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Maine Joins Growing Movement to Overturn Citizens United

On Tuesday the state became the 13th to reject the influence of "wealthy special interests" on elections

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

On Tuesday Maine became the 13th state to reject the influence of "wealthy special interests" on elections and call for a constitutional amendment to overturn the Citizens United.

“It’s not good democracy," Sen. Richard Woodbury (I-Yarmouth), who introduced the legislation, said on the Senate floor of the 2010 Supreme Court ruling. "It’s something much closer to buying influence over government.”

Similar comments were made on the House floor, where Rep. Dennis Keschl (R-Belgrade) said, “Unions, corporations and other wealthy special interest groups should not be able to use their money to drown out the voices of the people.”

The resolution passed with overwhelming support, in a 25-9 vote in the Senate and a 111-33 vote in the House.

The decision was cheered by a number of organizations.

Andrew Bossie, Executive Director of Maine Citizens for Clean Elections, said, “For the past three years Maine people have taken action by passing town resolutions, signing petitions, and contacting lawmakers calling for a constitutional amendment that ensures government is accountable to voters, not campaign donors. With Maine’s leadership, we are one step closer to making this a reality.”

“As more and more states call for a constitutional amendment overturning Citizens United and related cases," added Marge Baker, Executive Vice President of People For the American Way, "it becomes increasingly clear that the American people are serious about taking back our democracy from wealthy special interests.”

Maine now joins West Virginia, Colorado, Montana, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, California, Rhode Island, Maryland, Vermont, New Mexico, Hawaii, and Washington, D.C., which have all called for an amendment to overturn Citizens United.

As Jonah Minkoff-Zern, Senior Organizer with Public Citizen’s Democracy Is For People Campaign, noted following the announcement out of Maine, "Momentum to free elections from corporate influence is growing."


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