Maine Democratic Party Chooses Troy Jackson as DNC Committeeman

Posted on January 25, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

The Maine Democratic State Committee met on 1/25/15 in Augusta (PHOTOS HERE) and among the agenda items for the meeting was selection of a replacement for Phil Bartlett as DNC Committee member. Bartlett resigned his post in December to serve as chairman of the Maine Democratic Party.

Joe Hanslip of Sanford nominated former state Senator Hon. Troy Jackson of Allagash to serve; the seat is a 2 year term ending in 2016.

Here is Jackson’s speech as prepared:

    Brothers & Sisters:

    Our Party is at a crossroads. At this juncture we must accept the need for a seachange in the way we ask the Democratic Party to be seen and the way we see it ourselves. In two of the last three election cycles we have lost to rigid conservatism that easily swept aside our candidates and values not only here in Maine but nationwide. Even when we reelected President Obama and took back our state legislature in 2012, our victory was nowhere as swift or complete as the GOP victories have been. Most sadly, our victory did not herald a progressive era comparable to the recent victories those of the right seem to have ushered in.

    I hear people asking: how can this be? How can it be that when given a choice between centrism and bipartisanship offered by Democrats the electorate continues to choose rugged, no holds barred, unabashed conservatism that is dragging this country farther and farther into economic inequality, environmental disarray, and social duress.
    It is because Republicans have spent decades never backing down from their beliefs. They have echoed for a generation now policies that were once considered heinous but have now been crafted into the mainstream. They have deceived our country and our state into thinking unions destroy jobs, the downtrodden are poor by choice, and that if you’re a regular person, you’ve no business being a Democrat.

    It’s time for us to take the same tack, nail our colors to the mast, and never surrender. It’s time for us to never cede the ground that our country and our state and our people count on us to hold for them whether they realize it or not. If Republicans are going to win by nominating candidates that bear standard for the right to a degree that borders on corporate fascism, then let’s rally around the beliefs imparted on us by the Bull Moose progressives of the early 20th century, FDR, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders. I know each and every one of you in this room believes in those things – don’t ever let anyone ever tell you to hide that to be more electable. Be yourselves – that is what is electable.

    I am running for DNC because it’s time people start steering our Party away from bland centrism and toward populist progressivism. If our Party is not an alternative to conservatism but rather a mild flavor of it than what are we doing here? I do not need to be in politics just to be in politics – I need to be in politics so I can see the realization of the world I’ve dreamt of. We achieve nothing electing Democrats if they do not then achieve the embodiment of our values.

    I have seen the dark side of our Party and I have questioned my place here. I have spoken to socialists, to independents, to those who identify with the Justice Party and the Green Party. These are all people who wanted to be a part of our coalition. They no longer are because they truly do not feel the Democratic Party is the vehicle that means to promote progressivism. When Republicans are running the US Senate, Congress, and having become the dominant party in Maine politics by sticking to their guns but our left flank is deserting us, that is a wake up call.

    I have thought long and hard on this. This Party is the best vehicle for achieving the world we want and everyone here desires that. This Party can be a mighty engine and when we allow it to roar it will ignite the future in a way we’ve never known. So stand up, stand for what you, for what we believe!

    Stand with me if I join the striking Fairpoint workers protesting the dismantling of our country by corporatism!

    Stand with me if I join the USM students protesting the hindering of our country by austerity!

    Stand with me when I tell our donor that while we appreciate their money and support that doesn’t mean they get to handpick and preordain our candidates!

    Stand with me and together we will stand for something that is greater than any candidate or any election cycle.

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Troy Jackson: I’m running for DNC

Posted on January 15, 2015. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Yesterday former Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson announced on Facebook that he is running for the Democratic National Committee opening, created when Phil Bartlett resigned as to take the mantle as Maine Democratic Party Chair:

Troy Jackson speaking at 3rd Annual Rally for Unity on January 8th in Hall of Flags.

Troy Jackson speaking at 3rd Annual Rally for Unity on January 8th in Hall of Flags.

    “This morning I wrote the members of the Maine Democratic State Committee to announce my candidacy for the Democratic National Committee and ask for their support. It is time to go boldly forward and shape our party into one that wins the hearts and minds of working families and the middle class. It is time for the Democratic Party to find electoral prominence by embracing its ideological soul, not running away from it. I will merge the opportunity to serve on the DNC with my activist roots and ask others to do so. We must make our party one that ceases to decry Conservatism without clearly explaining why a future of Progressivism can be a better alternative. Please, join with me – together we can create a party that charges forward for the sake of our values and for the sake of Maine.”

Below is the letter Jackson sent to the party’s state committee members, who will be convening later this month, and photos taken during the last state committee meeting of 2014, where Jackson nominated and spoke eloquently in strong support of Bartlett.

jacksonbluemoose

    The most incredible experience I’ve had has been the opportunity to travel to and spend time in places all over Maine where I met most of you and other like-minded activists. I saw firsthand just how many of you, or how many of us, rather, believe in a progressive vision of our state.

    Maine can be a place of living wages in a creative economy that works in tandem with our traditional economy. Maine can be a place where its citizens aren’t consumed by the cost of healthcare, let alone access to it. Maine can be a place where working families are fairly taxed and corporations finally pay their share. Maine can lead the nation in the “New Food” movement, in renewable energies, and in rural revitalization. We all want these things and we see a path to them. So let’s do it.

    The trouble seems to be that instead of great leaders like Mike Michaud and Shenna Bellows, we have conservative radicals like Paul LePage and Bruce Poliquin in charge right now. How did we Democrats fall from grace as Maine’s natural ruling party? How did people who once voted for George Mitchell and Mike Michaud begin voting for Tea Partiers?

    Troy Jackson nominates Phil Bartlett for Maine Democratic Party Chair.

    Troy Jackson nominates Phil Bartlett for Maine Democratic Party Chair.

    I believe it’s because those Tea Partiers stood for something and they never doubted it. Their policies may be wrong, but they stuck to them. When we questioned how much we should expect as Leftists, they demanded all they could as defenders of the Right. When we laughed, “How could middle class people vote against their own interests?” Republicans were convincing them that they truly ought to. When we told them a future of bipartisan compromise was coming with Democrats, Republicans told them a future without progressive tax policy, without unions, dictated by the Heritage Foundation was what they should vote for.

    And they did. They sided with the Republicans. We cannot expect middle class voters to stand with us if we don’t stand strong ourselves; if it’s not even clear what we stand for. We need to shape our Party into one as bold, as daring, and as endearing to the forgotten middle class as the Republicans are shaping theirs.

    For these reasons, I want to announce I am seeking election to the Democratic National Committee. I want to have a direct hand in steering us to electoral prominence not because we sold our ideological soul, but because we embraced it. I ask for your support because if we don’t use politics as a means of exercising our beliefs it is irrelevant.

    Jackson and Bartlett shake hands at December MDP state committee meeting in Augusta.

    Jackson and Bartlett shake hands at MDP state committee meeting in Augusta.

    As one of Maine’s DNC members, I will not only be an unyielding voice for progressive populism among that body in Washington, D.C. I will also continue to serve here at home by merging this position with my activist roots. As one of the Maine Democratic Party’s ambassadors to the public I will not be afraid to stand for middle class working people and call out those who would hold them back.

    Let us go forward with a new, bold Democratic Party that no longer just says conservative politics are wrong, but truly seeks to convince people progressivism is right. I am from a rural populist tradition and I refuse to cede any corner of our state because of a failure to show locals we do relate to them. We will build our party, we will build our coalition, and we will open a ladder of opportunity to all. Like a Bull Moose that charges forward because of what it knows its nature to be, so will we.

    In Solidarity,

    Troy Jackson

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Weekly Democratic Radio Address by Sen. Phil Bartlett (Cumberland): We’ve Been Sold a False Bill of Goods

Posted on September 29, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Audio link here.


Here in Maine we are pretty straight forward people. We will tell you what we think; and we expect the same in return. We’re honest. Hard working. We believe in a fair day’s pay for an honest day’s work. And even though we’re often too proud to ask for help, we have a keen eye for spotting a neighbor in need—and we’ll be right there to lend a helping hand.

Good Morning. I’m State Senator Phil Bartlett of Gorham. I was born and raised a Mainer. And even though I went away to college, I came back to Maine because I can’t imagine living any where else. I love the Maine-way. Our no non-sense approach to life is unmatched any where else.

We’re practical. We want things to work. If it’s broken, we fix it.

We’re humble and honest. We admit our mistakes.

These qualities exist in our neighborhoods and on Main Streets; in our schools and on our playgrounds and even—at our town hall meetings. But lately they’ve been missing in Augusta.

Sadly the political culture in Maine over the last two years has shifted dramatically. As more time goes by and more examples pile up, we’re learning that we can’t necessarily trust what we’re hearing from Governor Paul LePage and Republican leaders. Aside from the gaffes and slips of tongue, there have been too many examples where the facts don’t back up their claims.

Here’s what I mean:

Governor LePage and his Republican allies promise jobs. Yet under their leadership, we now rank 45th in the nation in job creation. We’ve lost more than 1,500 jobs and currently there are 53,000 Mainers out of work.

Let’s be clear. There have been opportunities to get people back to work but Governor LePage and the Republican majority have looked the other way. By refusing to issue bonds—already approved by Maine voters, the Governor and Treasurer are holding jobs hostage. These are real opportunities that will provide good paying jobs to Maine people today.

Governor LePage and his Republican allies promise to grow an economy where “all citizens prosper.” Yet on LePage’s watch: our New England neighbors have passed us by. While their economies are growing, ours is the only state whose economy actually shrank. Every other state in the country is seeing their income grow—Maine ranks dead last.

Governor LePage says he wants to give Mainers more affordable health care and will “fight special interests.” Yet, Republicans spearheaded an insurance overhaul that is nothing more than a race to the bottom in health care. Mainers are now paying more for less. This plan has increased premiums for more than 50% of Maine people—hurting middle aged Mainers the most. And 90% of our small businesses are paying more too—especially those with businesses in rural parts of the state and with older workers.

What’s worse, this harmful law imposes a new $22 million dollar tax that is paid by all Maine insurance holders. And while we all pay more, insurance companies have seen an increase in their profits of $1.8 million dollars. This is special interest politics at its worst.

Who are Republicans really fighting for?

Governor LePage and the Republican majority promise tax incentives for the job creators. But, let’s look at the math:

If you’re a successful small business that nets $100,000 dollars in profit after paying all your expenses, you get $550 more dollars in your pocket. Republicans are telling you that is enough money to get you to create more jobs and invest in your business. Make no mistake, an extra $550 is a nice check, but it’s not going to allow a business to hire anybody and it will not lead to significant new investment in that business. Recently a small business owner told me he’d benefit a lot more by the state, building the roads and bridges we need, invest in workforce training programs, and funding public education to help manage our property taxes.

It seems the policies of Governor LePage and the Republican majority have made it harder to live and work in this state. They’ve sold us a false bill of goods. They’ve promised one thing but have delivered something else.

It’s time those in charge in Augusta, Governor LePage and his allies, are held accountable for what they are really doing.

Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Phil Bartlett of Gorham. Have a great weekend!

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Rep Ellie Espling (R- New Gloucester) Introduces LD 924

Posted on May 4, 2011. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

From Dirigo Blue, some quotes from Espling:

    Often, as a new legislator, we are reminded to look carefully at the bills before us and not to rely on the title of a bill to explain its entire intent. This is definitely the case for LD924, as this bill is so much more than just informing women of risks associated with abortion. The purpose of this bill is to ensure that women are given as much information as possible in making a truly informed decision about abortion. This committee has dealt with these women’s health issues in the past and no doubt will in the future. People are passionate about this issue on both sides. My intent is to present this bill and go over its wording. The testimonies following will give you the reaons why this bill is important for the protection of women.

    Most patients, unless in dire emergency situations have, as standard practice a wait time after diagnosis before treatment.

From a Q&A session between Espiling and Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Portland):

    Bartlett: One of the categories is that scientifically accurate information about the fetus be required. Who will determine what is scientifically accurate and how detailed the information should be?

    Espling: OK – it’s just scientifically accurate information that doesn’t spell out – in what form that information will be given to the patient. My understanding is that in a lot of abortion procedures they do perform an ultrasound because they need to date the fetus and so I don’t think there’s much discrepancy in the scientific accuracy of an ultrasound. So that would be part of the scientific….

    Bartlett: So what you mean is, scientific accuracy about that particular fetus?

    Espling: Yes. For that woman. For that patient. Yes.

    Bartlett: So the question is how far do they have to go to provide an ultrasound…I’m just trying to understand how detailed do they have to go – do they have to know the height, the weight – I’m sure–

    Espling: That’s really not spelled out here. The intent is that if the woman has a general idea, “I think I’m 6 weeks pregnant,” I think they should have a general idea of what 6 weeks pregnant means. And we certainly – through human anatomy and biology know how big that fetus is or what the fetus looks like at 6 weeks. So that would be the information.

A reminder: Dr Joan Leizer’s testimony clearly addresses the lack of medical veracity in the brochures from South Dakota and Texas upon which LD 924 and Espling use as fact:

the Maine Right to Life Committee states that this bill was, and I quote: “modeled after legislation which has been successfully brought forward in other states: Missouri, Texas, South Dakota and Georgia”.
However, the scripts developed by goverment officials in those states contain false, misleading and out-of-date information.
The brochures for Texas falsely assert that abortion causes breast cancer, despite the fact that the National Cancer Institute has definitively stated that there is no such link. Even more concerning to a mental health professional like me, both Texas and South Dakota falsely assert that abortion causes negative,and only negative, emotional responses.

That’s just not true.

The findings of Munk-Olsen et al from the Jan 27, 2011 New England Journal of Medicine demonstrate no support of the “hypothesis that there is an increased risk of mental disorders after a first trimester abortion”. This is a high quality observational study (cohort design) and offers strong evidence suggesting that first trimester abortion is NOT associated with psychiatric disorder. In other words, there is no statistical correlation between abortion and depression. But the states that have a script assert this and other falsehoods.

The Texas and South Dakota brochures claim that a woman may experience suicidal thoughts or so-called “postabortion traumatic stress syndrome”. This is a fictional diagnosis that is not recognized by either the American Psychological Association or the American Pediatric Association.

The South Dakota materials state that an “unborn child may feel physical pain”. The Texas materials assert that pain perception can occur as early as 12 weeks’ gestation, although “some experts have concluded that the unborn child is probably able to feel physical pain” at 20 weeks. The truth, according to a 2005 article in the Journal of the American Medical Association, is that the sensory systems necessary to feel pain develop between the 23rd and 30th week of gestation.

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