It has been said that we can judge the character of an individual by how they handle adversity. Through times of confrontation and criticism, warranted or unwarranted, and whether they be truth or lies, our responses in the harsh and uncomfortable times reflect the core of who we are and what we believe. I was often taught, as a boy, that heat makes the pot boil and whatever is in the pot, good or bad, will bubble to the top.
A few weeks ago, while attending the Republican Convention in Bangor, I was waiting for my wife in the concession area just outside the auditorium hall. Suddenly someone grabbed me by the shoulder and whirled me around. I came face to face with a very red faced and angry Senator Doug Thomas. He shook his finger at me and said, “One of these days, I will have my turn” and then stormed off.
This wasn’t a total surprise. In my tenure as County Chairman for Piscataquis County, I have had to deal with many a tantrum from Senator Thomas. Politics is a high-pressure occupation and some handle it better than others.
The reason for the Senator’s anger with me, at this point, has to do with the columns I have written about him in The Maine Conservative Voice. He has accused me of using my Chairmanship in the Republican Party as a platform to advocate for Paul Davis. This is absolutely untrue.
Four years ago, when I was first elected to Chair the Piscataquis Republican Committee, I was already writing this column. I stated very clearly to the committee that I would not have TMCV muzzled. I promised the committee that I would not be controversial using the title of Chair of the committee, but that I would keep all of my activism and controversy to my column and not drag the committee into those issues. I have kept my word.
Senator Thomas has claimed that this agreement between the Piscataquis Committee and myself did not happen. There are three reasons why the good Senator is mistaken in his accusations. Here they are:
First, both of my elections were held at conventions and since Senator Thomas is not from Piscataquis but Somerset, he would not have caucused with our committee and therefore would not have been privy to any of those conversations. Second, the by-laws of the committee clearly states that county committee members are not to use the committee to advance their own agenda or activism, which I promised to do simply in keeping with the by-laws. Thirdly, there is a little thing called the First Amendment, which states that I can express my opinion free from the confines of any committee or any threats from pompous Senators.
So, we see that my arrangement with the Piscataquis Republican Party was simply a reiteration of rules already in place. It’s more than ironic that the Honorable Senator Thomas has no problem with Deb Plowman, Chair of Penobscot County, fundraising and supporting his campaign. This double standard seems to imply that he fears the impact of this column.
After the misdeeds of Senator Thomas began to pile up, I knew I could be silent no more. I could not speak as Chair, but I knew if I put the heat on him through The Maine Conservative Voice, his true nature would boil to the top. And now the tantrums, threats, and vindictive behavior have been exposed for all to see by the heat of confrontation.
I was told to be silent or there would be a price to pay. I have paid the price. Senator Thomas has succeeded in removing me from my Chairmanship. But I will not be silent. I will speak and write all the more.
Senator Thomas seems to think that Republicans should only speak what he sanctions and agrees with. Rumor has it that the County Chair for Somerset, Cynthia Izon, is next on his target list. Her crime? She was seen speaking with Paul Davis at a fundraiser. Call out the hounds.
Senator Thomas, I’m quite sure The Maine Republican Party does not share your affection for the monarchy, despotism and totalitarian rule. As for me and The Maine Conservative Voice, my response to the Thomas Constitution, your attempts to silence me and remove me from the Republican Party is this: Be careful what you wish for!