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

With a new administration in Washington it will be a challenge to get the 'liberals' to hold Biden-Harris to the few 'progressive promises' they made during their campaign. Biden is bringing back many of Bush & Obama's neo-cons to head his foreign policy. I'll be on this case without hesitation.

Saturday, February 03, 2018

One big win - need one more

 
 
We got a big win when Superior Court Justice Dan Billings dismissed the state’s case against the Aegis 9 on February 1 in Bath.  You can see the Judge make his ruling in the video above.
 
You can also see the brilliant Opening statement by our lawyer Logan Perkins (Belfast) which comes up at the 6:17 mark in this video below.
 
 
Both of those videos thanks to Regis Tremblay and Peter Woodruff.
 
Now that we have secured an unexpected victory our hearts and minds are fully engaged with the second seemingly insurmountable obstacle which is the $60 million corporate welfare bill (LD 1781) for General Dynamics.
 
Just yesterday we had positive front page coverage in The Forecaster http://www.theforecaster.net/opponents-urge-legislators-to-curb-bath-iron-works-tax-break/  and The Bollard – a popular arts and cultural magazine out of Portland.  The cover story on The Bollard is entitled:  Ship of Fools Tax Breaks for BIW, WW III for us.  This one is a masterpiece that covers the issue from A to Z and is written by Chris Busby.  It’s not online yet but we will send it around when possible.  Try to pick up a copy if it is available in your community.  You can imagine our utter delight to see it in restaurants and coffee shops here in Bath with its great cover artwork of a destroyer firing $$$$ into the air.
 
The Taxation Committee in Augusta has a Work Session on LD 1781 on Thursday, February 8 at 1:00 pm in the State House Room 127.  Hope some of you can join us there.
 
The Letters to Editor and Op-Eds also continue to flow into papers across the state – now been about 35 of them in 14 papers.  Please write one – even if you’ve already done one – do another.  We have the chance to save already beleaguered taxpayers in Maine $60 million and we have a few more weeks to keep building the heat.  Some folks think we are wasting our time but miracles are known to happen now and then.  Here is an example of a recent letter in the Lewiston Sun Journal  http://www.sunjournal.com/no-to-corporate-welfare/#.WnR4jFe7iZE.email 
 
Your calls and emails to your state legislators are indeed getting their attention.  Even the sponsor of the bill is now saying that she needs to amend it to require that BIW actually report how they spend Maine taxpayer funds and how many jobs are created.  In the Public Hearing last week BIW’s V-P John Fitzgerald refused to commit to those amendments – only saying they were willing to talk about it.  He likely has to check with GD’s corporate HQ first – they will not be happy with anyone putting strings on their welfare checks.  (The biggest thing to come out of the hearing was the information that GD rolls their Maine taxes into their contracts with the Navy and has federal taxpayers reimburse them for that line item. Simply amazing and disgusting.)
 
So we urge you to put a bit more energy into helping retire the notion that Mainers should help finance the compensation packages of GD’s top executives.  Let’s roll the dice and see if we can hit the jackpot twice.
 
Best your way.
 
Bruce

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