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2011 MCEA Report
In June 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Arizona Free Enterprise Club’s Freedom Club PAC v. Bennett that the way Arizona awarded matching funds to candidates was unconstitutional. The Court’s decision upheld the constitutionality of publically funded campaigns but ruled that the “triggering” of matching funds based on the spending by other candidates or independent spenders was a violation of the First Amendment.
Maine, like Arizona, has a full public funding program for candidates; therefore, the Supreme Court’s decision had an impact on Maine’s MCEA program. In July 2011, the U.S. District Court of Maine issued an order striking down the matching funds portion of the Maine Clean Election Act.
Maine’s Legislature directed the Ethics Commission to study the impact of the Court’s ruling in Arizona Free Enterprise Club and to report to the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. The Commission presented its report to the VLA Committee in September 2011.
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