Democratic Weekly Radio Address: Gratwick says, Maine has a tradition of respect and the Legislature continues that tradition by rejecting the governor's threats, name-calling and abuse of power.
Demagoguery. Antics and political theater that rival the Roman gladiator shows. Irrationality.
Good Morning. This is Democratic State Senator Geoffrey Gratwick of Bangor.
In Maine, we’ve all seen the headlines. But what’s really happening in Augusta? It’s not the the governor’s antics which are hijacking the headlines; rather, it’s lawmakers of all stripes, Democrats, Republicans, and Independents working together, rejecting the governor’s out of control behavior.
To be sure, Democracy is messy. It’s halting and, slow moving. But few of us would change it for anything else.
Most of us believe that the proper role of government is to allow us to do together, for the benefit of all–the very things that we cannot do individually by ourselves. Things like ensure public safety, education, roads and bridges.
In fact, by consensus, the Legislature has worked on these matters–passing dozens of bills to make our state better. But one person has remained an outlier to that process: Governor LePage.
With the tally of his record vetoes nearing the 125 mark–just since January–Governor LePage seems more intent on criticizing from the sidelines and obstructing good work than participating in making our state function well. Is that really what the people of Maine wanted–or expected from their governor?
Last November, when the people of Maine voted, the result was a divided government. A Democratically-controlled House, a Republican-controlled Senate, and a Republican Governor. That could have resulted in a stalemate. But, instead, in the Legislature, we rose above our divisions, found common-ground, and delivered results.
When Governor LePage flexed his veto pen muscle by vetoing all bills sponsored by Democrats, what did the Legislature do? Republicans and Democrats stood together to override nearly each and every veto–rejecting Governor LePage’s blustering approach of partisanship over results.
In Augusta, we are committed to making government work. The process is often exasperating– because to do so, we have to be open to many different voices, each calling for something different. It takes time and work, and mutual understanding, to appreciate the best that each voice contributes.
We must be open in our deliberations; be good listeners; appreciate other perspectives; and, work towards consensus. We must have trust in each other–and, in the process. And, we must be worthy of that trust. Government is about finding common goals.
I am proud that this is what happened in the Legislature this session. Instead of buckling to the pressure from those who have been unwilling to compromise, we grew stronger. This may not be what the news headlines flash but it’s the job we signed up to do. It’s what the people of Maine expect. And, it’s the only way to deliver results.
Mainers have a tradition of respect, of coming together, and of recognizing common purpose and decency. The Legislature is continuing this tradition and rejecting Governor LePage’s threats, name-calling and abuse of power.
Thank you for listening. This is State Senator Geoff Gratwick of Bangor. Have a great weekend.