The Trashy Truth

 

 

One of the reasons I hold Paul Davis in such high regard is that he does not dive headlong into situations and issues without waiting to see how the facts will unfold. I have tried to emulate his patience as I have studied the East-West Highway issue. While there are certain edicts of conservatism that I cannot compromise, such as private landowner rights and the rights of the individual, the secrecy that has shrouded the highway has kept me suspicious at best.

 

It is no secret that Doug Thomas and I do not get along. I feel Senator Thomas is a dishonest man. He changes his positions on issues with the regularity of a chameleon. I have had first hand experience in seeing that the good Senator has all the listening skills of a bullhorn. He is one of those types of individuals that Ronald Reagan once said, “Listen with their mouth, not their ears.” I do not trust Doug Thomas.

 

So with this mistrust, I continued to quietly investigate the corridor issue. I recently attended a meeting in Alton, Maine. The meeting had been explained to me as a East-West Highway informational, but when I got there, I found it was about a different issue, but not entirely separate from the highway.

 

You see, Alton has a trash problem and it is a growing problem. Alton is the spot for the Juniper Ridge Land Fill. It sits along I-95. The problem with trash is that once you fill the land with it, you need more land. Juniper Ridge is expanding and there are other interests that want to create another landfill, for more trash.

 

Trash by the truckloads from out of State, coming up interstate to the landfill and, now we learn the corridor is going to cross I-95 right there in Alton. Coincidence? I think not.

 

How did the residents of Alton end up with this trashy problem? It’s the small town dilemma. Not enough votes, not enough voice and not enough clout. So the trash continues to spread up the corridor.

 

I live in Piscataquis County in the foothills of the 100-mile wilderness. We have heard the arguments for this large structure destroying the fabric of the Highlands that we love so much, but the struggles of our friends down in Alton exposed for me a whole new danger that I hadn’t heard before. The more we learn about the Corridor the more it smells, well, like trash.

 

Landfills eventually run out of land and they need more. Remember, they are shipping in trash from other States. As the appetite for more land grows, where do you think they will find it? Where can they find more little towns with a small voice, no votes and no clout? How about Atkinson, Ornville, Charleston, Garland and so many others along the shrouded route? We don’t know, nobody knows, but the trash keeps growing and demanding more land.

 

Have you ever driven through the New Jersey turnpike? God didn’t create those mountains, man created them. We live here in the Highlands for a reason. We love the wild beauty here.

 

The biggest question raised about the highway was how would it be paid for? Trash is a lucrative business. If the answer is to bring in mounds of trash from all over the United States to deposit in our beautiful backyards and contaminate our lakes and streams, then this answer stinks! If you are tired of the trashy truth of Thomas’s rotting lies that keep turning up the more we dig, then its time to clean out the garbage and vote Paul Davis in!

The “Truthiness” Bill

 

 

Once again the “Honorable” Senator Doug Thomas has produced a nearly unanimous by-partisanship in Augusta. A feat to be proud of; I’m not so sure. Senator Thomas is the sole sponsor of a bill so egregious that all the representatives in the House voted against it save one. Thomas’s one ally, Diane Russell, was a socialist Democrat from Portland.

 

LD 1834 would have given government bureaucracy the authority to determine for the people of Maine what is truth and what is a lie in a campaign. I guess Senator Thomas feels we are not capable of doing that for ourselves. His socialist friend agrees. In her speech to support the Thomas’s bill, she affectionately called it the “truthiness” bill. She was thrilled that she and “the good Senator …agree on something”. She admonished the legislature asking them, “Do you really want to leave it up to ‘The People’ to determine whether that’s true or false? She further extolled the “virtues” of the “truthiness” bill saying, “These are the important issues of our time and it is absolutely imperative that a government agency give us a hand-up on the truth.” Ah, a piece of legislation only a socialist could love.

 

We The People of Central Maine do not need government to “give us a hand-up” to understand truth. Is this really the way Senator Thomas feels about his constituents? Does he really believe we can’t think for ourselves? This is one more government intrusion we don’t need.

 

But this is not the first time the “good” Senator has forced Republicans and Democrats to join forces to stop him. Remember, he sponsored a bill to raise the fee on snow machine registration and impose a fine for late registrations. It was killed in committee by unanimous consent.

 

State registrations are a takings or a tax. So it is ironic that Mr. Thomas is attacking Paul Davis for not signing the tax pledge, while Doug Thomas signed the pledge and then proceeded to sponsor a bill to not only raise taxes on snow machines, but also fine those who registered late. So you make the comparison: One man prefers to let his record speak for itself and keep his pledge to the people by his actions, another, signs a pledge, then sponsors legislation to raise taxes all the while waving his signed tax pledge around like a get-outta-jail-free card. Where is the “truthiness” here?

 

His version of “truthiness” also has Paul Davis voting against the tax cuts. What Thomas fails to acknowledge is that Paul Davis voted against the budget because the Governor asked him to, along with a group of fellow conservatives in the legislature. The Democrats had watered down the Budget and the Governor vowed to veto it. He needed Conservatives to stand with him and Paul Davis did.

 

I wonder; Are all the other conservatives who stood with the Governor guilty of the same “crime” as Paul Davis? I’m sure they would like to know. Maine People Before Politics says that Paul Davis has a 100% rating of voting with the people. So, where is the “truthiness” here?

I think Mr. Thomas wants an exemption from his own bill. He is proud, though, of the glowing review he received from the Bangor Daily News. I recently heard former Senator Steve Hall state emphatically, “You can’t believe anything from the Bangor Daily News!” I couldn’t agree more!

Sponsoring Betrayal

 

 

Strange things, strange reports coming out of Augusta.  Yes, there are reports of unanimous bipartisan agreement on a bill; no, two bills in committee.  Democrats and Republicans alike found common ground to kill two bills in committee that would have increased the financial burden upon the people of Maine; more specifically, the hunters and sportsmen of Maine.

The first bill to discuss was LD 89.  This bill was put forth to establish a penalty for Mainers if they did not register their snow machines by a certain date.  The sole sponsor of the bill was Senator Doug Thomas.

If LD 89, An Act to Establish a Deadline for Snowmobile Registration, had been approved by the committee, it would have set a deadline for snow machine registration at December 31st and, if any Mainer had been so disobedient to mother government as to miss the set deadline, they would be punished with an additional $20 fine added to the registration fee.  This is just another blatant money grab by our government.  Thankfully, Paul Davis, the rest of the Republicans, and amazingly, all the Democrats on the Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Committee voted in unison to kill the bill.  At least someone had the backs of rural Maine.

But there’s more.  Doug Thomas has co-sponsored a bill with Dennis Keschl , LD 153, that would create a comprehensive hunting and fishing license.  Sound’s like a great idea at first glance and some sportsmen’s’ blogs were in support, but, when one delves into the bones of the bill, the details reveal just another money grab.

Further, research shows that hunters will lose more than they will gain. First of all, studies show that over 70% of hunters, a strong majority, only hunt deer, so for a majority of hunters, this is a  $13 increase. Bow hunters would be excluded from further deer hunting if they harvested a deer during bow season.

The long lists of items that are excluded from the “comprehensive” license belie the title.  One thing is sure; deer hunters would be targeted for an increase.  They are getting the proverbial…antler.

Remember hunters; there was a comprehensive license at one time.  Government kept cutting specific hunts out of that license bringing us to this point today.  They would repeat that process again.  It’s always about getting more of your money.

Again, thankfully, the Republicans and Democrats voted with one voice, in the IF&W, to kill this bill.  It is amazing that a Senator who is supposed to represent the voters in the foothills of the 100 mile wilderness would sponsor bills that could penalize businesses so integral to the 2nd District: hunting and snow machining.  Senator Thomas can find some solace in the fact that he had a unifying influence in Augusta.  He sponsored and co-sponsored bills that were so egregious and punitive to the people of Maine that there was unanimous and bi-partisan consent to kill the bills in order to protect the people of Maine.

Betrayal

 

 

When The Maine Conservative Voice was started, it was my desire to be just that, a voice.  The hope was to make political leaders, both statewide and nationally, aware that the conservative movement was not dead in Maine, but alive and well.  What a humbling experience it has been to have so many people in rural Maine shake my hand and say thank you for lending a voice to their beliefs and convictions.

The hope has always been that conservatives across Maine would unify in one force and work together to set Maine free from the tyranny of liberal and socialist agendas.  Time has passed and TMCV has been able to have some influence, along with other groups, on Maine’s political landscape.  Still, progress has been slowed and marred by competing egos and personal agendas.

My greatest fear when I began this column and blog was that eventually I would grow numb to the corruption and become a silent observer.  While there are some positions that I hold where ethics require silence, still my passion to expose unscrupulous behavior remains undaunted.  But what if the betrayal comes from leaders you have worked closely with and supported?  What then?  How could I retain the integrity of the ideals I set forth with if I remained silent?

I understand compromise and that it is a vital part of our political system.  What I do not understand is calling yourself a conservative yet forming an alliance with one of the most liberal members of your party.  I cannot comprehend campaigning across a Senate District touting your support of the Governor’s agenda to secure conservative votes and then joining political forces with the one man who has worked tirelessly to subvert the Governor’s policies and conservative ideals.  I am astounded that a man can campaign as a social conservative and then join forces with the very man who has fought to subvert everything social conservatives stand for.  But this is what we find in the latest revelations from the political soap opera that is Senator Doug Thomas.

Senator Roger Katz of Augusta recently held a fundraiser for Senator Thomas in his law office in Augusta.  For those who don’t know, Roger Katz and the Pretentious Eight, as I have dubbed them, wrote an infamous op-ed against the Governor in an attempt to undermine his leadership at the very onset of his administration.  Roger Katz has repeatedly opposed many of the initiatives the conservatives have put forth.  It was Katz that spearheaded a move by liberal Republicans to help Democrats overturn the Governor’s veto of a budget that raised taxes on the Maine people.

And Doug Thomas is breaking financial bread with him?  In political speak, fundraising for a candidate is a statement of allegiance.  There are no political favors without one in return.  Conservatives had been uncomfortable with the various sightings of Thomas and Katz at public functions, but there was no way to verify a betrayal until now.

It’s no secret the Roger Katz has been maneuvering for power in the legislature to build his campaign against the Governor.  Obviously, he has found that the “Honorable” Doug Thomas can be bought, easily.  Katz wants Thomas’s vote for leadership and rumors have a way of materializing. Doug Thomas is selling out his fellow conservatives and the Governor for money.

TMCV has worked hard in the past to support and elect Doug Thomas into office.  I have written many columns in his behalf.  That ends now.  I have grown tired of the duplicity.  I will not look the other way and be silent.

When confronted on his behavior, Senator Thomas responded that it doesn’t matter and the people don’t care.  I was told that I don’t understand how business is done. Actually, I do understand and I’m tired of business as usual.  I will not be silent.  I will be a voice for truth.  We must stand for what we believe if we truly want to Set Maine Free.