Is your vote for sale?
This past election has brought some truths to light that the people of Maine must study in order to better understand the political motivations of those who wish to influence elections. The Republicans suffered a defeat in their quest to bring security and accountability to the Maine election process. Those who wished to keep our voting system vulnerable and easily manipulated, have reason to rejoice as the seedy cloak of deceit will, for now, remain to shroud the clear function of the most sacred rite of Maine’s Democratic process. It is telling that in the State of Mississippi a measure to require voter ID was overwhelmingly passed by the people with a two-thirds majority.
The true test of a group’s character and integrity is how well they can handle defeat. The people of Maine will wait and watch to see if the GOP can learn from their mistakes. Their opponents will revel in the defeat and watch expectantly for Republicans to implode and cannibalize each other. This will be a true test of the maturation to leadership for a party that has not been in power for over forty years.
Donald Sussman, a billionaire hedge fund manager, gave over $250,000 to the Yes on 1 campaign in order to try and influence the vote. He succeeded. There was no way the Republicans would spend that kind of money on a vote. Republicans refuse to buy votes. Mr. Sussman is the husband of U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree. This reveals to the people of Maine a systemic problem with the Democrat Party and their supporters. The Democrats view voters as commodities that can be bought and sold, bartered in the mercantile of ideas in exchange for freedoms.
Much can be learned about a belief system by looking at the groups that propagate it. The Yes on 1 campaign was funded by a hedge fund, Wall Street manipulator. It was also supported with thousands of dollars and ground troops from MPA, SEIU, and Equality Maine -all of which have checkered pasts, to put it nicely, with regards to their handling of the voting process. Maine people will have to decide whether they appreciate having individuals buy the vote and whether they are ready to put their voting rights out to bid for whoever has the deepest pockets. I, for one, am uncomfortable with the defense that there is no voter fraud in Maine because you couldn’t prove it. It seems eerily reminiscent of the standard defense that every criminal at every level uses to beat the rap….you can’t prove it. For me it is not the burden of proof, it is the burden of possibility. We can’t leave Democracy to chance.
Congratulations to Ray Wallace for his great victory in District 24. There is a lesson for the Republican Party to take out of this election also. While Question 1 was utter defeat for the GOP, the Republican candidate was able to win. This flies in the face of the Democrats assertion that Mainers are rejecting the Governor’s policies. The Democrat campaigned on an Anti-LePage platform. The Green Party candidate, ironically, campaigned on a Pro-LePage/social conservative platform and was able to pull nearly 8% of the vote away from Ray Wallace. Mr. Wallace still won.
Mainers are still very loyal to the Governor. Some polls have him at over 50% popularity. One poll has his job approval rating higher than his likeability rating. This speaks to what commonsense people have always known: I don’t have to like you to want you to do the job. I just have to know you will get the job done and done right. Those in the Republican Party, which have played the obstructionist to the Governor, would do well to take heed.
During the Question 1 referendum, an out of state group came to do some ads for the No on 1 campaign. They refused to allow input from the Maine Republicans. Consequently, Mainers were confused and put off by the image these ads portrayed. Another lesson learned. The Maine Republican Party needs to speak directly to the people, like any good team learn from their mistakes and come back stronger, and join with their popular Governor to present to the people of Maine one strong coherent message. The Maine Conservative Voice is confident that they will. For the sake of Maine, they have to.