Electoral and activist politics are two sides of the same coin. The Progressive Democrats of America call it an "inside/outside strategy."

The Frequent Visit Program Sara Donnelly has reported on recently - groups repeatedly holding rallies at the offices of Maine's sitting members of Congress - is an "outside" strategy. Working to get like-minded candidates elected so they can actually cast votes you agree with is an "inside" strategy.

Iraq War Forum - Bangor Theological Seminary
But beyond the moral and ethical arguments is the overriding reality that TORTURE DOES NOT WORK. Information gleaned from tortured prisoners cannot be trusted. We can't expect to save the world based on statements made by tortured prisoners.

Likewise, people are starting to key into the fact - the reality - that WAR ALSO DOES NOT WORK. We are beginning to consider that war itself is bad, is obsolete, is not the answer.

Dec. 18, 2005 - George Bush and The Law
Cumberland County Democratic Committee - Westbrook
I think George Bush not only believes he is above the law. He believes he IS the law. He really believes he can authorize anything he wants. In his world, courts and judges are simply irrelevant. They should have no veto power over any of his actions.

"U.S. Senators are now examining the life philosophy of a Supreme Court nominee to see if they want our nation to live in his judicial world," Hay Bright, a writer and organic farmer in Dixmont, said. "We need to hold our candidates for public office to the same kind of standard, to compare our own world views with theirs, and vote for the candidates who most closely share our outlook."

Do we want national health care? Do we want a federal minimum wage that is a living wage for a single adult? Do we validate Social Security as our government recognizing its responsibility to its elderly and disabled? Do we want to reinstate those taxes on the wealthy, to make them pay their fair share for the privilege of living in the United States of America? Do we want to get out of NAFTA and CAFTA and put Americans back to work again making things for other Americans?

I do.

UMPI College Democrats, Presque Isle, Maine
Granny D [Doris Haddock] characterized the conflict as, on the one hand, "between those who believe that authority comes from above: from an Old Testament God, delivered through husbands, presidents, preachers, ayatollahs and plantation overseers to people arranged in layers according to their worth" and, on the other side, those of us "who instead believe that all men are created equal, and that the authority to govern issues forth from them, upward to their government-their common vessel of community-and not downward."

Over the last five years of the Bush administration and the Republican control of both houses of Congress, we have been witnessing the disappearance of the America we grew up in. Remember that America? That was an America where we had shared American values, taught to us in our public schools.

Nov. 20, 2005 - Iraq War Resolution
Text of Cumberland County Democratic Committee Iraq War Resolution

"Jean Hay Bright is no liberal-come-lately. She's been fighting for the traditional American values of liberty, justice, equality and compassion for decades now, and comes to the 2006 senatorial race in Maine having paid her dues."

PRESQUE ISLE -- U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright Saturday criticized Senator Olympia Snowe for her vote Thursday (Nov. 10, 2005) to deny detainees at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, access to federal courts to challenge their long-term detentions. The Dixmont Democrat noted that the habeas corpus vote is just the latest denial of basic human rights by Maine's incumbent Republican Senator, the Republican-controlled Congress and the Bush administration.

Nov. 11, 2005 - Veterans for Peace welcomed in Bangor Parade
Jean Hay Bright joined the Bangor chapter of Veterans for Peace, marching in the Bangor/Brewer Veterans' Day Parade Friday morning with about two dozen VFP members and supporters. "The parade itself was very impressive," Hay Bright said, with plenty of marching bands and veterans groups participating.

Members of the VFP group carried many different signs, including, "Support Our Troops, Bring Them Home," and "Health Care, Not Warfare."

"The heart-warming part was the positive response of the people lining the parade route," Hay Bright said. "Our group was repeatedly greeted with thumbs-up signs, applause, salutes, and friendly waves."

Nov. 9, 2005 - Congratulations MAINE!
As a result of Tuesday's vote, Maine now has a civil rights law that includes "sexual orientation" as a protected class.

Today's New York Time's editorial talks about Senator Snowe's balancing act, her inability to garner home heating assistance funds for the poor (LIHEAP), her alternate proposal for a tax credit that won't help the poorest stay warm, and her party's insistence on granting more tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans.

Try as she might, Olympia Snowe is not getting the job done. The only way to stop the Republican war on the poor is to stop the Republicans. They must be voted out of office at every opportunity. Only when the Democrats are back in control of Congress will the fiscal and immoral insanity end.

Nov. 2, 2005 - Campaign Update
  1. Rosa Parks
  2. Jean's campaign to host two Public Forums
  3. Trip to Washington last week
  4. Iraq War update
  5. Campaign finance update

Oct. 26, 2005 - Bring them home!
"I am deeply saddened that the milestone number of 2,000 military men and women killed in Iraq has been reached," Jean Hay Bright said today. "I join in the call for an immediate end to the Iraq War. Support our remaining troops -- bring them home--NOW!"

Jean Hay Bright criticizes Republicans on federal minimum wage and LIHEAP home heating assistance cuts.

"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.

LEWISTON -- Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright told students at Bates College Tuesday that with mass marches on Washington now being ignored by Congress and the media, the most important thing they could do to make America better was to vote.

Oct. 11, 2005 - Changing America
Muskie Archive Building - Bates College, Lewiston
In 1963, the Marchers on Washington showed their strength in numbers. Congress paid attention. I see no evidence of that dynamic having happened last month, in September 2005. From what I heard, Congress beat it out of town. And so did the media.

Two of the three Maine chapters of Democracy for America announced this week that their groups had endorsed Jean Hay Bright for U.S. Senate in 2006. The Democracy for America chapter in Brunswick, headed by Ruth Belchetz of Brunswick, notified the national DFA office Wednesday that a poll of the members had resulted in that group's endorsement of Jean for U.S. Senate in Maine in 2006. The Brunswick group had interviewed Jean for an possible endorsement at its August meeting.

Hurricanes Katrina and Rita have devastated not only the Gulf Coast region of America, they have exposed the incompetence of the entire Bush administration and the meanness of the Republicans in control of Congress.

Sept. 23-25, 2005 - We had a great time at MOFGA's Common Ground Fair in Unity Maine!
I've been a MOFGA member for several decades, on the board in the late 1980s, and our farm in Dixmont is certified organic, so this is MY fair. I helped staff the Maine Progressive Caucus booth all three days of the fair, handing out calling cards, our new campaign flyer, and collecting names for our mailing/emailing list.

And the response I got from the hundreds (thousands?) of people was wonderful, inspiring, hopeful. They're activists, they vote, and they have lots of friends.

You should start seeing my brand-new bumper sticker on cars all over Maine.

Sept. 17, 2005 - Campaign Update
  1. Judge John Roberts
  2. Collins: No experience necessary to be FEMA director
  3. Snowe can't get her own party to schedule a vote on her small business health plan
  4. Death and taxes

Unless his confirmation hearing in September reveals reasons to change my mine, if I were a U.S. Senator, I would vote against this Supreme Court nominee.

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright said Saturday that after watching the John Roberts nomination hearings she did not think Roberts should be confirmed as Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

"Yes, he appears to be extremely intelligent," Hay Bright said in her latest campaign update to supporters, "but the overriding sense I came away with is of a man who looks at the law and the Constitution as an intellectual challenge - as an overblown chess game if you will. I found very little humanity in his responses to critical points."

Over the course of one weekend, Sept. 10 and 11, 2005, Jean joined two peace rallies.

Sept. 7, 2005 - Campaign Update
  1. Campaign Activity Ramping Up
  2. Web Page Growing
  3. Issues Comparison
  4. Fund-Raising

"This amount of money is only a fraction of what is needed and everyone here knows it. Let it go forward quickly with heart-felt thanks to those who are helping to save lives with necessary food, water, shelter, medical care and security. Congress must also demand accountability with the appropriations. Because until there are basic changes in the direction of this government, this tragedy will multiply to apocalyptic proportions."

August 26, 2005 - Estate Tax, YES - Repeal, NO
The estate tax exemption, like the alternate minimum income tax which has crept up the last few years on middle-income earners, may need adjustment from time to time. But an outright repeal would over-burden the working people in this country, who will have to make up for the shortfall a repeal would create, and who will find it even harder to work their way into that exalted category where estate taxes are even a consideration.

Capping off a weekend of peace-related activities, Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont joined hundreds of other Maine peace activists Sunday at Portland High School for a town hall meeting on the Iraq War hosted by First District Congressman Tom Allen. At the session, Rep. Allen was urged to take a stronger stand against the Iraq war, to support a resolution calling for a timetable for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and to support the establishment of a cabinet level Department of Peace.

July 17, 2005 - George Bush's Private War
Iraq War forum - Portland High School
I share the frustration felt in this room over the Iraq war, a war not of necessity but of choice, a war being waged not to protect us in the United States of America but one waged by the President of the United States to settle some vague personal score.

With her permission, we've posted this very powerful poem about Iraq, by Ruth Belchetz of Brunswick.

July 15, 2005 - Give "Peas" a Chance
"We'll be asking people to 'give peas a chance,' " Hay Bright, a commercial organic farmer, says. "It's a way to get the message across that I'm the 'peace candidate.' It's meant to bring home the point in a very different way that I think that it was wrong to go into Iraq and that it's wrong to stay there. I want our troops home, I want the United States to become a partner in the effort for world peace, and I intend to work towards those goals in the U.S. Senate."

"Can you hold on a second? I'm baking a pie," says Jean Hay Bright, Progressive Democrat of Maine, 57, who is running for the US Senate seat currently held by moderate Republican Olympia Snowe (R-ME).

June 14, 2005 - Flag Day
I thought that in this age of suicide bombers, with hijacked planes being flown into buildings, and religious fanatics strapping explosives to their chests or loading up their trunks with dynamite, that we had moved beyond the silly notion of changing the Constitution of the United States so that we could lock people up for burning a replaceable symbol of our country, our national flag.

Yet I see by Jim Brunelle's column in the Portland Press Herald yesterday that not only is this issue still alive in Congress, but that BOTH of Maine's U.S. Senators actually support this idea.

For columns I wrote a decade ago on this issue, Click Here.

June 1, 2005 - Why are you running?
It's not a matter of running against Olympia Snowe. I am running FOR U.S. Senate.
I am running to end the war in Iraq. It was wrong to invade a sovereign country which had not attacked us and had no means or desire to attack us. And it is wrong to stay there. Our presence there is escalating the violence against our military men and women and against the Iraqi people, violence emanating from an "enemy" that we cannot recognize nor fight.

Democrat Jean Hay Bright this week became the first in her party to officially launch a campaign for the U.S. Senate seat held by Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe.

The Dixmont political activist said her decision to seek the seat in 2006 came after a tour of the state in which she found voters dissatisfied with the political makeup in Washington.

The Iraq war, civil liberties, national health care and the millions of U.S. jobs lost to foreign trade are the key issues for Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Jean Hay Bright of Dixmont, Maine.

The Lincoln County Democratic Committee willhold its monthly meeting onTuesday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the 911 Communications Building in Wiscasset. Jean Hay Bright, a candidate for U.S. Senate, will be the featured speaker.

May 6-8, 2005
Former Presidential candidate and current Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich came to Maine for the weekend, speaking at five events from Portland to Bangor. Jean and her husband David were responsible for his transportation. Here he is at Bowdoin College Saturday morning. Jean is in the center of the photo.

May 7, 2005 - Jean spoke at the Maine Progressive Caucus quarterly meeting in Augusta.

I congratulate Mike Michaud for adding his name to the list of co-sponsors of Lynn Woolsey's H. CON. RES. 35 "Expressing the sense of Congress that the President should develop and implement a plan to begin the immediate withdrawal of United States Armed Forces from Iraq." The bill was introduced January 26th and has 30 co-sponsors, including Mike.

The Department of Peace bill, sponsored by Congressman Dennis Kucinich, will be re-introduced on Sept. 12, 2005. If this bill has not been passed into law by the time I am sworn in as a Senator in 2007, I will introduce it on the Senate side of Congress.

BREWER, Maine - Jean Hay Bright, prospective candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006, joined labor activists and Democratic Party officials at the DHL picket lines in Brewer Monday morning (March 21, 2005) in support of 23 new Teamsters Local 340 members who were fired last week by a DHL "independent contractor" after a successful organizing drive. The action took place on Parkway South in Brewer, at the DHL facility across from Brewer High School.

Democrat Jean Hay Bright on Friday became the first from her party to officially explore the possibility of running against U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe in 2006.

The Dixmont author and organic farmer set up the exploratory committee, a traditional first step of many campaigns, to gauge a challenge to Maine's senior senator, who will be seeking her third term.

Letter to the Editor, Bangor Daily News:
President Bush's new agriculture budget (BDN, Feb. 21) is a nationwide assault on the agricultural infrastructure of our country. It is an insult to hard-working family farms, and it is a serious blow to our homeland security.

Conventional wisdom for generations has been that a nation that cannot feed itself will not long survive. This Republican budget clearly demonstrates a total lack of understanding of the importance of a stable, productive family-owned and operated, widely-dispersed food production system within our nation's borders.

Feb. 22, 2005 - Social Security Forum
Senior Citizen Center - Bangor, Maine
I agree that people should have private retirement accounts. We as a nation have an abysmal savings rate. Savings accounts and retirement accounts need to be encouraged. But we should not decimate the Social Security system to do it. We already have government-sponsored programs - 40lKs, IRAs, for instance. We should be encouraging people to take advantage of those programs so they will have more than Social Security to fall back on when they retire.