Political news

PORTLAND, Maine - The need for campaign finance reform has never been more urgent, according to Congressman John Sarbanes. The Maryland Democrat met Wednesday with supporters in Portland who are promoting a November state ballot question they say will help taxpayer-financed candidates compete with their privately-funded opponents.

WASHINGTON - Maine U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin says he is not giving up on efforts to block the Iran nuclear agreement negotiated by the Obama administration.

The 2nd District Republican says even though there are now enough announced votes in the Senate to assure the agreement will take effect, he's not giving up trying to block the deal until the votes are actually cast later this month.

"This is a bad deal," Poliquin says. "It threatens our national security, it threatens Israel. We should stop this and I will be voting against this deal."

By David Sharp, The Associated Press

FREEPORT, Maine — Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul has returned to Maine to rally support in a state where his father found success.

The senator from Kentucky brought his message of smaller government, lower taxes and the need to fight an "unholy alliance" of free-spending lawmakers from both parties to a rally and fundraiser in Freeport.

FREEPORT, Maine — Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul is returning to the Maine location where his father drew a big crowd in 2012, the year Ron Paul's supporters took over the state convention.

Rand Paul is holding a campaign rally and fundraiser at a restaurant owned by Linda Bean across the street from the family-owned retailer, L.L.Bean, in Freeport, Maine.

In January 2012, his father drew a crowd more than 1,000 people in the dead of winter, underscoring his support before a strong showing in Maine's presidential caucuses.

The secretary of state's office has released the wording of a citizen initiative that will be on this November's ballot.

The measure seeks to bolster the state's clean elections law. It will allow publicly financed candidates to generate more public campaign dollars, require more openness about campaign contributions and spending, and increase fines to enforce compliance.