Howard LTE: Foreign influence in elections

Bangor Daily News

State and federal law prohibit foreign interference in elections, however Hydro-Quebec has exploited a loophole in Maine with an aggressive media campaign to promote Central Maine Power’s unpopular NECEC corridor project. This sort of foreign interference is illegal in Canada.

According to the Maine Ethics Commission, Hydro-Quebec (HQ), a corporation owned by the Quebec provincial government, contributed a whopping $9.2 million into their PAC in 2020. Last year, they shared over 1.7 billion in dividends with the government as their sole shareholder. After facing scrutiny, HQ changed their PAC address from Montreal to Hartford, Connecticut.

In 2020, HQ was assessed a $35,000 fine by the Maine Ethics Commission, the second-largest campaign violation fine in state history. HQ also misused images of Acadia and Baxter State Park in an ad and has not submitted sworn testimony at the Maine Public Utilities Commission or Maine Department of Environmental Protection.

Despite enormous foreign spending to influence the November 2021 referendum to reject the CMP corridor, recent polling shows those efforts as ineffective and that a majority of Mainers continue to oppose the for-profit project. The larger issue is that a foreign-owned corporation and its government owner should not be able to influence a vote in Maine.

Mainers know best how to protect Maine. Urge your state representative to support LD 194 and LD 479 to rectify this oversight in Maine law, and please vote yes this November to reject the CMP Corridor.

Sandi Howard

Principal Officer, No CMP Corridor

Director, Say NO to NECEC

Caratunk

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  • Sandra Howard
    published this page in News 2021-04-13 14:32:20 -0400