3/22/18, by James Mosher,
Funny thing with the Left, they constantly lecture about inclusivity and tolerance, but when it comes to having to live by the standards they impose upon the rest of us, they are the first to invoke special privileges.
The hypocrisy slapped me in the face while at the swamp of Augusta earlier this week, but it’s far from the first time.
In 2016, I encountered the double standard while attempting to change hearts and minds about an immigration bill sponsored by Rep. Larry Lockman (R-Amherst) that was tabled by Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan).
In the weeks that I invested trying to raise awareness, I became public enemy number one as far as Speaker Eves and House Democrats were concerned. I started with getting on the radio (WVOM 101.3) to encourage listeners to get involved. I called and e-mailed the Legislature as well. When I didn’t receive a response, I decided to start attending sessions with my four kids in tow. I also wrote several columns highlighting the threats that Maine progressives have exposed us to because of their unwillingness to enforce federal immigration law:
We held posters and attempted to get legislators to acknowledge the issue. Instead of allowing the immigration bill to come to the floor for debate, McCabe utilized a parliamentary maneuver, in order to table the bill so that it wouldn’t ever be addressed; the term sine die, is a Latin phrase meaning “without a day.”
For weeks we challenged to no avail. We showed up early in the morning and held our posters until the session ended each day. Legislators couldn’t walk by us fast enough. They treated us as if we had Ebola. I attempted to disperse fliers to House members, only to have them confiscated by the House Clerk Rob Hunt, as per the Speaker’s orders. The irony of the whole thing was that I was in Augusta on my own dime to raise awareness of a gaping hole in our state’s security. By refusing to address Harboring Havens, “progressives” left the doors wide open for Maine to be fleeced.
To make matters worse, Speaker Eves tried daily to have me tossed from the State House. Each day that I showed up, he would notify the Capitol Police. I would have an officer assigned by my side the entire time I was there. Little did Eves know that veterans have a keen eye for noticing one another. During those days together, I got to know most of them. All of them are great guys.
Here’s the irony though. While I was there attempting to raise awareness about security issues, I was labeled a racist, bigot, and xenophobe. I’m none of those things. What I am is a husband, father, veteran and a taxpayer who values freedom. And while the open-border Leftists refused to employ law enforcement to vet illegals in our state, they had no problem using the Capitol Police hoping to intimidate me.
It became so bad in Augusta that the Capitol Police were on alert the moment I drove into the parking lot.
Fast forward to Tuesday of this week. My kids and I showed up with posters and fliers to contend against LD 1492, “An Act to Attract, Educate, and retain New Mainers to Strengthen the Workforce.”
Maine First Media has covered the issue extensively:
2018/03/maine-house-passes- foreign-workforce-bill-but- there-is-a-silver-lining/
2018/02/state-senator-doubles- down-support-of-importing- foreign-workforce/
As is typical, I had my children deliver fliers to House staff so that they could distribute them to House members. I then proceeded upstairs to keep an eye on my message traffic. I have learned to trust, but verify (one of my favorite quotes from Ronald Reagan). I watched as an entire bundle of my messages was delivered to a House staff member instead of the intended recipients. The staff member, who sat in front of the House chamber to the Speaker’s right, discretely placed the bundle into a desk drawer.
I immediately proceeded downstairs to the Clerk’s office to ascertain why the messages hadn’t been delivered. I explained that with fourteen House pages and nine staff members, there was ample staff to divide the duties. To add insult to injury, the messages of others were sailing across the House floor with ease. I was told by the Clerk’s staff, that there was nothing they could do while the House was in session.
Upon leaving the office, I bumped into a staff member in the House hallway and asked about who was responsible for putting the brakes on the delivery. He said that the order came from Rob Hunt, the House Clerk.
I proceeded back upstairs to the mezzanine to hear the discussion regarding LD 1492. I observed one staff member remove my bundle of messages from her desk. She began to sort through them and handed one to her counterpart sitting adjacent to her. The staff member peeled the message back (my fliers are folded, color coated and taped) and began to read it. They both appeared to be discussing the contents while Rep. Lockman was delivering his address in opposition to the bill.
Rep. Lockman opened by denouncing “the ugly vein of totalitarian tendencies” of the Left regarding the immigration issue. He continued, “I have to admit, I underestimated the ferocity of my Leftist friends.” For Rep. Lockman, a man who is consistently in the crosshairs of the opposition, this was quite a statement!
I couldn’t help but chuckle as I listened while contemplating the Gestapo-like treatment of my message traffic. Right on Mr. Lockman! Right on!
Rep. Lockman went on to point out that (according to “progressives”) LD 1492 “fits within the prevailing orthodoxy on the subject, which is to say, all immigration is good, more immigration is better, and Third World immigration is best.” He proceeded to the jugular of bill sponsor, Sen. Roger Katz’s argument by using census data for 2016-17 to demonstrate that most of Maine’s population increase was transfer growth from other states, not other countries. Most of the new Mainers are English speaking.
The Maine-first Representative from Amherst expressed that taxpayers already subsidize ESL services in Maine schools to the tune of $19-Million per year.
He pointed out the track record of the Biddeford and Lewiston school districts as proof that the “progressive” proposition has failed miserably. These two districts offer an abundance of ESL instruction and have a number of schools with performance standards at, or near the bottom. Rep. Lockman suggested that it would make better sense to employ limited Maine resources to put Americans and Maine people first rather than to subsidize a foreign workforce that can’t speak English.
Rep. Jared Golden (D-Lewiston), Majority Whip and candidate for U.S. Congress, followed Rep. Lockman. He remarked about the symbolism regarding the bill number and “Columbus sailing the ocean blue in 1492”. Golden noted that “Columbus spoke Spanish” and Americans “speak English.” He expressed that English skills are necessary to have in today’s workforce. He countered Rep. Lockman’s facts about the failure of Lewiston schools with “I am very proud of my community and the schools that go on there.” Rep. Golden expressed that if speaking English is important, Maine should provide opportunity for those wanting to learn.
I observed as the vote was cast 87 for and 58 against the motion by Rep. Victoria Kornfield (D-Bangor) to “Accept the Majority Ought to Pass as Amended” report from the Education and Cultural Affairs Committee.
The nine RINOS who voted to expand the burden of Maine taxpayers for immigrant services are as follows:
- Rep. Bruce Bickford (R-Auburn)
- Rep. Patrick Corey (R-Windham)
- Rep. Phyllis Ginzler (R-Bridgton)
- Rep. Lloyd Herrick (R-Paris)
- Rep. Gary Hilliard (R-Belgrade)
- Rep. Donald Marean (R-Hollis)
- Rep. Matthew Pouliot (R-Augusta)
- Rep. Paul Stearns (R-Guilford)
- Rep. Karen Vachon (R-Scarborough)
After the vote was tallied, I proceed back down to wait in the House hallway for a chance to speak to one of the staff members about my impounded messages. I was told that some legislators found the content offensive. Instead of discarding the messages, they requested that House staff come and retrieve them.
The staff member informed me that the others could have been delivered, but rather than endure the hassle from legislators, the matter was referred to the House Clerk. The instruction was given to hold them until after the session (when they are no longer effective).
When I returned home from the swamp, I found a surprise waiting for me in my inbox.
So, there you have it…
Maine “progressives” are quick to lecture us about discrimination of any sort: racism, bigotry, xenophobia, etc. Perhaps it is time to have a discussion about the discriminatory acts of the Democrat-controlled House.
It is strange that my statements in memos would trigger more of an outrage than the grave reality of Europe’s demise.
Maine legislators would do well to heed the warnings of countless politicians, authors, and concerned citizens of Europe, who have told us emphatically, that Europe’s multicultural experiment has been a miserable failure.
But who am I kidding? Precious few politicians in the swamp of Augusta are listening.