For quite some time, this blog has been inactive. My apologies first and foremost for this, and to address the rumors, I am still here. Bangor Daily News has not pulled the plug on me, they’ve actually checked to make sure I still have a pulse. I am not stepping down from writing, I’m actually preparing to restart the machine.
Times are busy for us all as we near the coming election cycle. Politicians are preparing their campaign operations and citizens await the carpet bombing of every form of media with glossy, well packed stretches of the political imagination. Tis the most annoying time of the year.
For my entire adult life, which admittedly is not as long as many, I have been a registered Republican. After giving speeches in High School on various topics of the Constitution, I became politically active. As soon as I hit age 18, I joined one of the major political parties. Never missing an election day, excitement led me to the ballot box for every primary to participate in my party’s processes, and to every general election as well. Volunteer work was never short, whether it be phone banking, going door to door, or spreading the propaganda that I once thought mattered.
Propaganda? The stuff about the Republican Party being different from the Democrats.
When I started this Bangor Daily News blog, I had every intention of advancing the conservative/libertarian principles of freedom and liberty. I still do. Unfortunately, how we go about moving the ball forward differs from reader to reader. While advancing principles for many is done by actually advancing principles, there is a breed of Republican that believes advancing principles is achieved by advancing party.
The problem with the latter is that principles cannot be advanced by a party that contradicts them. Republicans complain about entitlement and those who do not earn what they seek, which is why your standard mainstream Republican will believe that they are entitled to your vote without actually having to earn it.
One easy example is the Ron Paul presidential campaign, which was an excellent operation involving a team of many talents. The caucus was a hard fought success led by State Director Ryan Flowers and State Chairman Paul Madore. Eric Brakey would inherit the State Director role when Flowers was shifted elsewhere by the campaign. leaving him in charge of the chaotic convention.
Every county coordinator, myself included for Androscoggin, led a volunteer push under the leadership of these gentlemen towards a victory that was earned, not stolen. Victories were made at caucuses, despite attempts by those desperately clinging to power and fading influence to shut down newcomers. Shutting down newcomers is a legitimate strategy for any minority party, right? We’ll get there.
All the hard work by the campaign at every level came together at the controversial State Convention, where the Paul grassroots claimed victory over the National Delegation and various leadership seats, such as National Committee. The National Delegation was eventually split in half. Fairness and equality overturning competition is clearly a Democratic principle, one that Republicans stole from the playbook and ran exceptionally well.
When the RNC trashed the National Delegation, what it really sent was a message to every hard working liberty activist stating they did not matter. The phone banking, outreach, and organizing was voided, without actual legitimate reasoning. Instead of welcoming such intense devotion to victory, the Republican Party cancelled it, because they disagreed with the result in a fair competition.
The Republican Party didn’t want us. Not yet, at least, it wasn’t November.
Something else happened at the National Convention that is still being debated is the rules changes. The Mitt Romney presidential campaign, just like at the State Convention, had a fleet of lawyers on hand to silence any and all dissent. Unlike at the State Convention, they were successful in scoring a rigged victory at the National Convention. The nomination rules were successfully changed for the future, ensuring that a repeat of Ron Paul 2012 could not happen. Rand Paul 2016? Keep dreaming, it isn’t happening now.
Up until recently, now former National Committeeman Mark Willis led a fight at the RNC to restore the original nomination rules and allow all Republicans to have a voice in the presidential primaries. Apparently, this was a problem for Republican leadership. The Willis Resolution never hit the floor, dying in committee, and thus preserving the country club.
The Republican Party doesn’t only not want us, it didn’t want the principled hard work of Mark Willis. So he left.
Now Republicans are complaining that Willis has resigned, along with several State Committeemembers and other Republicans, claiming they abandoned the fight. How exactly does anyone win this fight?
The liberty grassroots fairly put up a strong fight in a presidential primary, properly securing delegates across America in compliance with the rules. This was overturned. Mark Willis fairly put up a strong fight for the rules governing future presidential primaries, properly submitting a resolution and asking that all Republicans be allowed a voice. This was ignored.
Who doesn’t want who? Willis and others tried, they were rejected. So they left.
Penobscotgate was an interesting time to be a Republican. Hard working grassroots activist Bryan Daugherty ran for Chair of the Penobscot County Republican Committee, a position he eventually lost to Deb Plowman. It became increasingly clear that there were irregularities with the election, reported by those present and participating in the process. Of these many issues were non-voting members casting votes in the election.
Republicans resorting to giving votes to those who are ineligible for voting? Really?
Ken Anderson, a concerned Penobscot Republican and husband of former State Committeewoman Michelle Anderson, filed an appeal with the Maine Republican Party. Over this time, the State Party failed to communicate with Anderson, offering no confirmation that the issue was being reviewed.
In the end, former Chairman Rich Cebra would send out the lawyers similar to how Mr. Burns would “release the hounds” on The Simpsons. Declaring Anderson “unaffected” by the election results, his appeal was rejected. Daugherty would then attempt to file his own appeal, which was also rejected based on a legal technicality.
Due to the disingenuous response to clear concern over a legitimate issue, these three Republicans left the Party.
The madness didn’t stop at this point however, as the Maine Republican Party wanted to increase the tally on violated bylaws. This time, it was the bylaw requiring an internal budget by March 31st. Even after revelations that the bank account was in the red, with the party in significant debt, a budget was not offered. One would think after Old Orchard Beach citizens recalled Town Councilor Michael Coleman, he would have more time to fulfill his duty as Maine Republican Party Budget Committee chairman.
Yet, operations continued to fail within the Maine Republican Party, as they did at the RNC. Not only were the power interests being protected, but the grassroots ground teams were being rejected.
Now with this Bangor Daily News blog titled “Undercover Porcupine”, I have covered a number of issues within the Republican Party in attempt to provide transparency. These were ongoing issues which I gave a sufficient amount of time to be fixed before it was clear suitable resolution would not be reached.
What else is there to do when all internal options have been exhausted? Air it out.
Though like the Maine Republican Party called NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden a traitor, I have become blacklisted in the Party. After all my past hard work for candidates and causes, I have become an outcast for my willingness to bring openness and transparency to a party so devoid of light.
The problem isn’t the fact everyday Republicans lack a voice in various nominating processes or that those fighting for them to have just that are rejected, it’s the blogger exposing these issues. The problem isn’t everyday Republicans being overruled by non-voting members tampering with election results or the lack of a budget providing clarity as to why significant party debt exists, it’s the blogger exposing these issues.
Well, it has become clear to this point that the corruption does not wish for my presence to exist. It has become clear to me as well, that I no longer wish to participate in the corrupt operation of the Republican Party.
As of Monday August 26, 2013, I have unenrolled from the Republican Party, becoming an Independent. It’s a liberating feeling.
The future doesn’t change much for me. Those Republican legislators who claim to put their children and principles first will continue to work with me on agreeable points and issues, if their claims are indeed true. The only difference is that I will no longer be involving myself with the petty internal politics of a collapsing political party.
Running for office is not ever ruled out, but it is not presently on the radar. My focus will be on the blog, and my work as State Coordinator for the Maine Tenth Amendment Center.
As for Undercover Porcupine, focus is shifting away from the endless drama of the Republican Party. If they wish to run like the Democrats they claim to want to defeat, more power to them. The future of the blog will be dedicated to advancing the rising revolution of the unenrolled, already a majority here in Maine. Beyond this, it will be discussing the principles of liberty and providing libertarian-leaning perspective on Maine politics.
You win, GOP. I’m gone. Now as long as Governor Paul LePage doesn’t lose to Congressman Mike Michaud in the Democratic primary, he can return for a second term to continue oppressing small farmers and advance new taxes such as the Internet sales tax. After all, the Republican leadership will defend this still, without the complementary vaseline.
Political parties serve no purpose. They take everyday Mainers and turn them against each other, injecting venom into the political arena. When it comes to the political atmosphere Republicans and Democrats create, the veins are filled with gasoline and the flames are all around. It’s open war for power and money. It’s not about the struggling parents, who have difficulty keeping the lights on and food on the table for their children. It’s not about the hurting businesses who are failing in a bad economy, because of a variety of conditions. About the most significance these people have to the battle is they make a solid campaign bargaining chip and sound good when referenced in a rebuttal of another politician’s disingenuous attempt at the truth.
Republicans are beginning to leave the party, draining the venom and instead choosing to focus on the issues that matter. We are no longer choosing to participate in the internal feuds or the empty battles that serve no purpose, other than to distract from the actual repair of our great State. If any Democrats have respect for each other, they will follow suit. Parties are counterproductive. Leave your party.
Maine is a great state and it benefits from an intelligent base of people who are more open to independents and third parties than most. Though the independents in recent memory tend to be Democrats who like to hide the “D”, their success displays that Mainers actually will look beyond parties in their decision making. This open minded trend should continue.
Let the Independent Revolution begin. Unenroll from your political party today and let’s work on the issues that matter. Begin rebuilding today to provide a better tomorrow for our children.