Mar 18 2012

Maine Bill Would Require Campaign Finance Disclosure for Political Parties Attempting to Qualify for the Ballot

Source: Ballot Access News

Maine Representative Les Fossel has introduced LD 1879, which would require “party formation committees” to meet the same campaign contribution disclosure laws that other types of political groups must follow. The bill is co-sponsored by nine other legislators, including the Speaker of the House, Robert Nutting. All of the sponsors are Republicans except for Representative Teresa Hayes, who is a Democrat.

Maine law already provides that when a group wishes to qualify a new party for the ballot, it must submit a Declaration of Intent, which must be signed by at least ten voters. The provisions of LD 1879 seem to only relate to those ten individuals. If the intent of the bill is to require Americans Elect to disclose the names of contributors who are paying for petitioning, the bill seems powerless to accomplish that, and this would seem to be true, even if the bill had been enacted in the past and was already in effect. There seems to be no reason to believe that the contributions for paid petitioners would necessarily go through the ten individuals who signed the “Declaration of Intent” to qualify a new party. The existing law, section 303, says, “Ten or more voters who are not enrolled in a party qualified under section 301 must file a declaration of intent to form a party with the Secretary of State”, but nothing says that those ten individuals are necessarily the people who are arranging for paid petitioners.

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