Senate President Troy Jackson (D-Aroostook) posted a video to social media on Saturday complaining about Citizens United v. FEC, a landmark Supreme Court decision regarding campaign finance and free speech.
Critics of the decision, like Jackson, claim the decision has increased the amount of money flowing into political campaigns — money that is used to manipulate and control politicians.
In Jackson’s most recent election, for example, outside groups poured more than $750,000 into his State Senate district to support his election over Republican Sue Bernard.
Jackson obtained taxpayer funding to finance his campaign, a move that prevented him from fundraising directly from private donors. However, that doesn’t prevent him from benefiting from independent expenditures made by outside interests who stood to benefit should he win the election.
In the 2022 election, Jackson benefitted from $577,698.50 spent supporting his candidacy and $175,394.93 spent attacking Bernard.
Conversely, Bernard only received $76,420.38 in outside support, plus $122,010.18 that was spent attacking Jackson. In total, outside interest groups dumping money into that State Senate race spent $550k more on Jackson than on Bernard.
What will those outside special interests get for their money?
If you believe, Jackson, they get control over a politician.
“This has become a system where the person with the most money gets to write the rules in politics and government,” he said.
“It’s always about big money being behind that, pushing so that they can keep control or take control,” he said.