Last night, Maine Democratic Party executive director Katie Mae Simpson made the following anti-business Facebook post, expecting a chorus to chime in agreeing with her: "Is there a phrase more one percent-ey and douchey than "venture capital?" Go!"
Instead, what followed was a flood of criticism and defense of business and capitalism. The responses included statements such as these:
"My husband funds small start up companies, including women entrepreneurs so he is a venture capitalist and provides venture capital to people who work really damn hard to make their ideas a reality. When did we become so judgmental? His companies include immigrants, women, and people of color. So if that’s “douchey,” so be it. I’m proud of his work and the companies he backs are so incredibly appreciative. Rant over."
"My company has hired 300 people on the back of a venture capital investment by CEI. We build broadband in rural areas. CEI folks are the least douchy people ever."
"Now presenting... this Facebook thread, originally made possible through venture capital."
...and from liberal Democratic candidate to represent Maine's Second Congressional District, Tim Rich...
"If you really believe this then let me take you need to spend more time in the second district. Communities up here are starved for capital and there are many companies I've met with who could really benefit from venture funding. We need to be the party of jobs and opportunity. This isn't about donors... It's common sense. We need innovation and capital. I heard LePage speak not long ago about the state creating an organization that could provide venture capital and take equity stakes in Maine companies so they can grow. It was a great idea. The first company I worked for raised $8 million in venture capital and grew 300 jobs in Maine."
Following the barrage of criticism Simpson received, she added the following to her initial post, before deleting it entirely: "Edit: thanks to all the awesome entrepreneurs and funders who have helped and hired people, and launched successful organizations. I meant this light-heartedly but crossed the line. Not deleting, for education's sake. But I stand corrected. My apologies!"
Simpson's comments unfortunately represent a disconnect between Maine's Democrat establishment and rural Maine Democrats along with Maine business owners. I hope Katie Simpson has learned from this.
Scroll down to view multiple screenshots of the now-deleted Facebook post and reactions to it.
Communications & Political Director
Maine Republican Party
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