A recent article in the Bangor Daily News highlights the skyrocketing campaign expenditures that have flooded the state’s elections since the 2010 Citizens United ruling. The article uses new data from Maine Citizen’s For Clean Elections report, The Shell Game – How Independent Expenditures Have Invaded Maine Since Citizens United.
AUGUSTA, Maine — Spending by outside groups to influence Maine elections has skyrocketed since 2010, when the U.S. Supreme Court through the landmark Citizens United case lifted restrictions on independent expenditures.
Since the Citizens United decision, spending on Maine elections has grown by millions of dollars. Independent expenditures — political spending not associated with any candidate’s campaign — on gubernatorial elections jumped from about $600,000 in 2006 to more than $4 million in 2010. That’s an increase of 650 percent. Legislative races saw a massive influx as well, from about $600,000 in 2008 to $1.5 million in 2010 and $3.6 million in 2012. That’s a jump of roughly 547 percent.
Many in Augusta predict 2014 will be another record-breaking election year for independent expenditures, sometimes called “dark money.”