Maine Independent Contractors have found an ally in the Blaine House. Several months ago in the crosshairs (oops, did I use that word?) of a withering barrage of audits under a directive from former Governor Baldacci, it is doubtful that any independent contractor could have even conceived of ever uttering that introductory sentence. Yet as of January 20th, 2011 per executive order of the new Governor LePage, that same Misclassification Taskforce created by Governor Baldacci was abolished. This act was not done as a favor to independent contractors but more out of deference to simple common sense.
Independent workers do something that the Maine economy is starving for. They work. Governor LePage would prefer that they continue to do so. The Governor has taken that Executive Order one step further by introducing legislation that would require all the Regulatory Agencies to have a uniform set of compliance laws. This columnist takes some personal satisfaction in these developments. Terry Whittemore, Toby Arno and I formed an alliance called the Maine Independent Contractors Alliance. While it is still in the formation stages, MICA has already faced necessary battles. Terry and Toby joined me in Augusta to speak before a panel on the labor issues and the audits facing independent contractors. In this forum, we presented three simple ideas we thought were essential to a commonsense resolution to the conflict.
1) Enact legislation that would require all the Labor Regulatory Agencies to conform and enforce one set of compliance laws.
2) Call for a hold on all audits and fines until such legislation could be enacted.
3) Push the reset button. In other words, give contractors a second chance to comply with a simple more targeted set of rules without the devastating weight of huge fines over their heads and families.
After meeting with the legislators, we sent our ideas to the Lepage transition team. We were assured that it had been delivered to his Chief of Staff. It seems the Governor has done us one better by abolishing the very agency that was inflicting so much pain on Maine workers. He has also preempted the legislature by initiating his own bill, which would in effect accomplish MICA’s first request.
In conversations with legislators, I have found them reluctant to requite the fines already levied. It was thought too difficult to reverse what has already been affected. By abolishing the Misclassification Taskforce, it would seem Lepage has provided a valid platform to engage effective debate on the need to lift these fines from the tired backs of Maine contractors.
MICA, while still in its infancy, has clearly articulated one steady message to Augusta. The leadership of Maine needs to focus on one word, simplify. If it can accomplish the definition of this one word, perhaps our State Government can begin to bridge the divide of mistrust that has widened with the years of abuse levied against its own people. The Maine Conservative Voice and Maine Independent Contractors Alliance applaud Governor LePage for his strong and resolute leadership in standing for the people of Maine. Perhaps there really is hope for Maine after all.
To use the word ‘crosshairs’ as a joke is really classless. I thought you had more respect for your writing, you are a religious man. Do you think this is what God wants us to do? Maybe you should spend more time on peace and goodness than on hatred and anger.
Nancy, Nancy be very careful when you use vengeful words like hatred and anger, then tie those to religion. It is probably your words that are inciting the riots in Egypt……now how ridiculous does that sound, Nancy, how utterly ridiculous does that sound? When are we all going to act like intellectuals and stop behaving like petty small petulant teenagers? Come on Nancy….
Words still hurt. I am sure the families of those killed don’t appreciate your joke. I don’t believe that Sarah Palin had anything to do with the sicke person who commited the crimes any more than charles Manson had over his followers who murdered but sick people will look for a reason. I work with sick kids who come from sick homes. I would never suggest anything to give them the belief that someone is less than and that it is ok to hurt them. I really don’t think you are as Christian as you claim. I did not use the words anger and hatred with religion. I used them to describe your sick joke. I have wonderful friend who are very religious and who do not speak nastily about anyone,
Andy, I understand that people blame ridiculous things when they shouldnt. Look at all the horrible things that are blamed on homosexuality. I get it. But being sarcastic and immature about it isnt ok. Sarah Palin isnt any more responsible for the shooting than anyone else. The man that shot those people was an ass. But, we, as human beings have a responsibility to be healthy parts of a society and not spread anger. Your words were meant to incite and you know it. I would never compare religion as a whole with anger and hatred. I was simply describing your words. We, as healthy adults are responsible to lead out communities and their is no place for sarcasm and jokes about such a heinous crime that hurt so many innocent people. Sarah Palin’s words were chosen poorly. She learned from it. Its done. Let it go. There is so much that needs to be done in our world. I work everyday with sick children who are raised by sick parents and would never make a sick joke like that. I feel I have a responsibility to show them professional adult behavior.
I will never ever let anyone control my speech or use of words. I will never cower before anyone’s perception of what is appropriate vernacular. I will continue to use words to expose the hypocrisy of the left and mock their shallow double standards. I will not retire. I will not capitulate.
Then you walk in the shoes of Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, and the KKK who also believe that their words do not hurt. That they have no power over others and that their hateful rhetoric does not produce more hate. As for me and my family we will promote peace through understanding. You have no idea what the real world is like. Walk a day in my shoes in my job and maybe you will see what is wrong with the state and this country. It has nothing to do with your writing and your writing has nothing to do with changing it. You are ineffective.
I have to go to work now.
Absolutely amazing what common sense leadership will do for a cause!!! Now we need to bring this same kind of leadership back to Washington in 2012!!! REPLACE OBAMA!!! And while we’re at it let’s REPEAL every piece of damaging legislation he’s enacted!!!
Andy, What is your group thinking about the new Uniform Building and Energy Code? I understand it has onerous provisions about sprinkler systems in homes and full insulation of basements, just to mention two things that I have heard.
Presently, MICA has been concentrating on the audits and regulatory issues concerning Independent Contractors. We are still in our formation stages and will be opening MICA for membership within the next few weeks. I do know that there is legislation in the pipeline that will repeal these onerous building codes. These are issues that effect the building trades and the scope of MICA is broader than that. As MICA grows it will necessarily need to have smaller groups underneath its umbrella to deal with needs specific to each category of contractor. It has been difficult to maintain a voice in the battlefield and start up an organization, but we are almost there. Stay tuned.
And a month later you used MY argument against the democrats. You criticized them for using the same type of wording. I think you just enjoy arguing. It’s too bad. Jesus came to spread peace and yet those. like yourself, who follow Him choose to spread anger and hatred. I doubt He would have submerged Himself into the waters of politics but instead would devote His time to caring for the sick, the oppressed, the tired, the addicted. Not by handouts but by showing them the way. His way. You, you only care about showing everyone how smart you are with your fancy diction and governmental knowledge. If He does come, he will see you for the unfaithfulness you spread and how you have used the gift He gave you to influence others and take them away from His word and His works towards mankind.
And yet… you still read my column.
Actually, a friend pointed out the one line in a recent article and I had to type my name into google to find my comments here. That’s why I added here and not on the article in question. I never read it. But your arrogance is amazing.