February 6, 2013

Another View: Democrats should come clean on their tax-cut vote last session

It's wrong to blame Republicans for something that the vast majority of Democrats supported.

By Rep. Les Fossel, R-Alna

Michael Cuzzi's column in the Jan. 20 Maine Sunday Telegram is a disappointing journalistic shell game ("Governor's budget a disappointing fiscal shell game").

In that column Cuzzi said: "In the last Republican-controlled legislative session, the governor and his Republican allies -- and yes, some Democrats -- passed the 'largest tax cut in Maine history.' "

"Some" to Cuzzi must mean the overwhelming majority of Democrats, since only 18 Democrats (out of 85) voted against this bill (L.D. 1043) to cut our taxes. How can you trust the words of anyone who shades the truth into utter darkness?

For the facts, Google "State of Maine Legislature roll calls for L.D. 1043." You will find this bill passed by an overwhelming bipartisan vote (with a few members of both parties opposing it). Cuzzi has an absolute right to his opinions, but not to his own facts.

Cuzzi is bringing to Maine the malignant "gotcha governance" that infects our nation's capital. His approach echoes the Maine Democratic Party's unethical campaign tactics last fall when it attacked Republicans for supporting L.D. 1043 ("Millionaires Got Tax Cuts -- Retirees Got the Bill"), but neglected to mention that Democratic legislators also overwhelmingly (70 percent plus) supported it.

We still must solve the severe budget problems that face our state government, but whose facts can we trust?

The governor's? Cuzzi's? The Democratic legislators who voted overwhelmingly for L.D. 1043, but whose silence is now deafening?

If there is no one left to trust, then how can our democracy work? How can we make good decisions without honest information?

How can we keep the next election cycle from becoming an even more destructive version of the one we just endured?

I wish I knew.

Les Fossel is a former Republican state representative.

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