Forty-seven Democrats sign letter urging AG Schneider to join national effort for campaign finance reform
May 4, 2012
AUGUSTA – Forty-seven Democratic state lawmakers are calling on Attorney General William Schneider to sign onto a national letter from 11 other Attorneys General urging Congress to amend the Constitution to reverse the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission.
“This decision to allow unlimited and often undisclosed contributions by corporations for political advertising has drowned out the voices of the people,” said State Rep. Jon Hinck, who organized the letter to the AG and submitted Legislation earlier this year to limit the influence of corporations on Maine elections. “Corporations are not people, and elections are not auctions where the office goes to the highest bidder. We’ve seen this decision give birth to unbridled influence of Super Political Action Committees.”
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign has come under fire in recent weeks for receiving a nearly half a million dollars from an undisclosed donor through a Super Political Action Committee or “SuperPAC.”
In the letter to the Schneider dated April 18, 2012 and received at the AG’s office on April 23, 2012, state lawmakers wrote:
“As you know, Citizens United overturned key provisions of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002. As a result, undisclosed corporate and special interest money has flowed into the electoral process reaching historic proportions….Passage of a constitutional amendment to reverse Citizens United would give Congress the power to put the electoral process back in the hands of the voters of the United States and not corporations.”
According to the Center for Responsive Politics, money spent by non-party committees during the 2010 Congressional elections exceeded $300 million -- more than four times more than total spending during the 2006 election cycle. It is now apparent that expenditures by non-party committees will continue to climb during 2012, the first presidential election cycle since Citizens United.
The letter comes on the heels of a decision this year by the Republican-controlled legislature to gut the citizen-initiated Maine Clean Elections Act.
In addition to Massachusetts, the Attorneys General of the following states signed onto the letter of support: Delaware, Hawaii, Kentucky, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and West Virginia.
There has been no response to date from Schneider.
Jodi Quintero [Hinck] 287-1488, c. 841-6279