Letter to the editor: DA race shows need for campaign finance reform

Lorrie Ferrari is incorrect in blaming the Maine Democratic party for the outside money spent on the Cumberland County district attorney primary race. An out-of-state PAC backed by George Soros is responsible for the ads and flyers that were distributed just before the primary. The winner in the primary, Jackie Sartoris, also had nothing to do with those efforts.

Our political system is awash with obscene amounts of money being used to influence officeholders. The money comes primarily from the wealthy and corporations, whose spending has no limits thanks to the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in Citizen’s United. According to the Brennan Center for Justice, the Citizens United ruling “opened the floodgates to unlimited and often secret election spending.”

tThe deck is stacked against individual voters, whom legislators are supposed to represent. The monied interests hold the political power.

Maine led the way in establishing a “clean elections” system in 1996, allowing citizens to leverage a certain number of $ 5 contributions to yield monies from clean election funds. The system is voluntary and makes it possible for anyone, regardless of their financial situation, to run for office.

If we had a nationwide system that applied to elections for any office perhaps we could come closer to being a truly representative democracy. Mounting evidence continues to show that public financing amplifies underrepresented voices and makes democracy work better for all Americans.

Mary Ann Larson

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