Dill challenges King on SuperPACs (June 21, 2012)

Democrat’s detailed plan seeks limits on personal campaign cash, big donors

PORTLAND — State Sen. Cynthia Dill today offered a detailed approach to limiting money in the race for U.S. Senate, saying in a letter to Angus King that his plan to limit SuperPACs lacked specifics.

Dill, the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate and leading vote getter in last week’s primary election, said campaigns funded by wealthy interests are warping democracy. But she said King’s proposal that candidates spurn SuperPAC money was not a comprehensive solution, nor did it address King’s own heavy use of “dark money” and personal wealth.

“You are currently the only candidate benefiting from a SuperPAC,” she noted.

Dill said King’s vote in 2000 for President George W. Bush helped ignite the wide-open race for corporate campaign cash via appointment of Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and John Roberts, whose votes affirmed the ruling in Citizens United.

In contrast to King’s idea to agree to SuperPAC limits — which she did not reject, but again requested further detail — Dill offered two specific steps to limit special interest money in the race for U.S. Senate: adopt low contribution limits and eliminate unlimited personal funds.

Dill said she is prepared to ask King directly: “Are you willing to agree to limit the amounts of contributions you receive, and to not invest your personal wealth in the race?”

And she rolled out a specific, comprehensive plan to limit campaign cash when she is elected U.S. senator:

“I will vote to amend the constitution to overturn Citizens United, vote for the DISCLOSE Act and the Fair Elections Now Act, reform the Federal Elections Commission and change the rules to avoid obstruction,” Dill said. “We need immediate action in Washington that will help working families and small businesses, not more of the same piecemeal deal making among millionaires.”

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