With the Red County Caucus off and running, it is time to take a look at each of these candidates. This column can only view a candidate through one prism; Conservatism. As the light of common sense begins to shine on these candidates, it will either reveal standards or distortions. We begin our analysis with Peter Mills.
Peter Mills wants to be Governor. Peter Mills wants the citizens of Maine to forget that he has a voting record. Peter Mills wants us all to smile and forgive him for voting for gay marriage, voting for a fraudulent tax law last year, and then mocking the concerned citizens who bravely fought these mistakes. Well Peter Mills, this columnist will try to be objective but under the scrutiny of Conservatism there isn’t much that can be found that is positive.
First of all, Peter Mills has voted conservatively against unfunded liabilities. He also has stood against Augusta’s propensity to borrow. These are positive things and should be written in Mr. Mills behalf. I applaud Senator Mills for voting correctly in these situations. Unfortunately for Senator Mills, the majority of his votes outweigh the minority and in a true democracy the majority rules.
Peter Mills has a weakness for Big Government. He has not been able to embrace the Reagan mantra that Government cannot solve problems because it is the problem. Senator Mills has consistently voted to increase the size of Government, frustrating his conservative counterparts in Augusta who have been tasked with the overwhelming responsibility of trying to keep spend thrifty Democrats in check.
This pattern of defection was on display this past year when Peter Mills voted to approve the bogus income tax “reduction” bill which proved to be a tax expansion. When the details of this bill came to light for the people, they were furious. Republicans had to work feverishly and were able to put together a Citizens Initiative to stop the Democrats and Peter Mills. A pattern of partnership has developed over the years that stands against Maine citizens; the Democrats and Peter Mills.
Then we have the gay marriage issue. This was one of the most egregious attacks against the citizens of Maine in recent history. Despite the fact that Mainers had repeatedly rejected a gay marriage law, Peter Mills was the lone Republican who thumbed his nose at the will of the people and voted with Democrats to pass another gay marriage law. Once again, the citizens of Maine were called upon to fix the mistakes of the Democrats and Peter Mills.
Senator Mills now wants to call on these same citizens he has insulted and ignored to now trust him to make Augusta accountable to the citizens again. This columnist had the opportunity to listen to Peter Mills address the citizens of the Red County Caucus in Dover-Foxcroft today. The disdain for him was palpable in the room. As he finished his speech, which seemed at times on the verge of testy, I heard murmurs around me from caucus goers. They were not positive. Terms like “arrogant politician” and “you can tell he went to Harvard” filtered past me. It seems as though the citizens have been burned one too many times and pay back is… well, it’s pay back.
The good Senator has promised the citizens of Maine that he understands the heavy tax burden they are under. He promises to lift that tax burden or some facsimile thereof. He is campaigning as a fiscal conservative, but he is also campaigning as a clean elections candidate. Something tells this columnist that Mr. Mills will have a hard time squaring with common sense Mainers how he can say he feels their tax pain yet is running for Governor on the backs of Maine tax payers through the tax funded Clean Elections system.
What many politicians still don’t understand is that citizens have had it up to the stratosphere with spin and politics. So, if you haven’t been a common sense Conservative right along and are trying now to spin into a Conservative Super Suit, the citizenry may just take a dim view of that. How did they put it in the Red County Caucus today…..Oh yes,… “arrogant politician”…ouch!