All Maine Matters

August 2006



This Month’s Issue
Read November’s Issue of All Maine Matters.


Low Bandwidth - Text Only

Designed by Laisha

All Maine Matters

Because All of Maine DOES Matter!
Vol. 1, No. 8      August 2006 FREE

The Token Conservative: Agenda Message
By Jon Reisman

What’s on the agenda for Maine? Ah, therein lays a question and quite possibly the elections.

The first and possibly most critical stage of the policy process is agenda setting. The agenda consists of the top issues the electorate and public opinion focus on. The agenda is influenced by current events, the economy, interest groups, the media and campaigns, not necessarily exclusively, independently or in that order.

What we choose to focus on shapes and shades the subsequent discussion and also implies what is not discussed. Interest groups and campaigns seek to promote and suppress certain issues, and to spin the discussion. The media, from Maine stream daily newspapers, to TV, radio and web play roles as both gatekeeper and interested parties.

Interest groups often benefit from successful efforts to influence the agenda in terms of financial support and political clout. Pols and political parties get power (or lose it). The media feeds and thrives on the whole spin cycle.

The environmental left has been especially effective in massaging the agenda to its advantage in Maine. The whole global warming/climate change opera is an excellent example, but that’s a whole other column or four.

The agenda this fall will likely start with the economy, taxes and the business climate. The left would rather talk about anything else other than the consequences of their basic hostility to capitalism, profit seeking and economic freedom. The presence of the TABOR initiative on the ballot will make changing the subject harder to do.

The “Blueprint Project” is a coalition of “progressive” interest groups in Maine that has reportedly received an initial $800,000 to change the subject and massage public opinion and the agenda. The funding, from the George Soros backed Proteus Fund, goes to a collection of more than 40 groups, including the Maine Women’s Lobby, the Maine Education Association, the Natural Resources Council of Maine, Maine People’s Alliance, the American Association of Retired Persons, Common Cause, Environment Maine, the Maine AFL-CIO, the Maine Center for Economic Policy, Maine Equal Justice and Planned Parenthood of Northern New England. Their first task is defeat TABOR.

The left has billionaire George Soros, an alphabet soup of elitist NGO Blue culture warriors, the daily newspapers, Maine Public Radio, and the academy. The right has Mary Adams, the Maine Heritage Policy Center, the internet, Fox News and talk radio. This fall the election will be a referendum on the culture war- capitalism, freedom and TABOR or socialism, serfdom and the nanny state.

Jon Reisman in the University of Maine System’s token conservative.

About Us | Site Map | Privacy Policy | Contact Us | ©2006 All Maine Matters