Ethan: Tell me how you enjoyed the Maine Democratic Convention last weekend?
Phil: My invitation must have gotten lost. Instead I shoveled loam and followed the proceedings on Twitter. How did the platform adoption go? Anything your candidates can rally around for the November election, aside from legalizing pot as a new revenue source?
Ethan: As always, an opened-minded, visionary document adopted with spirited debate. In the end, our platform is progressive and inclusive, unlike your party’s 19th-century redux on women’s health, LGBT equality, and workers’ rights. You folks sure are good at walking down a plank into obscurity.
Phil: Democrats adopted a platform that deceives more than it reveals. On the one hand, you embrace school choice and the attraction of high tech and manufacturing companies. On the other, you never mention that they must be unionized.
Ethan: We didn’t say they must be unionized because we don’t believe that. We only believe that all workers should be “guaranteed the opportunity” to unionize.
Phil: Funny, I recall Senate President Justin Alfond saying on the radio that he would rather have no jobs than non-union jobs. So which is it?
Ethan: Alfond was saying we don’t need more low-income jobs. Democrats in general aren’t interested in handing out piles of corporate welfare to corporations who will exploit our workers and then leave. Been there, done that.
Phil: And how about your plank on the environment? Democrats call for more regulations, definitions, limits and monitoring. Yet these planks were on the agenda even back when I was in the Maine Senate. Why haven’t they used their power to achieve victory?
Ethan: Just give us control of all three branches one more time and we’ll deliver!
Phil: So, tell me about the platform that was proposed and rejected about prohibiting former lobbyists from becoming a commissioner in the hoped for Michaud administration?
Ethan: Regardless of the administration, this is obviously a good idea. I also expect it was an attempt to highlight the troubles that DEP Commissioner Patricia Aho ran into being a former lobbyist for the chemical industry.
Phil: Representing business interest disqualifies someone from serving? Does that mean teachers shouldn’t be able to serve in the Department of Education or a lobbyist for the Sierra Club from joining DEP?
Ethan: Teachers didn’t make their money working for clients who will now come before them in judicial proceedings. But I do think there should be restrictions on a lobbyist for the Sierra Club, just as there should have been for Commissioner Aho.
Phil: Can we also talk about all the spending in your platform, because clearly Democrats don’t think Mainers are taxed enough.
Ethan: What do you mean? We called for a lower sales tax.
Phil: You mean the one you just raised? Gee, thanks.
Ethan: Well, we also called for fully funding education at 55 percent, which would help schools and lower property taxes. You think that is bad spending?
Phil: Well, it’s actually been current law for 10 years. How come you guys haven’t done anything about it?
Ethan: Because your party will never let us raise the revenue needed to get it done!
Phil: Oh, yeah. That’s the other part of your platform. The place where you call for more income taxes. Those same income taxes LePage cut and your party codified two years later.
Ethan: Only because your party left them unpaid the year before.
Phil: ‘The Republicans made us abandon our values!’ Got it.
Ethan: Anything in the Maine Democrat Platform you could embrace?
Phil: Section D, subparagraph 1.
Ethan: Although my photographic memory is good, I’m afraid I can’t quite pull that one up. Tell me what it says.
Phil: “We support a democratic government that … maintains the integrity of the U.S. and Maine Constitutions by strengthening separation of powers and requiring executive, legislative, and judicial accountability.”
Ethan: “Requiring executive accountability.” Oh, I get it. You must be referring to the Alexander report and your disappointment that the current administration has fallen off the tracks …
Phil: Actually your party and the press are doing a fine job of demanding accountability on that front and LePage is taking action. More to come, I’m sure.
Ethan: I notice you didn’t mention our plank on guaranteeing health care. I realize your platform celebrated the fact that Republicans blocked 70,000 Maine families from receiving coverage, but the least you could do is appreciate the goal of universal care.
Phil: Sure. But as we have seen through the VA, the government-controlled system your party wants reveals what your health care utopia would look like for all Americans.
Ethan: Now I know why your invitation didn’t get mailed.