GOP lawmaker’s bill would bar public employee unions from giving to political campaigns

By Matthew Stone, Bangor Daily News

The public employee unions that played a major role in bankrolling political action committee efforts during the 2012 campaign season would essentially be barred from participating in future campaigns under a measure being proposed by a Republican lawmaker.

Rep. Peter Johnson, R-Greenville, is submitting a bill that would prohibit unions like the Maine State Employees’ Association and the Maine Education Association from contributing to candidates for state office. The measure would also bar such unions from backing outside campaigns that support or oppose political candidates.

Johnson said he’s proposing the bill in an effort to prevent conflicts of interest created when public employee unions contribute to the campaigns of lawmakers who then vote on budget measures that directly impact public employees.

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