LEWISTON — City councilors Tuesday called for a constitutional amendment to favor federal reporting on campaign spending.

The city’s resolution targets the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United versus Federal Election Commission decision that ruled that some campaign finance reporting rules violated the First Amendment.

The resolution, approved by a unanimous 7-0 vote, is similar to local resolutions adopted in Portland, Bangor, Waterville and several other Maine communities.

City Councilor Nate Libby said he helped draft the resolution. It calls for a new constitutional amendment that would define election spending as different from protected First Amendment speech, let state and federal government regulate election spending and clarify that people  are endowed with constitutional rights.

Corporations are not guaranteed constitutional protection, according to Lewiston’s resolution.

“We felt this is a small thing that we could do to add to the movement,” Libby said. “It’s one of the biggest issues our country faces, the increasing influence from money on politics and the fact that big corporations and unions can raise and spend unlimited amounts of money while the public has no ability to know where that comes from.”

Libby said he could see the Supreme Court’s decision someday changing local Maine politics.

“We’ve been fortunate that we have not seen a lot of outside money in our elections for City Council,” Libby said. “But it’s not out of the realm of possibility. It’s sort of a snowball effect. Years ago, we didn’t see out-of-state interest groups spending money on state Senate races, but that did happen in 2010.”

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