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: Brunswick, Maine, United States

I'm back to work for the Global Network. Will continue to help Lisa Savage for US Senate campaign on my free time. Trying to self-isolate as much as possible. Best wishes and good luck to you all.

Friday, January 26, 2018

Update on General Dynamics corporate welfare campaign (LD 1781)


Here are some updates from the current General Dynamics $60 million corporate welfare campaign here in Maine:

  • The Taxation Committee Public Hearing in Augusta will be held on Tuesday, January 30 at 1:00 pm inside the State House Room 127.  One other bill is also on the agenda.  We hope for a strong turnout – speakers sign up at the hearing and are given three minutes each to talk.

  • Then on Tuesday, February 6 the Taxation Committee will have a Work Session at 1:00 pm.  The public is allowed to attend though not able to speak.  We want again a solid turnout for this meeting as they will begin their sausage making process.

  • Our media campaign to alert the public about the General Dynamics (GD) request for $60 million is going well.  So far we have had at least 30 Op-Eds and Letters in a dozen newspapers across the state.  Please keep writing them and get others to do so.  This is our primary way to alert the public to this GD bill.

  • I have boosted (at the cost of $200) Orlando Delogu’s recent excellent column in The Forecaster.  So far over 700 people have read the article and 42 have shared it.  This is allowing us to reach well beyond our normal circles in Maine.  One biker from Fryeburg shared the article.  Some BIW workers have also shared and commented – one of them complaining about the ‘give backs’ the union was forced to do in the last contract negotiations at BIW.  The post boost is for 18 days on Facebook.

  • Peggy Akers (VFP) spoke at the Women’s march last weekend in Augusta and included the opposition to LD 1781 in her talk.  Thanks Peggy. Jason Rawn handed out flyers about LD 1781 at the rally as well.

  • We just learned today that GD is hitting up Connecticut for $150 million as well.  GD tells legislators in Maine, Rhode Island and Connecticut that they need ‘more money for training new workers’ but their federal contract with the Navy already includes funds for training. In fact a lot of the money Maine has given to GD since 1997 ($200 million) has gone for mechanization of the shipyard which has actually reduced jobs.

  • The leadership of the Democratic Party in Maine appears to be mostly behind LD 1781.  They should be reminded how their party recently criticized Sen. Susan Collins for supporting Trump’s federal tax cut for corporations like GD that reduced the tax rate from 35 to 20 percent.


  • Fortune magazine ran a puff-piece recently about the CEO of GD - Phebe Novakovic - who was paid $21 million last year.  One quote stands out: “Boeing makes planes; Raytheon  makes missiles; General Dynamics makes money,” says Loren Thompson, chief operating officer of the Lexington Institute and a consultant to GD and other defense companies. See the article at http://fortune.com/2015/09/11/phebe-novakovic-general-dynamics/

Please do what you can to help spread this citizens revolt against corporate welfare.  Every dollar that is wasted on making GD richer could have gone a long way to help the poor and repaired our broken infrastructure across Maine.  You can reach the Maine legislature at https://mainelegislature.org/

Bruce


This campaign is supported by:

Americans Who Tell the Truth (Brooksville)
COAST (Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats, Hancock)
Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (Bath)
Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks
Green Horizon Magazine (Topsham)
Island Peace & Justice (Deer Isle)
Maine Green Independent Party
Maine Natural Guard (Solon)
Maine Veterans For Peace
Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center (Portland)
Maine Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (Brunswick)
Peace Action Maine (Portland)
Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine (Bangor)
Peace & Justice Group of Waldo County
Peninsula Peace & Justice Center (Blue Hill)
Resources for Organizing & Social Change (Augusta)

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