Daggett v. Webster: Amicus Brief filed in Federal Court

Daggett v. Webster: Amicus Brief filed in Federal Court

October 5, 1996
|
Civil Action No. 98-223-B-H 
 
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 
DISTRICT OF MAINE
 
Beverly C. Daggett, et al., 
Plaintiffs
 
v.
 
Peter B. Webster, et al.,
Defendants.
 
 
BRIEF OF MAINE PEOPLE'S ALLIANCE AS AMICUS CURIAE IN SUPPORT OF CONSTITUTIONALITY OF MAINE'S CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM ACT
 
Introduction And Interest Of Amicus
 
The Maine People’s Alliance respectfully submits this brief as amicus curiae in support of the constitutionality of the campaign reforms established under "An Act to Reform Campaign Finance" (the "Act") adopted by Maine voters on November 5, 1996.
 
The purpose of the Maine People’s Alliance ("MPA") is to unite Maine’s unrepresented citizens in their communities so that together they can identify common concerns and develop the skills and resources necessary to represent themselves effectively in all decision-making forums. Made up of more than 16,000 members, MPA works to empower low- and moderate-income leadership and members to develop the strategies to influence public policy and to present a challenge to social, political and economic injustice throughout the state. MPA campaigned across the State of Maine to support passage of the Act in 1996. Its advocacy touches a wide variety of issues that affect the vital interests of Maine citizens, particularly those of low or moderate income. Most recently, MPA’s activities have included defending Maine’s initiative and referendum process against legislative efforts to weaken it; working to increase Medicaid eligibility for children in low-income families and expand prescription drug coverage for seniors and disabled citizens; and strengthening and renewing Maine’s Toxic Use Reduction law. Beyond the success of its campaigns on specific issues, MPA seeks to empower Maine’s citizens, develop grassroots leaders, and organize people into an effective force to improve the lives of all people in Maine.
 
MPA fully supports the constitutionality of the critical campaign reforms adopted by Maine voters in 1996. This brief does not canvass all of the arguments supporting the constitutionality of the Act, because that would only serve to repeat matters treated more comprehensively in the briefs of the State of Maine and the Edmunds amici. This brief seeks instead to place before the Court one important perspective: that of poor and nonwealthy citizens whose interests are deeply affected by the critical reforms achieved by the Act. That perspective is relevant in understanding the compelling interests supporting both the new contribution limits and the public financing system established by the Act.[fn 1]
 
In Part I of its brief, amicus MPA explains how the large campaign contributions that were permitted under Maine’s previous campaign finance laws harmed the integrity of Maine’s political process by fostering public cynicism about elected officials’ ability to govern in the public interest. Governments have a compelling interest in "deal[ing] with the reality or appearance of corruption inherent in a system" of large contributions, Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 28 (1976) (emphasis added). Under Maine’s previous individual limits of $1,000 per election, a candidate could, in effect, receive $2,000 per election cycle from an individual who contributed in both the primary and general election campaigns. The pervasive appearance of corruption in electoral politics arises not only from examples of influence peddling that unfortunately exist in Maine, but also from the simple fact that a $2,000 political contribution in Maine represents an enormous sum from the perspective of a vast segment of the state’s citizens. Median household income statistics for Maine confirm that the effective $2,000 per election limit represented a substantial percentage of most citizens’ earnings.
 
The maximum allowable contributions under Maine’s previous limits also were outsized in relation to the amounts typically expended in political campaigns in Maine. When candidates can accumulate their entire war chest from a handful of prodigious contributors, it violates the premise that candidates in democratic elections should owe their election to broad popular support. Because contribution limits encourage candidates to raise money from more sources, they promote the broadest possible political participation while only marginally restricting each contributor’s rights to political expression. Buckley, 424 U.S. at 20.
 
In Part II of its brief, amicus MPA explains how the adoption of public financing for Maine elections protects the rights of nonwealthy citizens and candidates to equal political participation by permitting candidates a meaningful opportunity to seek office even if they lack wealth or access to wealth. The average cost of a winning Senate race now exceeds $20,000 and the average cost of a winning House race exceeds $6,000. Even though these sums are not large in comparison to the amounts spent in some states, the fact remains that most poor and low-income citizens in Maine cannot realistically contemplate a candidacy in the absence of public financing. And while some might assume that persons living in poverty, or subsisting on incomes that are consumed primarily by necessities such as food and shelter, will of course not expect to be viable candidates for office in today’s society, such assumptions should not be tolerated in a true democracy. Choosing candidates through a "wealth primary" that effectively excludes poor and non-wealthy citizens is no more acceptable today than was choosing candidates through the "white primary" used in the South earlier in this century. Maine’s public financing system is a fully constitutional method of restoring the democratic ideal of election contests fueled by competition between ideas rather than competition between pocketbooks.
 
For these reasons, as well as those canvassed in the briefs to be filed by the State of Maine and the Edmunds amici, the Maine People’s Alliance respectfully urges the Court to affirm the constitutionality of Maine’s campaign finance reforms.
 
ARGUMENT
 
I. MAINE’S PREVIOUS CONTRIBUTION LIMITS RADICALLY EXCEEDED SUMS THAT THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF MAINE CITIZENS CAN CONTRIBUTE TO CAMPAIGNS AND THEREBY FOSTERED THE CORROSIVE PERCEPTION OF CORRUPTION IN POLITICS.
 
By limiting the size of campaign contributions that candidates may accept from any one source, Maine voters sought both to stem the corrosive effects of corruption and to overcome the perception of corruption in state politics. Both of these goals, under long-standing precedent, provide a compelling justification for the 1996 reforms enacted in Maine. As the Supreme Court recognized in 1976, contribution limits serve the vital function of helping to eliminate "the opportunity for abuse inherent in the process of raising large monetary contributions", Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1, 30 (1976). Equally important is the role contribution limits play in alleviating the widespread perception of corruption in politics. Indeed, avoiding the appearance of improper influence is "critical . . . if confidence in the system of representative Government is not to be eroded to a disastrous extent." CSC v. Letter Carriers, 413 U.S. 548, 565 (1973); see Buckley, 424 U.S. at 25-26.[fn 2]
 
The capacity of contribution limits to quell doubts about improper influence by wealthy donors, however, is directly tied to the levels at which the limits are set. If, for instance, limits are gauged to allow the contribution of sums far beyond the means of an overwhelming majority of citizens, then the vast majority of citizens will naturally perceive that contributors who give at those levels exert a disproportionate and potentially corrupting influence over the state’s elected officials. This common sense conclusion is borne out by experience. In the words of a former United States Congressman,
 
"[p]eople who contribute get the ear of the [candidate] and the ear of the staff. They have access — and access is it. Access is power. Access is clout. That’s how this thing works...."[fn 3]
 
To understand the compelling justifications for reducing Maine’s previous contribution limits, therefore, it is crucial to understand the economic context in which the limits operate. Before the new limits became effective, Maine campaign regulations permitted candidates for elective office to accept individual donations of $1,000 per election. A candidate running in both a primary and general election, therefore, could accept a total of $2,000 in contributions from one individual during an election cycle. Political committees, corporations and associations could donate $5,000 per election, or a total of $10,000 in one election cycle involving a primary and general election.
 
These sums were, quite simply, staggering in relation to the ability of most Maine citizens to contribute to election campaigns. Consider just one statistic. The median household income of Maine families was $34,132.00 in 1997.[fn 4] Thus, the allowed per-cycle contribution of $2,000 that a candidate for state office previously could accept from just one individual represented over two-thirds of the entire monthly pre-tax income available to the typical family in Maine. Clearly, contributions at that level — and the influence that goes along with them — were the prerogative of only a tiny fraction of Maine citizens.[fn 5]
 
Analysis of past contribution patterns in Maine bears this out. Large donations of over $500 in statewide campaigns or over $250 in legislative campaigns were confined to a small proportion of donors. In the most recent Maine House elections, only 3.7 percent of all donors made a contribution over $250, and only 7.1 percent made such large contributions to state Senate elections. Expert Report of Professor Anthony Corrado, May 30, 1999, Tables 10, 11. Even in the more expensive gubernatorial elections, the number of donors giving more than $500 was only 1.5 percent of all donors in the 1998 election and only about 10 percent of all donors in the 1994 election. Id. at 22.
 
But the more telling comparison is not the proportion of all donors making large contributions, but the proportion of all eligible voters who do so. After all, the vast majority of citizens do not participate in politics by making monetary contributions, but simply by voting. The donors who gave more than $250 in Maine’s 1998 House and Senate races made up only .080 percent and .096 percent, respectively, of Maine’s eligible voting population.[fn 6] Such figures are a dramatic reminder of how a system built on large campaign donations undermines the principle of one person, one vote.[fn 7]
 
While those able to donate to candidates in Maine at the $1,000 level made up only a tiny fraction of the population, their potential influence over candidates for elected office in Maine was enormous. The sums that previously could be contributed to Maine candidates amounted to a substantial proportion of the costs of a typical election campaign in Maine. The average amount spent in winning a House seat in Maine was $5,617 in 1996 and $6,464 in 1998, while the average amount spent in winning a Senate seat was $22,252 in 1996 and $23,582 in 1998.[fn 8] Thus, just a few individual donors giving contributions at the $1,000 limit could provide all of the campaign funds for the average winning candidacy in 1996. By comparison, when the Supreme Court in Buckley considered the $1,000 individual contribution limits that Congress had enacted for federal elections, the average cost of a U.S. House campaign was $73,316, and the average cost of a U.S. Senate campaign was $595,449. See Corrado Report at 6-7. No one individual or handful of individuals could dominate the funding of a federal campaign with a $1,000 donation in the manner that previously was possible in Maine elections.
 
It is no wonder, then, that the vast majority of Maine citizens perceive that their elected officials give special treatment to large campaign contributors, and that ordinary citizens who lack wealth are shortchanged by the political process in Maine. See Report of Celinda Lake and David Mermin, Public Attitudes on Campaign Financing in Maine, at 2-3. Unfortunately, there is evidence that voters’ perception of corruption in state politics is grounded in reality. The record in this case documents instances in which Maine legislators or their staff members have candidly attributed their positions on specific legislative issues to the desire to obtain campaign contributions or to satisfy a past contributor. Sweet Affidavit, ¶¶ 23-27. Of course, as the Supreme Court recognized in Buckley, "the scope of [actual corruption] can never be reliably ascertained." 424 U.S. at 27. That is all the more reason why states are entitled to substantial leeway in determining the level at which contribution limits should be gauged to prevent the corruption of their political process and shore up public confidence in government. See also Kentucky Right to Life v. Terry, 108 F.3d 637, 648-649 (6th Cir. 1997) (holding that state was entitled to substantial deference in determining level at which contribution limits should be set).
 
The perceptions of Maine voters documented in the Lake/Mermin survey reflect a disturbing trend in which the Maine electorate increasingly echoes the cynicism that has infected voters’ attitudes at the national level. A 1997 poll, for example, determined that three-quarters of Americans believe that "public officials make or change policy decisions as a result of money they receive from major contributors."[fn 9] In a poll taken directly after the November 1996 elections, Americans ranked the "power of special interest groups in politics" second only to "international terrorists" when asked to identify "major threats" to the future of the country.[fn 10] In this same survey, forty-nine percent of those polled believed the country was "losing ground" in its efforts to fight political corruption. Id. By voting to limit the size of contributions that their elected officials may accept, Maine voters showed a clear determination to take back lost ground in the battle to preserve a vibrant democracy in their state.
 
Even if the actual integrity of elections were somehow not undermined by the dominant influence of large contributions, the apparent integrity of elections unavoidably is. When a select few citizens can make contributions vastly disproportionate to those of ordinary citizens, the remaining majority will quite rationally and justifiably assume that large contributors purchase access to public office, if not the office itself. The widespread perception of corruption in politics is no accident. Rather, it is the natural and rational conclusion drawn by citizens who cannot financially support electoral candidates at anywhere near the level of their wealthy counterparts. As the Buckley Court recognized, the government has a compelling interest in undertaking measures to check the pervasive perception of corruption and its deleterious long-term consequences for our democracy.
 
II. MAINE’S PUBLIC FINANCING LAW PROTECTS THE RIGHTS OF NONWEALTHY CITIZENS AND CANDIDATES TO EQUAL POLITICAL PARTICIPATION BY PERMITTING CANDIDATES TO SEEK OFFICE EVEN IF THEY LACK WEALTH OR ACCESS TO WEALTH.
 
In 1984, all candidates for the Maine Senate together spent a total of $356,539 in seeking election. In 1998, Senate candidates spent over $1.38 million — an increase of 288 percent over the last 15 years.[fn 11] While information on House expenditures was available only going back to 1988, even in that time span total expenditures have nearly doubled, rising from $826,537 in 1988 to approximately $1.53 million in 1998 — an 84.6 percent increase.[fn 12]
 
The increasing amount of money spent on campaigns does not correlate to an increase in the amount of candidate participation in Maine. To the contrary, fewer candidates ran for the Maine House in 1998 than in 1988 (323 in 1998 compared to 338 in 1988), while in the Senate, the number of candidates running was the same in 1998 as in 1984, when spending was only one-third of the 1998 level.[fn 13]
 
The number of candidates running, however, does not alone tell the full story. The authors of a recent study of state legislative races in 18 states, including Maine, found that that "an incumbent whose opponent does not exceed 25 percent of his or her spending level is ‘financially unopposed,’ and the election result is generally a foregone conclusion."[fn 14] In Maine, 35 percent of the putatively contested legislative races fit this definition of "financially unopposed," in that challengers had less than one-quarter of the funds that were available to the incumbents they were challenging. Id. at 105, Table 6-2 (examining data from 1992). The percentage of "financially unopposed" elections in Maine was the highest among the five states in the study whose legislatures were categorized as most similar to Maine in terms of their level of professionalism — that is, states having citizen legislatures rather than professional legislatures. Id.[fn 15]
 
Furthermore, the median expenditures of challengers in contested House races in Maine has been decreasing compared to those of incumbents; in 1992 the median expenditure of challengers in Maine was only 42.8 percent of that of incumbents, compared to 60.4 percent in 1986.[fn 16] Ninety-one percent of legislative incumbents in (nominally) contested elections were re-elected in Maine in 1992, with 71 percent of incumbents outspending their opponents.[fn 17] Large contributions flow much more readily to incumbents than to challengers in Maine, Pingree Aff. ¶ 29, with the result that competition is stifled. Indeed, in 1998, not a single Senate seat was won by a challenger. Hibbard Aff. ¶ 36.
 
Thus, under the prior system where private resources were the only avenue available for funding a campaign, those who lacked such resources or ready access to them were effectively excluded from meaningful political participation. Without public financing, low- and moderate-income citizens are relegated to the role of outside observers, offered a choice between the candidates pre-selected in the "wealth primary" that too often determines which candidates will be viable competitors. By voting to provide public financing of elections in Maine, the citizens of Maine have properly declared that choosing candidates through a "wealth primary" that effectively excludes poor and non-wealthy citizens is no more acceptable today than was choosing candidates through the "white primary" used in the South earlier in this century.
 
The Supreme Court’s decision in Terry v. Adams, 345 U.S. 461 (1953), illustrates the compelling state interests at stake in opening up to all citizens the ability to participate in every "integral part . . . of the elective process that determines who shall rule and govern. . . ." 345 U.S. at 469. In Terry, the Supreme Court addressed a constitutional challenge by African-American voters to the pre-primary endorsement process of a wholly private entity, the Jaybird Association. The Association’s private nominating process was not governed by state or federal laws and did not use state or federal elective machinery or funds. The Supreme Court nevertheless ruled that the Association’s nominating process unconstitutionally infringed African Americans’ right to vote, because the private nominating process had come to determine, as a practical matter, which candidates could win the Democratic primary. Because the "Jaybird primary" had become "an integral part . . . of the elective process", the exclusion of a class of voters from that process violated their right to equal protection, even though the Jaybird primary was run by wholly private actors. Id. at 469.[fn 18]
 
Other Supreme Court decisions have recognized "the real and appreciable impact on the exercise of the franchise" that voters face under a system that excludes certain candidates on the basis of their lack of wealth. Bullock v. Carter, 405 U.S. 134, 144 (1972). In Bullock, the Court struck down candidate filing fees that Texas required primary candidates to pay to their political parties. "We would ignore reality," the Court stated, "were we not to find that this system falls with unequal weight on voters, as well as candidates, according to their economic status." 405 U.S. at 144. As the Court noted, "Many potential office seekers lacking both personal wealth and affluent backers are in every practical sense precluded from seeking the nomination of their chosen party, no matter how qualified they might be, and no matter how broad or enthusiastic their popular support." Id. at 143. See also Harper v. Virginia Board of Elections, 383 U.S. 663, 666 (1966) (striking down Virginia’s $1.50 poll tax and declaring that "[v]oter qualifications have no relation to wealth....").
 
Like the private nominating process in Terry, the campaign financing process has become an integral part of Maine’s election system. As in Bullock, the need for funds to run a viable election campaign means that a candidate without access to such funds is "in every practical sense precluded" from seeking nomination or election, no matter how qualified he or she might be. Bullock, 405 U.S. at 143. Maine’s public financing system, in which candidates agree to forgo most private funds and in return receive public financing for their campaigns, promises to end the "wealth primary" and open up the candidate selection process to all voters. This goal of assuring that all citizens have access to the funds necessary to participate in the political process is a compelling state interest that strongly supports Maine’s adoption of a public financing system.
 
The interests at stake in opening up the political process to all voters are no less compelling simply because the amounts needed to run for office in Maine, with its citizen-legislature model, may not be as high as in more populous states with professional legislatures. In 1998, the average amount spent in winning a House seat in Maine was $6,464, while the average amount spent in winning a Senate seat was $23,582 in 1998.[fn 19] The average Maine household, with an annual pre-tax income of $34,132, cannot contemplate supporting a viable candidacy at such levels without incurring a financial burden far disproportionate to its disposable income. Moreover, fully 10.8 percent of Maine citizens live in poverty and are obviously unable to spend such amounts on a candidacy in the absence of public financing.[fn 20] Any argument that the costs of running for office in Maine are not really an obstacle for a determined candidate who lacks private funds is reminiscent of the argument that a poll tax of $1.00 surely would not deter anyone who really wanted to exercise the right to vote. When Claude Pepper, later a congressman from Florida, encountered that argument during a 1942 debate on the constitutionality of the poll tax, he "ambled over to the microphone and remarked, ‘Well, a dollar ain’t much if you got one.’"[fn 21] For some, the several thousand dollars needed to fund a typical candidacy in Maine poses no obstacle; but the many for whom it does are also full citizens whose exclusion is incompatible with the ideals of a true democracy.
 
Plaintiffs, by opposing both public financing and contribution limits, seem to suggest that those who lack the personal resources to compete against well-funded opponents should simply ask their supporters for large donations. This let-them-eat cake argument defies political reality. Of course, those who wish to reject public financing may do so, and the new contribution limits are still high enough to allow adequate fundraising from supporters able to contribute at the $250 level (or $500 for gubernatorial elections). See Corrado Report at 23-34. But for many Maine citizens, even a $250 contribution limit is more theoretical than real, since they cannot afford a contribution anywhere near that level — much less a $1,000 contribution. For these citizens and the candidates they would like to elect, public financing represents an alternative that opens up the political process by allowing participation that is not dependent on access to private funds.
 
Contrary to a common misconception, the goal of improving the access of nonwealthy citizens to the political process through public financing of elections is fully compatible with the Supreme Court’s decision in Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976). Buckley upheld the constitutionality of the public financing provisions for presidential elections enacted by Congress as part of the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1974. See 424 U.S. at 90-96. To be sure, Buckley also contains a passage, sometimes quoted by opponents of public financing, which states that "the concept that government may restrict the speech of some elements of our society in order to enhance the relative voice of others is wholly foreign to the First Amendment". 424 U.S. at 48-49. This passage, however, is wholly inapplicable to the analysis of a voluntary public financing system. Instead, the quoted passage describes the Court’s reasoning in striking down a different provision of the FECA: its mandatory limits on independent political expenditures. A voluntary public financing system such as Maine’s, by contrast, clearly does not "restrict the speech" of anyone, because candidates may opt out of the public financing plan and thus remain free to spend unlimited amounts if they so choose. The overall effect of a public financing plan, as the Supreme Court explained in Buckley, is "not to abridge, restrict or censor speech, but rather to use public money to facilitate and enlarge public discussion and participation in the electoral process, goals vital to a self-governing people. Thus [the public funding provision] furthers, not abridges, pertinent First Amendment values." Id. at 93. See also Vote Choice v. DiStefano, 4 F.3d 26, 39-40 (1st Cir. 1993) (upholding Rhode Island public financing scheme).
 
If, as Buckley states, public funding will "facilitate and enlarge public discussion and participation in the electoral process", that can be true only to the extent it assists candidates that would otherwise be unable to participate because of their lack of funds. Accordingly, it is fully compatible with Buckley and the First Amendment for Maine to take steps to protect the rights of nonwealthy citizens to participate equally in the political process, as Maine has done by adopting public financing.
 
CONCLUSION
 
For the foregoing reasons, amicus Maine People’s Alliance respectfully requests that the Court affirm the constitutionality of "An Act to Reform Campaign Finance" adopted by the voters of Maine on November 5, 1996.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Brenda Wright 
John C. Bonifaz
Gregory Luke 
National Voting Rights Institute 
294 Washington Street, Suite 713 
Boston, Massachusetts 02108 
(617) 368-9100
 
Thomas B. Federle
Dyer Goodall & Federle
45 Memorial Circle 
Augusta, Maine 04330 
(207) 622-3693
 
Counsel for amicus curiae Maine People's Alliance
 
Footnotes
 
[1] This brief references a number of documents that amicus understands to be part of the Stipulated Record in this case, including the following: Expert Report of Professor Anthony Corrado, May 30, 1999; Survey of Maine Citizens by Lake Sosin Snell Perry & Associates, dated June 1, 1997, Public Attitudes on Campaign Financing in Maine; data from official annual reports of the State of Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices; press clippings pertaining to campaign contributions and campaign finance in Maine; and affidavits of witnesses. It also references a limited number of additional articles, reports and surveys that are appropriate for the Court's consideration as "legislative facts." See Daggett v. Comm'n on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices, 172 F.3d 104, 112 (1st Cir. 1999); see generally Thornburg v. Gingles, 478 U.S. 30, 46 n.11 (1986) (citing political science articles explaining impact of election system on minority voters); Florida Bar Assoc. v. Went for It, Inc., 515 U.S. 618, 628 (1995) (approving litigants' use of polling data, studies and anecdotes in defending constitutionality of speech regulations) ; Blount v. SEC, 61 F.3d 938, 945 (D.C.Cir. 1995) (approving reliance on newspaper articles to illustrate need for anti-corruption regulations).
 
[2] Compare Colorado Republican Federal Campaign Comm. v. FEC, 518 U.S. 604, 609 (1996) (plurality opinion) (contribution limits serve the government's compelling interest in "assuring the electoral system's legitimacy, protecting it from the appearance and reality of corruption"); FEC v. National Conservative Political Action Committee, 470 U.S. 480, 500 (1985) (approving "proper deference to a congressional determination of the need for a prophylactic rule where the evil of potential corruption had long been recognized").
 
[3] MARTIN SCHRAM, CENTER FOR RESPONSIVE POLITICS, SPEAKING FREELY: FORMER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TALK ABOUT MONEY IN POLITICS, 63 (1995) (quoting Rep. Romano Mazzoli of Kentucky). See also, e.g., Frank Fisher, Tobacco lobby had money to burn in Augusta but did it smoke out votes? BANGOR DAILY NEWS, June 21-22, 1997 (reporting on tobacco industry contributions to legislators and quoting legislator's observation that tobacco lobby had "enormous control of the process down here"); Editorial, Sure, sure: Gravel industry didn't expect anything for Lord fund-raiser? PORTLAND PRESS HERALD, March 26, 1996 (observing that committee endorsement for weakening standards for gravel pit operators came day after industry fundraiser for committee chair); Editorial, Taking the money, MAINE TIMES, May 15, 1997 (observing that "[w]e can debate the influence of campaign contributions till the cows come home, but one fact remains: The money is given on the expectation that it will influence policy.").
 
[4] U.S. Census Bureau, Income 1997: Median Income of Households by State (visited August 20, 1999) http://www.census.gov/hhes/income/income97/in97med.html
 
[5] A 1998 study of individuals who contributed over $200 to federal candidates revealed that the overwhelming majority of large contributors report personal communication with officeholders they support, often regarding matters relating to their job or business. Notably, 81% of those who make large contributions have incomes over $100,000, and 81% are male. JOHN GREEN, PAUL HERRNSON, LYNDA POWELL, & CLYDE WILCOX, JOYCE FOUNDATION OF CHICAGO, INDIVIDUAL CONGRESSIONAL CAMPAIGN CONTRIBUTORS: WEALTHY, CONSERVATIVE - AND REFORM-MINDED (1998).
 
[6] Figures calculated based on numbers of contributors affected by $250 limits as set forth in Corrado Report, Tables 10 & 11, compared to 1996 Maine voting age population of 945,000, as reported by FEC at http://www.fec.gov/pages/96to.htm
 
[7] Indeed, when multimillionaire Democratic contributor Roger Tamraz admitted, in congressional hearings, that he had never registered to vote because "he considered his checkbook far more potent than his unused ballot franchise," the only thing shocking was his candor. Francis X. Clines, On Senate Stage, a Star at Last, The New York Times, September 21, 1997.
 
[8] Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1997-1998, at 10, 15.
 
[9] Francis X. Clines, Most Doubt a Resolve to Change Campaign Finance Reform, Poll Finds, THE NEW YORK TIMES, Apr. 9, 1997, at A1.
 
[10] Princeton Survey Research Associates/PEW Research Center, Public Opinion Survey (November 1996) (visited March 18, 1999) http://www.people-press.org/unionrpt.htm.
 
[11] Compare Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1994-1995, at 10 with Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1997-1998, at 9.
 
[12] Compare Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1994-1995, at 20 with Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1997-1998, at 14.
 
[13] Compare Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1994-1995, at 10, 15, with Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1997-1998, at 9, 14.
 
[14] William E. Cassie and David A. Breaux, Expenditures and Election Results, at 107, in Joel A. Thompson and Gary F. Moncrief, CAMPAIGN FINANCE IN STATE LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS (1998).
 
[15] These states, in addition to Maine, were Idaho, Montana, Utah and Wyoming.
 
[16] Gary F. Moncrief, Candidate Spending in State Legislative Races, at 54, Table 3-5, in Joel A. Thompson and Gary F. Moncrief, CAMPAIGN FINANCE IN STATE LEGISLATIVE ELECTIONS (1998).
 
[17] William E. Cassie and David A. Breaux, Expenditures and Election Results, at 103, Table 6-1 (figures from 1992). Again, in this study, Maine had the highest rate of incumbency retention of any of the states that were comparable to Maine in terms of the non-professional nature of the legislature.
 
[18] Cf. Morse v. Republican Party of Virginia, 517 U.S. 186, 207 (1996) (reiterating principle that exclusion from an integral part of the election process, "does not merely curtail [voters'] voting power, but abridges their right to vote itself").
 
[19] Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices Biennial Report, 1997-1998, at 10, 15.
 
[20] U.S. Census Bureau, Percent of People in Poverty, by State: 1995, 1996 and 1997 (visited August 20, 1999).
 
[21] Todd S. Purdum, Trying a Constitutional Tack to Curb Campaign Spending, THE NEW YORK TIMES, October 21, 1994, at A13 (quoting Daniel Patrick Moynihan's account of the 1942 debate).