In this 2019 file photo, Democratic senators, from left, Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, Dick Durbin of Illinois, Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire, Chuck Schumer of New York and Tom Udall New Mexico, announce the introduction of a constitutional amendment that would overturn Citizens United v. FEC decision to get big money out of politics at the Supreme Court in Washington. Credit: J. Scott Applewhite / AP

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Chris Cayer is quite correct in his urgent appeal in a  March 13 letter to the BDN to limit election spending in Maine (and across the country). Thanks to the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, the funding of elections has gone wild and is getting worse. There are several downsides to the present situation of election funding:

Big corporations and the very wealthy are able, with their money and resulting influence, to squeeze out the interests of small businesses.

By far, the largest share of that money raised comes from out of state.

Members of Congress now spend about half their time  raising money instead of evaluating and voting on laws.

“Dark money” groups allow donors to spend unlimited money with no trace.

We the voters are stupefied with political ads, glossy fliers and robocalls, many of which tell lies.

Foreign money and influence can infiltrate the process easily.

A first step will be for the state Legislature to pass the initiative immediately to ban foreign influence in referendums. A bigger step will be for Congress to support a constitutional amendment on a bipartisan basis to limit election funding nationwide. Dozens of states, including Maine, have already called for the amendment, but the pressure needs to be increased. Maine could once again take a lead.

Peter Garrett