Senate candidate calls Snowe a 'Bush enabler'
By Christopher Williams, Staff Writer - Sun Journal
October 12, 2005
LEWISTON - Jean Hay Bright shares Dwight D. Eisenhower's vision for America.

The self-described liberal Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate said Tuesday she agrees with the former Republican president.

Politicians who believe in the abolition of Social Security, unemployment insurance, labor laws and farm programs "are stupid," Eisenhower reportedly wrote in a letter to his brother in 1954. He referenced "Texas oil millionaires" among them.

"Fast forward to this year. The White House is inhabited by a failed Texas oil millionaire," said Hay Bright, 57, of Dixmont in a speech to a half-dozen students at Bates College.

"This is not the America I want to live in," she said, noting congressional Republicans' proposed cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, the Centers for Disease Control, school lunches and loans for graduate school.

Hay Bright hopes to unseat Olympia Snowe, a Republican seeking a third term.

A former journalist and author of three books, Hay Bright is an organic farmer and operates a farm stand. Her husband works full-time, she said, and she is free to run for office.

She had two unsuccessful bids for Congress: House in 1994 and Senate in 1996. Both times she finished in Democratic primaries near the bottom of crowded fields.

She is the only declared Democratic candidate.

Snowe, who's served in Congress since 1978, has never lost an election. She is known as a moderate Republican.

But Hay Bright called her a "Bush enabler," voting with conservative Republican leadership when needed.

"If you look at those voting records, it's really scary," Hay Bright said. Snowe recently supported the nomination of Chief Justice John Roberts Jr., who was opposed by national abortion rights groups. Hay Bright said she planned to challenge Snowe on that vote and others that call into question her centrist credentials.

In a six-page speech, Hay Bright reviewed the country's political history at the time she was growing up, and compared it with present-day political history. She blamed the president, Congress and corporate-owned media for U.S. failures, including the Iraq War.

Shortly before her speech, Hay Bright played a video clip on a laptop that sat beside the lectern. It flashed faces of 500 U.S. troops killed in action this year, only one-quarter of those killed since the start of the war, she said.