When I announced my candidacy for County Commissioner in District 2, I made a statement against the amount of money in the election process and pledged not to do road signs and to keep the cost of running the campaign as economical as possible. Those in the know said I couldn't win unless I was willing to raise and spend $5,100, and they were right as I lost with 32 percent of the vote. My opponent obviously had similar advice about campaign expenditures and heeded it by vast numbers of road signs and a great deal of advertising, not to mention give-a-way items. For my part, I expended just under $900.
The ray of sunshine in all of this is that the 32 percent of you who voted for me also voiced your displeasure with the amount of money spent in the election process. The State of Maine was buried in campaign ads from super Pacs across the country. I am proud to say they did not affect the voters of Maine who went their own way in electing Angus King.
I stick by my initial statement, “There is something wrong with our democratic process when people of ordinary means are barred from the arena because they can't raise huge amounts of money.” The question remains what will we, the people, do about this and how will we influence our party leaders, if you belong to one, to change the strangle hold money has on the democratic process of electing officials to represent our interests?
I'd be interested in hearing from others who would like to do something about this situation and perhaps form a group whose aim would be to reform the campaign and election process as it now exists. If that's your interest you could contact me at 392-3761or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jane C. Rich