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U.S. District Court Hears Argument in Case on Maine Law that Won’t Let Contributors Give as Much to an Independent as to a Party Candidate

On August 12, U.S. District Court Judge David B. Hornby heard arguments in Woodhouse v Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, 1:14-266. This is the case that challenges Maine campaign finance limits, which let contributors give twice as much money to a candidate who runs in a partisan primary and then a general election, as to an independent candidate or the nominee of an unqualified party.

This story describes the oral argument
. It appears that the hearing went well for the plaintiffs, who want to give more than is allowed to the independent candidate for Governor.

One Response

  1. And go well for the plaintiffs it should! Imagine a party now deciding on holding a “secondary”, then a primary, and then compete in a general election and now asking the government “ethics” commission to grant it treble the amount of campaign donations than an independent candidate. In fact, the only argument could be that independent candidates should be allowed unlimited amounts but party candidates not on account of having a party with all its machinery behind them. We can see that any way to try and construe rules by which “all men are equal” are going to be misconstrued into “but some are more equal than others” if one does not apply the most abstract measure, and this is, in this case, an analogue to “one man, one vote”. I hope the judge will scrap that “ethical” consideration, no doubt created by a commission stuffed with more party affiliated members (or those that get money from parties, like public jurists or professors at public institutions) than independents.

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