The Coastal Packet: Huge increase in "dark money" affecting Maine elections

Friday, August 19

Huge increase in "dark money" affecting Maine elections

Bowdoin Daily Sun - Between 2006 and 2014, spending on Maine legislative campaigns by outside groups that did not disclose their donors increased from $100,000 or so to $11 million. In contrast, disclosed spending in 2014 was just under $4 million.

Michael Franz, associate professor of government, told MPBN that “once a candidate is elected to office, they have to wonder if they were elected because of the positions they put forward or because of the power of independent advertising expenditures. He continued, “…So a candidate doesn’t know if they have been given a mandate or just survived.” This, he said, raises questions for policymakers, who will likely face lobbying from the same groups that spent dark money to influence their elections.

U.S. Supreme Court rulings such as Citizens United have invited virtually unlimited spending on political elections, without any disclosure requirements, from donors such as corporations, wealthy individuals, labor unions, and nonprofits, MPBN reports.

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