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Presentation to New Jersey Citizens’ Clean Elections Commission
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Presentation to New Jersey Citizens’ Clean Elections Commission

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  1. Presentation to New Jersey Citizens’ Clean Elections Commission Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices 135 State House Station Augusta, Maine 04333 (207) 287-4179 December 2, 2005

  2. Mandate of Commission • Campaign finance disclosure - Candidates (about 550 candidates – 300 in Clean Election program) - PACs (about 113 PACs) - Party Committees (3 state committees and about 30 local committees) • Lobbyist disclosure • Legislative ethics

  3. Commission Staff • Jonathan Wayne, Executive Director • Paul Lavin, Assistant Director • Vacant, Staff Auditor • Sandy Thompson, Candidate Registrar • Nathaniel Brown, Candidate Registrar • Martha Currier, PAC/Party/Lobbyist Registrar • Jennifer Mooney, Commission Assistant

  4. Maine Clean Election Act • Enacted by Maine voters in 1996 • Implemented in 3 elections: 2000 – legislative candidates only 2002 – legislative & governor 2004 – legislative candidates only

  5. Increase in MCEA Participation

  6. Participation in 2004General Election

  7. Percentage byElected Legislators

  8. Revenue to MaineClean Election Fund • $2,000,000 transfer from General Fund every January 1 • $250,000 taxpayer check-off every 6/30 • $125,000 qualifying contributions (election year only) • $15,000 interest (varies)

  9. Maine’s 10 LargestCities and Towns • Portland, 63,635 • Lewiston, 35,922 • Bangor, 31,550 • South Portland, 23,553 • Auburn, 23,313 • Biddeford, 21,685 • Sanford, 21,666 • Brunswick, 21,529 • Augusta, 18,618 • Scarborough, 18,459

  10. Political Parties in Maine • Democratic • Republican • Green-Independent

  11. Total Payments to Candidates

  12. Typical Timing ofMCEA Payments in 2004 House Candidates • $456 for primary election around April 15 • $4,032 for general election after June 8 • Matching funds in October

  13. 2006 Initial Distribution Amounts House: $512 Primary (no opponent) $4,362 General (with opponent) $4,874 Senate: $1,927 Primary (no opponent) $20,082 General (with opp’t) $22,009

  14. Qualifying Contributions • $5 checks or money orders payable to “Maine Clean Election Fund” • House candidates must collect at least 50 • Senate candidates must collect at least 150 • Gubernatorial candidates must collect 2,500 • Must be collected during the qualifying period from registered voters in candidate’s district

  15. Qualifying PeriodLegislative Candidates • January 1 – April 15 (party candidates) • January 1 – June 2 (unenrolled parties)

  16. Seed Money Contributions • Up to $100 from individuals (any party or residency) • May be used for any purpose • Maximums: • $500 for House • $1,500 for Senate • $500,000 for Governor

  17. Matching Funds to 2004 Candidates • 48% of 2004 candidates (148) received matching funds • Average amount received: - $1,640 for House candidates - $9,290 for Senate candidates

  18. Usual Role of Party Committees • Slate Cards (printed lists of 3 or more candidates) • Consultants who recruit and train candidates • Independent Expenditures

  19. Leadership PACs • MCEA candidates may raise private funds for leadership PACs. • No contribution limits or source restrictions • MCEA candidates may also raise private funds for legislative caucus PACs.

  20. Other Challenges • Issue Ads (presumed to be independent expenditures if during 21 days before election) • Last Minute Independent Expenditures -- 24 hours of obligation -- Extra disclosure in last 7 days • Legislative Scorecards