LWVME Study -- Money in Politics: PACs in Maine.
This LWVME study focuses on Political Action Committees in order to understand how they're funded, how they influence candidate elections, and what changes, if any, should be proposed to limit the influence of private money on elected officials. PACs involved in ballot initiatives are not included as they present very different issues and deserve their own study.
We are reviewing PACs in the 2006 election to examine such questions as who gives to whom -- corporate contributions, out of state contributions, grassroots organizations, individual donors; who are the principal officers, decision makers and fundraisers for PACs; how is the money spent on candidate campaigns, independent expenditures, other spending; what factors influence an elected official's decision whether to form or join a PAC; is there an appearance of corruption when candidates or elected officials raise unregulated private money.
The Study Committee is issuing a series of briefing papers aimed at helping our members and others gain a better understanding of this complex issue. Briefing papers will cover such topics as the following:
- the basics of candidate PACs
- Maine state law & enforcement
- history and Constitutional background
- campaign year 2006 contributions & expenditures
- experience of the candidates and the caucuses
- the future of reform
LWVME PAC Briefing Papers
Briefing Paper #2, Maine State Law and Enforcement
Briefing Paper #3, Brief History of Campaign Finance Reform in the United States
Briefing Paper #4, Candidate PACs: Follow the Money
Briefint Paper #5, Conclusion
PACs in the News at MCCE
Writing Reform: A Guide to Drafting State & Local Campaign Finance Laws from the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law.
2007 Report on the Maine Clean Election Act, Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices
"The New Campaign Finance Sourcebook", Anthony Corrado, Thomas E. Mann, Daniel R. Ortiz, and Trevor Potter, Brookings Institution Press, 2005.
LWVME supports reform in the financing of state candidate PACs consistent with the LWVUS position on Campaign Finance Reform.
This means that LWVME supports measures to improve the financing candidate PACs in order to ensure the public's right to know, combat corruption and undue influence, enable candidates to compete more equitably for public office, and promote citizen participation in the political process. Applying these principles to PAC reform in Maine provides a basis for sound action in the changing constitutional context as the Supreme Court of the U.S. reshapes the landscape of permissible reform.
The LWVME State Board wished to thank all of those League members and others who contributed to this important study. The Board believes that the knowledge gained from this study together with the principles set forth in our new position on PAC reform provide a sound basis for future advocacy in this important area.