Name: Mark D. Diehl
Position seeking: State Senator, District 29
Occupation: Former litigation attorney for major corporations, currently an award-winning novelist.
Marital status: Married
Children/family: One daughter, 13, who started as a full-time college freshman this year. We are so proud of her!
Highest Level of education completed: Doctorate in law plus two years of post graduate school.
Name and location of school or university last attended: University of Chicago,
Organizations and activities: Founding board member of Maine’s own Think LOCAL! Community Networking, now with more than a thousand members in Maine, which exists not only to support and network small and independent businesses, but also local charities, community members, and local job seekers. Think LOCAL! works to rebuild a sense of community and foster business among people we know and trust. Outspoken opponent of tar sands. Founder of Loosely Affiliated Local Artists (“LALA”), bringing together creative people and encouraging multidisciplinary cooperation in the arts.
Top three issues: (in order of priority)
1. We must reclaim our state and national governments from the control of multinational corporations. When international business interests run our government for profit, this is neither American nor capitalist. Whatever other issues are important to you, remember this: Until the government is run by citizens instead of corporations, our opinions about any other topics are moot. The only way to regain control is for us to collectively decide to reject any party that runs on corporate money.
2. Strong communities have strong local and independent businesses. We need to focus on small businesses and startups, and stop buying into the idea that the way to stimulate growth is to give away the store to giant organizations who simply want to raid us for our resources and cash and then ship their profits out of state.
3. Keeping money and power concentrated within our communities is of utmost importance in maintaining our way of life. Right now giant organizations from out of state are paying Maine workers minimum wage to keep profits high, which bleeds our state to raise stock prices on exchanges around the world. The workers, paid less than survival wages, become dependent upon welfare and other state programs, and in this way those employers become the indirect recipients of welfare. We need to raise the minimum wage and keep those dollars helping our communities instead of Wall Street.
Why are you seeking elected office?
Corporate influence in government it the most important issue of our time. I’m with Maine’s Green Independent Party because it is the state’s only political party that refuses all forms of corporate contribution and influence. My candidacy is not about trying to realize some utopian vision, but about protecting Maine’s independence and way of life from outside forces that will destroy it if left unchecked. Will you help me?