There was a outburst of political activity in Farmington last Thursday, Sept. 21. I played a minor role myself by manning the Republican table in the Exhibition Hall during the Fair. By “manning” I mean I sat there, read the newspaper, exchanged civilities with passers-by, exchanged sneers and jeers about Progressives with the same, and encouraging Ruby Hardy as she sold raffle tickets. I almost scored myself, but the kid’s mother intervened on the grounds that he was underage. That’s just silly, what eight-year old doesn’t want to get an early start on laying the foundations of a vast fortune with a winning raffle ticket?
More interesting, Ken Fredette, Republican minority leader and candidate for governor showed up for the Fair, accompanied by Rep. Dunphy and a campaign aide. Charmed by my classic straw boater he requested a photo with the hat. I was under the hat at the time, but he was all right with that. I offered to sell him that hat, but he declined. The well-mannered couple at the Democratic table on the other end of the hall praised the hat as well, but also declined to buy it. Maine’s antique tradition of thrift is admirable, but it’s possible to carry it too far.
The Honorables Fredette and Dunphy had a good laugh with me about Senator Tom Saviello’s latest masterpiece of noncommital commitment, i.e., hosting a fund-raiser for Janet Mills while declining to endorse her. The man is as slippery as an eel swimming in a vat olive oil. Try to imagine an oleaginous eel with a bow-tie, a permanent smile, a neat little mustache. If you succeed you’ll catch a grin that’ll last until Christmas.
When I went home after my GOP duties I found a message from Janet Mills about her campaign for governor. This included a tape of her first TV advertisement and a request to send the advertisement on. To this end I enclose the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptr6ZXsajVg&feature=youtu.be
She also asked for a donation. We’re old friends…by which I mean we’re old acquaintances. That is to say, my younger sister used to keep company with her. So I sent her a check for a hundred thousand dollars. Actually, a sum of that size is illegal. She could have got into trouble if she cashed it. So I signed it “Leon Trotsky.” That should keep her out of trouble.
Unlike Ken Fredette, she doesn’t like Governor LePage at all. In fact it looks like her campaign may revive Mike Michaud slogan: I’M NOT PAUL LePAGE SO VOTE FOR ME. Some may think this implies that Janet is planning to jack taxes back up, increase Maine’s unemployment, get the people missing from the welfare rolls back on, restore or revive the missing regulations, stamp out charter schools, raise Maine’s unemployment rates back up, and shower benefits upon the government employee unions. I don’t expect anything so silly. Janet really isn’t dumb. She just pretends to be dumb to win the support of the Maine People’s Alliance.
Too early to say how hard she will have to work at playing dumb. Janet was a Rodhamite and the MPA kiddies are (as near as I can tell) all devoted to Vermont’s socialist savior. It might help if she said something nice about Cuba’s Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious medical care and extra-marvelous super-duper educational system. If that’s not enough she can point her energetic use of the resources of the State Attorney General’s office to hamper and harass the governor. That’s not such a big talking point for the general election, but is should work well in the Democratic primary.
In addition to the “Paul LePage is the Biggest Bully in the Known Universe,” and “We should all hate Paul LePage” messages, the tape tells us that Janet loves everybody else in Maine and wants us to be one big happy, non-partisan family. She has amazing plans for showering benefits on veterans, new-Mainers, kids, senior citizens, and everyone (except Paul LePage, corporations, drug companies, taxpayers, and other evil-doers). She cares about people. She wants to help people (but not Paul LePage, and everybody else who divides Maine by not voting for Democrats) She loves the hills, the fields, the coast, the mountains, the lakes, the birds, the bees, the flowers, the dirt, all of it. She wants to build coalitions so that Maine will have coalitions. Or Something.
Oh well, you know. The standard political blah-blah.
The solid core of her campaign so far, to judge by this video, is hostility to Paul LePage. This didn’t work for Mike Michaud even though he actually ran against Paul. Real campaigning starts next year and Janet has got settle on some kind of positive message. If she doesn’t come up with something she may be reduced to suggesting that LePage is some kind of crypto-Nazi, neo-Nazi, proto-Nazi or Nazi-philiac. Sounds far-fetched, but this sort of nastiness is getting more common among the Progressives whose votes she will need.
John Frary of Farmington is a former candidate for U.S. Congress, a retired history professor, an Emeritus Board Member of Maine Taxpayers United, a Maine Citizen’s Coalition Board member, and publisher of FraryHomeCompanion.com. He can be reached at email@example.com.