Hurricane Sandy is a powerful reminder that political affiliation does not matter in the slightest when a crisis is at hand. In the face of a crisis what does matter is pulling together to work on problems in order to get back on track. Republicans and Democrats have joined together to openly support U.S. Senate candidate Angus King, recognizing that, like hurricane Sandy, our nation has a multifaceted crisis that calls for the kind of leadership that only King can provide.
As two state senators, one former, one current, one Republican and one Democrat, we have differences in political perspectives as well as different experiences working directly with King. But what we share is a recognition that our next U.S. senator must be adept at bring people together to move our state and nation forward.
I (Jim Libby) served in both the House and Senate when King was governor. I was privileged to see him in action. As our governor, King was responsible, followed our Constitution and signed balanced budgets into law. Any rhetoric to the contrary is simply false, misleading and presented for political gain rather than to provide accurate information.
I experienced King’s interest in problem solving firsthand when he came into the Joint Standing Committee on Education hearing room to work with senators and representatives from both parties to build a better school-funding formula. King took pride in working on difficult policy issues. His keen sensibilities at finding common ground made our task of tackling difficult state problems less of a burden.
I (Elizabeth Schneider) serve in the Maine Senate today. I see the results of King’s excellent work. From his laptop program, to the Maine International Trade Center and Maine Technology Institute, he successfully put in place mechanisms to help businesses and citizens succeed. King made jobs a priority, and as our senator he will do the same.
It should not take a disaster like hurricane Sandy for Republicans and Democrats to work together. If we send King to Washington, D.C., it won’t. King cuts through partisan barriers, as evidenced by the civic, political and business leaders from both sides of the aisle who support King for U.S. Senate. Former state Senator Mary Cathcart (D); writer and TV talk show host George Smith (R); former Bangor Mayor Joe Baldacci (D); prominent businessman Danny LaFayette (R); former Speaker of the House Mike Saxl (D); attorney Andy Hamilton (R); and former state Rep. Kassie Stevens Zeigler (D), all agree on one point: We need King in the U.S. Senate.
Sen. Elizabeth M. Schneider, D-Orono, represents District 30. Hon. James Libby is associate professor of the Department of Business Administration at Thomas College.