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Maine Doesn't Want Lobbyists To Pressure Politicians While They're Voting

from the as-if-that-makes-a-difference dept

We've seen plenty of governments ban the use of laptops or email devices during governing sessions -- though, the usual reason is to keep politicians from goofing off when they should be paying attention. However, up in Maine, they've come up with a different reason: to keep lobbyists from pressuring politicians as they make their votes. This is interesting, because it shows just how far some lobbyists tend to go in pushing their viewpoints on politicians -- but a bigger question is whether or not this even makes any sense? It seems highly unlikely that a last minute email from a lobbyist is going to convince a politician one way or the other. And, if it does, then that should say a lot more about the politician in question than it does about the fact that politicians are allowed to check email while debating and voting on bills.
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  • identicon
    patriot or parrot, 2 Feb 2007 @ 5:28pm

    democracy?

    Would the politician then just take the majority opinion (yay or nay) from the lobbyists? You could even set up the laptop's camera/microphone so the lobbyists would know when to send them orders.
    Sounds a bit like electoral college system when you think about it...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Alex, 2 Feb 2007 @ 7:48pm

    Wow...

    I live in Maine, and I've never even heard of this. Whats up with that.

    As for "last minute emails"- communication like that should not be going on while voting is in process (as the article suggests). Leave the lobbying for before the voting.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ScytheNoire, 3 Feb 2007 @ 9:50am

    one email to change it all

    i'm sure some lobbyists send some emails that change the outcome of the vote. you know, something along the lines of "$50K".

    they just need to ban lobbyists altogether, since the public doesn't have lobbyists, it doesn't serve the public interest, but just private corporations with the money and power to sway votes.

    but then the political system in most countries, especially the USA, is just corrupt as hell and broken.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    James Saxon, 3 Feb 2007 @ 12:21pm

    The Affects of Publicly Funded Elections?

    Readers may not know but Maine is one of three states with Full Public Financing of Election Campaigns (Accurately called "Clean Money"). Arizona and Connecticut, along with cities Portland OR and Albuquerque NM have Clean Money laws working.

    80% of Maine's house were "Clean Candidates" representatives who took no money when they ran for office but rather received a fixed competitive amount from the state. If a challenger spent more, they received matching funds.

    The voters like Clean Candidates.

    Perhaps lobbyists finding out that their money isn't working so well anymore are looking for new avenues to sneak in an opinion and "Clean" headed representatives aren't pleased about it.

    Is this the next evolution of a state that goes "Clean"?

    To find out about movements to get Clean Money in states and federal government. Check out:

    www.publicampaign.org (States)
    www.just6dollars.org (Federal)
    www.CAclean.org (California)

    Here's an interesting analysis tool that shows winners and losers and the money they had. Compare Arizona and Maine to other states. (Connecticut has not had a Clean Election yet).

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Sal, 3 Feb 2007 @ 3:46pm

    Great Idea!!!

    Wow, see they ARE doing something about the undue influence of lobbyists on our politicians! At least that's what they WANT you to think. LOL

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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