Many people find it hard to trust government, and a few have taken the time to tell me so as I have visited their homes. There is diminished hope that government can and will act to represent their best interests. And that is understandable, particularly at the federal level where special interests and big money abound, and the courts have ruled that corporations are people and money is speech.
Corporations are not People! I think most of us share that view. Because only people bleed in service to their country, only people struggle to be free, and only people are eulogized upon passing. I hope you too support a constitutional amendment to firmly establish that only natural people are people.
I believe in Maine’s Clean Election law. It establishes the means for citizens to run for public office, and only be beholding to the people they represent, not large contributions by any person, corporation, or special interest to exert undue influence that would erode the public trust. It would serve the nation well to establish this same practice at the federal level.
I have run as a clean election candidate in each of my campaigns. My opponent and I are both running as clean election candidates this year. I have, and will continue to work to strengthen Maine’s clean election system to remain competitive and equal to the task of restoring the voices of people and the trust of everyone.
I believe government is an instrument of the people. It exists to fulfill our social contract with each other as a society, in keeping with our constitution and our shared beliefs that government by the people, for the people and of the people is our greatest hope as a nation. Our problems with government cannot be fixed by labelling government as the problem. They can be fixed by exercising the greatest power citizens have – the power to vote – and elect people who believe that fixing those problems and acting in ways that restore the public trust are essential.
I believe in fair and open election procedures. That is why I campaigned for the People’s Veto that preserved same day voter registration with overwhelming voter support in 2011. And that is why I support the ranked choice voting referendum on the ballot this November.
How we conduct our campaigns, and how we conduct ourselves as public servants matters. Serving in elected office carries with it a responsibility to the people you serve, to the office, and to the institution of which you are a part. Respect is earned over time only when conduct is deserving. Which is why I run my campaign without mud slinging, dishonesty, or distortions, and I expect others to bring the same integrity and honesty to campaigning. Some operatives in the Maine Republican Party don’t seem to understand that, having launched a mostly negative campaign against their opposition. For the sake of voter trust in our electoral process, that needs to change. Voters and candidates deserve better.