Clean Money in Maine

by Joshua Green

The American Prospect magazine, September / October 2000

The first thing visitors to Maine's statehouse in Augusta notice is that one-third of the historic building is boarded up, sealed off, and undergoing a late-summer renovation. It's a fitting parallel to the historic transformation taking place within the legislature itself: Maine's Clean Election Act, the first campaign finance reform of its kind, has allowed one-third of the candidates for state office this fall to forgo private fundraising in exchange for a publicly funded campaign. In all, 115 of the state's 353 candidates are "running clean"-vowing not to accept any private money or contribute any personal money to their campaign. Proponents hope this new alternative will convince more people to seek office, diminish the influence of money in politics, and break the grip of special interests. Its early success with candidates, voters, and the courts suggests that this bold experiment in electoral politics could become a model for campaign finance reform...

(read the complete article at: The American Prospect magazine )

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