Lock Down Lowdown Leader

 

The recent reprehensible behavior of Sara Gideon, Speaker of the Maine House, is just the latest tantrum in the litany of despotic acts that has characterized Speaker Gideon’s tenure as the Democrat Party leader of the House. Democrats and Independents, better know as Stealth Democrats, are feverishly trying to fix the blame on Republicans. With a long pattern of abuses lining up at the Speaker’s office door, Democrats, both real and stealth alike, are having a hard time convincing taxpayers that standing neck deep in their own dysfunction and shouting the proverbial “They did it!” with obligatory finger pointed is a valid representation of good leadership.

It should be said of the Speaker that at least she makes no effort to conceal the fact that she is there beholden only to special interests and no other; to Hades with the people. One could find solace in her honesty if it didn’t drive a knife in the basic foundation of the Republic. For Gideon, a government by the people for the people moves back stage and must abdicate to government by the cronies for the cronies at all cost.

At the end of the last legislative session, Gideon’s antics and procedural gymnastics had worn thin on even the members of her own Party. Rumblings of a coming insurrection began to bubble to the surface and the Speaker moved quickly to save her leadership. She promised a more steady even handed approach in the chamber and Democrats fell in line.

But the lists of bills killed by Gideon seems endless, many not allowed to the floor for debate. Many of these would have provided relief for small town Maine, but were crushed by the Speaker’s ruthlessness. One such bill was the Arbitration Bill which would have helped small towns gain some leverage and voice in the school withdrawal process.

One such small town is Atkinson. Atkinson began the withdrawal process eagerly agreeing to the demands of the school district they wished to withdraw from in hopes of getting on the ballot in November of that year. The district responded by adding more demands and a large lump sum of money effectively moving the finish line of negotiations.

It was soon apparent that the school district’s definition of negotiation was “give us all our demands and none of yours.” When the delay tactics were obvious and all hope of a November ballot vote was lost, Atkinson withdrew from negotiations in protest. Their only hope of leverage was the Arbitration Bill in the legislature.

This bill would have provided for small towns, who are under served in these negotiations and prejudiced against, the option to call for a separate arbitrator to intervene. This bill passed through committee unanimous “Ought to Pass.” The expectation was that it was simply a matter of formality and that it would pass the chamber easily.

Inexplicably in blatant obeisance to the public education complex, Speaker Gideon moved to have the bill killed. Despite protestations from both Parties that the bill should at least be debated on the floor, through procedural manipulation the bill was killed by a one vote procedure by one of Gideon’s lackeys. Cronies over people once again.

So small town Maine once again found itself under the thumb of bureaucracy. If a small town wants to better itself, Speaker Gideon wanted to make sure they pay a heavy price for it. Now we see, despite the promises, the beat down goes on.

For all of Gideon’s heavy handedness and shoulder thrusting, she hasn’t run a very tight ship. Her lack of leadership has now been shown for the whole of Maine to see. So consumed with trying to block her opponents bills from even seeing the floor, the legislative schedule has fallen into neglect.

Democrats wanted an extension to cover their failings. In order to do so, they tabled every bill that Republicans wanted to vote on in attempt to gain Republican votes. Republicans refused to be held hostage and voted against the extension.

True to form, Gideon looked to manipulate obscure procedures of parliament, while she indefinitely postponed any debate on Republican bills. As in the Arbitration Bill, the people of Maine now take the brunt of the dereliction of leadership by Speaker Gideon. Maine cannot afford to give Sara Gideon and the Democrats a pass on their Lock Down Lowdown leadership tactics. It’s time to unlock Maine’s potential and show Democrats the door.

The Bully in the Playhouse

The Maine State Legislature has moved to its summer recess and now the cleanup crews have moved in to scrap the residue of food fights, tantrums, rock throwing, and all around juvenile behavior off the walls of the respective legislative chambers and the Governor’s office. It’s been a sight to behold and not a pretty one. Let’s recap the sordid details.

For clarity, it should be stated that much of the untoward behavior has revolved around the Augusta soap opera we all call “As the Budget Churns”. The Governor started things off on the wrong foot by crafting a budget behind closed doors excluding any input from the legislature including the leadership of his own Party and fellow Conservatives. When the budget was presented, Republican leadership expressed their frustration with the process and portions of the budget.

Governor LePage responded by threatening members of his own Party. He publicly promised to run a primary candidate against any Republican who voted against his budget. Now there’s a swell way to build bridges…

As you can imagine, this first of what would be a litany of bluffs and threats from the Executive office, culminating with a threat to resign as Governor if his budget wasn’t passed, did not invoke warm and fuzzy feelings from the Republican legislative caucus. Yes, they pushed back. The melee ensued. This has left Maine residents shaking their heads in disbelief and embarrassment.

But the push back from the legislature seemed more rooted in wounded egos and political payback then a corrective message to the Governor. Eventually, the Republican leadership would join forces with Democrat leadership to craft a budget with no fiscal benefit to the people of Maine. It’s pages read more like an “In-Yo-Face” budget than a plan to strengthen Maine’s economy.

The Maine Conservative Voice would like to respectfully remind the Governor and Republican leadership that they all campaigned on putting Maine people before politics. With the amount of rock throwing that has typified this last legislative session, I’m not sure anyone wants to get before your politics. It’s a good way for Maine taxpayers to get hurt.

Maine deserves better than to have to watch their elected officials turn Augusta into some dark version of Romper Room. All the bullying and hoarding of toys in the playhouse has got to stop. Maine is tired of the mess.

The people I associate with on a daily basis in my workday no longer call LePage “Our Governor”. They simply shake their heads in shame. They are also confused to why a Republican led Senate could not accomplish any of its campaign promises and why they still are playing the doormat to the Democrats. With election season looming on the horizon and only one more session to make amends, the Republicans need to take heed to their business and tuck their egos away or the Democrats, whose symbol is the Biblical term for a donkey, will continue to make Republicans look just like that Democrat party symbol.