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UPDATE: Maine Gov Seeks to Halt False Campaign Claims
03/26/2014 03:27 PM ET  

The bill would direct the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to investigate campaign claims, following a complanit by a candidate for governor or state Legislature.

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) _ Republican Gov. Paul LePage's effort to turn the state's ethics panel into a truth squad that checks the veracity of claims made by politicians is meeting some resistance.

The bill the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee began examining on Wednesday would direct the Maine Commission on Governmental Ethics and Election Practices to investigate campaign claims, following a complaint by a candidate for governor or state Legislature. The panel would have to make a public statement if the claim is deemed false.

Supporters say that making consequences for false statements in campaigns will encourage candidates to be truthful. LePage's office says it's the governor's ``attempt to bring civility to the process.''

But Jonathan Wayne, executive director of the commission, and others questioned whether the proposal could violate the First Amendment.


 

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