‘Special interests’ help ‘clean elections’ candidates raise money in Maine

Jeff Patch yesterday did a superb job breaking down a Boston Globe story on Maine’s “clean elections” program. One additional item from that story was this:

Former House speaker John Richardson has enlisted unions that endorsed him—including state troopers and police, plumbers, and pipe-fitters—as a source of fund-raising manpower.

Aside from that one sentence, though, there is no other mention in the article of this activity much less an acknowledgment that such practices are wholly contrary to what so-called campaign finance “reformers” have been saying is one of the primary purposes of such programs, which is to get “special interests” out of politics.

We at the Center for Competitive Politics have been pointing out for quite some time that these “clean elections” schemes encourage or even force candidates to rely heavily on organized interest groups to help raise “qualifying contributions.” I guess we’ll just chalk this news article up as one more piece in the ever-growing mountain of evidence that “clean elections” just don’t deliver what they promise.