The time is now to elect an ‘average Joe’ for governor

Posted April 15, 2010, at 8:56 p.m.

In less then seven months, we are going to elect a new governor for the state of Maine.

Candidates are telling you they will “do right” by the state. They promise change, a new direction, a brighter future. Truth is, the majority of those running have been in the government system for years, in one capacity or another, without lifting a finger to make a difference. Now, they want to be elected to public office. They’ve

tired of being “behind the scenes” and want power over your lives. Therefore, the gloves are off, and anything can be said — as long as it convinces the voting public. Apparently money talks, and political campaigns are designed to sell a product. Candidates are repackaged by PR people, negatives are squashed, commercials and press releases are carefully worded to tell

us “what we want to hear,” whether truthful or not. It becomes almost like a game. Whoever has the most clout, cash and media savvy will win.

Just think how well that’s worked in the past — and just think of where it has gotten us.

Many of you may not know who I am. That’s because I don’t have the luxury of traveling the state and pushing my issues. I lack the press that those with money have, and my voice can barely be heard above the crowded field of candidates. I don’t have campaign funds to finance ads. The reason is simple: I work every day to provide for my family.

That’s what separates me from others in a very crowded field: I have a basic understanding of and appreciation for hard work.

Likewise, I’d like my children to enjoy the same understanding, while building bright, secure futures in Maine. As it stands right now, I wonder if they’ll be able to make financial ends meet. How can they, when we continue to hand out money and services to those who refuse to work? And it certainly doesn’t help that the government takes more and more from paychecks of those who do work.

In order for the state to recover from this current recession, we need to stop doing things the way they’ve been done. Let’s face it, the old ways are antiquated, worthless and dangerous. The first step is to clean house. Show the door to those who’ve put us into this dire situation. At the same time, we should not allow party politics to dictate who gets elected and what individuals are allowed to run.

Nothing is accomplished by a fractured legislature that stays in neutral. We need to move forward. Remember, as Maine goes, so goes the nation!

Millions of campaign dollars are being spent by gubernatorial candidates trying to convince you that they’re “the one,” they alone hold the key to putting Maine back in the fast track. At the same time, they’re doing nothing more than spending money and spinning the same old message. Is that really what you want? Or would

you prefer a governor who’ll do the job and produce solid results for Maine?

The answer is obvious.

There’s absolutely no doubt that the two greatest challenges facing Maine are the lack of jobs and out-of-control spending. Democrats have controlled Maine’s government for decades, so we must wonder if continuing the status quo will result in a new direction. Personally, I doubt it.

Likewise, there have been Republican governors who promised change on the campaign trail and then, when elected, chose to not fulfill that promise.

The time of playing party lines is over; we must bring common sense back to government. Eliminate costly programs that are crippling us and stop wasting time debating proposals that have no chance of ever

moving out of committee. In other words, stop wasting the time and resources of Maine’s taxpayers.

As governor, my only goal is kick Maine into overdrive and set it on a path toward prosperity. Will that be easy? No, but the advantage I have over everyone else is my political affiliation: an independent. I owe nothing to a party, I’m in no one’s pocket and I’ve made no promises behind closed doors.

I want to work for a future where those who put in time keep what they earn. Worrying about job loss or the next paycheck should be relegated to the past. We need to tell those with a sense of entitlement that enough is enough, especially when it comes to the welfare system and a free ride at the expense of others.

It may surprise you that I’ve received no public funding for my campaign. I also want to make it clear: I am not going to play the same old game and sell you a bill of goods with a hefty price tag. Empty promises ring even emptier after Election Day. Maine’s working citizenry is wondering when someone will step up and make a real difference. Not a businessman. Not an attorney. Not a mayor. But an average Joe.

Well, that time is now. I am from the working class and understand what is needed. I’m not out of touch with other people trying to get by, and I understand the difference between need and want. Don’t let money buy your vote, think instead along the lines of what will work best for you. That is what will move Maine in the right direction.

I am an ordinary Mainer. I expect and want to enjoy what I earn, spend quality time with my family, hunt and fish and be proud of what my government does. Don’t let your vote be bought or the media sway you

one way or the other. We’ve all seen what the popular vote and money have done for Maine. It has put us in the hole, essentially. It’s time we all grab a shovel and dig ourselves out, up and into the sunshine of a brand-new day.

John Whitcomb of Sidney is an independent candidate for governor.

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