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Dismayed by Mills vetoes
Reading the long list of vetoes handed down by Gov. Janet Mills, dismayed, I shake my head, wondering if I’m having a flashback to the Gov. Paul LePage years. We finally get a Legislature that can work out some bills to serve the people of Maine rather than wealthy corporations and our “Democratic” governor vetoes them!
I think Mills’ hypocrisy screams out of her veto messages. While she argues in favor of out-of-state corporations and PACs throwing money into our political system, she cannot inure binding arbitration for teachers and other public sector employees because the arbitrator might be “from away.”
Protect the right to vote
Following an election that was disputed by former President Trump and his followers, they are now voicing a puzzling series of calls for “reform.” Despite their failure to find many courts willing to accept their claims of voter fraud and election rigging, many state legislatures controlled by the Republican Party are now trying to pass laws that they claim will improve the “integrity” of their states’ voting systems. But they are doing so in ways that will make it more difficult for most working-class Americans in those states to exercise their right to vote.
To counter this series of partisan efforts at voter suppression, the Democrats in Washington are proposing what seems to be a commonsense reform to bolster our democratic system and shore up ballot access. I believe the For the People Act is an honest effort to increase the political power of average Americans and decrease that of the “dark money” special interest groups that now have a magnified voice in our elections. I am pleased that our Sen. Angus King has shown leadership supporting the For the People Act. I urge Mainers who support truly democratic elections to encourage King in this effort.
They should also join to urge Sen. Susan Collins to show the statesman-like moderation she emphasizes and to support the act as well. Although states’ rights are an important needle to thread, this should not be the brush the entire legislation is painted with, and I hope she will see the light.
Collins right to oppose ATF nominee
Sen. Susan Collins recently announced that she will vote against the nomination of David Chipman as director of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), saying that she found this nomination to be “unusually divisive.” I couldn’t agree more.
As the executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, I work hard to preserve the rights and freedoms that we all enjoy as Americans. Chipman, on the other hand, serves as a policy advisor for a national group, Giffords, that advocates for extreme gun control measures. In this role, he has been outspoken. If Chipman is confirmed to lead ATF, it will politicize a regulatory and law enforcement agency that depends on compliance to protect the public.
Chipman’s nomination is no different than a Republican president putting forward the president of the NRA as a nominee. In both cases, putting forward and confirming a political activist to run a law enforcement agency will do irreparable harm to that already controversial organization.
The Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine would like to thank Collins for her thoughtful and reasonable approach to Chipman’s nomination. We encourage Sen. Angus King to do the same.
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine