With advocates currently working to bolster the Maine Clean Elections system, many have taken the opportunity to speak out about the value and success of the system.
Wells Lyons, an attorney in Portland, has an article in the Portland Daily Sun today defending the system and arguing the benefits of Clean Elections are far-reaching:
"So what exactly are we getting for our money? Frankly, a lot. Perhaps the best way to think of the Clean Elections system is as a firewall against corruption. Public financing allows legislators to govern free from the influence of lobbyist dollars, a benefit enjoyed by far too few lawmakers around the country. Constituents benefit in additional ways, since when legislators opt to use public financing, they spend less time seeking donations for reelection and more time meeting with and serving their constituents. Just as importantly, Clean Elections allow our democracy to be more representative of our state as a whole. It allows those of us without personal fortunes or networks of wealthy friends to run for office competitively. And when voters have a wider range of choices, it makes it easier for us to hold our representatives accountable."
Public Campaign is currently working on a robust campaign with state allies to strengthen the system and ensure it's viable for future elections. If you live in Maine please take a moment to sign this petition in support of Clean Elections. If you don't live in Maine, but know someone who does, please encourage them to sign it!