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

I grew up in a military family and joined the Air Force in 1971 during the Vietnam War. It was there that I became a peace activist.

Friday, March 30, 2018

Hearing from Mainers on the bad bill



Here is the list of the 40 Maine state legislators who voted against the bad GD corporate welfare bill.  We thank them all.

Senate (25-9 in favor of the bill)

Sen. Shenna Bellows (D-Kennebec)
Sen. Mike Carpenter (D-Aroostook)
Sen. Justin Chenette (D-York)
Sen. Ben Chipman (D-Portland)
Sen. Mark Dion (D-Cumberland)
Sen. Geoff Gratwick (D-Penobscot)
Sen. Rebecca Millett (D-Cumberland)
Sen. Dave Miramant (D-Knox)
Sen. Kimberley Rosen (R-Hancock)

House (117-31 in favor)

Rep. Kent Ackley (I-Monmouth)
Rep. Christopher Babbidge (D-Kennebunk)
Rep. Donna Bailey (D-Saco)
Rep. Anne Neebe-Center (D-Rockland)
Rep. Lydia Blume (D-York)
Rep. Owen Casas (I-Rockport)
Rep. Ralph Chapman (G-Brooksville)
Rep. Benjamin Collings (D-Portland)
Rep. Janice Cooper (D-Yarmouth)
Rep. Richard Farnsworth (D-Portland)
Rep. Ryan Fecteau (D-Biddeford)
Rep. James Handy (D-Lewiston)
Rep. Denise Harlow (I-Portland)
Rep. Erin Herbig (D-Belfast)
Rep. Craig Hickman (D-Winthrop)
Rep. Norman Higgins (I-Dover-Foxcroft)
Rep. Chris Johansen (R-Monticello)
Rep. Walter Kumiega (D-Deer Isle)
Rep. Gina Melaragno (D-Auburn)
Rep. Kim Monaghan (D-Cape Elizabeth)
Rep. Matthew Moonen (D-Portland)
Rep. Margaret O'Neil (D-Saco)
Rep. Jennifer Parker (D-South Berwick)
Rep. Lois Reckitt (D-South Portland)
Rep. Deane Rykerson (D-Kittery)
Rep. John Spear (D-South Thomaston)
Rep. Harold Stewart (R-Presque Isle)
Rep. Michael Sylvester (D-Portland)
Rep. Rachel Talbot Toss (D-Portland)
Rep. Dustin White (R-Washburn)
Rep. Stanley Ziegler (D-Montville)


  • I suggest the strong letter writing campaign should continue calling out the Democrats who voted yes with a VERY clear message sent to the Democratic leadership and members that their capitulation will not go unnoticed at the polls and in campaign support. Polite but specific. There are certainly many issues regarding war and war making by GD that are relevant. My two cents.  Steve
  • Great article on the [Senate] vote. Very depressing. Tony
  • A good analysis of how the vote on 1781 went down.  I long ago learned to have little if any faith in the Democratic or Republican parties-- they are just part of the power structure of the American Empire which is not a democracy, so we must continue our struggle for social justice here where we live.  I would like to say, however, that Erin Herbig, our rep. in the Maine House, cast a very courageous vote against LD1781 and gives one hope that there are yet some people of compassion and integrity still to be found in the political realm.  One can only hope that she can maintain those virtues if she remains in her present endeavor. Cathy
  • It means new legislative leadership is sorely needed. Susan
  • None of those Damn democrats have the (cough) balls courage to cover what we wanted from them. Robert
  • It just goes to show that the leadership here, and nationally, regardless of party, is bankrupt. WE have a long way to go, but you put the fear into them all, and how they could look into the mirror is beyond me. Jim
  • I encourage everyone to send a thank-you to the Representatives and Senators who voted no on LD 1781. I have heard a thank you back from two of them so far for my acknowledgement of their vote. Building a relationship with them to vote for the social justice and healthcare and other important needs Mainers have that could have been funded by that $45 million. Again to say big thanks for the band of citizens who provided facts and a faithful witness at the State House. I'm convinced the bill would have been a slam dunk at $60 million without your vigilance and outreach!!  Andy
  • The indecency of tax breaks as this mires our legislative integrity. It's apparently too difficult for legislators to understand oppressive power structures when they are too busy holding up their part within it. Nickie
  • Despite the disappointing votes in the House and Senate, [we] did much to educate many Mainers about this outrageous practice of giving millions of taxpayer dollars to this huge, wealthy corporation.  Susan
  • It was a great campaign and in the end I think it did more to inform and educate hundreds, maybe thousands around the state and beyond. I always believed this wasn't a fight against BIW, rather the industry itself...the military industrial complex and perpetual wars for profit.  Regis
  • It's a sad, but predictable, end. Someday, states will look back on these gifts for billion dollar companies and ask, Why were we doing that?  Lorry
  • It always seems to come down to, "I was just following orders".  "Follow the money" would explain the why of those orders.  Mark
  • Just a thought from afar: The lying seems like business as usual. Ken
  • I really admire the fight you put up and bet we'll win the next one.  I'd spoken with Brownie [Carson], had thought he would vote the right way, and will see if I can find out what happened. In any case I want to work on why the Democratic leadership went along with the give away. Joseph
  • There needs to be accountability big time this time. My puzzle is how best to do this. Your post this morning about Brownie and Fitzgerald was powerful.  And very indicative of something that needs to be clearly and deeply understood. The times are shaping up towards a sharper delineating separation between the forces of evil and the often stumbling forces of good. Shadowboxing doesn’t cut it. On the key issues the key is to be clear. Your hunger strike was a profound shaking up of all of us who want the good and are trying to mean it, follow it, and make better and better known the real nature of the fight.  John
  • I heard the 9:30 am BIW break whistle from the shipyard, this morning, during my yoga class- & it came to me - this is a massive billion dollar corporation & you took them on!!! And, brought so much awareness to this state about the influence of corporate control & manipulation.  You may think because you are so immersed in this, that everyone knows about this, but they don't! But - lots more do now!  I would include myself in that group! A High cost for education!  Those life lessons usually do cost a lot! Thank you! Susan
  • Deep gratitude to Bruce and crew for all their inspiring activism on behalf of Maine's people. Chris
  • It's not like they 'won' anything at all of course; they lost. Lost it all, lost their souls, their hearts, their integrity, and the future of their children and grandchildren. They are the losers. The problem is that they are taking us all down with them. But because of all the wonderful people we have moved the arguments to higher ground, where all can see the dirty underbelly of this militaristic society hanging low, bloated with money that belongs to the commons. It's not about victory, it's about taking our place, holding that place, in the long line of those who came before us. In solidarity and with love, Nancy
  • It is a bittersweet experience.  Bitter due to the inability of legislators to put principle, rationality and ethics ahead of money, intimidation and job preservation [not Bath jobs, but their own jobs].  Sweet due to the wholly successful community action -- this action will bear more sweet fruit in the future. Herb
  • We did good....I am glad you were able to muster the positive side of this cuz I think it was an amazing vote for NO CORPORATE TAX GIVEAWAYS on the first ever try...I hope we each send each Rep and Sen who voted against 1781 a big thank you and take it to those who didn't in the next election...am considering a '1781' tattoo as a reminder of this whole experience and lessons learned.  Ridgely
  • Pleased to see Hancock County State Senator Kim Rosen vote no, the only Republican [in the Senate to do so]. Lynne

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