The Mosher Minutes: The Speaker of the Swamp and Her Legislative Games

4/26/18, by James Mosher,

The curtains of Maine’s 128th Legislature are drawn. Last Thursday morning, April 19th, at around 0130, was the legislative adjournment. There were numerous items scheduled to be addressed during this legislative session that are now incomplete.

Democrats are in a tizzy. And they have begun shaking fists and pointing fingers.

According to the rags self-identifying as newspapers in our state, the House Republicans are to blame.

Michael Shepherd of the Bangor Daily News reported this last Thursday:

On Wednesday, House Minority Leader Ken Fredette, R-Newport, and House Republicans withheld votes that Democrats needed to pass an order to extend the legislative session. It was unanimously supported in the Republican-led Senate, but failed twice to get the necessary two-thirds vote in the House.”

Meanwhile, Scott Thistle of the Portland Press Herald wrote this:

“By law, the Legislature was supposed to adjourn Wednesday, but with unfinished business remaining the Republican-controlled Senate and Democratic-majority House sought to extend the session by five days. However, the 70-member House Republican caucus, led by Minority Leader Ken Fredette of Newport, derailed that effort.”

Over the weekend the Portland Press Herald chimed in with this:

“What is happening in Augusta is intentional obstruction by a minority represented by leaders who think they have cornered the market on righteousness.”

The Bangor Daily News blamed House Republicans again on Tuesday for shirking responsibility:

“…the system completely broke down when one-quarter of the Legislature, the House Republican caucus, led by Rep. Ken Fredette, refused to continue working. Whatever points they had about Democratic shenanigans or the needlessly slow pace of work in the State House were undermined when they simply refused to keep working, by voting against an extension of the legislative session.”

“This wasn’t a vote for good governance or responsible leadership. This was akin to a kid arguing about the rules of a pickup game and, after failing to convince his friends he was right, simply taking the ball and going home, even if the ball did not belong to him”.

As if shifting blame isn’t enough, like petulant brats when informed that the jig is up, Speaker Gideon, D-Freeport, and Senator Jackson, D-Allagash, commenced with name calling.

Gideon insinuated that both Governor LePage and the House Minority Leader, Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport, are terrorists; regarding the legislative response from House Republicans, Speaker Gideon stated, “That’s not a negotiating strategy; that’s terrorism.”

Speaker Gideon would later offer the apology above. Judge for yourself regarding her sincerity; it seems to me that she has doubled down:

On the surface, it may seem a bit outlandish that Speaker Gideon should use the word “terrorism” to describe what most of us learned in high school Civics as built-in safety features (i.e., checks and balances) to a republican form of government. But, those who deal with Dems frequently are familiar with the treatment. It is all too routine. Democrat civility is cloaked coercion. They are the ministers of intolerance and the ends justify the means.

As the administrative head of Maine’s House of Representatives, Speaker Gideon is responsible for the legislative calendar. She essentially is the CEO of the Maine House. When the deadline approached for legislative adjournment and there were still many items left on the calendar, she should have expedited the process. Gideon chose to drag her feet instead.

But don’t expect Democrats to take any responsibility. House Majority Leader Erin Herbig, D-Belfast, sounded off with her press release last week blaming House Republicans for refusing to extend the legislative session and essentially calling them “deadbeats”:

“If you didn’t want to do the work you shouldn’t have run for office…We have dozens of bills left behind that are crucial for the strength of our economy, the stability of our families and the success of our small businesses. Make no mistake; this is an easy way out of the hard work required to find common ground for the people of Maine.”

House Republicans tell a drastically different story. A video posted on the House Republican Facebook page superbly depicts Democrat duplicity.

https://www.facebook.com/rob.poindexter.7/videos/10213690315110288/

In the morning, Democratic legislators moved to table repeated bills until later in the day’s session. Republicans countered with a roll-call vote to demonstrate their willingness to address the issues head-on. Each motion to “table until later” received unanimous favor from House Dems and wholehearted opposition from the House Republicans. The roll-call votes for each bill tell the truth about the real culprits of obstruction.

Here’s a hint: their mascot is a jackass.

  • LD 1904 “An Act to Prohibit the Practice of Female Genital Mutilation of a Minor” (motion to table until later in the day by Majority Leader Herbig, D-Belfast)
  • LD 1537 “An Act To Replace the Educational Opportunity Tax Credit with the Student Loan Repayment Credit For Maine Residents” (motion by Rep. Herbig to table until later in the day’s session)
  • LD 1911 “An Act To Improve Access to Services for Adults With Serious and Persistent Mental Illness (motion by Rep. Herbig to table until later in the day’s session)

At one point, Rep. Fredette of Newport, the House Minority Leader, stood to counter Rep. Herbig and her tribe of minions.

He stated, “Wondering when we are going to get to work, I request a roll-call.”

The games continued. One after another, bills were pushed until later in the day.

  • LD 1654 “An Act To Protect Economic Competitiveness in Maine by Extending the End Date for Pine Tree Development Zone Benefits” (motion by Rep. Herbig to table until later in the day’s session)
  • LD 1629 “An Act To Protect the Elderly from Tax Lien Foreclosures” (motion by Rep. Herbig to table until later in the day’s session)
  • LD 1817 “An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Working Group To Improve the Provision of Indigent Legal Service Concerning the Membership of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services” (motion by Rep. Herbig to table until later in the day’s session)

According to House Republicans, after stalling on the aforementioned bills, Speaker Gideon ordered that the House be at ease. The House didn’t reconvene until more than four hours later.

Upon their return, House Democrats began to plead the case for an extension of the House Session.

Their arguments were countered by Republicans. Kudos to Republican legislators for not flinching!

On the Maine House Republicans Facebook page:

 

Rep. Mary Anne Kinney of Waldo County rose to highlight the halfhearted effort by the Speaker to set an honest pace for work to be done. Rep. Kinney emphasized that Tuesday, April 17th was the first double session of the House: a two and one-half hour day. She also pointed out that the week before was the only five-day work week for the House, that the House should have been meeting on Wednesday’s and that they shouldn’t have had April 6th off because it was a scheduled day. Apparently, members were granted the day off because there was not enough work to warrant attendance in the House.

Rep. Timberlake of Turner rose and had perhaps the best line of the day summing up the Speaker’s subpar performance and the legislative obligation of House Republicans. He shared words of his father: “Poor management on your part son does not create a crisis on my part,” (referring to the Speaker’s haphazard leadership).

Rep. Hanley of Pittston declared his opposition to an extension of the legislative session and stated that the delays “have been intentional.” He proceeded to express that “the tabling that goes on and on day after day, tells me that these issues are not important. They surely aren’t emergencies.” He suggested that the five, or so hours left in the day would be ample time to address the “important issues” if they got right too it.

Speaker Gideon elected to order pizza instead. The House dinner break lasted three hours.

In the evening, the tune changed. Democratic legislators attempted to sweep it all under the rug and call it clean.

As with the motion to table bills until later in the day, the move to postpone bills indefinitely was met with full acceptance by House Democrats and thoroughly rejected by House Republicans.

  • LD 1846 “An Act To Require the Provision of Photographic Identification by Voters” (motion by Rep. Luchini, D-Ellsworth)
  • LD 1854 “An Act to Create the Office of the Public Defender and Amend the Duties of the Maine Commission on Indigent Legal Services” (motion by Rep. Moonen, D-Portland)
  • LD 1873 “An Act to Align State-funded Benefits with Federal Eligibility Standards” (motion by Rep. Hymanson, D-York)
  • LD 1880 “An Act to Prohibit Mandatory Membership in a Union or Payment of Agency Fees, as a Condition of Employment” (motion by Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford)
  • LD 1890 “An Act To Streamline the Management of Maine’s Transportation Infrastructure by Initiating the Process of Terminating the Maine Turnpike Authority” (motion by Rep. McLean, D-Gorham)
  • LD 1893 “An Act To Ensure Fair Employment Opportunity for Maine Citizens and Legal Residents by Requiring the Use of a Federal Immigration Verification System” (motion by Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford)
  • LD 1905 “An Act To Allow Minors To Work in a Family Business without Obtaining a Work Permit” (motion by Rep. Fecteau, D-Biddeford)
  • LD 1906 “An Act To Allow Adults To Purchase Tobacco Products” (no roll-call vote on this, motion by Rep. Hymanson, D-York)

Given the proceedings last Wednesday as context, who in their right mind can honestly call House Republicans obstructionists?

The record reflects that House Republicans voted to at least attempt to address each bill as it came to the floor. The Democrats, on the other hand, seemed to be stacking the deck for an outcome in their favor, namely, an extension of the session.

It is clear to me what really has occurred is dishonest, to say the least. Malfeasance is closer to the truth.

Speaker Gideon chose the word “terrorism” to label the behavior of House Republicans. It is ironic that she should employ that word, as Republicans have repeatedly voted to protect Maine from the dangers of illegal immigration.

Legislators have had several chances to address Maine’s open borders (i.e., LD 1652 during the 127th, LD 366 in 2017, and LD 1833 this year).

In March of 2016, Gideon responded to Rep. Lockman’s, R-Amherst, first attempt to lock the doors on illegals (LD 1652) with:

“We have no place for these blatantly racist Trump-like maneuvers in Maine.”

Roughly two weeks ago, legislators voted to leave the doors wide open for illegals. The roll-call vote for LD 1833, “An Act to Facilitate Compliance With Federal Immigration Law by State and Local Government Entities,” indicates the distinct diametric opposition between the worldviews of Democrats and Republicans.

Rep. Pouliot, R-Augusta, was the lone defector. He might as well be a Democrat.

Given the assessment of those in the know, it is safe to say that the real story in Maine is citizens have been left exposed by the very party claiming to gush with compassion and concern for them, namely, the Democrats.

They have invited a clear and present danger to our state by failing to heed the warnings associated with illegal immigration.

You can read example-after-example of the danger we face due to the estimated 5,000 illegals in Maine by clicking here and reading one of my prior Mosher Minutes.

Don’t look for this story to be captured by Maine’s mainstream media. It doesn’t fit the narrative:

According to the Left, Republicans are hatemongers, racists, bigots, xenophobes, homophobes, transphobes, obstructionists, terrorist, etc.

Given the blatant negligence in the House by the Speaker and her loyal followers, it is safe to say that significant changes are a necessity.

As the boss, we the people must exercise greater oversight.

The future of our state is depending upon patriots like you. If you are not already active, don’t waste another minute.

Start today by supporting decent candidates and by executing your civic duty.

There’s no time like the present to shake things up.

 

James Mosher is a husband, father, veteran and patriot who appreciates the cost of freedom. He sees the storm clouds on the horizon and writes so that others may be prepared.

If you would like to reach James about The Mosher Minutes, e-mail Maine First Media at; [email protected]


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