It is with immense pride that I learned yesterday that I have earned a #1 seed in the Maine Republican Party’s “people we hate” March Madness bracket. (The Maine People’s Alliance, my employer and the only organization on the list, has earned a #2 seed in a different region.) I consider this designation a badge of honor and proof that the words I’ve written here have made some difference.
The whole thing is is obviously an excuse for the GOP to spend the next few weeks launching personal attacks on people they disagree with instead of engaging constructively on issues.That’s too bad, since we’re reaching a critical time in the legislative session when common ground is important to find. Bipartisanship has been made even more important by Governor LePage’s angry disengagement on issues like the budget and accepting federal health care funding, necessitating two-thirds agreement in both chambers for anything to be accomplished.
The specific attacks they’re leveling are ridiculous, as can be seen in the first “game” they posted between Congressman Mike Michaud and State Representative Adam Goode.
They accuse Michaud of voting to raise taxes on heating oil because of his support for the farm bill. Steve Mistler has already pointed out some of the holes in this particular charge. They also fail to note that it was a bill written by Republicans, passed with majority Republican support in the House and that Michaud voted for it because of his support for other provisions in the legislation. I imagine if he voted against it, they’d be attacking him for opposing critical funding for Maine potato farmers.
The charge against Goode is even more ludicrous. They attack him for supporting a set of taxes he actually personally opposed, simply because they were one of the options the committee he chairs considered as an alternative to property tax increases caused by Governor LePage’s revenue sharing cuts.
I’m not sure what baseless charge they’ll hit me with but whatever it is, I intend to give my whole back to the smiting. I have some tough competition (my first game is apparently against Rep. Sharon Treat, a pioneer for health care and prescription drug reform, and the #2 seed in my region is veteran Press Herald columnist Bill Nemitz), but I fully intend to win this thing.