Perhaps the only thing more disappointing than the admission of Rep. William Walcott to illegal and unethical campaign finance abuses is the Sun Journal’s Sept. 16 editorial that addressed them.

Much of the editorial is spent defending Maine’s Clean Elections Law which, since its inception, has suffered a number of abuses, including purchases for personal use, fraudulent expenditures, questionable payments to family members and failure to repay unspent advances. To minimize these abuses, the editorial repeats the unsubstantiated canard that good candidates would be prevented from running absent this program, despite a lack of evidence to support that assertion. Nonetheless, the effectiveness (or lack thereof) of the Clean Election program is not the issue.

The editorial’s most egregious assertion is contained in the last sentence, in which an attempt is made to blame the Legislature as an institution (and, by association, all former and current legislators) for Rep. Walcott’s misdeeds. That is not only ridiculous, but is insulting and demeaning to the hundreds of honest legislators who have served the people of Maine without breaking the law.

The blame (and shame) for his misconduct falls solely on the shoulders of Rep. Walcott.

David Bowles, Sanford

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