Maine Clean Election Act scrutinized by lawmakers 

Lawmakers in Augusta held public hearings Monday on a series of bills related to public funding of elections.The Maine Clean Election Act gives candidates for governor or the legislature the option of using public money instead of private dollars to fund their campaigns.Public hearings were held on 8 different bills, including one that would repeal the clean elections act all together.Representative Linda Valentino introduced a bill she’s sponsoring that would prohibit a candidate who’s using public funds from accepting contributions to establish their own political action committee. “The argument that doing so would drive political leaders out of the public system does not fly,” Valentino told a committee of lawmakers. “If they are raising private money they are already out of the private system and they should not be getting taxpayer support for individual.”Clean election candidates have not done well in the past. According to testimony given on Monday, no publicly funded candidate for governor has ever taken more than 30% of the vote.