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.

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Pride and Accomplishment

 

 

When much ado and public pomposity ensues, there is usually a liberal behind it.  So has been the case in the resurrection of the remnants of Roger Katz and the Pretentious Eight.  Senator Katz has made his name and call to fame by publicly disparaging the Governor and undermining the efforts of the Republican Party to protect the people of Maine from burdensome tax increases.  It seems the “Honorable” Senator from Augusta gets the shivers every time the Governor gets grumpy.

Yes, the Governor’s words were uncalled for.  We know that.  He knows that.  But lets compare the records of these two men – their accomplishments and what they take pride in:

It is well documented that the Governor has a street fighter’s mentality.  He has a tenacity and rough edge that is born from the sidewalks and alleys of Waterville and Lewiston.  It has served him well as he has scrapped his way up through the business ranks to now be the Executive of the State of Maine.

When he held the majority, he passed many sweeping reforms in Maine.  He enacted the largest tax cut in Maine’s history, cutting $150 million in the first 2 years and $500 million over 4 years.  He removed 70, 000 of Maine’s lowest income families from the tax rolls, increased the death tax exemption, and allotted $31 million to relieve the tax burden on job creators.

He paid $248 million to the hospitals on the huge debt owed them by the State.  He passed LD 1 and reformed Maine’s dysfunctional regulatory system.  He reformed health care insurance, allowing competition across state lines.

Now with a minority, he has held the line on tax increases and government overreaches by sustaining some 18 vetoes of the Democrats.  He has stood his ground against Justin Alfond and the Democrat majority and forced them to pay the hospital debt.

Roger Katz comes from an entrenched Democrat political family in Augusta.  He has gained some notoriety from publicly criticizing the Governor’s crusty personality.  Perhaps Mr. Katz operates a finishing school that he would like the Governor to attend.

Senator Katz is known in Augusta as the one Republican that the Democrats can rely on to help circumvent Republican tax reform attempts.  His latest accomplishment is organizing a betrayal of Maine residents by helping to pass a Democrat purposed budget that increases taxes on Maine people, despite the veto of the Governor, then writing an editorial touting it as a victory, while railing against the Governor, again.  Roger Katz is consistent if nothing else.

What Mr. Katz has done is deepen the divide between the Northern and Southern Maine interests.  Rural Maine can no longer sustain the “marginal” tax increases that Mr. Katz advocates.  It’s just a matter of time before its small businesses and its tenuous fiscal structure become insolvent.

But it doesn’t matter to the “Honorable” Mr. Katz.  He has a political coup for his resume and he lives in Augusta, buried in the political machine.  There he will stay, sipping the nectar of the tax revenue his maneuverings have procured.

Their perspectives are completely the opposite.  Their accomplishments speak for themselves.  The Governor believes in the people.  The Senator believes in government.  Each takes pride in defending their beliefs.  Still, in the end, it is We The People who pay the price and who must decide whose accomplishments we take pride in.