"Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally." Those are not my words. They are those of our first president, George Washington as he finished his second term in 1796. He also warned that "cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government" We have yet to heed these warnings. Recent events show this to be true.
In the last couple of weeks, I have had more people ask me about Pat Colwell's silly cartoon ads than have asked about 5.7 billion dollars of state spending. I hope we are ready to move on now to more important things.
My perspective is very simple. Pat Colwell, speaking for the democrat party of Maine, chose to launch their new website by mocking my voting in the legislature. Republicans were not surprised. Democrats responded with apologies and explanations. The Chair of the democrat party in Maine declared the ad a success. Based on his past habits, I can see why he would deem it so. This man represents a crowd that refuses to discuss issues, choosing instead a path of personal attacks against anyone who happens to disagree with them. Not all democrats are that way, but he is their spokesman.
Mr. Colwell did have one thing right. I have said "no" often. That is because I refuse to agree to policies that are increasingly proving harmful to the people of Maine. I said "no" to Dirigo Health and time is proving me right. The program is already a huge failure and a waste of taxpayer money. I said "no" to LD 1 recently because I did not believe it would provide the tax relief we were promised. Town officials from throughout my district have agreed. I am sure that time will prove this legislation to be more motion without progress. What Mr. Colwell neglected to say was that my party has offered many proposals for responsible spending and good policies. He knows that and when he was Speaker of the House, he chose to kill attempts to debate those proposals in the light of day. Since he has left the legislature, we have made good progress toward bipartisan discussions and debate. These recent antics are not helpful.
There will always be differences between republicans and democrats. That is one way to assure all sides of issues receive consideration before the tough choices are made. We can hold those differences without rancor if the likes of Pat Colwell will cooperate. If he, or his party chooses rather to use the same old political strategy of attacking the messenger, Maine people can look forward to more of the same failing processes and policies. I was recently joined by my party in the legislature in offering a mechanism to work together toward a responsible budget. It should be of great interest if bullying or cooperation wins the day.
Senator Paul T. Davis, Sr. (R-Sangerville) is in his second term as Senate Republican leader, and fourth term as Senator for District 27, Piscataquis County and portions of Penobscot and Somerset, in the 122nd Legislature.