Maine Candidates part V

Posted: 25/05/2008 in Uncategorized
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With the June primaries right around the corner I thought I’d start to take a look at what we’ve got to pick from for candidates. I’ll start out with the Senate race and work my way down. As far as the Presidential goes, I believe I’ll be voting for John McCain. On 21 May I started to list my reasons for supporting or not supporting each of these candidates.

Here’s the Maine Senate race card;

Susan Collins (R) Incumbent presented on 21 May ‘08

Tom Allen (D) Congressman, Ex-Portland Mayor & Attorney presented on 22 May ‘08

Tom Ledue (D) Educator presented on 23 May ‘08

Laurie Dobson (Independent) Landscape Contractor, Ex-Journalist & Peace Activist presented on 24 May “08

Herb Hoffman (Independent) Retired Psychologist, Army Veteran & Peace Activist

Dexter Kamilewicz (Independent) Realtor, Peace Activist & ’06 Congressional Candidate

Bill Slavick (Independent) Peace Activist, Retired Journalist, Army Veteran & ’06 Candidate
Herb Hoffman

Herb Hoffman seems to be a one track candidate. From everything I could see in the short time I spent digging into his candidacy, his main focus seems to be on the impeachment of the current administration. There wasn’t a whole lot about him to say whether I like him or not, but as a candidate, I found nothing that makes me want to believe in any of his causes. On his website he promotes causes like healthcare reform, NAFTA, less defense spending, no nuclear, restoring the balance of power and some other items.

Most of what I saw pretty much followed the leftist pattern of redistribution of wealth while giving more power to the central government, but the item regarding restoration of the balance of power intrigued me. Exactly what power was he talking about, and how did he recommend it be balanced to. His website really doesn’t elaborate on any of his positions so I went elsewhere to see what I could find on Mr. Hoffman.

On a web/blog site called New Jersey Impeach Groups, I found that Herb advocated the following four positions in his candidacy;

1. I advocate immediate withdrawal from the occupation of Iraq and working simultaneous with the United Nations to fill in behind the departing troops with a multinational police keeping force.

2. I advocate a single-payer, not for profit, universal coverage health care system that will address our health care crisis. Medicare for all.

3. I advocate the movement away from reliance on fossil fuels by focusing on the development of clean and renewable energy sources which will simultaneously create jobs and green our environment.

4. I advocate accountability for the unlawful activities of the current administration — and this starts with impeachment investigations NOW!

I can support his position on the environment, but not the other three. As to #1, it probably won’t be long before we start pulling out of Iraq anyways, but doing it immediately and replacing the military with the UN’s blue boy’s will only end up in disaster. And besides, since the US is a member nation of the UN we might end up staying there anyways. The UN is becoming cash hungry, and many nations cannot afford to send their own military for the same reason. Not to mention the abysmal failure rate the UN peacekeeping forces have had when a stronger military power wasn’t involved.

As to the single payer nonprofit insurance world he advocates in position #2, that would also lead to failure. Other countries, all of them Socialist oriented in government that have universal health coverage have unacceptable levels of care. By removing the element of profit, you remove the incentive to expand and excel in the field of medicine. There are enough problems with medical care as it is, and I can say from personal experience that the biggest problems really aren’t the insurance companies. At least here in Maine anyways.

The bigger problem comes in two shapes. The first thing we need to overcome here in Maine is the government bureaucracy involved in the medical care industry I pay very little for my coverage with an out of Maine group coverage plan, but the hospitals claim I have an excellent program, one of the best they’ve seen in fact. But Maine’s compulsion to over regulate and control the insurance industry removes the profit motive. Therefore, why should they come to Maine and offer lower cost insurance when the state won’t let them.

In dealing with #4, I can only say, get over it Herb. Impeachment isn’t going to happen. Impeachment is the domain of first the Congress who must assemble articles of impeachment, and next the Senate where the trial for impeachment must take place. It’s an election year and by the time all this takes place Bush will be out of office. You can’t impeach a man who is no longer President.

The 75 year old psychologist from Ogunquit was quoted as saying “The wars are sapping our economic strength…” Mr. Hoffman may not realize this, but the war machine consists of a large chunk of any nations economy. A governments responsibility in a democratic republic such as the US has is limited in scope. The government is to provide for the defense of the people. You can’t defend a people if you have no military structure. I’d rather see money go towards defense programs than in welfare payments that encourage the lazy to sit in front of the glass altar we have in our homes worshiping Oprah and the cast of Lost or American Idol.

America is in a tight place today. And it’s getting tighter by the day. We need people in Washington who can work as a team to get this nation back on track to being the number one country in the world. Herb Hoffman does not appear to me as though he can fit that description. My vote is no.

And the last two names on the list leaves me with a bit of a problem. While some indications are that they are running, other sources consider them to be inactive candidates. There also wasn’t much to post about either one, and they both pretty much follow in the footsteps of Hoffman’s political standing, both peace activists, anti military and pro Socialism. But not to a great degree. One of the things I’m finding out about candidates is that many of the ones who tout insurance and education reform and other tax intensive programs do not fully realize that many of the programs they wish to see instituted, and increased support for already existing ones are actually based in a Socialist centered philosophy.

Whether either one is running or not, I would give them both a no vote. My comfort level with either is not the best even though there is very little information about their political agendas beyond the anti war level. Unfortunately, that is how many good political candidates get buried in the crowd. There just isn’t enough to coax people to support them and they fade away.

There are a huge number of special interest operatives working in any government, and Maine is no exception. I think that this may well be the biggest impediment to the growth problems we suffer from as a state. High taxes and excessive regulation strangle the ability for anyone to conduct business here in Maine, and that needs to come to an end. The need for a few to assuage their own egos by promoting and pushing their ideologies onto a public ill prepared to deal with these interests result in unneeded tax burden.

The simple, or complicated act of dealing with everyday life precludes the possibility of the average individuals knowledge being what it should be to address these issues in a way that would produce growth of our economy, as well as contributing to a better life. And unfortunately, to muddle the process, we too often confuse quantity of life with quality of life. Looking back over a half century of life I’ve often felt that maybe Maine had a Mayberry quality in some aspects, but that really isn’t true. Maine always was, and will continue to be a state where the differences and needs of its population split and fragment our legislative bodies.

A manager of an outlet store in Kittery has a completely different view of life than a potato farmer from Fort Kent. Incomes and lifestyles differ so widely that a welfare recipient and a millionaire may well live within the same block of a community. Conservative and liberal, democrat and republican live side by side, sharing the same fence. Because of this, Maine needs to elect people to represent all of us, not just our own special ideology. We need to have people in Washington who are able, and willing to meet in the middle so that each and every one of us here in Maine can have at least a chance at a fair deal.

By electing a representative, whether that be to the Senate, or the House, who is not afraid of challenge and compromise we can work for a better future for all of us. The narrow minded track that many follow by concentrating on an impeachment that will never happen, or calling for an immediate withdrawal from Iraq does not cause me to envision that kind of representation. Many of these candidates have some great qualities, but none of them exhibit the quality that I need to see for me to support them. Except for Susan Collins.

The latest debacle to come out of Washington was the recently passed Farm Bill. Hundreds of pages long and burdened with earmarks and expenditures that do not improve or protect this nations agricultural industry, it was passed with a resounding, veto proof margin. Collins was the sole Maine representative with enough courage to vote against it. Many here in Maine have seriously criticized her for that decision, calling her a Bush puppet. But you know what? It won’t be long before those people come to realize that she was right, and they were wrong.

Maine, at best, stands to garner less than seven million dollars in real cash from that bill. Aside from the food stamp and nutrition aspects, there is nothing in that bill that Maine should expect to receive. But the cost comes to a staggering three hundred and seven billion dollars. Writing a check out it would look like this: $307,000,000,000.00. To compare it with what we are getting back, it would look like this: $7,000,000.00. Put the two side by side and then tell me Snowe, Allen and Michaud were right to support it. We’ll be paying in a lot more than we’ll be getting back, even adding the food welfare on top of that seven million.

That’s the kind of leader that I want to see representing me in Washington. Someone with courage and backbone. Someone with enough nerve to tell the popular press that the right way is better than the popular way. Out of the seven people on that list compiled last year, only one has shown that kind of leadership. And that would be Susan Collins.

Today’s post finishes the Senate race candidates for Maine. On Wednesday I will start in on the Congressional candidates. Between now and then, I’m going to post a bit more on the Plum Creek tragedy about to destroy that area we call the ‘Northwood’s.’

Exodus 18:20-22 (King James Version)

20 And thou shalt teach them ordinances and laws, and shalt shew them the way wherein they must walk, and the work that they must do.
21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:
22 And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.


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