AUGUSTA – Today, marks the 11th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to spend unlimited amounts of money in campaigns through independent expenditures. The decision equates political spending with political speech, which is protected under the First Amendment. This decision fundamentally changed the financing of political campaigns in this country and gave wealthy donors and corporations greater influence in American elections.
On the anniversary of this ruling, Senate President Troy Jackson of Allagash released the following statement:
“In the United States, our government is supposed to answer to the American people, not the highest bidder. However, all too often greed gets in the way, especially at the federal level, thanks in large part to the Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United. This pivotal decision opened the floodgates. It allowed megacorporations and wealthy special interests to flood our political system, drowning out the voices of millions of working families, seniors and small business owners across this country. It’s not right and has left it up to the states to clean up the mess.
“Maine has long been a national leader when it comes to campaign finance reform with our first-in-the-nation clean elections law. Over the past two years, we’ve built on that legacy by passing a sweeping ethics reform package. We’ve banned the use of leadership PACs for personal profit, put limits on campaign contributions from lobbyists and taken steps to close the revolving door between legislators becoming lobbyists. I’ve spent my entire life fighting to make sure regular people have a voice in their lives and are heard by people in power whether it’s in the northern Maine woods or at the State House. I’ll keep fighting to ensure that elected officials deliver for Maine people and not lobbyists.”