With critically important issues like tax conformity and a transportation bond still left unresolved, House Republicans are not overly concerned with how politicians will finance their campaigns. This once again puts House Republicans at odds with other legislators in Augusta who have chosen clean elections funding as their top priority.
This afternoon in the House, LD 1655, a tax conformity bill that would provide tax relief to the Maine people and Maine businesses was tabled and is now being held until Democrats get their top priority; taxpayer money to fund their campaigns.
One other troublesome issue that has arisen from the current special session is the amount of tax dollars being spent, highlighting the fact that state government has a spending problem. Prior to this special session, the state had a surplus of roughly $140 million. After the spending done during this special session, the balance of the state surplus currently sits at $174,880 with no money being set aside for the state’s rainy day fund.
“On the heels of nearly $140 million in new spending, a large group of politicians in this building have now made funding their campaigns with your tax dollars their top priority,” said House Republican Leader Ken Fredette. “House Republicans are more concerned with passing legislation that benefits the people of Maine, like tax conformity and a bond to fund transportation projects. It’s time the politicians step to the back of the line.”
An article from the Portland Press Herald printed last year, outlined some of the items purchased with clean elections funds:
From the Press Herald article: “From candy and party beads tossed out at Fourth of July parades to drill batteries and T-shirts, candidates running for the Legislature under the taxpayer-financed Clean Election Act are spending their campaign cash on a variety of goods and services that could leave some voters scratching their heads.