End Citizens United (ECU) today named Rep. Bruce Poliquin as the latest member of its Big Money 20, a list of the group’s top targets to defeat in November. The Big Money 20 represents the worst of Washington’s rigged system – politicians who rig the system for their big donors at the expense of the American people. ECU will educate voters on these politicians who put the special interests that fund their campaigns over the needs of their constituents.
“Representative Bruce Poliquin is a Wall Street crony who spends his time in Washington stacking the deck against hardworking Mainers,” said ECU President Tiffany Muller. “During his time in Congress, he’s protected the interests of big banks, who reward him with big campaign checks. Families in the district want a leader who will fight for their interests and give them a voice in Congress, not a banker who looks out for special interests. We’re mobilizing our four million grassroots members to throw politicians, like Poliquin, out of office and elect reformers who will unrig the system in Washington.”
Poliquin, who worked as a Wall Street investment manager for 15 years and made his fortune there, was placed on the House Financial Services Committee upon entering Congress. He quickly went to work protecting his former industry, cosponsoring a March 2015 bill to gut the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which protects Maine families from fraud and abuse by Big Banks. The bill was overwhelmingly supported by Wall Street, which became top donors to his 2016 re-election campaign. In 2017, Poliquin again supported dismantling the CFPB, which his donors heavily lobbied for, by voting for the Financial Choice Act. Over his career, Poliquin has received more than $880,000 from the securities and banking industries.
Poliquin’s most recent betrayal came when he voted in favor of the GOP tax bill, which would raise taxes on more than 187,000 working and middle class Mainers. His decision came after he was targeted as part of a multi-million dollar ad blitz by GOP mega-donors, many of whom he relied on to support his campaigns.
Poliquin has also protected the rigged system by voting against forwarding the DISCLOSE Act, which would require all groups that engage in political spending to disclose their donors so voters know who is trying to influence their vote.
Over the past two years, ECU has conducted extensive polling and research showing that getting big money out of politics is a key issue for voters. In fact, independent and unaffiliated voters consistently rank it a high priority, ahead of or equal to jobs and health care. Two out of three voters believe the amount of money in politics affects “kitchen table” issues.
ECU endorsed Jared Golden in May because of his commitment to ending Big Money in politics. During his time in the Maine State Legislature, Golden served on the committee that handles Maine’s election laws, and repeatedly defended the state’s clean election system to curb the influence of unlimited and undisclosed special interest money in Maine. Golden is highlighting his commitment to reform by disavowing support from all secret donors, such as dark money groups, and rejecting corporate PAC money in his campaign.
End Citizens United is dedicated to getting Big Money out of politics. The group is working to elect members of Congress who will fight to overturn Citizens United and pass meaningful reforms. Established in 2015, End Citizens United has four million members, including 24,400 in Maine, and is entirely grassroots-funded, with an average donation of just $14.
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