I can’t share the details with you just yet, but want you to rest assured that No CMP Corridor has a big iron in the fire. Please register now to join us for a special volunteer update on Zoom to learn more about it next Tuesday, May 25th at 7:00 pm. This private meeting is for volunteers only and will not be broadcast on social media.
Last week we asked each of you to reach out to your legislators in support of Senator Rick Bennett’s bill to close the foreign government influence loophole, LD 194. While the Legislature did meet, LD 194 was not released from committee in time for a vote. This means that we now have even more time to engage with lawmakers to convey the importance of this bill.
Scott Strom, an unwavering CMP ally and former legislator, recently published an opinion piece that argued in support of allowing foreign governments to spend money to sway Maine voters. Strom was highly critical of Senator Bennett for sponsoring the bill to close the dangerous loophole. Here’s Senator Bennett’s response:
Featured Column of the Week
My bill, L.D. 194, is hardly an attempt to “muzzle” anyone. The bill simply says that, as a company owned by a foreign government, Hydro-Quebec should not be allowed to electioneer in this state. And to be clear, prohibiting electioneering is not the same thing as prohibiting speech. Even if my bill passes — and it absolutely should because we have a dangerous loophole in our law that Hydro-Quebec has exposed — it could still publish columns like this one, or even run ads about how powerful a single raindrop is in northern Quebec (supposedly). But Hydro-Quebec, nor any other foreign-state-owned entity, should be allowed to tell Mainers how to vote in an election that 80,000 Mainers initiated.
Canada may be a fellow NATO member and a friend, but there’s one thing they aren’t — American. Our elections are rightfully reserved for citizens of this country, just as Canadian elections are reserved for theirs.
Featured Letter of the Week
By Sandra Howard
State and federal law prohibit foreign interference in elections, but 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, a corporation owned by the Canadian government, contributed a whopping $9.2 million into their PAC in 2020. Each year, they share billions in dividends with the government as their sole shareholder. After facing scrutiny, HQ changed its PAC address from Montreal to Hartford, Conn., to charade as a domestic-based organization although the PAC officers remain in Montreal.
In 2020, HQ was assessed a $35,000 fine by the Maine Ethics Commission, the second largest campaign violation fine in state history. HQ misused images of Acadia and Baxter State Park in an ad and has never provided verifiable evidence about their environmental claims regarding NECEC, nor did it submit sworn testimony at approval agencies.
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 LD194 and LD479 to rectify this oversight in Maine law, and please vote “yes” this November to reject the CMP Corridor.
Activist of the Week
This week, we’d like to recognize an emerging volunteer to our cause, Mark Turek of Randolph. As a frequent traveler and admirer of northern Somerset County, not much gets by Mark. In many ways, he has been our eyes and ears on the ground, regularly going out of his way to make sure that the rest of us know the extent of the destruction that CMP is inflicting on a very special part of Maine. In addition, Mark is an outspoken advocate for our cause online and he serves as a sign captain for Kennebec County. Please join us in welcoming Mark, and thanking him for the many contributions he’s made to our effort so far to stop the CMP Corridor.
- Contact your state senator and state representative to urge support of LD 194 if you haven’t yet done so.
Two additional action items:
- Register to join us for an important private volunteer update Tuesday, 5/25 at 7:00 pm
- Donate now (any amount) to receive your very own Vote Yes to Reject the CMP Corridor bumpah stickah
Donate by mail: Check made payable to No CMP Corridor sent to PO Box 471 Farmington, ME 04398
Secure online: Donate at www.NoCMPCorridor.com/donate
Thank you all. I look forward to sharing a new development with you on Tuesday evening.