Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Bath, Maine, United States

Tuesday, September 09, 2014


Mike Michaud (left), Paul Lepage (Center) and Eliot Cutler (right) are all running to be Maine's next governor.  LePage, the right-wing Republican, is the incumbant

These three are running to be the next governor of Maine.  Mike Michaud (Democrat), Paul LePage (Republican) and Eliot Cutler (Independent) are now in the heat of the race.

Maine's basically an extraction colony. Lumber, water, fishing, mill towns, hunting and tourism have been the chief money maker for this state.  Alot of those jobs are now gone, or faltering like the fish count in the ocean because of rising ocean temperatures and over fishing.  The planet is dying.

Paul LePage is hated by two-thirds of the public and loved by one-third.  He uses racism and pits the public against the poor.  He's a mean spirited man who after first coming into office told the NAACP to "kiss my ass" when they asked him for a meeting.  He's a total corporate hack who uses his working class dysfunctional family personal story to attract many voters who respond to his emotion. He seems to hate the natural environment as much as he hates much else in the world.  He's really a very sad man who most certainly is an alcoholic.  Brought in to do the dirty work.

I once saw Eliot Cutler in the Portland airport and his shoes likely cost more than I make in a couple of months.  His suit... the best cut.  He's a former Democrat corporate lawyer who made his way serving as a functionary between US corporations and Chinese officials as jobs were moved overseas during the Clinton years. He'd likely be decent on the environment but would continue the corporate takeover of state and local government.

Mike Michaud has been the Congressman for northern Maine (District 2) for many years.  He came out of the East Millinocket paper mill and became a state legislator and worked to clean up the river being polluted from the mill.  During the height of the Iraq war Michaud responded positively to appeals from citizens in his district and began routinely voting against war spending supplementals.  He never went to college, total working class, and recently announced that he is gay.  Michaud has slim lead in the polls but the corporate big $$$$ attack game is now cranking hard going after him.  Just today the Repubs released a video of a Democratic Party state legislator saying Michaud was "not a brain guy" - which means he's not slick - just a working class dude.

Michaud is actually one of the few Democrats in Maine I feel respect for.  He's dared come to a couple of Veterans For Peace events over the years.  I've found him to be humble.  He listens quite well.  He does support funding for more destroyers at Bath Iron Works like all the other politicians in the state.

Maine is kneeling in the long line at the Pentagon with its worn hand stretched out. Our roads are a mess, schools folding, no jobs to speak of, and the human infrastructure collapsing all around the state.  The primary future for the children (excepting the few that usually come from the 'best families' with lots of advantages) is working for the war machine.

The Pentagon has been saying for some time that America's role under corporate globalization will be security export.  We won't have much industry, cheaper labor can be found overseas, even service jobs are being exported.  The youth of America will be sent to fight and die on behalf of "our interests" - and those interests only point toward the 1%.

So like every other state Maine is begging for more military production because the Pentagon budget is the only game in town.  It's where many state universities are getting funding and the schools respond by becoming a research and development arm for the military industrial complex.

America has been hollowed out and turned into a militarized culture.  I figure our best chance is to call for conversion of the war machine so we can use the funds to try to limit the coming harsh impacts from climate change.  But unless we work the issue into our existing efforts, and build the momentum to push such a real vision forward, then we will continue to slid further behind the eight ball.


Blogger Zachery d Taylor said...

Paul LePage has demonstrated why we need proportionate representation. He never would have been elected in the first place if he hadn't taken advantage of divide and rule winner take all tactics and he certainly wouldn't have a chance the second time.

I notice that Maine has fifteen Green candidat4es running for the state legislature, which is a lot compared to most states, including California which has less than forty even though it is so much larger.

More Grass roots candidates have been elected at local levels than the media is letting on and hopefully it will grow even more in November.

9/10/14, 9:08 AM  

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