Part 14 of our 36-part series, looks at Maine. Maine law states:
“A conflict of interest shall include …..where a Legislator or a member of his immediate family accepts gifts, other than campaign contributions duly recorded as required by law, from persons affected by legislation or who have an interest in a business affected by proposed legislation, where it is known or reasonably should be known that the purpose of the donor in making the gift is to influence the Legislator in the performance of his official duties or vote, or is intended as a reward for action on his part.”
Good for Maine! Unfortunately, their state law later goes on to define “Gift” as:
“…anything of value, including forgiveness of an obligation or debt, given to a person without that person providing equal or greater consideration to the giver. “Gift” does not include:
- Gifts received from a single source during the reporting period with an aggregate value of $300 or less;”
Yuck. So what starts off as a pretty strict limit on lobbyist influence-buying, turns into an allowance of gifts to lawmakers up to a specific limit. This makes Maine one of 23 “Bright Line” states with a specific limit (greater than $0) on the monetary value of lobbyist gifts.
Here’s the kicker. As weak as Maine’s regulation of lobbying gift-giving is, it’s STILL better than Missouri’s limitless lobbyist gift-giving orgy allowed by state law in defiance of the lawmaker’s oath of office.
Wake up, Missouri. Even Maine’s watered down limits on lobbyists are superior to yours.
Support the Missouri Gift-Ban Pledge and legislation regulating lobbyist gift-giving.