Veterans Party in Maine endorses peace activist in U.S. Senate race
April 4, 2006
The Veterans Party in Maine has endorsed Democrat Jean Hay Bright in the state's 2006 U.S. Senate race.

"We feel Jean will best address the Veterans' issues we have expressed throughout our entire campaign both statewide and on a national level," said Bob Mills of Biddeford, chairman of the Veterans Party in Maine. "Our members will work to help send Jean to D.C. We endorse her 100 percent."

Hay Bright, author and organic farmer in Dixmont, said she was honored and pleased to receive the endorsement and support of the Veterans Party, particularly in view of the fact that she has been an active opponent of the Iraq War since before it started in 2003.

"The Veterans Party is endorsing me based on my views on the Iraq War and Veterans issues," Hay Bright said, adding that on several non-Veteran issues, her positions differ from those in the Veterans Party's platform. She has previously been endorsed by the Bangor and Brunswick chapters of Democracy for America, the organization that grew out of Howard Dean's 2004 presidential bid.

"My position on the Iraq war is that it was, and is, wrong to send our military to fight an illegal, immoral, and unprovoked war," Hay Bright said. "But regardless of the reasons that sent them there, our military men and women have held up their side of the bargain, and this country must honor its obligations to its returning Veterans. The Bush administration and the Republican Party are failing in that regard."

Hay Bright pointed out that just recently, Maine's Republican Senator Olympia Snowe voted for $18 billion in future tax breaks for the rich instead of putting that $18 billion toward more medical care for Veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan.

"My father was in the Army during World War II, and my first husband served two tours of duty in Vietnam," Hay Bright said. "I understand what the families of those men and women serving around the world are going through. And I understand that Veterans have needs long after their service is over. I have already been working with Veterans groups to see that those needs - especially involving health care - are met. Our returning Veterans deserve better than they are getting from our country today," she said.

Hay Bright was a keynote speaker at the 3rd Anniversary Iraq War Protest and Rally in Monument Square, Portland, on March 19, and spoke briefly at both Iraq War forums held by 2nd District Congressman Michael Michaud last winter. Several anti-war columns of hers were published before the war started, and the Iraq War, with all of its moral and financial ramifications, has been a key issue in her U. S. Senate campaign. In addition, Hay Bright has joined several peace and Veterans organizations across the state, at rallies, press conferences, and in readings of the names of Iraqi war dead, in protest against that war.

Hay Bright, who believes the Democratic Party offers the best hope to bring true security to the United States and its citizens, said she welcomes cross-party cooperation on shared values and goals.

The Veterans Party organized in Maine in 2004, and is now building its membership base to become an officially recognized party. It is the Maine affiliate of the National Veterans Party, which has organizations in 44 states. The party is an officially recognized party in Florida, where its U.S. Senate candidate in 2004 received more than 166,000 votes.

Mills said the Veterans Party in Maine had considered running a U.S. Senate candidate, but decided it did not yet have the resources to mount a state-wide campaign and at the same time focus on its mission of member recruitment. The party thus decided the strategic approach was to form a coalition with the candidate in that race who best represented the needs of Veterans, and decided Hay Bright was that candidate. Mills, meanwhile, is running for York County Commissioner in District 2, and his wife, Heather Seavey Mills, is seeking election to the Maine House of Representatives in District 136.

For more information Contact:
Bob Mills, Veterans Party: | Biddeford | 207-571-9108