Resolution authorizes party to dedicate any and all resources Chairman sees fit to advance core Republican principles of income tax elimination & welfare reform
AUGUSTA – Following a Maine legislative session that saw Democrats obstruct efforts to pass meaningful welfare reform measures, as well as to give Maine people the right to vote to phase out the income tax, the Maine Republican State Committee unanimously passed a resolution authorizing Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett to dedicate and deploy any and all party resources he deems necessary to support Maine voter referenda to phase out and eliminate the Maine income tax, as well as to support substantive welfare reforms that the vast majority of Maine people demand.
Chairman Bennett's statement is as follows:
“I am pleased that our State Committee spoke strongly today in support of the unifying issues of ending Maine's income tax and truly reforming Maine's welfare system.
These are key issues for Maine's economy and budget that people across Maine are united behind, and that Republican leaders in Augusta fully believe in.
The Maine Republican Party stands ready to fight for the right of Maine people to vote on substantive, common sense welfare reforms, and to vote on phasing out and eventually eliminating Maine's income tax.
Maine families should have the right to keep more of what they earn. Maine’s oppressive income tax discourages investment, stifles opportunity, and kills jobs.
Further, the vast majority of Mainers understand the imperative need to bring common-sense fixes to our bloated welfare system. They see the abuse and the waste in the system every day.
As Governor LePage said in his inaugural address earlier this year, we must turn Maine from a state of poverty to a state of prosperity. Our young people deserve the opportunity to build a future in Maine. It is time for real reform. The party of reform is the Maine GOP.”
The full resolution passed by the Maine Republican Party State Committee can be found here:
RESOLUTION TO REFORM MAINE’S BROKEN WELFARE SYSTEM AND ELIMINATE MAINE’S INCOME TAXWHEREAS, Governor Paul LePage called for welfare reform and tax reform in his 2014 campaign and was reelected with the highest number of votes of any governor in Maine history;
WHEREAS, in the same election Republicans won a resounding majority in Maine Senate and gained extraordinarily in the Maine House of Representatives, with 43 newly elected members;
WHEREAS, in his Second Inaugural Address Governor LePage announced the goal of turning Maine from a state of poverty to a state of prosperity;
WHEREAS, despite Republican efforts for reform, Maine’s welfare system continues to allow abuse, waste, and an intergenerational cycle of dependency, providing benefits to able-bodied adults and undocumented immigrants while commitments to needy citizens are unfulfilled;
WHEREAS, Maine’s state income tax remains one of the most oppressive in the country – stifling entrepreneurship, discouraging investment, and killing jobs;
WHEREAS, Maine people have consistently and overwhelmingly indicated their support for reforming Maine’s broken welfare system and reducing Maine’s oppressive income tax burden;
WHEREAS, Maine’s Republican officeholders, including Governor Paul LePage and leadership in the Maine Senate and the Maine House of Representatives, along with many leading Maine citizens, have stood united in calling for reform of the welfare system through statute and the elimination of the income tax through an amendment to Maine’s Constitution ratified by the people;
WHEREAS, Democrat legislators, by their intransigence and hostility to reform in the recent session of the Maine Legislature, have frustrated these efforts and opposed meaningful welfare reform and denied Maine people an opportunity to vote on such a Constitutional amendment to eliminate the income tax; and
WHEREAS, the current Maine Republican Party Platform, ratified on April 25, 2014, declares that “[w]elfare is a safety-net for Maine’s most vulnerable” and “[s]upport[s] the assimilation of legal immigrants into Maine society”;
WHEREAS, the Platform further declares that “[t]he profits of an individual’s efforts … belong to the individual” and that “[e]conomic prosperity is achieved by promoting investment, stability, and a positive business climate” and avows a policy to “reduce the Maine tax burden” through “sound fiscal management”;
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Maine Republican Party supports comprehensive reform of Maine’s welfare system and the elimination of Maine’s income tax and hereby authorizes and directs the Chairman of the Maine Republican Party to deploy party resources at his discretion to bring these about, including through the citizens’ initiative and referendum process as allowed in Maine’s Constitution;
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution be transmitted to Governor Paul LePage and to Republican members of the Maine Legislature.
ADOPTED BY THE MAINE REPUBLICAN STATE COMMITTEE THIS 18th DAY OF JULY, 2015.
What if I told you the Democrat House Majority Leader could intentionally make untrue accusations on the floor of the Maine House of Representatives, slander the governor of Maine and 68 sitting legislators, and be treated like a hero for doing so?
You would probably think to yourself: “Just another Republican blaming the media.”
But bear with me for a moment and let’s take a look at the events of the past 24 hours.
Thursday, the House of Representatives took up one of the more contentious votes of the session. LD 1378, a bill that would have stripped the current Governor and all future governors of their authority in the state’s bonding process. This bill and the ensuing controversy stems from Governor LePage’s reluctance to release the Lands For Maine Future bonds.
But, let’s not go down a rabbit hole of whether we agree or disagree with the Governor or whether we support the LMF program. Let’s stay focused on the aforementioned falsehoods and the media’s culpability in the disseminating of such reckless falsehoods.
The bill made its way through the House and Senate and was inevitably vetoed by the governor.
The reconsideration of the veto was expected to be a tight vote and as usually happens in these cases a fierce debate broke out on the House floor. During this debate, Rep. McCabe falsely accused House Republicans of taking bribes and promises from the Governor in exchange for their vote to sustain the veto. Let me say that again: Rep. Jeff McCabe, the Democrat House Majority Leader falsely accused the sitting Governor of the State of Maine of bribing sitting legislators with tax dollars to get them to switch their votes.
Even after being ruled out of order in the House after an objection from Republican Leader Ken Fredette, who swiftly called out Rep. McCabe for questioning the motives of Governor LePage, Rep. McCabe went on to claim there were promised “many, many things” to members of the House regarding this vote. McCabe's claims were completely unfounded, and clearly fabricated to attack Governor LePage and Republican legislators.
Despite the fact that this fabricated claim was made without a shred of evidence, that did not stop the Democrats and their media friends from striking the match and starting the wildfire.
• 1:00: Just moments after this reckless statement is first made on the floor of the House, Mario Moretto of the Bangor Daily News tweets the misinformation to his 2,173 followers. It’s retweeted multiple times. Among those who retweeted this lie: House Speaker Mark Eves’ Office and the Bangor Daily News.
• After tweeting the slanderous statement, Moretto checks with the Governor’s office who informs him that McCabe’s statement is a complete and utter fabrication.
Does Moretto find McCabe and ask him about this slanderous statement? No.
And when pressed by a Republican staffer about this he states as his reason for not holding McCabe’s feet to the fire the fact that he isn’t writing about it, so it’s not a big deal.
The damage is already done. When you’re allegedly a “journalist” in this day and age, tweeting is akin to shorthand reporting, especially when your statements are shared as fact by your own newspaper and top ranking government officials, such as the Speaker of the Maine House.
• A short time later, a column appears in the pages of the Bangor Daily News written by George Smith. In it, Smith slams House Republicans for not overriding the LePage veto and you’ll notice one of his main arguments: (drumroll please) Rep. Jeff McCabe’s slanderous claim, told just hours before on the floor of the House. Smith writes:
“Some Republican House members felt threatened by their leadership and the Governor’s staff, as related by House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe in his own powerful speech today.”
• After all this, the Bangor Daily News still prints the lie that their reporter first irresponsibly reported without a shred of corroboration as though it were a truthful statement.
There you have it, crystal clear. A road map for how the Democrat House Majority Leader can make up baseless claims on the floor of the Maine House of Representatives and instead of being rightfully criticized, be treated like a hero. This is your media in Maine.
A Democrat leader makes a false claim, a reporter reports it as 'fact', another Democrat leader and a newspaper shares it with a larger audience as 'fact', a special interest advocate repeats it again to fit his narrative, and for the next 24 hours, the Democratic Party communications shop runs wild repeating and promoting a false claim.
Not once does a single person, from the creator of the falsehood, to the many who hype and promote it, face any scrutiny or criticism for making defamatory statements. There is simply no accountability.
Think about this when you read in the upcoming articles in the Bangor Daily News and other Maine media, especially when articles seem more based on conjecture than fact.
As we have all seen in recent weeks, an attack on a Republican, no matter how baseless, quickly saturates the Maine news, but Democrats are rarely held accountable for false claims such as this.
This is just more proof that Democrats know full well that they can level whatever false claims they want at Republicans, and they can count on their allies in the press to run with the attack instead of holding the Democrat accountable for not telling the truth.
Maine GOP Chairman Richard Bennett released the following statement today in response to news that State Representative Bill Noon (D-Sanford) had passed away.
"Our condolences and prayers go out to Bill's family, friends and colleagues. Representative Noon was a dedicated public servant in Augusta and he will be greatly missed by all those who knew him."