Rallying in Augusta Monday: Bus available in Bar Harbor, Ellsworth, Belfast

In case you didn’t see this in any of the local papers this week. As it says, a bus to Augusta for the Clean Elections / Constitutional Amendment rally on Monday will be picking up in Bar Harbor at 7, Ellsworth at 8, and Belfast at 9. If anyone would be helped by an additional stop along the way, get in touch with Gary, below. Dick ——– Original Message ——– Today in our country we have more concentrated wealth and income than at any time since the beginning of the last century. This concentration of wealth and power is the greatest threat to the rights of citizens in our democracy. In 1960 Barry Goldwater said, “The enemy of freedom is unrestrained power, and the champions of freedom will fight against the concentration of power wherever they find it.” He was talking about limits on the sources of campaign contribution. Research at the federal level shows that legislators and policy makers are vastly more attentive to the interests of the affluent than they are to those of everyone else. Yes, we all get one vote — but we are not represented with the same vigor. The rich people who give more to political campaigns are more likely to get policy results. We are seeing this in Washington today. According to Princeton political scientist Martin Giles, when the preferences of average Americans diverge from those of the affluent, there is virtually no relationship between policy outcomes and the desires of less advantaged groups. Affluent donors get what they want — but the rest of us get what *we* want when, and only when, we want what they want. When big-moneyed interests spend in political campaigns, they create a feedback loop in public policy that further advantages their own interests, deepening the chasm between themselves and ordinary people. Some have argued that the concentration of wealth fuels investment in growth and that overall growth benefits everyone — that a rising tide lifts all boats. But new research from the International Monetary Fund and others demonstrates just the opposite: that extreme inequality contributes to financial instability and leads to shorter periods of growth, meaning less growth over the long term. We are in danger of getting public policy that benefits only a small minority of our citizens — the donor class — leaving everyone else behind. American democracy is failing to serve the vast majority of its citizens. Publicly financed elections like the Maine Clean Election Act are a big part of the answer. This system levels the difference between the donor class and everyone else. Maine people can elect those who represent the interests of the many, rather than the elite few. And legislators can serve the interests of their actual, diverse constituency. Maine Clean Elections reduce corruption and undue influence, allowing candidates to compete equitably for public office and opening doors to maximum citizen participation in the political process. But the Clean Election Act is under attack by both the US Supreme Court and our own Governor LePage. That’s why Maine Citizens for Clean Elections is inviting citizens from across the state to a rally at the State House on Monday, April 29th at 10AM. We will gather in the Hall of Flags to call for our legislators to support bills that fund clean elections and fix the matching fund provisions struck down by the /Citizens United /decision. We will call for enhanced disclosure laws so we know who is funding lobbyists and paying for campaign ads. And we will call for the Legislature’s endorsement of a U.S. Constitutional Amendment on campaign finance. A bus will be leaving Downeast points for Augusta to make it easy and fun for you to join us. We will be picking up at COA in Bar Harbor at 7:00AM; at the Somesville One Stop at 7:30; at the back of the Mill Mall in Ellsworth at 8:00; and at Reny’s in Belfast at 9:00. We are asking for a sliding-scale contribution to cover costs. Maine people worked hard to get our Clean Election Act. Now we must fight to keep and strengthen it! Please email gary@garyfriedmann.com or call 460-7362 for more information. *Gary Friedmann* /Board Member, Maine Citizens for Clean Elections/ 7 Pine Street Bar Harbor, ME 04609 207-460-7362 _______________________________________________ HCCN mailing list HCCN@mainetalk.org https://mainetalk.org/mailman/listinfo/hccn_mainetalk.org

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