I recently returned from a road trip that took me across this great Country of ours.  While trying to manhandle the stubborn steering apparatus of an old 1970 Ford one-ton stake-bed farm truck, I occasionally had the opportunity to take in the greatness of this Country I love so much.  It was hard not to make comparisons to this State Maine that I am proud to call home.

One such time was the hours spent traveling through Oklahoma.  This western State is routinely ranked amongst the most prosperous States in the Nation.  What does Oklahoma have that Maine doesn’t have or, perhaps a better wording would be, what does Maine have that Oklahoma doesn’t have?  The answer is overregulation that stifles business.  Traveling through Oklahoma, one is not struck by the exorbitant wealth glaring from community to community.  Oklahoma is primarily a rural farming State yet it ranks as one of the wealthiest in the United States.

I have come away from my little excursion out west firmly convinced that Maine simply needs some wise commonsense leadership to change Augusta’s governing approach and, with Maine’s teeming natural resources, it will quickly rise to take its place amongst the prosperous of this great Nation.  Unfortunately, the Republican Party of Maine has seized this great opportunity with all the aptitude of the bungling Keystone Kops.  With Maine’s future on the line, they have dropped the ball and stumbled out of the gate.

When the Republican House Caucus convened to vote on a Speaker, Robert Nutting was narrowly elected.  During the election process, Mr. Nutting, in keeping with business as usual politics, did not fully disclose his, at best, dubious past.  Without a full comprehension of Mr. Nutting’s character or lack thereof, many freshman Representatives could only vote with the information on hand.  Now, many are furious that they have been duped.

Many of these new young Republicans were ushered into office through the power of the Tea Party movement.  They campaigned against the corruption and arrogant indifference of Augusta.  Now, they must shamefacedly answer to their constituents and acknowledge they have been deceived and manipulated with their first act as Representatives.  It seems the Maine Republican Party is content to follow the Nancy Pelosi model of sacrificing their own to hold doggedly to their selfish agenda.  This is a disappointing irony to be sure.

The Maine Conservative Voice believes that, if Mr. Nutting truly cares for the future of the State of Maine, he will step down; in fact, we demand it.  If Governor LePage is to achieve the goals he has set forth for his administration, he must have legislative support.  With, at best, weak leadership in the Senate, it is imperative that the House shows strength and direction.

The message the GOP is sending to the voters is not a good one.  The perception of a million dollar miscue, when voters want competent leadership handling their funds, will not go away.  Mainers are livid and Republicans are starting their leadership tenure by mimicking the Democrats and not listening.  The Kevin Raye/Josh Tardy liberal wing of the Party may feel that they can dig a foxhole and this will blow over.  They will be sorely mistaken.  The Democrats did not fathom the anger of voters and, now it seems, neither have Republicans.  If Mr. Nutting does not step down, the Republicans will lose control of the Legislature in 2012 and Governor LePage will not be able to turn this ship around.

The residents of Maine can get involved in this and they need to.  It is our responsibility to hold the Republicans to the fire.  Call the Republican House leadership, Phil Curtis and Andre Cushing, and demand Robert Nutting resigns, the House Caucus reconvenes and a secondary vote is held under full disclosure.  Maine residents must demand this.  It is our futures at stake not Robert Nutting’s!


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