Senator Bennett’s Bill, LD 194, designed to prohibit business that is wholly owned by foreign governments from lobbying, should pass without a second thought.
The reason is that, although Hydro Quebec brought the Maine legal loophole to our attention, allowing foreign intervention by a foreign government in a Maine public referendum places Maine residents in a defensive position against a well-funded entity. While testimony on the bill centered on the issue of the current NECEC power line the issue is much bigger and I thank Quebec for bringing it to our attention.
Not passing this bill sets precedent for any country in a similar position to lobby for their cause. Please note that this bill only effects business wholly owned by a government and does not effect so many of the good investment private business headquartered in other countries have made in Maine. In review of the current world situation, are there countries that you would not like to see using this same loophole? Yes, there is a laundry list of them-and by not fixing this loophole now, we will be giving them all a green light to abuse the referendum process.
Unintended consequences need review in many lights. Imagine the thoughts of the veterans that we honor this holiday weekend if they knew that the Maine legislature openly supported foreign governments competing with Maine citizens for the direction of Maine issues. Contact your legislator today and let them know you respect our democratic process and the price our veterans have paid for it.