Southern Maine DSA Endorses Yes on Portland Question 2: 42 Pre-Election Day Report
PORTLAND, ME – On Monday, October 15, at their general membership meeting, the Southern Maine chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America (SMDSA) voted to endorse a charter amendment requiring all Portland municipal candidates to file a 42-day pre-election report disclosing their campaign donors. The referendum, conceived by Maine Citizens for Clean Elections and the League of Women Voters was introduced by Councilor Belinda Ray and passed by the Council on August 13, with only Councilor Kim Cook voting in opposition. A charter amendment requires citizen approval, and will appear to voters as Portland ballot Question 2 on the November 6th ballot.
Municipal candidates are currently required to disclose their donors 11 days before the election. However, by that time many voters have already cast early absentee ballots without the benefit of this information. Question 2 aims to fill this gap by mandating that candidates also disclose their sources of funding 42 days before the election. This additional report would match reporting requirements for state-level candidates.
“An informed electorate is foundational to a functioning democracy. Often it’s not the candidate’s agenda we need to understand, but that of their donors. Lack of transparency at the municipal level in Portland disenfranchises voters from the truth behind councilor votes,” said Kate Sykes, chapter secretary. “It’s time to open the blinds. Passing Question 2 is the first step toward a government that answers to the people of Portland.”
The DSA supports issues that align with its mission of organizing and empowering working class people in Southern Maine to stand together to improve our material and social conditions.
The DSA is the largest socialist organization in the United States. Its membership includes 35 elected officials around the country. Southern Maine DSA is endorsing six democratic socialists and one ballot question in the upcoming election.
For more information about the Southern Maine DSA, this press release, or its endorsement process, contact DSA.SouthernMaine@Gmail.com.