The Coastal Packet: LePage and state Republicans go after clean elections

Tuesday, April 26

LePage and state Republicans go after clean elections

Maine Clean Elections - Governor Paul LePage has vetoed a bill which would advance $500,000 in clean elections funding from January 2017 to August of 2016 to ensure adequate funding for Clean Elections in the 2016 cycle. The bill will go to the House for a veto override on Friday, where it will face an uphill climb to muster the 2/3 vote needed to override the veto. In his veto message, the Governor stated that advancing funding from a future election cycle to the current one “is a terrible way to budget for this system.” We agree, but we would not be in this position if it were not for the millions of dollars that have been raided from the Clean Election fund over the years, including $1.7 million in January 2015. We’ve spent most of the session advocating for the return of those funds, however, the Governor’s allies on the Appropriations Committee steadfastly opposed returning that money when we advocated for it. This despite the fact that there will certainly be both a budget and a revenue surplus this year.
The Maine Republican Party Convention was held this weekend. Sen. Eric Brakey’s (Auburn) amendment to the party platform to make it an official party position to advocate for the repeal of Clean Elections was adopted by a lopsided voice vote.

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