Maine’s money machine problem

Money is a problem in politics and it’s getting bad, there is no doubt about this. This election cycle is highlighting a disturbing problem with the steady flow of outsider money flowing in in favor of certain political causes for office. At best, this is an attempt to influence, and at worst, an open attempt to literally buy the election cycle.

As previously noted in recent days, Maine People’s Alliance’s Ben Chin has been running a strong campaign in Lewiston, boosted by money from outside of Lewiston. Noted in a recent article, citing an article from the Sun Journal:

Ben Chin is currently in the process of buying the Lewiston Mayoral race. The Sun Journal notes that as of August 31st of this year, he had raised $33,733 and has almost doubled that since. This is by far more than the rest of the candidates’ total fundraising combined. Only $3,365 combined came from 26 donors listing Lewiston addresses. 29% of Chin’s donations, 112 total to be exact, came from out-of-state.

The same Sun Journal article also makes note of an out-of-state flow from progressive special interest organizations out of Massachusetts, New Mexico, Texas, and Washington D.C. He is also receiving numerous donations from individuals with the Maine People’s Alliance.

It turns out when it comes to these special interest organizations, the mayoral race is not the only Lewiston seat facing an increase in cash flow.

The Sun Journal notes in a separate article that “candidates for the seven open seats have collected $9,469 in donations for the seats — 2.3 times more than all candidates collected two years ago”, before following up with another interesting point that “the candidates who have had the most to spend this year have one thing in common: support from mayoral candidate Ben Chin and the Maine People’s Alliance.”

The Maine People’s Alliance has donated $1,400 to Ward 1 candidate Jim Lysen, Ward 3 candidate Isobel Moiles, Ward 5 incumbent Kristen Cloutier, and Ward 7 candidate Kristine Kittredge. Chin has also personally donated to Moiles, Cloutier, and Kittredge.

While Chin states he feels they’re not doing anything negative, Lewiston Maine People’s Alliance branch organizer Gen Lysen adds “for the Maine People’s Alliance, getting money out of politics is something we’ve been working on for years.”

The convincing argument is made above.

Ward 1 candidate Lysen’s incumbent opponent, Councilor Leslie Dubois, is far outmatched with fundraising. Dubois, who has raised $225 to Lysen’s $1,925, told the Sun Journal “it seems to me that they are making this race partisan, but it’s not supposed to be.”

This is probably a more valid way of describing the goals of the Maine People’s Alliance, who clearly is trying to keep the money in politics and drown their opponents with it.

The money problem doesn’t stop here, however. Maine Question #1 illustrates a serious moral issue, where out-of-state special interests are pouring money into Maine politics. Furthermore, liberal special interests and radical organizations like the Maine People’s Alliance are continuing to insist on putting politicians before the people.

Patricia Callahan, who writes Mainely Thoughts, wrote an excellent set of articles on the more pressing needs than this question about welfare for politicians. One of these, “7 things Maine should spend $1.3 million on before Question 1“, presented a series of excellent points. What could Maine really use? Callahan answers:

How about opening a non-profit addiction treatment center with a trust to help with operation costs? How about buffing up legal access for the poor? How about finding and funding two or three entrepreneurs to open small businesses in different regions in the state? How about dumping $1.3 million into our food banks, homeless shelters and soup kitchens?

Wouldn’t that revolutionize Maine? Maine has a serious drug problem, but instead we’re focusing on welfare for politicians? How about using that money to donate to those who truly need assistance?

Michael Shepherd also broke down Question 1 for Bangor Daily News. In it, he made an important note regarding the financial backing of Question 1’s supporters:

Mainers for Accountable Elections, the main group supporting Question 1, started campaigning in July and raised $1.3 million through September, with three-quarters of that coming from groups and individuals outside of Maine. The Proteus Action League, a liberal group with ties to billionaire George Soros, donated $350,000.

The point to be made here is the out-of-state special interest groups like the ones discussed in this article, don’t care about Maine. They’re buying the Lewiston races to advance progressive politics and as illustrated by the Question 1 issue, they have little use for the people of Maine.

Maine deserves better than what’s being offered. People like Ben Chin and his far left organization are toxic for Maine politics, who resort to purchasing political races and putting out hateful propaganda targeting their political opponents. Question 1 is being bought out by organizations with similar tactics and agenda as the Maine People’s Alliance.

Today is Election Day. Make the decision that is best for Maine and don’t let the special interest groups put politics before the interests of all Mainers.

Chris Dixon

About Chris Dixon

Chris Dixon is a libertarian-leaning writer. In addition to writing "Undercover Porcupine", he is also the Managing Editor for The Liberty Conservative and writes for Cleat Geeks and Medium.