Maine GOP Thanks Senator Susan Collins For Support Of Judge Neil Gorsuch, Against Fillibuster On Senate Floor
AUGUSTA- This Tuesday, Senator Susan Collins took to the Senate floor to speak in favor of Judge Neil Gorsuch’s Supreme Court nomination.
Maine Republican Party Chair, Demi Kouzounas shared her thoughts on Senator Collins’ speech, “I commend Senator Collins for her support of Judge Neil Gorsuch and her opposition to Senator Chuck Schumer’s proposed filibuster. Senator Collins is an independent thinker, who never hesitates to do what she believes is right.
“I can only hope that Senator King follows Senator Collins’ stellar example and supports Judge Gorsuch’s nomination”
Senator Collins recognized Judge Gorsuch’s outstanding credentials and character saying, “Judge Gorsuch’s ability as a legal scholar and judge has earned him the respect of members of the bar. The American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on the Federal Judiciary has unanimously given him its highest possible rating of “well-qualified.”
Senator Collins continued with criticism of Senator Chuck Schumer’s call to filibuster Judge Gorsuch’s nomination, “This nomination deserves to move forward. As the dozens of distinguished Maine attorneys who wrote to me in support of his nomination said: “In sum, during his tenure on the U.S. Court of Appeals, Judge Gorsuch distinguished himself as a judge who follows the law with no regard for politics or outside influence. We could not ask for more in an Associate Justice….” Mr. President, I agree, and I look forward to the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to be a Justice of the United States Supreme Court."
Maine Republican Party Political Director Joe Turcotte added, “Judge Neil Gorsuch is an originalist who will uphold the law and follow the Constitution. We could not be more excited about his nomination and Senator Collins’ support. We look forward to Judge Gorsuch’s nomination going to vote and can only hope that Senator King follows in Senator Collins’ footsteps and supports this nomination.”
Maine House Corruption Problems Grow: Former House Taxation Committee Chair Faces Investigation For Illegal Lobbying For Union In Maine State House
Former Maine People's Alliance operative and Democrat Tax Committee
Chair Adam Goode Under Ethics Investigation After Serious & Clear
Violations of State Lobbying Laws
AUGUSTA – The Maine Republican Party today is calling upon Speaker Sara Gideon to take action to protect the integrity of the Maine House of Representatives after news that another Democrat involved in recent tax policy issues and associated with Maine's union interests will be investigated by the Maine Ethics Commission, this time for illegal lobbying in violation of recently passed ethics reforms.
The law, passed unanimously by the Maine Legislature and signed by Governor Paul LePage, prohibits former State Legislators from serving as paid lobbyists for one-year after their service in the Legislature ends.
Former State Representative, and organizer for the Maine People's Alliance Adam Goode, of Bangor, has been serving as a paid lobbyist and 'Legislative Director' for the AFL-CIO for much of this legislative session, as shown by documents outlining his regular testimony and first-hand accounts of his constant presence in the state house.
“The facts will show that Adam Goode has been illegally lobbying for the AFL-CIO for weeks,” said Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas. “Maine Ethics disclosure shows that in the past, the AFL-CIO has consistently registered three lobbyists for budget sessions, but this year has only registered two – due to the fact that Mr. Goode cannot legally register for the work he is actually doing.”
“Just this past week, Mr. Goode was in the state house lobbying for nearly seven hours in just one day, and admitted on mic that he was being paid to lobby specific bills – how can he say with a straight face that he did not exceed eight hours in a month?” asked Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP.
Mr. Goode comes from the same line of Maine People's Alliance organizers that have controlled state government to the detriment of the people of Maine for years. In fact, Goode is Rep. Ryan Tipping's predecessor on the taxation committee, and is known to have appeared on left-wing podcasts with Rep. Tipping in support of the destructive referendums threatening Maine's economy.
“Mr. Goode seems to think he is above the law, but preventing situations such as this is exactly why Maine undertook bipartisan ethics reform – the integrity of the people's government must be protected,” said Dr. Kouzounas.
“Simply refusing to register as a lobbyist, and not putting the lobbyist name tag on his chest does not mean Mr. Goode is not a lobbyist,” said Dr. Kouzounas. “In fact, it makes him the worst kind of lobbyist, one that thinks he is beyond the law and can do as he wishes.”
“We are confident that when the Maine Ethics Commission sees the piles of testimony Mr. Goode has filed with the legislature, and hears first-hand how Mr. Goode has been in the State House day after day all session, that he will be held accountable,” said Mr. Savage.
“Representative Goode's disdain for the law and deflection of poor behavior is yet another reason we need to hold Speaker Sara Gideon accountable," said Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas. “Speaker Gideon now has three close allies under various levels of ethics investigation.”
“Adam Goode's actions violate both the spirit and the letter of the law. As Speaker of the House, Sara Gideon needs to decide whether she will lead with integrity or continue as her allies undermine the integrity of the Maine House of Representatives,” said Dr. Kouzounas. “Thankfully, the people of Maine have public servants like Rep. Sheldon Hanington willing to stand for integrity when Speaker Gideon is attempting to turn a blind eye.”
“The people's government is not meant to play out as a sequel of the movie “Catch Me If You Can”, and if Speaker Gideon does not act, she will be declaring that she is Speaker of the Swamp, not Speaker of the House,” concluded Dr. Kouzounas.
The Bangor Daily News recently reported on this story, but missed much of the nuance in a Friday news dump quoting Mr. Goode.
Three times in recent history, (Speaker Eves at Goodwill Hinckley, Rep Ryan Tipping on conflict of interest, and now Adam Goode on illegal lobbying) Maine Democrats have claimed to have been “cleared” by the Maine Ethics Commission when caught doing something they should not have been doing, each time citing conversations with a member of the Maine Ethics Commisson staff, when they were not, in fact, cleared by any member of the Maine Ethics Commission.
At best, these conversations with Ethics Commission staff should be viewed as informal guidance – not approval to move forward with impunity.
It may be necessary for lawmakers to undertake a reform of the processes that lawmakers must use to get approval for certain activities if Democrats continue to dishonestly hide behind informal conversations with staff at the Ethics Commission as if they were carte-blanche approval of whatever they wish to do.
IN RADIO INTERVIEW, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT STATE SENATOR DECLINES TO SAY HE WOULD REPEAL A LAW LEGALIZING SLAVERY IF PASSED BY VOTERS IN A REFERENDUM
AUGUSTA – The Maine Republican Party today released a statement highlighting a shocking revelation from a prominent Democrat State Senator representing Maine's largest city in a morning interview on WGAN radio.
In the audio, Senator Chipman is asked if a referendum to legalize slavery were passed by popular vote of Maine people, if he would work to repeal it. Chipman simply says “I might” as he continues to explain that he respects the will of the voters and believes their votes should stand in all matters.
“This is the face of the current Maine Democratic Party,” said Maine GOP Communications Director Nina McLaughlin. “There is such a devotion to 'democracy' by popular vote, they are in danger of completely abandoning the rights of the minority and our Representative Republic.”
“The State Senator representing our largest city is so devoted to the principle of mob rule by popular vote, he can't even go on the record to oppose the legalization of slavery if it was passed by a referendum,” McLaughlin continued. “While the Senator’s colleagues are actively working to fight modern day slavery in situations such as sex-trafficking, he can’t even say whether he would oppose slavery if it were passed by a majority vote. If that doesn’t scare you, we have a problem”
“Chants of 'this is what democracy looks like' might energize the liberal base, but what Senator Chipman just revealed is the danger of unrestrained referendums with people like him in charge,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP.
“The rights and dignity of the people of Maine should not be subject to popular vote,” continued Mr. Savage. “We are calling on Senate and House Democrats to denounce Senator Chipman's statement and take appropriate action. The referendum process should not be a tool to infringe the rights and prosperity of Maine people. Any elected official who cannot rule out legalizing slavery by popular vote is not suitable to hold office in the state of Maine,” concluded Mr. Savage.
Since the creation of the referendum process in Maine, well over 50% of laws passed by Maine people through the referendum process have been revised or amended by the Maine Legislature.
State Senator Eric Brakey, R-Androscoggin, introduced draft legislation (LR 949) earlier this session which seeks to address the problem of referendums which may violate the Constitutional rights of Maine citizens. Senator Brakey's bill seeks to institute a system where referendum language of questionable Constitutionality can be challenged in the Maine Supreme Court before being voted on by the people of Maine.
Given Sen. Chipman's shocking statement Sen. Brakey's proposal looks almost prophetic in its wisdom.
We hope Senator Chipman's admission pushes lawmakers of both parties to pass reforms that protect Maine people from the danger of unconstitutional actions via popular vote referendum. With lawmakers like Sen. Chipman lacking the fundamental belief that people's rights are not subject to popular vote, action must be taken.
Full Interview Here:
For Immediate Release: March 21, 2017
Contact: Nina McLaughlin, firstname.lastname@example.org
Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas issued the following statement regarding Congressman Bruce Poliquin’s work as a new ACA replacement Healthcare plan works its way through Congress:
“Congressman Bruce Poliquin and Governor Paul LePage have both been active in urging Members of Congress to improve the ACA replacement plan which is working its way through the House. I commend both of these Maine leaders for working to improve the plan.
It is critical that Maine not be penalized for not expanding welfare, in the form of Medicaid, to non-disabled people. Maine faced a massive hospital debt left behind by the last Governor as a result of expanded welfare which was not funded. It took a creative plan put forward by Governor LePage to pay off that debt.
News from Washington is that Maine and other states could benefit from block grants which will allow State leaders, not bureaucrats in Washington, to make more decisions on how best to use Medicaid funds within our state to benefit the most needy. Furthermore the successes seen in Maine’s welfare reforms may be applied to the nation in urging work provisions for those who are not disabled and do not have children if they are to receive welfare benefits under Medicaid. These are positive steps.
I couldn’t be more proud of Maine Republicans. Our leaders embody what it means to be a Mainer: hard work leads to success.”
Despite Having TWO Options To Fund Support For Mainers With Intellectual Disabilities, Maine's Health & Human Services Democrats Are About To Leave Them Out In The Cold
Democrats on track to push Mainers with disabilities to back of the line, behind unfilled government positions, or welfare for non-citizens
AUGUSTA – The Maine GOP is calling on Democrats serving on the Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee to prioritize the needs of Mainers with intellectual disabilities ahead of funding for welfare for non-citizens or unfilled positions in the DHHS budget under Governor LePage's budget proposal.
“It has come to our attention that Democrats on the Health and Human Services Committee are about to leave Mainers with intellectual disabilities in the cold by refusing to provide about $7M in services in favor of other priorities,” said Maine GOP Chair Dr. Demi Kouzounas.
“How there is even a debate about whether unfilled positions in the DHHS budget or welfare for non-citizens should come before funding for some of Maine's most vulnerable citizens is beyond me,” continued Dr. Kouzounas.
“I understand that Democrats owe a huge debt to Maine's public employees union for funding their election to these seats in the Legislature, and that many of their big money special interest supporters want our tax dollars to fund welfare for non-citizens, but this approach goes against everything hard-working Mainers believe,” said Dr. Kouzounas.
“Our most vulnerable citizens should come first, not last, and they definitely should come before protecting unfilled jobs for a union, or attracting non-citizens with welfare benefits, as we now know Democrats believe we should do,” said Dr. Kouzounas.
“These members of the Health and Human Services Committee should fix their priorities and change course now, or pay the price in their next election,” concluded Dr. Kouzounas.
Governor LePage's budget proposal would provide $7M under Section 29, which funds services for Mainers with intellectual disabilities. Also in Governor LePage's proposal are two ways which savings of a like amount can be achieved, either through the elimination of about 160 unfilled positions in the DHHS budget, or through the elimination of welfare for non-citizens.
Recent statements by members of the Health & Human Services Committee indicate that Democrats intend to ignore the Governor's proposals in these areas and continue to fund unfilled positions and non-citizen welfare ahead of the truly vulnerable.
Maine GOP Chair Demi Kouzounas applauded the actions of Androscoggin County Republican Committee, "It is heartening to see so many groups taking a stance against this unethical and possibly unlawful behavior by Representative Tipping.
"Unfortunately, it seems that the House Democratic Caucus would rather turn a blind eye to the unethical actions of their own Representatives than actually stand up for something bigger than party lines and hold Rep. Tipping accountable.
"This scandal has reached a level to where it can affect Democrat legislators across the state, as well as the general public's perception of our Representatives in Augusta. I challenge Speaker Gideon and her caucus to do the right thing, take a stand and put an end to this behavior."
The Androscoggin County Republican Committee released the following statement in response to the Representative Ryan Tipping scandal:
"The Androscoggin County Republican Committee, as do most citizens of Maine, believe that those we elect to represent us the local, state and national level must adhere to the basic tenants of honesty, integrity and ethical behavior.
Unfortunately there are some holding elected office who appear to place little to no value on those basic principles. This appears to be the case with Representative Ryan Tipping. His actions demonstrate a lack of integrity and ethical behavior. He refuses to acknowledge, or apparently to even recognize, that his position as Chairman of the Taxation Committee presents a clear conflict of interest given that he was a paid operative of the Yes on 2 group.
The resolution adopted by the Androscoggin County Republican Committee expresses our concerns and expected behavior by both Representative Tipping and House Speaker Sara Gideon.
We feel that both Tipping and Gideon have violated the public's trust which is wholly unacceptable."
The adopted resolution states:
"The Androscoggin County Republican Committee calls upon State Representative Ryan Tipping, Democrat of Orono, to immediately step down as Chairman of the Taxation Committee. We call for this action in light of the clear and apparent conflict of interest caused by Representative Tipping holding this position. We also call upon Speaker of the Maine House, Sara Gideon (D- Freeport) to immediately call upon the House Ethics Committee to conduct a full investigation into Representative Tipping's ethics violations and possible violation of Maine law. We call upon Speaker Gideon and the House Democrat Caucus to cease and desist in their efforts to cover up these violations by Representative Tipping and to allow a full investigation by the House Ethics Committee."
Dem lawmakers use legislative work session to attack Governor's welfare reform proposal
AUGUSTA - In a March 2 recording obtained by the Maine Republican Party, Democratic lawmakers on the Maine Legislature's Health and Human Services Committee blasted Governor Paul LePage's welfare budget proposal, Maine workers, and Maine taxpayers all at the same time.
The Governor's budget proposal would eliminate the General Assistance welfare program as well as Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for non-citizens.
In criticizing the proposals, Rep. Jennifer Parker (D-South Berwick) stated before the rest of the committee and those in attendance that "Mainers can only last at the backbreaking work for a certain amount of time" in justifying her support for welfare policies she believes will attract more immigrants to the state.
"For Rep. Parker to say we need more welfare for non-citizens because Mainers don't work hard enough is a slap in the face to hundreds of thousands of loggers, lobstermen, and farmers who get up every day to provide for their families," said Maine Republican Party Chairwoman Demi Kouzounas. "Coming from a family of immigrants, I worked long hours in my mother's restaurant growing up. A good work ethic isn't something that is exclusive to immigrants, I have seen first hand the work ethic of both immigrants and Mainers and I believe Rep. Parker owes Maine workers an apology."
Rep. Scott Hamann (D-South Portland) piled on the pro-welfare bandwagon by asserting, of welfare spending for able-bodied non-citizens, "I'd personally want to double down on it . . . if it only costs us a couple million." Rep. Hamann also accused the LePage Administration of racism, saying the budget proposal "paints a picture of a racially homogeneous state excluding a particular racial makeup."
"If Mainers could take a day off from their backbreaking work and listen in to what liberal politicians are saying about welfare and work, they would be shocked at how out of touch many of their representatives in Augusta are," added Chairwoman Kouzounas. "No matter how much they lose at the polls, the Democratic Party remains the party of more welfare, less work, and more insults for the everyday, hardworking people of our great state."
Maine House Republican Office: THURSDAY, MARCH 9, 2017
Rep. Tipping Clearly Violates Ethics Laws Leading To Defacto Conflict Of Interest