2/21/18, Maine First Media Staff Report,
Maine’s most aggressive conservative organization has changed its name to more accurately reflect the group’s mission to put Mainers first.
You may have heard of Rep. Larry Lockman’s New England Opportunity Project rippling many political waves the past couple years while taking the fight to Maine Leftists.
Rep. Lockman is the President of Maine First Project. He says the name change emphasizes the organization’s dedication and focus on the Pine Tree State.
“Our team is concentrated on advancing a Maine-first platform giving every Mainer an opportunity to succeed,” Rep. Lockman said. “And now we can guarantee, every dollar we raise in Maine stays in Maine.”
While unveiling the new name, Maine First Project also launched their Maine First Agenda. The agenda includes 20 Maine-first policies divided into five categories:
- Putting Mainers First;
- Making Maine Education Great Again;
- Propelling Maine from Poverty to Prosperity;
- Maine Pride;
- Draining the Swamp of Augusta.
In the coming days and weeks, Maine First Media will be reporting on each of the 20 policy items individually. Click here to read the full Maine First Agenda.
According to Rep. Lockman, the early feedback on the name change and agenda have been overwhelmingly positive.
“Obviously you can’t please everyone, but my inbox has been filling up with supporters saying they love the name change and that it’s about time someone pushed for such an aggressive policy agenda,” Rep. Lockman said. “We are so grateful to our supporters; it’s going to take each and every one of them to help us drain the swamp at the Statehouse and make Maine great again.”
Maine First Project Executive Director, Zach Gelpey points out that what’s best for Maine is a strong New England region. He says while Maine First Project will focus exclusively on Maine, New England Opportunity Project will still exist.
“We’ve put together a team that’s accomplished a great deal in a short amount of time and on a shoe-string budget,” Gelpey said. “And while our team at MFP is focusing on advancing policies to give working Mainers a fair shake, NEOP will be looking for teams in each of the remaining New England states to apply our winning formula in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont and Massachusetts one-by-one. Once in place, those teams will raise money in their respective states and that money will stay in state, just like all the money MFP raises will go to our fight here in Maine.”
Maine First Project (formerly known as New England Opportunity Project) has only been operational since mid-2015, and they already have compiled an impressive list of achivements, including:
- Exposing radical Leftist Lewiston Mayoral candidate, Ben Chin with a social media, talk radio, and op-ed campaign during the 2015 race. Chin lost after outraising his opponent 5-1.
- Supporters scored victories at the ballot box for Maine-first candidates in four out of their six targeted 2016 races.
- One of the four Leftist who went down in 2016, then-House Majority Leader, Rep. Jeff McCabe, blamed them for his loss following a Somerset County mail piece, followed by thousands of door-to-door flyers and robocalls, exposing McCabe’s support of Harboring Havens.
- “Speaker of the Swamp” postcard hammers House Speaker Sara Gideon, Majority Leader Erin Herbig, and Tax Committee Chair Jason Tipping for their sleazy ethics. Maine Democrat Party legal counsel, Kate Knox, complained bitterly about their “aggressive” mailers targeting sitting legislators.
- During the 2017 legislative session, while other “conservative” organizations ignored the issue, they brought attention to Portland’s Harboring Haven status for illegal immigrants as 200 protesters picketed Rep. Lockman’s speech at Univerity of Southern Maine. They also launched a petition drive and grassroots outreach program that forced roll-call votes on a bill penalizing Harboring Havens in both Houses of the Legislature.
- A grassroots lobbying efforts drove roll call votes in the House and Senate on the Maine Right to Work Bill.
- They played a vital role in axing the job-killing 10% income tax and keeping Gov. Paul LePage’s welfare reforms alive in the state budget with their direct mail and social media campaigns.
- During the 2017 Budget Battle, they were the only conservative organization to expose the collusion between Leftist Democrats in the House and RINOs in the Senate. Their social-media campaign reached more than 10,000 Maine people during the shutdown.
- They unleashed their grassroots outreach programs once again following the 2017 legislative session, this time driving action to ensure Gov. LePage’s veto of the $100-Million Solar Shakedown bill would be upheld.
- Their Aggressive “NO on 2” campaign opposing the ballot question on Medicaid expansion reached more 50,000 Mainers. Their messaging hammered the ballot initiative for throwing granny under the Medicaid bus to benefit able-bodied working age adults with no children.
In addition, Maine First Project offers free activist training courses. They’ve held two so far with a third coming next month.
Gelpey and Rep. Lockman say Maine First Project has big plans for the rest of the 2018 legislative session — with the announcement of one big push coming soon. They also have their eyes on legislative races this fall. Maine First Project will only support candidates who pledge to advance the Maine First Agenda.