BAR HARBOR — A resolution to change the United States Constitution to take special interest cash out of politics won the unanimous support of the town council Tuesday. Bar Harbor joins two dozen other Maine towns and cities in signing on to the effort to change the political system.
“This is really about the fundamental right of voting in an open and honest way, without manipulation and with fairness and as much truth as we can get out of the system,” former College of the Atlantic president Steve Katona told councilors before they voted on the issue.
Mr. Katona, town councilor Enoch Albert, town council candidate Gary Friedmann and Blue Hill selectman Jim Schatz all spoke before a crowd of 30 people who rallied on the steps of the municipal building before the council meeting.
While the petition was not considered official, councilor Jane Disney said that it should not be ignored. “What it’s telling us is what a large number of Bar Harbor residents are believing,” she said. “Because of the timing of events, it’s important that we step up now.”
The Bar Harbor resolution is seen as part of the national “move to amend” movement, whose leaders have encouraged towns, states and cities across the country to take action on the issue this spring.
The proposed constitutional amendment would seek to reverse the 2010 Supreme Court ruling known as “Citizen’s United,” which granted First Amendment free speech protections usually reserved for humans to corporations, unions and other groups. The ruling is widely believed to have led to the creation of super PACs (political action committees) which are now pouring unprecedented amounts of money into local, state and federal election campaigns across the country.
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