "his opponents received extra public money based on how much he raised and spent." 

David Crocker was Cushing's attorney on the case. Crocker is the attorney for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, which last June filed a lawsuit against the Maine Municipal Association, "accusing it of illegally using taxpayer money to fund political campaigns." I just spoke with Dan Deveau, town manager of Cyr Plantation (a co-plaintiff in the lawsuit); and he tells me the case is pending. 


And from a story that was posted online virtually minutes ago:  
"The Legislature earlier this year ordered a process to fix the law, and it starts with a July 28 Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices session."
The Commission is taking suggestions on the "fix." I think there ought to be a limit on the number of roadsigns politicians can put up, as well as amount of advertising they can do. I like the idea of debates being held and broadcast over the radio, television, and internet. That allows the candidates to relay their positions on certain issues, with each getting an equal amount of coverage. I telephoned the Commission, and here's the email address where to send suggestions to: Jonathan.Wayne@maine.gov

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