Maine is now in the final stretch of the United States Senate race for the seat of retiring Senator Olympia Snowe. The announcement last Spring that she would be exiting rocked the political world nationally, as the previously entrenched politician would be voluntarily relinquishing her position in the U.S. Senate. Since then, it has become quite the heated race. Maine Secretary of State Charlie Summers would win the Republican nomination and State Senator Cynthia Dill would secure the nomination for the Democratic Party. Independents Andrew Ian Dodge, who was originally in the Republican race early on against Senator Snowe, and former Governor Angus King were already present in the race. But no matter who is declared the winner of the vote in November, they all owe a debt of gratitude to the man who truly wins this race no matter what: Scott D’Amboise.
A couple of years ago, former Lisbon Selectman Scott D’Amboise threw his hat into the race against Senator Snowe. Considered a longshot, he was largely ignored by everyone outside of the Tea Party movement that had flexed it’s electoral muscle in the 2010 race nationally, as well as in Maine. It didn’t appear good in the beginning, but D’Amboise persisted and carried on. Pushing his message throughout the state, he would attend rallies and meetings, as well as meet with individuals. Spreading the word, the people would make the decision for themselves.
Caucuses roared with enthusiasm for Scott D’Amboise, as they did with other candidates from outside the establishment mainstream, such as Blaine Richardson or Congressman Ron Paul. They would be hammering untouched issues like the National Defense Authorization Act, which gives the power to the President to direct the military to indefinitely detain United States citizens without constitutional due process of law. There was much discussion in general about the Constitution, which was foreign to mainstream political discourse, and the fiscal responsibility and limited government policies inherent to said document.
Senator Snowe, who began responding to D’Amboise by name, would drop out after the caucuses displayed a significant level of enthusiasm for her outsider opponent and a shocking lack of for her. Up until this point, her record had never been thoroughly dissected. Transparency is apparently bitter partisanship and the venom in Washington D.C., which apparently happened overnight, was the excuse for turning her back on those who supported her. A career politician should know that politics is a dirty sport and one should not become a United States Senator if they cannot handle a fight. If you can’t handle the heat, don’t play in the kitchen.
Of course, no disrespect meant to this iconic figure in Maine political history. Still however, her record was a problem. From February to July 2009, she voted for a number of spending programs under President Obama totalling over a trillion dollars. These votes include supporting $825 billion in economic recovery spending in February and $192 billion in anti-recession stimulus spending in July. Spending of this magnitude should be a concern for anyone who calls themselves a fiscal conservative, as it is an outrageous level of spending. Did Senator Snowe’s constituents consent to spending over a trillion dollars of their hard-earned money?
It was questions like these that was brought to the forefront of political debate by the campaign that Scott D’Amboise ran. Regardless of how an individual feels about him or whether they supported him or not, it is undeniable that he had an impact on the political arena and he, at the very least, played a significant role in the departure of Senator Olympia Snowe. Whether or not she should be still in Washington D.C. in the future is also an irrelevant point, as the past is now behind us. Next month we are deciding who will take over a seat that one woman has held since 1995, a decision that would not be made in any other year and probably would not be made had she not faced such an aggressive opposition from one man and a movement. Secretary Summers and former Governor King are at the top of the polls, but both would not even be in a race for Senate had it not been for the real winner who forced an entrenched career politician out: Scott D’Amboise.