The CWA News | Moving Forward: Getting Big Money Out of Politics

Volume 75, Issue #4 | Winter 2015

In Maine this past Election Day, voters approved Question One, an initiative that strengthens the state's landmark Clean Elections law, expands small-dollar public financing for campaigns and making candidates more accountable to the voters by requiring that outside groups disclose their top three donors on all political ads.

Mainers for Accountable Elections and Maine Citizens for Clean Elections mobilized voters across the state, making Maine the first state since Citizens United to begin to restore accountability and transparency.

Democracy Initiative members made the campaign a top priority, and those activists already had built strong relationships working on each other's fights.

Serina DeWolfe, a district vice president for CWA Local 1400, said there was a direct connection between the FairPoint contract fight and the campaign to get money out of politics.

Many community activists and supporters stood with CWA FairPoint members during their 18-week strike last year, and DeWolfe and other organizers channeled that energy into the fight for Question One. "After being on strike for so long, our members are very aware of the power of standing together. When we band together for common goals like we have with other Democracy Initiative organizations, America becomes an even better place for middle class Americans," she said.

Joan Saxe, volunteer leader for Sierra Club Maine, said the organization was applying founder John Muir's "strong sense of interconnectedness to building this cross-cutting movement. When we march in New York, we heighten the value of this effort in Maine, and when we pass clean elections in Maine, it will prove to be a model for other states. This is a great opportunity for the Sierra Club to help unite movements across the country. It's all connected."