When I crossed the threshold into my grandparents farm home in Carmel, Maine as a child I was always greeted by warmth. There was warmth in the kitchen where perpetual cooking scented the air with the aroma of home cooked stews, breads, and pies. There was the warmth of nonjudgmental affection. I felt secure in the knowledge that it was a place that focused positive energy and support on a future that mattered to me.
It is time for Maine voters to come on home.
The tea party sideshows and the politics of selfishness offered by Paul LePage are a cold level of extremism that will not serve Maine citizens well in the short or long run. Moderate Republicans know that his angry confrontational style will sideline appropriate necessary collaboration to serve Maine citizens. His energy is destructive and divisive.
We have learned that Eliot Cutler is not all that 'independent' when it comes to hauling in millions from China lobbying work and sitting on the Board of Directors of a company deeply at fault in the recent mortgage meltdown. His 'independent' positions either mirror those of Paul LePage in some instances or are carefully crafted to present him as "not one of the other two". His resume does not offer us the type of skills and experience that we need in Maine.
Only a few days remain in this campaign and the din of commercials, up and down polls, flyers, charges, and countercharges will make it harder to hear convincing arguments for why a particular individual is best suited to help our state navigate beyond the national economic storm that was brought on by Wall Street greed and unchecked corporate power. In truth, Maine's economy, state revenues, services, and constructive perceptions about the role of governing have all been victims of a crisis largely outside our borders.
Despite repetition distorting reality by the Maine press and her opponents, Libby Mitchell does not hail from the fringes of the Democratic Party. She has been a moderate, pragmatic leader who reflects Maine citizens' concerns about small business, the environment, energy conservation, and education.
Libby Mitchell has a long history of service as a town official, a legislator and a community volunteer. She has an established record of collaborative leadership and working thoughtfully across the aisle to seek solutions to challenging Maine issues. And Libby Mitchell has the experience of serving as a leader in positions of authority as Speaker of the House and Senate President who is considerate of broad input, willing to act on a bipartisan basis, and focused on serving all Maine citizens with the very best reasonable and positive outcomes.
Maine has been an example of fiscal restraint and bi-partisan government. The current state budget is the same as it was in 2001; there have been no major tax increases over the past nine years. The state budget has received support from Democrats and Republicans. Libby Mitchell has been a leader in this fiscal environment.
In our state, we can be proud that we value good governance beyond the influence of corporate and individual wealth through a strong clean elections law. Over 75% of candidates running for the legislature (and almost 70% of Republicans) run with clean election funding. They are joined by only one gubernatorial candidate, Libby Mitchell, in keeping the focus on issues not fund raising and special interests.
Letting last minute polling snapshots in this tumultuous election determine one's vote and not voting one's conscience can lead to terrible outcomes. In the end, this is not a game of endorsements, momentum, and polling points leading to a final score representing dollars spent. This is about Maine's future and the issues. It is about each candidate's capability in that future and how each will handle the issues most dear to us.
It is time for Maine voters to come on home to good stewardship of our natural environment for people, employment, and pleasure. It is time to come on home to make public education a real priority and not shell parts of it out to private interests. It is time to come on home to develop small entrepreneurial success that leads to good jobs with futures and not bare subsistence jobs that primarily serve out of state shareholders. It is time to cross the threshold into the voting booth and support Libby Mitchell and the issues we share caring about with her.