Maine Democratic Party State Committee meeting
Elks Club, Augusta
August 13, 2006
Good to see all you back again, welcome to the new members.
War has taken central focus again, particularly since last week's primary in Connecticut. People are tired of the violence, tired of our good military men and women getting killed and wounded for reasons that keep changing and never quite ring true. We are tired of not seeing any progress in an ill-advised and ill-fated war that didn't have to happen.
In Maine, there is a parallel to that Connecticut outcome that bodes well for my campaign. It's clear from the surveys of Maine voters that the anti-Iraq War sentiment is strong. By a 3-1 margin, Mainers in a July poll said the Iraq War was not worth the casualties and costs.
You would think that would put me, the peace candidate, in a good position to walk away with this race. After all, I was publicly and vocally against the Iraq War before it started. In fact the Iraq War, and all its ramifications are what got me into this U.S. Senate race more than a year ago:
- The cost that is decimating our federal budget - and state budgets, including Maine's
- the trashing of our Constitution,
- and the war's impact on the our standing in the world community as a once-but-no-longer moral nation,
- no longer a nation of laws, but one of men,
- one man, George Bush, who has declared himself a war president and has nullified judicial and legislative functions -- 800 signing statements and counting -- without serious challenge by the other two branches of government.
We here all know that Olympia Snowe is a war hawk. She has done everything to support the Iraq war, voting for it, voting funding for it, voting to deny habeas corpus rights to Guantanamo Bay detainees, voting this summer against bringing the troops home within the year.
On the flip side, as our veteran contacts point out to us, she has done little to support the veterans after they've come home from the fighting - in health care benefits, in the reduction in college benefits, even in the bankruptcy bill that she voted for that doesn't give exceptions for troops whose personal and family finances have been thrown into chaos as a result of their service.
But apparently the people of Maine don't know that. In the same Strategic Marketing Services poll conducted in mid-July (July 14-21), where three out of four people said the Iraq War was not worth the casualties and costs, 68% of those same 401 likely Maine voters said they would be voting for or leaning toward voting for Olympia Snowe in November.
That is a serious disconnect there that I need your help in correcting.
I need your help in convincing people that Olympia Snowe is a Bush-enabler.
According to Congressional Quarterly Magazine, in George Bush's first term in office, Olympia Snowe voted for the President's agenda 82% of the time. That's the average of those four years, with a high of 90% in 2002. No matter how you count, that's not moderate.
Olympia Snowe is not a moderate. She may have been at one time -- that same Congressional Quarterly Magazine has her voting for the Clinton agenda 55 percent of the time during the Clinton years. But she's not a moderate anymore. Not since George Bush came into office.
This election in November is dead serious. Who we as a nation pick to represent us in Washington in November will determine whether or not we will have a country we want to live in, one that we can be proud of, and safe in, proud and safe because we are respected around the world, not because we and our military might and irrational leadership are feared.
Here in Maine, who we elect to represent us in the U.S. Senate WILL make a difference in what happens next in this country. It is that important. Maine can be, MUST BE, one of six states to replace a Republican with a Democrat in the U.S. Senate. Only then can we begin to turn this country around, to take back our great nation from the neocons who have been driving it into the ground.
We only have 10 weeks left. I need your help, financially and otherwise, to get the word out to Maine voters,
the word about Olympia Snowe's actual voting record,
and about who I am and what I stand for.
We in Maine can, by our vote this fall in this race, literally change the course of history.
Now is the time, and I am the candidate in this particular race. Please join me.