The Star-Herald

The ethics of PAC money

To the editor:

The Maine Ethics Commission website defines a leadership political action committee as “a political fundraising committee led by a member of the Maine State Legislature; by collecting funds from various sources and distributing them to other political committees and legislators, a legislator heading a leadership PAC can gain influence.”

In other words, a PAC is a way of raising money to buy leadership influence.

In my moral universe that is an ethical problem. PAC activity is, however, legal according to the site and routinely practiced by both major political parties. 

  This website reports that Central Maine Power Company with a donation of $5,000 is a major donor to the Star City Political Action Committee led for a time by the 2020 Republican candidate for Maine Senate District 2, recently accused and acquitted of an ethics violation for using PAC money to pay personal expenses for clothes and car maintenance. The BDN Voter Guide reports that this candidate supports the CMP corridor which the majority of Mainers oppose.

  These examples show how ethically thorny PAC money is. I urge a vote for Mike Carpenter. He takes no PAC money or corporate donations and opposes the CMP Corridor. Mike has a long distinguished career in public service: Vietnam veteran, former attorney general, guardian ad litem for children in need, and many years of experience as a Maine legislator. He has no taint nor suspicion of ethics violations in his virtuous record, neither morally nor legally. He will work for equal justice for all in health care, the economy, education, and the environment.

Alice Bolstridge
Presque Isle 

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