Foreign influence in elections

State and federal law prohibit foreign interference in elections, however Hydro-Quebec has exploited a loophole in Maine with an aggressive media campaign to promote Central Maine Power’s unpopular NECEC corridor project. This sort of foreign interference is illegal in Canada.

According to the Maine Ethics Commission, Hydro-Quebec (HQ), a corporation owned by the Quebec provincial government, contributed a whopping $9.2 million into their PAC in 2020. Last year, they shared over 1.7 billion in dividends with the government as their sole shareholder. After facing scrutiny, HQ changed their PAC address from Montreal to Hartford, Connecticut.

In 2020, HQ was assessed a $35,000 fine by the Maine Ethics Commission, the second-largest campaign violation fine in state history. HQ also misused images of Acadia and Baxter State Park in an ad and has not submitted sworn testimony at the Maine Public Utilities Commission or Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Despite enormous foreign spending to influence the November 2021 referendum to reject the CMP corridor, recent polling shows those efforts as ineffective and that a majority of Mainers continue to oppose the for-profit project. The larger issue is that a foreign-owned corporation and its government owner should not be able to influence a vote in Maine.

Mainers know best how to protect Maine. Urge your state representative to support LD 194 and LD 479 to rectify this oversight in Maine law, and please vote yes this November to reject the CMP Corridor.

Sandi Howard

Principal Officer

No CMP Corridor




Connection and education

My recovery from substance use began in 2018. It was a Wednesday morning. My friend picked me up, we went to a building on the corner of Water Street and Main Street in Caribou. A building that I had walked by a thousand times over 20 years. Most of the time the windows in the front were empty. A few times small businesses would take up shop, never for long. That morning those windows showed a glimpse of hope for me. Roads to Recovery Community Center was open and it was bright. It was warm and I felt a sense of belonging.

The ladies I met that day became my recovery coaches, my peer supports, my friends. That night we returned to the center for my first recovery meeting. Walking inside brought comfort to me that I hadn’t felt in a long time. A feeling of hope. I would end up going back daily — sitting with my new association, people who are not using. I was able to do my intake for rehab there.

I now live in Auburn and when I return to Caribou I don’t worry about triggers or faltering in my program. I know that I have a safe space and support still at that recovery center. I hope that the Legislature will pass LD 488 to fund more of these spaces because recovery centers are vital, especially for people in early recovery.

I hope others will contact their local legislators in support of this bill. Connection is the opposite of addiction. Education is the opposite of ignorance.

Lorie Paddleford


A voice for gun owners

Since 2018, more towns and counties in the United States have passed resolutions declaring themselves as “Second Amendment sanctuaries,” and this number continues to rise. While the reasoning for these resolutions vary, they are growing in rural and suburban areas alike.

I’m all for the 2A sanctuary movement, but I don’t think everybody fully understands what it actually means. It’s a symbolic declaration that holds nearly zero legal value. It doesn’t give people any additional firearm-related rights whatsoever. It does however display an important message to politicians that might not have been noticed otherwise.

As more and more towns, counties and states across the country declare themselves as sanctuaries, gun owner voices only get louder. It’s a means of making sure that we get our say when gun control measures make their way to the table.

Officials supporting a “Second Amendment sanctuary” in their city, town, or county are letting the people who supported their elections know that they believe in their oath of office — the oath that officials swear to support the constitutions of the United States and State of Maine.

Robert Richford