Sidore Lecture Series Explores Campaign Finance Reform

October 6th, 2006 by Adam

Across the political spectrum, Americans support efforts to reduce the impact of big money on elections. Too often, it seems that only wealthy individuals can afford to run for office, limiting the diversity of voices in government. Just as disturbing, wealthy individual donors, “527” groups, and corporations can have an undue influence on elections and even swing the outcome.

Chellie Pingree, president and CEO of Common Cause, will discuss “Politicians for Sale: Why Campaign Finance Reform is Crucial in Our Democracy,” at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24. The free talk, which is presented by the Saul O Sidore Series, will be held in the Smith Recital Hall at the Silver Center for the Arts.

Pingree will profile “clean elections” laws (such as Maine’s) that have revolutionized politics at the state level, describe efforts underway to clean up congressional elections, and relate her experiences raising money as a U.S. Senate candidate.

Chellie Pingree has been the president and CEO of Common Cause since March 2003. Prior to leading Common Cause, Pingree served for eight years in the Maine Senate, with the last four years as majority leader. She was also a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in 2002. She was active in rural economic development issues and helped to create an economic development corporation supporting small business creation and peer lending in Maine.

The final Sidore Lecture for the fall semester will be “Economic Inequality in America: A Threat to Democracy,” with speaker Chuck Collins, at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 15. Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies in Washington, D.C.

The Saul O Sidore Lecture Series was established in 1979 by Plymouth State and trustees of the Sidore Memorial Foundation. The series brings a variety of speakers to address critical issues and events in the political, social and cultural arenas to Plymouth State and residents of New Hampshire, reflecting Mr. Sidore’s lifelong interests.

Each lecture is followed by a question and answer session and a reception with the speaker. There is no charge for admission, but free tickets are required. For tickets, call the Silver Center Box Office, (603) 535-ARTS. Box Office hours are Monday – Friday, noon to 6 p.m. and during performances.

For information contact Bill Kietzman, (603) 535-2638 or via e-mail to