Judge to rule if LePage can keep blocking Maine Clean Election funds
A Superior Court judge said he will soon rule on whether Republican Gov. Paul LePage can single-handedly withhold more than $1 million in public campaign funds from more than 100 legislative candidates and one candidate who is running for governor.
Judge William Stokes heard oral arguments Tuesday in a case that could also affect the future of Maine’s landmark Clean Election program that voters approved more than 20 years ago.
The oral arguments in Androscoggin County Superior Court lasted more than an hour, and they centered on technical and arcane budget control provisions of state government, as well as the discretionary authority of a governor who is testing its limits in this and several other cases.
This case is brought by seven candidates in the Maine Clean Election program, as well as people who have donated to it. The taxpayer-financed program distributes payments to candidates who collect a set amount of $5 checks to qualify.