On February 27 I outlined “Why I am the Best Candidate For Governor of Maine”. Readers will of course make their own determination in regard to the strengths of that assertion and accompanying information. To those that do agree that I am the best candidate, I understand that it is likely at least one significant step further before I may win those votes. Individuals may also have the question, “Will he win?”
I seriously can win.
First, it is well known the recent political success of Independent Governors in Maine. From 1975-1979 Independent James Longley served as the initial trailblazer and then of course Independent Angus King was our state’s most recent Governor, serving his two terms immediately prior to the current administration. In addition to being Independents, each of these candidates was importantly initially lightly regarded and certainly not expected to win. But each of them did win to become Maine Governor in recent times. Governor King in fact won re-election with well over 50% of the total in a multi-candidate field. At all times but perhaps increasingly when facing economic challenge or transition, I believe that Mainers may dig deep in regard to candidate comparisons in determining who they feel, for that particular time in history, may be best able to address the issues facing Maine.
In addition to selecting the candidate whose presentation, background and messages over the full course of the campaign most resonates or “catches fire”, Mainers have shown a rich history of electing individuals regarded as being of high quality - and independent in spirit if not in affiliation - from across the political spectrum. Although any listing of prominent Maine politicians of the 20th and now 21st century is open to discussion, such individuals as Margaret Chase Smith, Edmund Muskie, George Mitchell, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins and William Cohen, to name but some, attests to the strength and in fact national prominence of politicians from Maine. Such prominence does not lead to an endorsement of any particularly candidacy in this Governor’s race, but instead attests to the fact that Mainers are discerning in regard to quality from wherever it may emanate when it appears..
Obviously, and as previously detailed, I am my own person and believe strongly that each candidate needs to be judged on his or her own relative merits.
Aligned with the quality Maine selections is the fact that Mainers want solutions. I am the individual that can best provide, working with teams of others and interests throughout this state, those solutions. That is a bold statement that needs of course to be explained. I have articulated, as detailed at www.Hammer2006.com, in public appearances, policy positions, Op-Ed pieces in major newspapers across the state, interviews, and other forums, a more insightful and sophisticated understanding of Maine’s road to economic and general well-being than any of my competitors or the current administration.
Again, examining what is offered you will form your own determination, but how in brief do I believe strongly that I have done this? Many are locked into partisan positions emphasizing passionately stated yet piecemeal offerings as compared to more comprehensive solutions. “Cutting spending will solve everything” or “healthcare for all” are just a couple of prominent examples of well-intentioned but piecemeal offerings. In this campaign I have been able to articulate specific mechanisms and processes in which competing interests can be increasingly reconciled to move Maine forward in a more comprehensive basis towards meeting the objectives of all Mainers and respective groups (better bridges to win-win true solutions not mere compromise). I have explained how truly comprehensive and bi-partisan tax reform, coupled with ROI-sensitive economic growth initiatives and what that means and involves, addresses fundamental underlying difficulties that Maine faces at the root rather than symptom level as compared to piecemeal and partisan proposals. Piecemeal solutions may give rise to cost-shifting and more imprecise recommended strategic solutions which are just a couple of significant factors in their being less effective.
I am admittedly not a legislative process expert, although I am extremely learned in regard to the challenges facing Maine across policy areas. This leading insight and understanding has been reinforced via respect-earned access to a strong contingent of leaders from both major political parties as well as policy and additional leaders statewide. Such meetings have led to my policy formulations having been shared, discussed and, as I like to state “refined by the greatest minds in Maine”. I am an individual with a strong track record both inside and outside of Maine, who possesses the professional development and personal skills , as detailed in this campaign, to best move Maine forward. Each candidate may say or believe that they can do the best job. Voters are able to analyze the totality of what is being offered and where it comes from in regard to its relationship to what is likely to actually be able to be (or not be) accomplished.
One thing I am not doing is telling Mainers what they want to hear. Some schools will be closed. Some union demands will not be met. Some sacrifices from us all will be asked as we make significant and well-understood transformative (step by step) movements to meet head on and flourish in the hyper-competitive, information-rich global economy of the 21st century that the world has become. We will do this together, and it is the sophistication across best practices and collaboration and tradition-sensitive technology initiatives that will, among other key factors detailed, assist Maine in this path.
Progress can be rough or smooth, but it is necessary.
Where would we hope to hide in a global economy that penetrates also our own borders?
Competence – jointly built and maintained – is our greatest weapon in this global world.
I envision a truly lucrative and leading quality of life in a “Great Maine”, www. http://magic-city-news.com/article_5149.shtml. This is fleshed out together, built upon practicality and vision and skill that redefines the heights and expectations, based in accomplishment, of how we view ourselves and live in our state.
We owe it to our children, too many of whom have left and are leaving, and to ourselves.
They say that a winner is just a loser that never gave up. But some mistake that for trying to beat down the same barriers that keep one locked in place (never, as they say, mistake activity for progress, and don’t double your bets trying to catch up or deflate criticism when you’re headed down the wrong path – you may just lose double when you bet double in this way). Sometimes when Plan A and B don’t work, or no longer work as well as they once did, we need – intelligently taking the best of both and adding a lot more – Plan C. As we know, out of thesis and antithesis can come synthesis.
And when we’ve reached a point of stagnant or less than desired growth, the next paradigm shift may be what ultimately moves things forward. They say that there is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come. But we may not recognize it if we hold too tightly to the past. We need to bring the past with us into the future. I say that moving up doesn’t mean moving on. And as one of our volunteers said to me the other day, Maine can be a state of old values and new solutions.
Life is progressive and Maine is progressive in that where we have been, and where we are, need not define where we will be. The Maine Clean Election Act has provided an extraordinary and potentially visionary vehicle by which ideas over special interests increasingly have an opportunity to prevail. This may or may not be the time for accepted needed change, sometimes one must hit rock-bottom or require the quadruple bypass first. Let us if you agree not be a state that needs to reach those end figurative states before we reach a synthesis compatible with the global economic realities and parameters of the world’s marketplace today, heeding and being honest with ourselves and with each other in regard to the warning signs along the way (how much of human nature is starting that great diet tomorrow!). Let us collectively, if you wish to improve (some might say rescue) this great state, to further empower and embolden citizens away from disenfranchisement and anger and resignation as a result of over-partisanship instead to greater partnership with their government which they are the owners of and can and should take back at any time.
In this partisan age of politics one major weapon of choice is labeling. They say that it is difficult to define me, because almost everybody seems, if they study enough of what we are doing, to find something significant to really like. That in itself is at least one small measure of an individual that can instill an environment and collaborative structure in which we collectively build Maine.
A state that has provided such influential and highly regarded leaders in the present and past isn’t I believe ever truly comfortable or resigned to a mediocre Maine.
I am not comfortable with that. Not today and not ever.
Maine is, can, will and should be great.
And with your assistance, collectively, we will bring it there. While there is of course (as there should be) more than one vision for Maine (no one will ever have exclusive dibs on that), if you truly believe that Maine can win then I can win. And I will win.
It’s as simple - and as powerful - as that.
Alex Hammer is an Independent candidate for Governor residing in Bangor. The campaign’s website is www.Hammer2006.com.