Embrace Distaste

May 3, 2013
English: A clown participating in a Memorial D...

English: A clown participating in a Memorial Day parade, 2004, by Rick Dikeman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



For six hours residents of the State of Maine waited for the opportunity to speak in a hearing before the Health and Human Services Committee dealing with the need of funding for beds for the elderly in nursing homes.  When they finally had their chance to speak, Maine voters were treated to an appalling spectacle. As the people began to testify, Senators Colleen Lachowicz and Margaret Craven placed clown noses upon their faces, in one of the most distasteful mockeries of the voting public that this columnist can recall.

The public has been outraged and a bi-partisan group of legislators has called for an investigation into the incident.  But despite the fact that all major news outlets have reported the incident, Senate President Justin Alfond has denied the incident occurred and refuses to allow an investigation.  It’s ironic that Alfond denies the incident when Senator Craven has already apologized to her fellow committee members for her actions, that supposedly didn’t happen…. the Senate President and the Senator need to make sure they are at least telling the same lies.  Incidentally, the “Honorable” Ms. Craven apologized to her fellow committee members, but she expressed no such remorse to the public she claims to serve.

This is not the first time that Mr. Alfond has shown a complete detachment from reality.  This is the same man who claims the best way to pay the hospital debt is to completely ignore it.  It seems to him a default on a debt is synonymous with budget cut, or as he puts it, a “meaningful cut”.  To the common sense Mainer, Alfond’s “meaningful” solutions have absolutely no meaning in their real world.

President Alfond has presided over the most inept legislature in the history of Maine politics.  To date, the legislative accomplishments are a bill to facilitate beer drinking on St. Patrick’s Day, banning minors from using tanning beds, a litany of failed attempts to curtail the 2nd amendment, and shot at banning public sale of flea collars.  And now we have clown noses in the face of the taxpaying public.

No wonder Mr. Alfond has suspended the public transparency rules for the rest of the legislative session.  It is better for the Democrats to embrace their distasteful behavior under the cloak of secrecy. Clown noses don’t play well in public when election time comes around.

Yet, the Democrats have another problem.  For all their antics and hijinks, the Alfond legislature has not accomplished even half of its workload and the session is nearly over.  Looking at the fruits of their labor so far, that may be a blessing in disguise.  But when you realize that transparency has been suspended, the ominous back loaded emergency session becomes the very real threat.  Open up fellow Mainers because Augusta is getting ready to shovel it out quick.  The Democrats have always been a group that thrives in secrecy but wilts under open scrutiny.  It would be wise to remember the clown noses when the ballot box is before you once again.

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