By Luke Wachob
Sam Jenkins’ Aug. 10 BDN letter to the editor “Clean Distortions,” stated that under Maine’s Clean Elections program, the number of women legislators has increased 150 percent. If true, this claim would be a striking piece of evidence that privately funded campaigns have seriously sexist effects and that taxpayer-funded campaigns can open new opportunities for women.
However, this claim is not true. It’s outrageously false.
In the last legislature before Clean Elections, Maine had 51 female legislators. Today, there are 54. That’s an increase of 5.9 percent, not 150 percent.