June 26, 2013

Maine Voices: Assistant GOP leader: Governor’s behavior sets unfortunate tone in Augusta

Gov. LePage's posturing and name-calling overshadow his accomplishments and create a crisis atmosphere, Sen. Roger Katz says.

By ROGER KATZ, assistant Maine Senate Republican leader

(Continued from page 1)

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The Maine House voted Wednesday to override Gov. Paul LePage's veto of the state budget.

Andy Molloy / Kennebec Journal

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Gov. LePage's actions are not in line with the highest ideals of the Republican Party, says state Sen. Roger Katz, R-Augusta.

2013 Kennebec Journal File Photo/Andy Molloy

But the Republicans, just like the Democrats, have always had members who crossed the line of civility and fairness.

Bill Cohen voted to impeach a president of his own party, Richard Nixon, in just his first term in Congress. 

His predecessor, Margaret Chase Smith, had an even tougher job. She had to stand up to a Republican senator from Wisconsin, Joe McCarthy, who was paralyzing the State Department and destroying the careers of innocent people in the interest of gaining publicity. 

It was 63 years ago this month, in June 1950, that Sen. Smith stood on the floor of the U.S. Senate and rebuked McCarthy, and in the process defined what Republicans are really be about. 

She said that the Republican Party should be the “champion of unity and prudence.” 

She said that Republicans have the “responsibility of rendering constructive criticism, of clarifying issues, of allaying fears by acting as responsible citizens.” 

She said that she wanted the Republican Party to win, but she didn’t want to see the party “ride to political victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny – Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and Smear.”

This summer I hope the governor, my fellow Republican legislators and all committed Republicans have a chance to reflect on who we are, what we believe and how we should act. Then we can resolve together to never repeat the scene that happened in Augusta in the last few months.

Roger Katz of Augusta is assistant Republican leader of the Maine Senate.

— Special to the Press Herald

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