Money in politics: locals rally against “root of all evil”

Some of the 20 people who headed to Augusta Tuesday for a rally supporting campaign finance regulations pose with their signs outside the bus in Ellsworth. Gary Friedmann, who organized the local delegation, stands in the center (with beard and tie).

ELLSWORTH — Twenty people from Hancock and Washington counties boarded a bus bound for Augusta Tuesday morning to call for action against what they see as the troubling influence of outside money in politics.

“I think that money in politics is sort of the root of all evil,” said Bar Harbor resident Susan Murphy, one of those on the bus.

Maine Citizens for Clean Elections (MCCE) held a rally at the State House Welcome Center Tuesday morning to mark the three-year anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United v. FEC ruling.

In that case, the court struck down previous restrictions on corporate, union and nonprofit spending in political campaigns, ruling the First Amendment did not allow the government to impose such regulations.

Some people and organizations hailed that ruling as a victory for free speech. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the court “struck a blow for the First Amendment.”

Others, however, have said it essentially allows corporations to drown out the voices of individual citizens.

MCCE said the ruling “paved the way for unlimited spending to influence our elections.”

For more political news, pick up a copy of The Ellsworth American.

Steve Fuller

Steve Fuller

Reporter at The Ellsworth American,
Steve Fuller worked at The Ellsworth American from 2012 to early 2018. He covered the city of Ellsworth, including the Ellsworth School Department and the city police beat, as well as the towns of Amherst, Aurora, Eastbrook, Great Pond, Mariaville, Osborn, Otis and Waltham. A native of Waldo County, he served as editor of Belfast's Republican Journal prior to joining the American. He lives in Orland.
Steve Fuller

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