Letter to King: “Let’s not let Washington insiders dictate the outcome of this historic election” (June 21, 2012)

Following is a copy of the letter from state Sen. Cynthia Dill, Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, to Angus King, regarding money in politics:

Dear Angus,

Thank you for your letter dated June 13, 2012. We agree the corrupt influence of money is damaging the democratic process. Action is needed.

The ruling in Citizens United was a serious blow to limiting money in politics, allowing the rise of SuperPACs you’ve said you want to prohibit. Confirming justices to the High Court is a task I will take very seriously as a U.S. senator, and so I look forward to discussing your support of President George W. Bush, whose appointment of Justices Alito and Roberts opened the door to Citizens United and much of the “dark money” now plaguing our political system.

As a U.S. senator, I will deal directly with the problem of unregulated, unidentified special-interest spending by passing a constitutional amendment to allow spending limits and overturn Citizens United; greater regulation and disclosure for Super PACs and others making political expenditures (DISCLOSE Act); replacing the FEC so it’s insulated from the political influence of Congress; and passing the Fair Elections Now Act to enable candidates to run for Congress without relying on special-interest money. In addition to these concrete legislative measures, I support repeal of the filibuster rule as paramount to any meaningful reform of our political system.

Do you support these specific reforms?

You are currently the only candidate benefiting from a Super PAC, but I suspect other “dark money” will creep in to Maine shortly. So I remain open to an agreement among candidates to shun SuperPAC spending in this race.

In addition, or as an alternative, I suggest we agree to low contribution limits and eliminate personal financing of our campaigns.

These specific terms — limiting contributions to $500, for instance, and not personally financing our efforts — are easier to implement than a Super PAC agreement, because they are things we actually control. And they reflect Maine values. As you know, Mainers voted for publicly financed campaigns in a 1996 referendum. Since then, our “clean elections” law has leveled the playing field and blunted special interest money in legislative races while keeping Maine politics from being sold off to the highest bidder.

Secret donors do not have Maine’s best interests at heart. Let’s allow the people of Maine to decide this race based on the merits of our message after a robust exchange of ideas. Let’s not let Washington insiders dictate the outcome of this historic election.

I look forward to working with you on negotiating an agreement to protect the democratic process, and to stop working people from being priced out of elections. I also look forward to hearing where you stand as a candidate for the United States Senate on constitutionally limiting campaign money, the DISCLOSE Act, and reforming Super PACs, FENA and the FEC, as well as your stance on the filibuster rule.

Very truly yours,

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