The Mosher Minutes: Primary Decisions and A House Divided

5/17/18, by James Mosher,

Less than a month away from the Maine GOP gubernatorial primary, perhaps it is time to begin to solidify the options. In the interest of facilitating the task for friends and neighbors, I thought it might be helpful to share my process of elimination and the rift in my home over the choice for Maine’s next governor.

But before I begin, permit me to provide a little context. My wife and I have been together now for over twenty years. We self-identify as Christian conservative Americans through and through. We have raised our children to honor God and country, to be both responsible and self-reliant, and to take civic duty seriously.

In our years of marriage, my wife and I have been ardently committed to the election process. I can remember the 2000 Presidential Election between Bush and Gore vividly — when we were glued to the news coverage of Florida’s hanging chads.

What a fun time!

Over the years, we have grown more and more involved in the process. We have never disagreed about political candidates until now.

Christian Conservative

My wife has made her choice and is adamant about her reasons why:

“Garrett Mason is my choice because he’s the most conservative candidate running for office”.

“As a Christian, I look to God for wisdom when faced with big decisions in my life. I trust that Garrett, a professed Christian, will do the same. For example, let us take the issue of abortion; I am firmly pro-life…so is Mason. As a mother of four children who can remember my pregnancies like they were just yesterday, I heard the heartbeats, felt the kicks, and can’t forget the growing belly which was evident sooner than the 20-week point. If you cannot respect life, I cannot imagine what else could be worth fighting for. If you do not obey the Word of God, where does your discernment come from?”

“I suppose I don’t care what the answer is because to me no other authority is greater. Mason understands this based on what he has shared and what his voting record shows thus far. What is difficult for me is that Mary Mayhew fights harder than Garrett Mason when it comes to ending illegal immigration. It is another important issue that requires a willingness to stand up even when others in the party choose to run and hide”.

“In life to me there are some things you must stand up for. The life of the unborn is one of those for me”.

My wife’s sentiments are shared by most Christian conservatives and are the truth. So why the discord between us?

This column is my dutiful attempt to both lovingly and respectfully convince my wife and others to take another look before casting a vote this June. I hope it helps.

The Mosher kids play games with mom and dad…

Before I begin, it is worth noting that we emphatically agree that any, one of the four GOP candidates would be a far superior choice than what the Democratic and Independent candidates have to offer.

That said, there are major issues confronting our state that will require sound leadership, solid character and unwavering conviction to address them. Maine’s economy is the centerpiece. Subpar and overpriced education, rising energy prices that stifle industrial growth, expensive healthcare services that cripple autonomy, open borders that enable Maine to be fleeced, and cultural mores like illicit drug use that foster a parasitic drain on the community, are all contributing factors.

Border Hawk

Of all of the issues we face, I contend that immigration is key. Here’s why:

…the kids keep switching which sign goes by the road, and which goes by the house.

Maine has a serious problem with immigration in general and illegal immigration specifically. Roughly 5,000 illegals are living in the shadows of the Vacationland. Illegal immigration costs Maine taxpayers roughly $41 million annually. But the financial price tag pales in comparison to the potential political ramifications.

Leftist organizations are actively peppering Maine communities with immigrant families at the taxpayer’s expense. Not only does this add to the economic burden of rural municipalities, but it also serves to enhance potential transformation of the ideological/political landscape (for an illustration of how this works consider cities like Hamtramck, Michigan, Buffalo, New York, and Syracuse, New York that have experienced seismic demographic shifts). Muslim migrants moving to certain cities across the country have accomplished considerable metamorphosis almost overnight.

Churches have been replaced by mosques.

Progressives like Mayor Ethan Strimling are actively seeking ways to incorporate illegals and noncitizens into the election process. If the progressive agenda continues unimpeded, the electoral process could be undermined in short order. We just do not have the numbers to counteract the potential tsunami of new voters if Maine progressives are successful.

Shawn Moody

So, taking all of this into consideration, my last choice is Shawn Moody.

He appears to be the favorite of Maine’s mainstream media and is the frontrunner according to the latest poll. Moody is an accomplished businessman for sure. He is a multi-millionaire who started his business when he was seventeen. He is now CEO of a number of collision centers in southern Maine. Lauren LePage, the Governor’s daughter, is part of Moody’s campaign and the Governor’s wife, Ann, has recently endorsed him at the GOP Convention. There has been speculation of a quasi-endorsement from the Governor himself. To date, there has been nothing of substance that either confirms or denies the claim.

Moody asserts that he is a businessman, just like Trump, who opposes illegal immigration. One of Trump’s prominent campaign promises was “to build a wall and make Mexico pay for it.” In a January 2018 interview with Shawn Cunningham of WAGM Channel 8, Moody dismissed Trump’s wall as “controversial” and “expensive” when he was asked specifically about immigration. In lieu of a wall, Moody suggested manning the border with military personnel who have recently returned home from “battle-torn countries.”    

While Moody’s rags to riches story is both admirable and endearing, I do not believe that it is enough. Moody’s biggest claim is that he is not a political hack. He has emphasized this phrase repeatedly:

“If you want a politician, I am not your guy. I am an outsider. People say that you can’t run a government like a business, I say that you can’t afford not to.”

But what is the evidence of Moody’s past performance regarding any one of the major issues confronting our state?

Other than being a job creator as a private business owner, I don’t see any.

Ken Fredette

Rep. Ken Fredette is my third pick. He has been the House Minority Leader now for the past three legislative sessions. His military service as a Lt. Col. in the Air National Guard is honorable and certainly a testament to his character. He has demonstrated on a few occasions real leadership in the House, like the recent refusal by House Republicans to extend the 128th Legislative Session and the state government shutdown last year.

Fredette has had three separate chances now since 2016 to take a strong stand against illegal immigration (LD 1652 in 2016, LD 366 in 2017, and LD 1833 in 2018). In fairness to him, he did vote against providing General Assistance to asylum seekers, and he did write an op-ed in December of last year opposing sanctuary cities. He stated resolutely, “As public officials, we have a duty to obey federal law, and we have a duty to protect our citizens, first and foremost. Advocating for tougher immigration policy and an end to sanctuary cities doesn’t make us ‘racists,’ and it doesn’t make us ‘anti-immigrant’ – it makes us pro-public safety.”

I was in Augusta for all three bills to safeguard Maine from the ramifications of illegal immigration. I witnessed a tepid response from Fredette regarding these bills. If only his advocacy were a bit more pronounced!

In the spring of 2016, when Rep. Lockman (R-Amherst) challenged House Speaker Mark Eves and Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) over LD 1652, a bill killed by McCabe and one that would have eliminated Maine’s sanctuary cities, Fredette offered no assistance. I approached Rep. Fredette one evening in 2016 hoping to address his failure to lead the charge against Eves and McCabe. Instead of offering sound justification for his lack of leadership, Fredette attempted to silence me by threatening to notify the Capitol Police.

Garrett Mason

Senate Majority Leader Garrett Mason is my second choice. On the surface, my wife is right; Mason appears to be the best pick for conservative Christians. He is unabashedly Christian. He is soundly pro-life and pro-traditional marriage. He claims to support limited government and individual freedom.

But, what does the record reflect?

In 2015, Mason and a majority of his Senate Republican peers voted to continue allowing General Assistance for asylum seekers (LD 369). Millions of dollars were diverted from Maine families in desperate need to subsidize the livelihood of noncitizens.

Sen. Mason prides himself on being a Maine First candidate and the most conservative candidate in the race. Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) tells the real story of legislators like Mason, who kicked Maine’s elderly, disabled, and others in need of assistance to the curb three years ago. She explains how the legislature shortchanged the DHHS budget (by about two-thirds of the $46 million requested) and shirked legislative priority by advocating for noncitizens in 2015:

Referring to services offered by DHHS, Sanderson stated, “We are not funding these (programs) appropriately…we are leaving Maine people behind, our most vulnerable of citizens. And yet here we are expanding General Assistance benefits to people who aren’t even from the state.”

Sen. Mason is the only GOP gubernatorial candidate partaking in Maine Clean Elections. While voting to restrict services for Maine citizens, he has no problem being first in line for handouts when it comes to  “welfare for politicians” because it works for him.

Furthermore, some of the decisions Sen. Mason has made as the Senate Majority Leader most definitely constitute a departure from conservatism and reflect poorly upon his leadership. For example, Mason’s support of extending the legislative session would have afforded Democrats ample time to explore a means of funding aspects of Medicaid expansion and would have potentially squandered the current surplus.

Another of Mason’s blunders was the backing of one of four bills presented by House Majority Leader Erin Herbig (D-Belfast) during the second session of the 128th Legislature. The bill Mason voted for as a member of the Legislative Council was not an emergency measure and was not proposed by the Governor, so it was quite possibly unconstitutional. Aside from that, in presenting these bills, Herbig was most likely attempting to pad her political portfolio during an election year.

So, why would Sen. Mason — a professed conservative — offer an uber-Leftist representative like Herbig a helping hand?

The answer can be found in Mason’s response to a question posed during WGAN’s Republican gubernatorial forum on May 7th:

In light of the strong personalities of President Trump and Governor LePage, the candidates were asked, “What is your view of that presentation, of the President and the Governor in his early days, and how would you work with a legislature if the Democrats controlled one, or both houses?”

Mason’s response is telling:

“My mom used to say, ‘You catch a lot more flies with honey than you can with vinegar’…if people are looking for someone to conduct themselves as Paul LePage has, then I’m not your guy. That’s not who I am…I know how to work with the legislature because I’m part of the legislature. I believe that the 186 people that are there, are there and elected by their constituencies to represent them in Augusta and you cannot discount those people. They are part of the legislative process and you have to involve them. And when you do that, you get fantastic results…My approach to governing would be a little bit more collaborative…if you are interested in civility…check my references. Ask your legislator what they think of Garrett Mason. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at what you hear.”

There you have it. Garrett Mason: Mr. Civility!

This is case in point as to why progressives run circles around us. They are in constant war mode. Our side is duped into playing by rules fabricated by Leftists; as soon as their goals are achieved, they torch the playbook. Progressives advance their agenda with ease, while they busy themselves with transforming society, many on our side are concerned about decorum; they have sipped the Democrat Kool-Aid regarding the notion of honest dialogue.

There is no dialogue with Democrats, only Marxist monologue.

Mary Mayhew

Former DHHS Commissioner, Mary Mayhew, is my first choice despite her views regarding both the sanctity of life and homosexual marriage and here’s why:

She understands the nature of things in Augusta.

In response to Shawn Moody’s remark about the ongoing investigation of DHHS during the WGAN forum, Mayhew stated, “You really don’t appreciate what you are up against in Augusta. It is about a war, Shawn. There are people who want government to take over lives, and they’re not interested in compromise and consensus…They’re interested in an agenda that is going to take this state back thirty years in time.”


We are facing an existential threat thanks to progressive policies that continue to facilitate illegal immigration. If we don’t stop the madness quickly, we will have irreparable damages. Mayhew is unapologetic about enforcing immigration law. During her speech at the GOP Convention, she stated, “When I’m governor, illegal immigrants won’t get welfare, but they will get a knock on their door from ICE agents with Maine State Police standing with them shoulder to shoulder. Let me tell you something, when I’m governor there will be no sanctuary cities. In fact, Ethan Strimling, the mayor of Portland, may need to go back to New York City to find some sanctuary.”

Abortion has been legal now for almost a half-century. Despite tremendous opposition from Christians and conservatives, the government-sanctioned murder of the unborn remains law.

I don’t like it, but it is a fact nonetheless.

Although homosexual marriage is fairly recent, it too is law. In the whole scheme of things, it is a peripheral issue. I say this based on the relative size of the population that is ultimately concerned about it. Roughly four percent of the American population identifies as LGBTQ, and yet activists have had significant success securing gender-neutral bathrooms and gaining a foothold into the public school system. The lessons exhibited by this small group of activists (as of 2016, roughly six-tenths of one percent of the population self-identify as transgender) who have been successful in nuking the bedrock of our society should resonate among those of us who desire to rectify the mess we are in.

One key point is that those who truly care about the sanctity of life and marriage have failed to pose a significant counter-argument when their voice was needed most. Progressive activists show up and ensure that they are heard. We do not. Noel Gallagher of the Portland Press Herald illustrates this point in a column last year addressing the adoption of mandated transgender policy protocols by the Portland school district.

“Several members of the public spoke in favor of the policy during the public comment period. No one spoke in opposition”.

We can’t win battles when nobody on our side shows up to fight.

Immediate attention is necessary if we are to check the deviancy. Like a skilled surgeon engaged in the serious business of eradicating metastasis, conservatives need to focus with amplified precision upon the progressive strongholds that are destructive to liberty. We must beat back the tumors before the condition becomes terminal.

We need to foster an orchestrated movement that provides the necessary framework to support representatives who not only have derived the answers forged by ideological wrangling, but also possess the intestinal fortitude to persevere.

Ours is a protracted war. We must procure an army. There are no easy victories. The opposition is both seasoned and entrenched. They have infiltrated all of our institutions. So, to put it bluntly, we need fighters. And as far as I can see, Mary Mayhew is one.

Just days ago, at the GOP gubernatorial forum in Milbridge, Mayhew offered this:

“I’m running for governor because I am determined to not only protect the Governor’s great legacy but to aggressively move Maine forward. It’s not complicated. We need to get government out of the way and out of our pockets.”

Aggressive conservative leadership to counter the prevalence of progressive pestilence is Mayhew’s plan.

It sure sounds good to me!


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]