Final 2014 Maine Republican Platform HCDC CMC Commentary 7/12/14

Generations of Americans have fought to preserve
the Republic, our freedoms, and the American
way of life. We appreciate and honor the service of
active duty and reserve military, veterans,
fire fighters, police officers, sheriffs, first
responders and EMTs, and all those who serve our
state and nation. Today our constitutional republic
is threatened by a failure to adhere to the
principles put forth in our founding documents. It is
only by restoring the principles of Liberty
that we can prevent the moral and economic
collapse currently unfolding.
I. Accomplishments:
A. Enacted the largest tax cut in Maine history,
cutting $150 million in the first 2 years and $500
million over 4 years for job creators and
hardworking Maine families.
B. Welfare
a. Prevented an expansion of welfare which would
have resulted in 70,000 more people on the
welfare rolls;
V
b. Terminated Maine's status as a sanctuary state;
c. Imposed a drug test requirement for welfare
recipients convicted of drug crimes;
d. Strengthened penalties for violations of welfare
rules;
e. Placed a 5-year cap on individuals receiving
welfare benefits.
C. Budget
a. Paid $500 million owed to Maine Hospitals for
previous unpaid welfare debt;
b. Reduced Maine's unfunded pension liabilities by
$1.7 billion (41%) to protect the benefits of
our state workers;
c. Proposed balanced budgets that did not include
tax increases for hardworking Maine families.
D. Economic Development
a. Hosted Red Tape Workshops across the state
with over 1,000 job creators to streamline
Maine's burdensome regulatory system;
And what of teachers, nurses, physicians,
carpenters, truckers, construction workers, etc. etc.
etc.? Why are all those mentioned those who defend
or represent authority? It's probably the "fighting"
metaphor rather than, say, a "building" or
"creating" metaphor.
Here, additionally, is the injunction of threats, fear,
and the specter of failure.
More raising of threat and fear.
Most of it went to the wealthy; the "hard workers"
got $16 each. Now well established that the "job
creators" were and are, in fact, the middle class
with money to spend. The wealthy invest less but
"trade" securities more
They're talking here about denying healthcare to
70,000 Mainers. Health care is a right, not welfare.
Ignores real economic benefit of accepting the $.
No evidence exists that we were one (plus
demonization of the poor)
More fear and threat and demonization of the poor
Repetition of word 'welfare' plays to the GOP base,
demonizes the poor, and conveniently ignores that
'promoting the general welfare' was one of the six
itemized purposes for the U.S. Constitution
Again, health care should be a right, not welfare
A travesty. Whacked the pension funds and reduced
benefits contracted for with people who served the
public their whole lives. Unethical disrespect for
people and contracts.
Obliged by law to do this. But for the legislature
rejecting the Governor's budget, LePage's
proposals would have increased local taxes
dramatically.
Most regulations impose constraints to achieve
public benefits. Again, the job creators rhetoric.
b. While protecting our environment, passed
regulatory reform ensuring Maine is business
friendly.
c. Passed free marKeTrieaffh7insurance reform,
without government intervention, driving down
the cost of health insurance for Maine families and
businesses.
Through the above accomplishments, Maine's
unemployment rate decreased to the lowest level
since 2008.
n. This platform embraces principles and identifies
actions to implement them.
A. We proclaim allegiance to the Constitutions of
the United States (U.S.) and the State of Maine.
B. The Constitutions, both the U.S. and State of
Maine, are the framework to which all
legislation must adhere. Progressive principles
are incompatible with the principles of The
Republican Party of the State of Maine. In order to
define the specific policies encompassed by
said constitutional principles, and to build on the
previously stated accomplishments, be it
resolved:
ITJ. The government of Maine exists to preserve
and protect certain natural, inherent and
inalienable rights endowed by our Creator for the
benefit, protection and security of all citizens
and future generations. To maintain this doctrine
the U. S. and Maine Constitutions are the
framework to which all legislation must conform:
A. Defend the individual's right to keep and bear
arms as guaranteed by the Maine and U.S.
Constitutions;
B. Defend state's rights as reserved in the Tenth
Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;
C. Defend the sovereignty the United States.
IV. The strength of Maine and the United States lies
with the rights and responsibilities of the
individual:
A. The expression of religious faith must not be
excluded from the public forum;
Like LePage's attempt to gut mining regulations
regulatory reform ensuring Maine is business
friendly; and keep chemicals in plastics?? And
appoint a corporate lobbyist to head the DEP?? And
advance the proposed East West Corridor??
It drove the cost down for a few (yng&hlthy) but
raised it dramatically for older, rural, less hlthy
patrons. Free market (read profit generating) is
exactly the wrong way to go. Markets don't work in
health care.
False. It is still .4 % higher than the start of 2008.
And we have the lowest job creation rate in the
nation.
This is something we can agree on.
This sounds good but ignores the effects of
SCOTUS' fundamental alteration of electoral
politics in the nation by Citizens United and
McCutcheon.
Incompatible, if GOP says so, but it reads Teddy
Roosevelt out of the Republican Party. Progressive
means making progress. Why is the ME GOP
opposed to it?
Actually, this is not the way Maine's constitution
reads; this is an inaccurate statement. Nowhere does
it say that the rights are "endowed by our Creator"
save for Section 3 of Article 1 which addresses
religious freedom. A surprising alteration.
The right to bear arms plays to the GOP base but it
is surprising to see it and States' Rights cited first,
and without mentioning freedom of speech,
religion, or the press or to due process, etc.
Again, no argument, but does this include defending
the sovereignty of the U.S. against multi-national
corporations when applying provisions of free trade
treaties acting against our own self-governance?.
Or maybe it's the family (see VIE below). An
expression of "me" vs. "we"
Does this mean Christians have free rein? What of
the beliefs of others? Separation of church & state?
B. The profits of an individual's efforts and
accumulation of private property belong to the
individual;
C. Support the assimilation of legal immigrants into
Maine society;
D. Affirm English as the official language of the
State of Maine.
V. Capitalism and the free market system encourage
individual initiative and a prosperous economy:
A. Economic prosperity is achieved by promoting
investment, stability, and a positive business
climate;
B. Enact Right to Work laws that stimulate
economic growth;
C. Health Care is bes't provided through free market
solutions;
D. Ownership of private property is fundamental to
liberty and a strong economy;
E. Implement a comprehensive energy policy that
removes government obstacles and reduces
the cost of energy for Maine families and
businesses.
VI. The most effective government is closest to the
people and the least intrusive:
A. Federalization of the Maine Woods will not be
tolerated;
B. Municipal Home Rule is to be encouraged and
respected;
C. Maine's colleges and universities should be
marketplaces of ideas where any individual's
political and religious beliefs may be expressed and
shall be respected;
D. Individuals are responsible for decisions
affecting their lives and well-being;
E. Welfare is a safety-net for Maine's most
vulnerable;
F. Support the restoration of local control in
education as specified in the Maine Constitution;
This plays to greed, but it also reflects a "me"
orientation which contrasts with the notion that
society is strongest when all are part of a "we."
C&D play to a fear of change and uneasiness with
diversity
Yes, but the thirty year trajectory of dramatically
increasing income and wealth inequality is, among
other things, hollowing out the middle class.
Again, inequality begets instability, and a positive
business climate must also be a responsible one
This is an anti-labor stance, encourages union
busting, and its advance over the years has
contributed to the weakened middle class.
We emphatically disagree and point to the
tremendous savings which could accrue from
excising profit from health care. Free market
doesn't work in health care.
Degree and balance here are important. An "I've
got mine, sorry, the door is closed to you" mentality
weakens society
Nothing here about environmental cost? Colossal
omission! Short-term savings vs. longterm resource
depletion and environmental degradation.
Arguably, this is inherently self-contradictory and
demonstrably wrong. Some things (defense and
health care finance) can 't be done locally
So much for anyone's property rights if they choose
to give it up for a national park
Unless, as we have seen, the governor wants to end
revenue sharing . . .
Even if it ignores science, or logic, is defamatory or
hate speech??
So does that mean the GOP is for marriage equality,
birth control, and a woman's choice to terminate a
pregnancy?
We agree! But define "vulnerable."
Where has it been eroded?
a. Parents have the right and responsibility to
educate their children;
Where is the broader public's right to assure that
it's done so the young are prepared for citizenship?
b. The best academic opportunities are made
possible through educational choice;
c. Common Core State Standards (CCSS) must be
re-evaluated with respect to local control, data
mining of personal information, and curriculum;
G. Protect local food rights and policies;
H. Ensure the integrity of the election process.
VII. The family is the foundation and strength of a
stable society; therefore the government should
not interfere, but rather support and protect the
integrity and rights of the family:
A. Promote Family values;
B. Marriage is defined as the union of one man and
one woman;
C. Parents - not government - are most capable and
responsible to make decisions in the best
interest of their minor children, including medical,
disciplinary and educational decisions;
D. We believe in the sanctity of human life - from
conception to natural death;
E. Discontinue using state taxes to fund abortion or
activities that run counter to the sanctity of
life;
F. Support faith-based family resources.
VITI. Fiscal restraint and accountability for all
levels of government is paramount:
A. Work to reduce spending at all levels of
government, state, county and local to ensure fiscal
stability and minimal debt for future generations;
B. Through sound fiscal management reduce the
Maine tax burden, including fees;
C. Institute zero based budgeting in all programs
and require the government and all agencies
adhere to the Generally Accepted Accounting
Principles (GAAP).
Nonsense. Treating public education as if its
purpose was to satisfy parental markets misses its
larger civic purpose.
How do we all protect against the lowest common
denominator?
OK! Here we agree!
No study has shown that integrity is lacking. This is
a scare tactic.
Is family even mentioned in the founding
documents? Individuals have rights, not families.
Sociologically family as foundation may be true,
but phrased this way it is a nod to authoritarian
structures and principles
And these are exactly what? 'Daddy knows best??'
This is a settled matter in Maine and nation. No
return to marriage inequality.
An authoritarian stance. Ignores benefits of health
for others. Legitimizes violence toward children
D & E are an anti-woman stance. How does this
apply when a child is born into poverty given the
GOP antagonism to what they call 'welfare'?
So charity is to come from churches. And what
then is the role of government in 'promoting the
general welfare'??
Paramount? Even in times of deep recession or
environmental or national threat? Sometimes the
wraps of restraint have to be taken off -
environmental disasters, economic collapse, war . . .
and, by the way, Democrats support fiscal
responsibility, too
This means shrinkage of government functions,
trying to make government go away. Self
government means we get to decide what to do, not
that we have no government at all it does nothing.
The Maine GOP has been successful at this with the
result being the budget crises we continue to face as
real needs confront us (e.g., roads, schools, health
cai_, etc.) we do not have the resources to serve.
In principle, yes. Those who have experienced ZBB
doubt it is a panacea. Again Maine Dems support
fiscal responsibility.
D C . Moving forward Maine Republicans support the
following initiatives:
A. We encourage all Republican candidates to sign
the taxpayer Protection Pledge and oppose any and
all efforts to increase taxes and fees;
B. Reducing the regulations and processes that have
a negative impact and place undue burden on
private enterprise;
C . Ensure environmental regulations are based upon
sound science and recognize the value of Maine's
outdoor heritage;
D . C onform the state tax code to the federal tax
code to achieve fairness and equity;
E. Repeal the Affordable C are Act (Obama C are)
and all initiated components;
F. Mandatory minimum sentences to protect the
innocent and the victims of crime;
G. The Office of Program Evaluation &
Government Accountability (OPEGA), Maine's
governmental oversight agency and its mission to
achieve effective and efficient state government;
H. All state quasi-government authorities must be
held accountable to the state legislature and
the governor;
I. Legislation that requires photo identification to
vote in the State of Maine;
Starving needed government functions only hurts us
all by what is cut, increases stress, and makes
government much more contentious. Seriously
impedes flexibility.
Regulations protect us from financial fraud,
environmental poisons, insure properly built roads
and culverts, etc. etc. Private enterprise must be
responsible, not just an instrument for private greed
We agree, but under the GOP it's tended to be
whatever business wants, not what's best for all
We agree!
Isn't this what's already done? If not, we agree.
Absolutely not! We're not going back, only forward
to getting profit out of the system and moving to
single payer, i. e. , medicare for all.
Simplistic and naive. There are practical
difficulties, proportionalities to consider in
sentencing, apparent racism, and the consequences
of a system that has 2.2 MILLION incarcerated in
America (25% of the world's incarcerated with 5%
of the population). This kind of proposal removes
discretion from judges to prosecutors. Bad idea!
Who can argue, but the predecessor agency used to
be where good planning was being done that was
valued by municipalities, and it's still needed.
J. Secure the U. S. borders in accordance with
current Federal law.
No argument, again.
Not needed; a "solution" to a non-existent problem
and a transparent effort to shrink the vote of those
considered undesirable electors.
Fortress America. D iscomfort with diversity.
For too many years, Americans have trusted that
our elected officials were working to protect
and defend our interests. Without persistent
vigilance by the people, this trust is often
misplaced. It is therefore incumbent on all of us to
stay informed and involved in the American
experiment of self governance. Those of us who
Except that many of these items listed would move
America backwards, not forwards. Those of us who
This last rings the bells of threat, fear, misplaced
trust, and separation of the "me" from "we" but it
also has a 'ring' of truth tMt. E.g., NSA is
systematically invading the privacy of everyone.
And corporations have come to control huge swaths
of government policy. Further, it should be noted
that there seems to be a fundamental
misunderstanding of our "experiment in self-
governance." Many of the things we believe about
have united behind the Republican banner invite
you to join us in this task and support the
Republican candidates for office that uphold these
principles.
MAY GOD BLESS AMERICA!
our government are, in fact, not so. They are
concepts we derive from the Declaration or the
Gettysburg Address, but are not embedded in the
Constitution, a document originally conceived by
and for white, male, property owners interested in
so-called free enterprise. It legitimized slavery and
left women out altogether. That we have advanced
so far beyond that (progressed is the proper word,
but ME Republicans line themselves up against it)
is a function of struggle, war, murder, persistence in
the face of fierce opposition, plus the capacity for
the application of treasure (that the steep decline of
graduated income taxes has made more and more
difficult in the last thirty years). Progress for all of
us, the "we," is not incompatible with self-
governance but the impetus which impels it. By its
anti-government - rather than right-sized
government - stance and its refusal to allow any
restoration of revenues it has been responsible for
shrinking this past generation, Maine's GOP has
trumpeted - and baldly admitted in this campaign
document - that it actually opposes our progress as
a state and nation.