Clean Elections Supporters Demand Return of Funds Tapped by Lawmakers

Apr 6, 2016

AUGUSTA, Maine - Saying "No More IOU's," supporters of Maine's Clean Election Law are demanding that the Legislature return $1.7 million lawmakers withdrew from the Clean Election Fund last year.

In November, Maine voters approved - by a wide margin - an initiative to boost funding for publicly-financed political campaigns for governor and the Legislature from $2 million to $3 million a year.

But the ballot measure left open the question of where the additional funding would come from. Andrew Bossie, executive director of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, says the program is in jeopardy.

"Since Clean Elections first became law in the 1990's, successive governors and legislators have taken money out of the Clean Elections fund and used it for other programs, then promising to return it for the next election," Bossie said. "But over the years much more money has been taken out of this fund than has been returned."

Bossie says this means there are worries every election that the Clean Election money will run out before Election Day.