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.
Note: This Op-Ed was submitted to the Portland Press Herald Editorial Page Editor for consideration and ignored. Follow up attempt was also ignored.
In the interest of informing the public on perspectives that the PPH is not interested in publishing, we are publishing it, as submitted to the PPH, at MaineGOP.com
You can read the original editorial here: http://www.pressherald.com/2017/01/08/no-need-to-hurry-obamacare-repeal-bill/
75,000 Mainers are dead today.
That’s what the Portland Press Herald would have you believe.
That is, if Congress had not passed an overwhelmingly partisan, unworkable, complex, unaffordable, debt-inducing piece of Legislation – 75,000 Maine people would be dead – you could be one of them.
They are walking zombies. Dead people all around us.
The PPH editorial writer stated: “Congress is preparing to start voting this week to repeal the ACA with nothing in place to help”… “75,000 Mainers – whose lives could depend on it.”
ACA is Obamacare, so there you have it. If Congress had not passed this law there would be 75,000 fewer living people in Maine.
In this heightened rhetoric which unfortunately surrounds our politics today, it is time to take a step back, take a deep breath, and think about reality.
Despite the media hype from time to time that includes both Democrats and Republicans, most Americans in all walks of life are well-meaning, decent people.
There is no doubt that members of Congress certainly want to see health insurance work for Americans.
Here is a strange idea, maybe we should let them try to sort through this issue and see what their solutions look like.
In Maine the media has reported that 80% of single Obamacare enrollees are “insured” by just one company; a company that is losing tens of millions of dollars yearly. How long can that ship stay afloat?
Some leaders are simply saying: it doesn’t work. It is not working. It is not sustainable.
Don’t advocate for a failed program just for the sake of politics while using hyperbole like walking zombies and ignoring key facts. Let’s save that for the TV melodramas.
Following the Press Herald’s hyperbolic logic, all the people who can no longer afford insurance due to Obamacare and are instead paying an IRS fine have had their lifelines cut.
Those who lost their plan, or doctor, after being promised ‘if they liked them they could keep them’ have now lived years under the actual circumstances the Press Herald fictionally created for others, while the PPH ignored the actual ‘repeal and replace’ scenario that Congress is working on.
During this time, Obamacare drove costs out of sight, cost taxpayers enormous amounts of money, and increased our national debt.
All but a few of the Obamacare co-ops across the country have collapsed.
Non-partisan actuaries are saying Obamacare is in a death spiral right now.
Beyond the Press Herald’s hyperbole is a deep misunderstanding or misrepresentation of the facts. They showcase an ignorance of the tens of millions of people adversely affected by Obamacare and of the tens of millions more relying on Obamacare who can be helped by Congressional action to Make Health Insurance Work Again.
We owe it to Congress, and those Americans hurt now or in the future, to let them work toward solutions instead of insisting we watch the current system collapse under its own weight while we play politics.
WASHINGTON – Congressman Bruce Poliquin (ME-02) released the following statement regarding forthcoming legislative action this week in the U.S. House of Representatives designed to lay the foundation to bring much needed health insurance relief to thousands of Maine families suffering under the rapidly failing ObamaCare law:
“Tens of thousands of fellow Mainers and millions of Americans are suffocating under the spiking ObamaCare monthly premiums, co-pays, and deductibles while other health insurance options continue to shrink—and it’s getting worse,” said Congressman Poliquin. “In Maine, for 2017, the average monthly premium increase for an individual plan is projected to range from 14 to 24 percent. In addition, one insurance company that covers a large percentage of Maine ObamaCare holders has reported losses in the tens of millions of taxpayer dollars. At that rate, it is hard to see how they won’t fail. The Affordable Care Act has become unaffordable for thousands of Mainers. We must address this crisis.
“I have consistently pushed for common sense ObamaCare relief to include a transition to more affordable and accessible health insurance plans for Mainers who have in good faith purchased the failing ObamaCare policies. The House and the Senate are responsible to put forward clear replacement legislation to rescue our families from the crumbling ObamaCare law. Accordingly, I will support the upcoming ObamaCare repeal initiation vote in the House, which will lay the ground work to relieve tens of thousands of Mainers who are suffering under the failed federal health care law.
“While this is only the first step necessary in the process to provide health insurance relief to American families and small businesses, I will support the actual repeal of the ObamaCare law if the replacement includes coverage for pre-existing health conditions and keeping those 26-years-old or younger on their parents’ plans. Any replacement law must also eliminate job-killing taxes and regulations such as the medical device tax. I will thoroughly and carefully evaluate every proposed replacement law with these in mind.”
This week, the House is expected to vote on a repeal initiation, which is the first step in the process to establish the framework for a repeal and replacement of the failing Affordable Care Act law, otherwise known as ObamaCare.
Items to Note:
We are sending this along to you because Senator Susan Collins has been under relentless attack from Democrats for supporting President-Elect Trump’s pick for Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions.
Today during The Senate Judiciary Committee’s hearing on the Senator’s nomination Senator Collins had nothing but kind words for her colleague, stating:
“Jeff Sessions and I were first sworn into the United States Senate on the very same day. In the 20 years since, we have worked closely on some issues and on opposite sides on others. In fact, it would be fair to say that we have had our share of vigorous debates and policy disagreements.
“Through these experiences, I have come to know Senator Sessions professionally as a trusted colleague and personally as a good friend. I can vouch confidently for the fact that Jeff Sessions is a person of integrity, a principled leader, and a dedicated public servant…
“In 1980, long before he ran for the Senate or even dreamed of being Attorney General, Jeff Sessions sponsored the first African-American member of the Mobile Lions Club. As U.S. Attorney, he provided leadership in the successful convictions of two Ku Klux Klan members who had murdered an African-American teenager. As the Ranking Member of the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2009, he appointed the first African-American to serve as Chief Counsel to the Republican members. These are not the actions of an individual who is motivated by racial animus.”
Unsurprisingly, in continuing their attack on President-Elect Trump, the DNC has encouraged its members, state parties and affiliated organizations to take action against Senator Collins in the form of relentless phone calls and messages.
As a long standing and highly respected member of the U.S. Senate, Senator Collins’ endorsement of Senator Sessions for Attorney General carries significant weight. It is disappointing and disheartening to see her character being so viciously attacked here in Maine by people like ethically-challenged Diane Russell, who issued an unsurprisingly crass and slanderous quote to the Portland Press Herald, “She never sticks her nose out for anything. She sits on the fence until the last moment and talks out both sides of her mouth. So why would she pick the most racist, homophobic person to suddenly come out of her shell for?”
It is our responsibility as Republicans to not only support our President-Elect, but to also support his judgment when it comes to his administration. Senator Collins didn’t have to voice her support for Senator Sessions but she did. In doing so she opened herself up to attacks from left-wing groups and individuals who are still stuck in a pre-election mindset.
The Maine Republican Party stands with Senator Collins in her support of President-Elect Trump’s choice for Attorney General, Senator Jeff Sessions.
If you feel the same way, please contact Senator Collins’ office and thank her for her strong support:
Main: (207) 780-3575
Main: (207) 622-8414
Main: (207) 945-0417
Main: (202) 224-2523
Thank you for your support,
On Friday, Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett and I traveled to Washington County to meet with Morril Worcester and attend the Washington County Republican Committee meeting.
Morril Worcester is the founder of the Wreathes Across America and the Worcester Wreathe Company. He gave us a personal tour of the Wreathes Across America museum in Columbia Falls, Maine.
It was an amazing experience to see his passion for veterans and the sacrifices they made for our country. There's a story for every piece in the museum and I was struck by how many veterans donated their belongings to the museum. Morril told us they have to turn away belongings, because they get so many requests.
If you get a chance, check out their museum. You won't be disappointed.
To learn more about Wreathes Across America, click here.
In the evening, Chairman Bennett spoke at the Washington County Republican Committee meeting in Machias at the Bluebird Family Ranch Restaurant about the party's current activities, our plans for 2016, and much more.
The county committee unveiled their "10,10,10" plan to rebuild town committees and engage more Republicans across Washington County.
It was a fun day and it's great to see so many Republicans getting involved at the local level.
If you're looking to get involved, please send me an email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Maine GOP Political Director
Hey, Maine Dems, 2014 called... they want their failed election strategy back!
Can you believe it? Maine Democrats on the Legislature's HHS Committee today voted once again in favor of ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion!
They still haven't gotten the memo that Mainers are sick and tired of their failed policies. That's why voters re-elected Governor Paul LePage with the most votes in state gubernatorial history last year.
Friends, Medicaid expansion is perhaps the best example of Governor LePage's rock-solid leadership. Early on in 2013, LePage refused to simply go along with what the special interests wanted, what the majority in the legislature wanted, what the liberal media wanted, and even what other Republican governors were doing.
Instead, he brought his case to Maine people and they were all the support he needed.
As even the liberal Bangor Daily News admitted by July 2014, "polls show that LePage and Republicans have effectively convinced Mainers outside their core of support that Medicaid expansion is unnecessary and too expensive."
That's our Governor!
But with Democrats still holding an iron grip on Augusta's special interest establishment, we can't take anything for granted. We have to make sure these bills meet the same fate as the five Medicaid expansion bills Governor LePage has already vetoed.
Click here to find your lawmakers and remind them to say NO to ObamaCare's Medicaid expansion.
Tell them to say NO to the hospital debt and massive budget shortfalls it creates.
Tell them to say NO to putting able-bodied, working-age adults ahead of elderly and disabled Mainers on Medicaid wait lists.
A long term Republican revolution is underway in Maine -- one that is bringing our state more jobs, freedom, and fiscal responsibility, not more debt, dependency, and failure.
Executive Director, Maine GOP
AUGUSTA- The Maine Republican Party’s official youth initiative, #Gen207, released its inaugural “40 under 40” list today.
Over the past couple of months, Republican activists and leaders had the opportunity to nominate Maine Republicans under the age of 40 who are making a positive difference in their professions or communities, whether in public life, business, education, or other areas.
“The Maine GOP celebrates these extraordinary individuals not because they represent our future. They are moving Maine forward now in significant leadership roles,” said Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett. “They are in the forefront of an invigorating wave of young Mainers across the spectrum in the Republican Party. We welcome their involvement and leadership, and we look forward to supporting hundreds more young Republicans as they seek elected office and positions of leadership across Maine.”
“We are thrilled to recognize these #Gen207 40-under-40 award recipients,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP. “These exceptional leaders embody the purpose of #Gen207, to rejuvenate our party by empowering our youngest members.”
Inaugural #Gen207 40 under 40 Award Recipient List
Sam Adolphsen of Liberty; Chief Operating Officer at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Jamie Austin of Farmington; UMF College Republican Chair, Intern for the Governor’s Office
Trish Ayer of Winslow; Winslow Town Councilor
Curtis Ayotte of Farmingdale; Staff Assistant to Congressman Bruce Poliquin
Abby Bennett of Oxford; UMaine College Republican Chair
State Senator Eric Brakey of Auburn
Jamie Carter of Augusta; Communications Director for the Maine Senate Republican Office
Rob Caverly of Chelsea; Chief of Staff to Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau
Dale Crafts Jr. of Lisbon; Lisbon Town Councilor
State Representative A.J. Edgecomb of Fort Fairfield
Matthew Gagnon of Yarmouth; CEO of the Maine Heritage Policy Center
Leland Graves of Bangor; UMaine graduate student, former field representative with the Maine Republican Party
Jason Greene of Durham; Androscoggin State Committee At-Large Member
Mayor Nick Isgro of Waterville
Lee Jackson of Old Town; RSU 34 Board of Director; Penobscot County Republican Committee Chair
Luke Jensen of Lewiston; Chairman of the Lewiston Republican City Committee
Ben Kelleher of Prospect; Waldo County State Committeeman
Mayor Jonathan LaBonte of Auburn; Director of the Governor’s Office of Policy and Management
Lauren LePage of Waterville; Executive Director of Maine People Before Politics
Hon. Aaron Libby of Waterboro
Andrew Mahaleris of Augusta; UMaine Student and Treasurer of UMaine College Republicans
Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason of Lisbon
Cynthia Mendros of Lewiston; Lewiston School Board
Isaac Misiuk of South Portland; CEO of Tomorrow’s Majority
Kate Norfleet of Scarborough; State Office Representative for US Senator Susan Collins
State Representative Matthew Pouliot of Augusta
Emily Roderick of Readfield; Kennebec County Republican Committee Chair
Shawn Roderick of Readfield; Assistant Secretary of the Maine Senate
Matthew Roy of Lewiston; Androscoggin County Commissioner
Ashley Ryan of Portland; RNC National Committeewoman
Ashley Sampson of Rome; Executive Assistant for Maine Senate President Michael Thibodeau
Ashley Simon of Hampden; UMaine student; member of #Gen207
David Sorensen of Augusta; Director of Policy Research and Media Relations at Maine Department of Health and Human Services
Billy Thompson of Brunswick; Management Analysis at the Governor's Office of Policy and Management
State Representative Will Tuell of East Machias
State Representative Nathan Wadsworth of Hiram
Tyler Washburn of Bowdoin; Sagadahoc County State Committeeman
State Representative Dustin White of Washburn
Hon. Alex Willette of Augusta; RNC National Committeeman
Melissa Willette of Augusta; Senior Legislative Aide for the Maine House Republican Office
Blake Winslow of Presque Isle; Aroostook County Republican Committee Chair
#Gen207 is hosting a “40 Under 40 Celebration” on June 13th in Freeport, Maine. Please join us for a fun evening at Linda Bean’s Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern in Freeport as we celebrate the “40 under 40” winners.
This is a great opportunity for young Republicans across Maine to network.
#Gen207 “40 under 40” Celebration
Saturday, June 13th, 2015, 4-6 pm
Linda Bean's Maine Kitchen and Topside Tavern, 2nd Floor
57 Main St. Freeport
To attend, please visit: mainegop.com/celebration or call 622-6247.
MEDIA NOTICE: To attend the #Gen207 “40 under 40” celebration, please email Jason Savage, Maine GOP Executive Director at email@example.com or call 622-6247 and ask for Jason.
AUGUSTA- The Maine Democratic Party and Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP) continues to defend the status quo in Augusta.
Here’s the real truth behind their talking points
"It's a huge giveaway to the wealthy." FALSE
Leave it to Democrats to suggest that letting ALL MAINE PEOPLE keep their money is a giveaway to the wealthy. The current income tax treats income tax taxes everybody as if they were wealthy, with the top rate starting at $21k.
The Democrats object to moving anyone off the income tax rolls. In their so-called Better Deal, they rejected the Governor’s proposal to exempt individuals with income less than $9,7000 and started taxing income at $5,200. If they consider people making more than $5,200 a year wealthy, we might need more than a Constitutional amendment to set them straight.
What we’re proposing is to let people decide how to spend their own money and to stop penalizing work and investment in Maine. What Democrats are saying is that they know better than you do how to spend your money.
"It jeopardizes funding for education and other vital services." FALSE and IRRESPONSIBLE
Democrats used the same tactics when we passed the tax cut in 2011 and it hasn’t come to fruition. Education funding in Maine has far outpaced inflation while our student population has declined. We need to focus on growing our private sector economy, not growing government spending. If Democrats are ready to get serious about education reform, let’s have that conversation rather than dragging our kids and our vulnerable populations into false political posturing.
"It will trigger property tax increases." FALSE Eliminating the income tax is a state-level tax proposal. It would have no impact on property taxes. Let’s be clear, we’re not linking the elimination of the income tax to eliminating any specific programs or other revenue-generating options.
"It will make an unfair tax system even less fair." FALSE
Subjecting Mainers to one of the largest tax burdens in the country is unfair. Creating an economy where young people flee for lack of opportunity is unfair. The status quo is unfair.
The Property Tax Fairness Credit and the Sales Tax Fairness Credit proposed in the latest budget proposal are examples of the types of tools available.
"It is a failed prescription for growing Maine's economy." FALSE –
New Hampshire’s economy is exceedingly healthy with this prescription. They have faster GDP growth, higher incomes, and a consistently lower unemployment rate. The status quo is a demonstrably failed prescription for Maine’s economy.
LET THE PEOPLE DECIDE. By passing the Constitutional amendment through the legislature, we allow the people of Maine to decide how they will be taxed. They will have to approve it by referendum.
Today RNC Chairman Reince Priebus announced Maine's Republican National Committeeman, Alex Willette, has been appointed to the Committee on Arrangements for the 2016 RNC National Convention in Cleveland.
Maine GOP Chairman Rick Bennett praised Mr. Willette's appointment: "Alex Willette is a rising star within the Republican Party. Chairman Priebus is to be commended for recognizing Alex's good judgment and outstanding leadership in appointing him to the Committee on Arrangements for one of the most important Republican national conventions in generations. The Maine GOP is blessed to have the energies of many young leaders. As our national committeeman, Alex Willette is a prime example of the young talent the Maine GOP is blessed to have in leadership positions."
National Committeeman Willette remained focused on the task of executing a world-class convention and electing a Republican to the Presidency: "After eight years of failed policies from the Obama Administration the 2016 Republican National Convention will be an excellent opportunity for us to share our vision of a more prosperous nation with the American people. I am honored that Chairman Priebus has selected me to serve on the committee that will plan the 2016 convention, and I look forward to it being a successful event that nominates the next President of the United States."
The full text of RNC Chairman Reince Priebus' announcement can be viewed here.