All Maine Matters

October 2006



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All Maine Matters

Because All of Maine DOES Matter!
Vol. 1, No. 10      October 2006 FREE

Democrats? Republicans? Does It Matter Who Controls the Maine Legislature?
by Scott K Fish

The Maine Legislature, elected every two years by Maine voters, is 185 men/women who make laws governing you and me. The political party with the most legislators controls Maine lawmaking, taxing, spending, and the huge network of government staffers, committees, and agencies that administer the making of laws.

IMPORTANT: Don’t confuse Maine legislators with Washington, D.C. politicians. They’re separate animals.

Excepting certain bond issues, the Legislature’s majority party commands the ship of state. “People who vote for the person, not the party - they’re crazy. The [majority] party controls everything,” Senate Republican Leader Paul T. Davis told me.

A State House news reporter is more succinct: “If you ain’t in the majority, you ain’t s**t.”

Especially since 1997, when Democrats and Gov. Angus King adopted the simple majority vote for Maine’s biennial Budgets, the Legislature’s minority party has no say in spending/taxing. Democrats, Maine’s majority party for 30-years, have had votes enough to pass their State Budgets with no Republican (minority) votes.

Democrats, said one legislator, are giving Maine “fairy tale budgets that don’t end happily ever after.”

So, if you think Maine is on the right track - thank a Democrat.
If you’re sick of Maine’s direction on jobs, taxes, and health insurance - thank a Democrat. Then say “Yes” to a Republican majority in the Maine Legislature.

It’s that basic. Republican ideas for governing will work. Sen. Paul Davis said the “first order of business” for a Republican majority “is twofold. Control spending and bring taxes down.”
How? “The Maine Taxpayer Bill of Rights would be great” for starters, said Sen. Davis. “Cap government spending; use excess revenue to bring down Maine’s tax burden.”

Assistant House Republican Leader Josh Tardy cautions, “I can’t emphasis enough. A Republican majority will not be able to wave a magic wand and fix all Maine’s problems overnight. Maine is like a person suffering from morbid obesity. You can’t cut off limbs to get to a desired weight. You need exercise, discipline. Maine needs fiscal discipline.”

Sen. Davis agrees. “You have to have dedicated legislators.”
Modern Maine Democrats’ one idea is: recycle our money for their pet projects. Nothing on the Maine Democrat menu can return Maine to health. You can prepare-and-serve mush in all kinds of food molds - it’s still mush.

Health care? Democrats are using the Dirigo Health Plan as a stepping-stone to total government control of Maine’s health care system. If successful, one physician told me, “Maine will become a proving ground for marginal doctors.”

Rep. Tardy: A Republican majority “will stop pouring money into failing programs like Dirigo Health. We will create choice and competition to drive down premiums for everyone who buys health insurance.”

“The Democrat majority tells us when we can eat, when we can go home, and when we can go to the bathroom,” a Republican Senator told me. She pauses, then adds, “I’m awfully sick of Democrats telling me when I can go to the bathroom.”

Me too, Senator. Me too.

Scott K Fish has been active in Maine politics since 1989. He is founder/owner of the As Maine Goes web site, writes a monthly political column for Metro magazine, and is a consultant for the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

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