Saturday, July 16, 2005

Maine Elections - Washington County Perspective dux

As I said last week, we are entering campaign season and Washington County may be up for grabs. It should be clear that there are several issues on the 2005 ballot which might determine a 2006 election.

There is no questions, the opinions and analysis are mine. If the numbers or facts don’t make sense, I am unlike to mince words – though I might, at times, parse them. And yes, I do beat-up on friends just a bit quicker than I would an opponent.

When an opponent makes mistakes – you mention it when it’s already too late for them to recover.

Here in Washington County, EPS funding – the loss of $2 million threatens our economic growth and stability. We are not about to give up our children’s futures – a reality which puts Eddie DuGay on the hot-seat. Initially Eddie took credit for EPS – then he took credit for a one year reprieve.

Eddie then took a $4,130 bonus for regular session work – part of $514,430 accepted by about 70% of our legislators for doing their salaried work – then a contribution filing violation reclaimed $4,110.

The age of political gimmicks carries a price tag; and when you use gimmicks, it would wise to ensure that the underlying objective is achieved. In this case, the legislative procedural gimmick was intended to push through a proposal to borrow $450 million – which I immediately opposed.

I was also among the first to question the reverse mortgage proposal, and efforts to shift the expanded Homestead Exemption costs to localities – others chimed in. John got smart, and wisely backed off.

Before a criteria can be fixed for 2006, John needs to survive 2005 – he supported conforming Maine’s civil rights to those of New England and vetoed the fiscally irresponsible Racino expansion.

On balance, the gubernatorial election is now a matter of the GOP losing it. John has a chance – it will be evaluated in November ... right-wing homophobia offer a demonstration of the opposition’s electoral clout. If they win, John will be a one term governor. In 2006 Racino expansion will solidify support..

The Racino, which is predicated on attracting thousands of losers to Calais, makes no economic sense – thus a statewide referendum will sustain John’s veto – score one for John’s re-election.

Tribal insistence on a waste of State money – will have a negative impact on future Tribal proposals. It would be wiser for the Tribe to focus on LNG related issues; and possibly also consider a Wind Farm.

The people of Maine, will honor Hillel and the Christian mandate of treating others as they would want to be treated. We will join the rest of New England and reject right-wing homophobia – two for John.

Clearly, retaining his traditional 2nd District power base is at the forefront of the governor’s re-election aspirations. To undermine that base, his opponents must find ways to enrich or economic prospects.

The governor has committed himself – wisely obtained in writing by Green Rep. John Eder – to a special session on Tax reform; another half million to get Augusta to do the work we already paid for.

As far as Washington County is concerned, we are ideally situated to capitalize on wind power; which is an ideal follow-up to several LNG facilities, and something I’ll discuss in more detail in the future.

Wind is a sustainable economic force – the electric generated can replace oil, coal and natural gas. So why not capitalize on an abundant, safe and environmentally friendly natural resource?

Wind power would not only contribute to our economic growth; it would enhance downeast “quality of life” in a manner which is environmentally friendly. Quality of life is something we can promote in a way which will both stabilize our population, and attract new resources.

Well, Jonesboro’s Nancy Oden apparently stepped into the gubernatorial ring – BDN op-ed 11 July – and tripped on the ropes. Which shows why we’ll next visit: “want-ta-be-poor”?

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