January 2, 2013

A century ago, Gov. Haines urged getting things done

On Jan. 2, 1913, the Republican governor told lawmakers to make every day count from the start.

By Susan M. Cover scover@mainetoday.com
State House Bureau

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Waterville’s first movie theater bore the name of Gov. Haines. It was destroyed by fire in 1967.

Joe Phelan / Kennebec Journal

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Gov. William T. Haines had a penchant for getting things done. In his inaugural address he told the Legislature, “It is poor policy to put off hearings and delay consideration of such matters as will come before you until the last few weeks of the session, and then be obligated to work late nights and rush things along.”

Additional Photos Below

In Maine, pulp and paper, cotton and woolen mills, and other manufacturers were thriving, thanks to cheap hydroelectric power.

"The boot and shoe industry is probably in the best condition ever known in the history of the state," he said.

At the time, the emerging automobile industry put pressure on the state to improve the roads.

"The automobile, whether used by the man of wealth for pleasure or recreation, or by the merchant and tradesman in the management of his business, for the trucking and delivering of his goods, or by the farmer in the marketing of his products, has undoubtedly come to stay as a leading means of transportation, and it goes without saying that the better the highways, the more useful can such machines be made," he said.

The governor encouraged lawmakers to set aside money to help send the estimated 650 Civil War veterans still living to the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg. He said arrangements already had been made to transport the soldiers by train and that he did not think taxpayers would mind bearing the expense.

Toward the end of his speech, under the heading "The Lobby," Haines implored lawmakers to make sure they understood who lobbyists are and whose interests they represent.

"The worst form of lobbying I have ever known is that of the member of the Legislature, who is an attorney or agent of some special cause or interest, and seeks through his vote and influence in exchange for other votes and influences, to carry his points," he said. "This is sometimes called log-rolling, and may result in very pernicious legislation."

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 621-5643 or at:

scover@mainetoday.com

 

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Additional Photos

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Maine Gov. William T. Haines, depicted on this postcard, gave his inaugural address a hundred years ago today, saying in the 26-page speech, “make every day count from the start.”

Photos courtesy Earle Shettleworth, state historian

  


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