As one of 19 states so far to formally call for the 28th Amendment to limit big money in politics, Maine has seen a surge in support across both sides of the aisle for the recently introduced amendment in congress. Upcoming Maine events will help drive citizen engagement across the state, bolstering citizen-led legislative successes across the nation.
In the first days of the 2019 legislative session, a proposal for an amendment to the U.S. Constitution (H.J. Res 2) was introduced in Congress by Rep. Ted Deutch (D—FL), Rep. John Katko (R—NY), Rep. Jim McGovern (D—MA), and Jamie Raskin (D—MD). Senator Tom Udall (NM) and other Senators are expected to introduce the proposal in the Senate. The amendment would enable limits on election contributions and spending to combat corruption and secure the equal rights of Americans to representation in government. If passed by ⅔ of Congress and ratified in ¾ of the States, this would become the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
Support Across the Aisle
Maine has long been a national leader on the issue of big money in politics. In 2013, the Maine legislature enacted a formal resolution supporting an amendment to the U.S. Constitution to reaffirm the power of citizens to regulate the raising and spending of money in elections. Former Maine Senator Olympia Snowe, a Republican who represented the people of Maine in Congress for over three decades, is a member of the National Advisory Council of American Promise. She saluted the cross-partisan effort to move the popular measure forward in Congress:
“I am encouraged to see the progress of this proposed Constitutional amendment. We need effective and reasonable regulation of money in our political system to protect the integrity of elections and secure the equal right of all Americans to free speech, representation, and participation in self-government. I commend Congressman John Katko for his leadership in working across the aisle on this effort, and urge other Republicans, as well as Democrats, to join this cross-partisan cause for the good of the nation and our future.”
Richard Woodbury, who served five terms in the Maine Senate and House as an independent, was the lead sponsor of the 2013 resolution and praised Senator Snowe for speaking out for cross-partisan leadership.
“A Constitutional amendment to replace the dominant power of money in our political system with the power of citizens in Maine and the nation has deep support across the political spectrum,” he said. “Maine helped lead the way a few years ago, and with Senator Snowe’s stand and the progress around the country, we can make this urgent reform a reality.”
Tom Allen, a Democrat who represented Maine’s First District in Congress from 1996 to 2008, and author of the 2013 book, Dangerous Convictions: What’s Really Wrong With The US Congress, said the support for the proposed Constitutional amendment was deep and crossed all party lines.
“More than 80% of Americans know we need this Constitutional amendment so that all citizens can exercise our free speech rights and participate in self-government on equal terms,” he said. “Constitutional amendments take persistence and action from Americans who put the country ahead of their political party. American Promise is bringing Americans together to make this Constitutional amendment a reality, and all of us will be better for it.”
Mainers, Join the Cause!
Later this month, American Promise is holding two events in Maine so all citizens can learn more about this Constitutional amendment, and how to be involved. These events are part of the national series Democracy is Brewing, where citizens come together to gather, connect with fellow concerned citizens, share thoughts and ideas, get concrete action items that help support the amendment in Maine and nationwide. Mainers, join us for an evening of fun, fellowship and citizen engagement!
February 26- 7:00-8:30PM
4 Thompson’s Point Rd.
Portland ME 04102
February 27- 7:00-8:30 PM
Gritty McDuff’s Auburn Brew Pub
68 Main St
Auburn, ME 04210