In light of the Supreme Court’s Arizona Free Enterprise v. Bennett ruling, U.S. District Court Judge George Singal has declared invalid a provision in Maine’s public financing law for triggered matching funds, reports The Associated Press.
The provision was questioned by state Rep. Andre Cushing, who did not utilize Maine’s Clean Election funding. His opponents participated in public financing and received matching funds under the provision, and Cushing still won the election:
“The question to me was what right should politicians have to use taxpayer money and how far should the government intervene into the election process using government funds,” [Cushing] said. “It left an unpalatable taste in a lot of people’s mouths.”
Now Maine legislators must decide if the entire Clean Election Act needs to be revisited.
States with similar matching funds provisions in their public finance programs must now decide how what Arizona Free Enterprise Club means for their programs (See Gavel Grab).