A Portland lawmaker has joined the growing list of those challenging the U.S. Supreme Court’s “Citizens United” decision by submitting a proposal that would ban unlimited corporate and union campaign contributions to candidates.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland, is identical to a Montana law that was recently affirmed by that state’s a highest court.

The Montana justices argued that the state’s people and small business owners could be silenced by big-pocketed, in-state, or out-of-state interests.

Campaign finance advocates are championing the Montana decision as a blow against Citizens United, a controversial ruling that loosened the campaign finance law to allow unlimited, and often anonymous, spending by corporations and unions.

Montana has a 100-year-old ban on corporate contributions. Hinck’s proposal would institute a similar ban in Maine.

The proposal is an after-deadline bill, which means it needs clearance by the Legislative Council in order to be considered by the Legislature. The possibility that it will clear the council, where Republicans hold the majority, is slim.

However, the largely symbolic submission appears to build on public sentiment against the Citizens United ruling. Recently, a poll by Rasmussen showed that 58 percent of Americans favored campaign finance reform.

Democrats in other states have attempted to seize that sentiment by introducing bills that would end Citizens United so-called corporate personhood.

Last week the Portland City Council voted to overturn the Citizens United ruling.

“All of us would rather see the living, breathing voters of Maine instead of faceless corporations determine the outcome of our elections,” Hinck said in a written statement. “Barring corporations from making political donations helps ensure that the voices of ordinary voters are heard.”

While campaign finance advocates are touting the Montana decision, it remains to be seen if the court ruling there will stand. James Bopp Jr., the lawyer who argued the Citizens United case, has been brought in to appeal the Montana decision.

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