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LETTER: Check “Yes” for Clean Elections

To the Editor:

What’s the best way to make sure the public interest is the primary interest of our elected officials? By making sure that candidates don’t rely on special interests to win campaigns.

Maine’s Clean Election system, funded by Maine people, allowed the majority of newly elected legislators to run for office without raising private money. Eighty percent of the 125th Legislature now serves without the usual ties to special interests.

To keep that system in place, it’s important to check Yes for Clean Elections on Line 1 of the Maine income tax form.

The Clean Election check-off is part of the system that Maine voters approved in 1996 and that has worked so well for 10 years. It allows everyone to send three dollars into the Clean Election Fund, and it does not increase your tax bill or decrease your refund.

Three dollars doesn’t sound like a lot. But when Mainers pool these small amounts, we keep our Clean Election system healthy. And that means that legislators won’t have to go looking for private donations for their next campaign, either.

Ira Bittues

Lewiston

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