Conservatives Lambast Outside Influence in Maine’s Ballot Initiative Process

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Mahmoud Khafagy

A conservative group is decrying the influence of outside donors in Maine's ballot initiative process.

The Maine Heritage Policy Center report Wednesday comes in a year when conservatives including Republican Gov. Paul LePage have pushed for more restrictions on citizen initiatives. The report says at least 17 other states have tighter regulations than Maine.

The report says between 2009 and 2017, voters saw an average of six ballot questions per year. Groups supporting and opposing ballot questions raised $9 million, with $2.1 million coming from in-state sources and $6.4 million from outside Maine.

A Maine Citizens for Clean Elections spokeswoman says it's concerned about outside contributors who seek to benefit from citizen initiatives. The group says it's intrigued by a Republican's proposal for a public funding mechanism for citizen initiatives.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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