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This past week was National Sunshine Week, a period dedicated to furthering open government and discussion.  So I guess this announcement is fitting.

I’ve spent years advocating for Maine’s public financing laws, because I feel our campaign finance system needs fundamental changes.  So in my campaign for Congress, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.  I’m banking my campaign on the support of individual voters, not the support of special interest lobbyists or federal PACs.

Today, I’m taking my commitment to clean elections one step further.

I’m proud to announce that moments ago, even though my internal polling shows that I am neck and neck with my opponent, I signed on with the Change Congress Movement, a plan to start eliminating the influence of big-money contributors in politics, and to restore our government to the people.

The Change Congress plan is based around a four-part pledge:

  1. I will not accept contributions from PACs or registered lobbyists;
  1. I will support the abolition of budgetary earmarks;
  1. I will support reform to increase transparency in Congress; and
  1. I will support a national system of public financing of elections.

You can read more about the Change Congress plan at

I’m running my campaign on the radical notion that the people who live in Maine should be the ones choosing our representative.  Relying on the same old big-money political donors is the easiest path to more of the same-old, same-old in Congress.  We need a change in Washington, and the same kind of big-money politics is not going to bring us any closer to achieving it.

I’m pledging to fight for a better campaign system, and a better government.  Please join me by taking the pledge yourself at, and encouraging Congressional candidates in your state to sign on as well.

Obviously, refusing PAC and lobbyist money will make contributions from individuals that much more important for this campaign’s success.  So if you believe that we need a real break from the big-money politics that now control Washington, I’d be honored if you’d help me show that a people-powered campaign can still compete:  

The stronger our campaign grows, the more likely other candidates across the country will find the courage to stand for a cleaner Washington.  And the more candidates that join our fight for a cleaner Washington, the stronger we’ll be in pushing for these long-overdue changes.

I hope that progressive candidates across the country will join me in taking this difficult but critical step towards fixing our broken elections system.  If November is going to truly be an election for change, let’s change more than just the names on the doors on Capitol Hill.  Let’s change the way Washington does business, and return the People’s House to its rightful owners.


Ethan Strimling
Candidate for Congress, ME-01

(Cross-posted at TurnMaineBlue)

Originally posted to Ethan Strimling on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 04:26 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip jar (5+ / 0-)

    Larry Lessig says this may not be the most important change we need from Congress, but it is the first change we need from Congress.  Agree?

    •  Yes, #1 (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The first thing is election integrity which includes reforming campaign finance. The second is media deconsolidation, diversity and accountability. Those are the two things standing in the way of the will of the citizenry being expressed. Once those two are in place, we will be in a better position to deal with everything else that needs repairing.

      Good luck, Ethan. I'm backing a couple of congressional races here in Ohio because I believe this is the level where real change starts. My own district is very very safe Democrat (Oh-11) but I've adopted a couple of others I think we can win.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14:

      by anastasia p on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 04:47:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  First Change May Be the Most Important Change (0+ / 0-)


      Let's keep that ball rolling, in the right direction
      and who knows...?

      Wil Tibby

  •  Campaign Contributions (0+ / 0-)

    Good for you Ethan Strimling - I Support You.

    Tonite, you land on a subject that sure is a sore one with me, because we the people should finance the campaigning, not the special interests, cuz,
    one knows money talks, BS walks, and at that certainly, with a limp.

    Too bad, but that's the way it is, here, in America.
    And in accepting such, I want to have control as to my representative government, not Exxon-Mobil or
    Pfizer doing it for me!! I do not want some lobbyist, writing your legislative drafts, on my behalf, no Sir.

    Now, a related item: I hope that you are aware, that there are some rumours circulating (how timely)in
    the blogosphere, that you "...may be under the sway
    of AIPAC."

    From my own exhaustive research on this, I have come
    up with zilcho evidence, to support such an onerous and irresponsible claim, and everyone out there should know this. And I have sent, and will continue to send word back through the channels wherein I received this blurb, succinctly advising those mongers, of my findings.

    Well, Ethan Strimling, what do you say to this, as  I would really like to know what you have to say.
    I know, if I were in your shoes, I would be well prepared to respond in kind to those mouthpieces,
    with an unblinking eye-to-eye, straight spined, and a soft voiced retort, aimed with the clear precision in mind to conduct a thorough intellectual lobotomy.

    How say you?

  •  So. you're running for (0+ / 0-)

    Tom Allen's seat? Who is running against you? No longer resident on the rockbound coast, so I'm not entirely up to speed on who's where.

    That said, good for you. From what I saw of public financing in recent years, it's improved Maine's political climate. And I think it would eventually have a salutary effect nationwide, if we could get to that point.

    The degree to which you resist injustice is the degree to which you are free. -- Utah Phillips

    by Mnemosyne on Sun Mar 23, 2008 at 05:17:27 PM PDT

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