Maine Green Independents field slate of candidates

Following the deadline for submitting qualifying signatures, the Maine Green Independent Party has six candidates who will appear on Maine House ballots this November. This follows the early-season good news of Green Gil Harris's election to the Limerick Board of Selectmen, along with a number of other municipal candidates.

"This is an exciting group of candidates," said Maine Green Independent Party Co-Chair Niomi Larrivee, "representing the broad spectrum of voices that has been attracted to the Maine Green Independents."

The candidates for State Representative are spread throughout the length and breadth of Maine:

Andy Howard, in Kittery, District 1
Justin Reinhardt, in Limerick/Alfred/Newfield/Parsonfield/Shapleigh, District 21
Kate Schrock, in Falmouth, District 44
Kim Pfusch, in Lewiston, District 61
Robin Downs, in Hampden/Newburgh, District 101
Jaco Deertrack, in Greenville/Monson/Guilford/Parkman/Sangerville/Sebec/Shirly/Abbot/Beaver Cove/Bowerbank/Willimantic, District 119

While there may be more, and these races aren't partisan, so far the municipal candidates include Maine Green Independents:
Sam Pfeifle, School Board, MSAD15
Ben Meiklejohn, School Board, MSAD4

"Unlike some of our earlier efforts that featured strong candidates in Portland, but with few elsewhere, I am impressed with the geographic range of these six candidates," said MGIP Co-Chair Jon Olsen. "It shows that our message of fiscal responsibility, peace, justice, and ecological sanity is resonating statewide. We look forward to an exciting election year.

With its two House members, the Maine Green Independents are already the most accomplished Green Party in the U.S., and is the only globally-affiliated party electing candidates in the United States.

House Green Independent caucus elects minority leader, gets staff

(Released by House Green Independent Minority Office, Jan. 5, 2018)
House Green Independent caucus elects minority leader, gets staff

AUGUSTA--On opening day of the second session of the 128th Legislature, State Rep. Ralph Chapman (G--Brooksville) was elected Green Independent minority leader for the party's caucus in the House of Representatives. The Green Independent caucus is a new development since the closure of the first session in 2017. Chapman enrolled in the party in September, with State Rep. Henry Bear (G--Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians) later joining in November. The 128th Legislature is the first to have a Green Independent caucus since State Rep. John Eder (G--Portland) left the House of Representatives in 2006. It is also the first time the caucus has had more than one member.

Chapman said the Green Independents will primarily caucus with Independent representatives. Combined, the Independent and Green Independent caucuses share the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans. However, Chapman said the Green Independent caucus may choose to voice its positions if and when he and Bear agree it is appropriate.

The Executive Council has provided the caucus with its own staff, legislative aide Benjamin Meiklejohn, who began work on opening day, Jan. 3. Meiklejohn also serves as secretary for the Green Independent Party state committee, and has served two elected terms on the Portland School Committee. Meiklejohn will share office space with the Independent caucus's staff.

For more information, contact the Green Independent Minority Office via Chapmanor at 1-800-423-2900 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Greens say tax break must not continue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, Dec. 14, 2017
Greens say BIW tax break must not continue
AUGUSTA -- The Maine Green Independent Party opposes a proposed tax break for Bath Iron Works, the shipbuilding facility in Bath owned by General Dynamics.
The Legislative Council agreed last month to allow LR 2789, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer DeChant, D-Bath, to be considered in the next legislative session. It would extend Maine's Shipbuilding Facility Credit, which has delivered BIW a $3.5 million tax break annually since the 1990s.
Greens, including gubernatorial candidate Betsy Marsano, say this must not happen “LR 2789 is just another mechanism to socialize investment while privatizing profits," said Marsano. "Recent economic data point to small businesses, entrepreneurs and small farms as our major growth markets. We need to develop economic policies that foster and promote long-term financial stability in communities all across the state, not subsidize multi-billion-dollar corporations.”
General Dynamics is one of the largest defense companies in the world, with annual revenue of $31.5 billion. In the past 10 years, the company has bought back more than $13 billion of its own stock. Its top executive, CEO Phebe Novakovic, made $21 million last year.
Last month, the Bath City Council voted to give the shipyard $3.7 million in tax increment financing revenue over a 25-year period.
Party Co-Chair Jon Olsen said, "Any further tax breaks should be conditioned on a written agreement that Bath Iron Works will in good faith transition away from war-making equipment and instead actively pursue such projects as hospital ships, rail systems, including modern narrow gauge engines, and cars that can use existing rights-of-way for both commuter and tourist use.
"We want to see the talented, capable workforce of 5,700 men and women at Bath Iron Works expand into alternative energy systems, including wind turbines, solar, and turbines that can be used to harness the immense daily power of Maine's 10-12 foot tidal shifts," Olsen added.
"We know from economic studies that such projects will generate steady, long-term work for the existing labor force, and allow even more workers to be employed," said Riva O'Rourke, co-chair of the party. "The time to abandon dependence on corporate welfare and a bloated military budget is now."
"The last thing this world needs is more destroyers," said Olsen. "What we need are 'creators' — machines that help our state, country and world become more humane, peaceful and sustaining of life.”
Last week, the U.S. Senate voted to cut the corporate tax rate from 35 to 20 percent, which would save General Dynamics as much as $6 billion a year in taxes.
Olsen and O'Rourke said Green Independent candidates next year will run on platforms opposing corporate welfare, a public policy trend which Democrats are largely complicit in passing.
"We ask other parties to follow this lead and implement a rational use of both materials and human resources," said O'Rourke.

Maine CD2 candidate Henry Bear: Tax bill opposition sounds Green to me

HOULTON, ME-- Maine Green Independent candidate for the 2nd Congressional District Henry Bear noted today his opposition to the current tax reform plan being reconciled in Washington between recently passed House and Senate bills.

In particular, Bear noted the bills, supported by Bruce Poliquin, the current 2nd District congressman and Sen. Susan Collins, are widely unpopular in Maine. They do not represent the interests of common Mainers, he said, and run contrary to the future health and well-being of Maine citizens by raising taxes on those making less than $75,000.

Maine's median household income is $48,500. 

Bear said opposition to the tax reform sounds like a collective pining for Green values. For example:

  • Greens believe in grassroots democracy: The Senate bill was voted on without a draft being publicly available, without time for representatives to read its 400 pages. The House plan similarly includes many lobbyist-written amendments that have had virtually no public hearings.
  • Greens believe in personal and global responsibility: By adding a structural deficit increase of $1 trillion, these plans are not responsible economics. They shift the burden of today's economy onto our children and grandchildren, making us beholden to foreign debt holders, and increasing global anxiety. The economic wish-casting — saying economic growth will mitigate he structural deficit is irresponsible.
  • Greens believe in future focus and sustainability: The Greens are fundamentally fiscally conservative by nature. The tax plans are not conservative pay-as-you-go economics. We cannot sustainably plan for the future when we are financing today's growth with tomorrow's money. This clearly threatens vital social safety nets like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. The bills are the equivalent of paying a mortgage with a credit card, something people often have to do today with stagnant wages and economic growth running to the top of the food chain. 


While Bruce Poliquin votes to cut his and his wife's taxes, the raising of the threshold for the estate tax insures that hard-working people of Maine not lucky enough to be born into wealthy families will not reap benefits from this so-called tax reform.

No one wants to pay taxes, said Bear, and he agrees in principle that we should be reducing the tax burden on the working class, but only “provided these tax cuts do not increase economic inequality, negatively impact essential public services including healthcare, public education, and infrastructure, and do not reward fossil fuel activities that contribute to carbon emissions and dangerous and destructive global warming.”

Voters tired of millionaires in Congress are encouraged to take a serious look at Bear for the 2nd District. Bear said he will use the position to return economic fairness to the country and Maine.

Maine House Rep. Henry Bear registers Green, announces CD2 candidacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2017

Maine House Rep. Henry Bear registers Green, announces CD2 candidacy

On Monday, Henry John Bear, Tribal Member Representing the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians in the Maine House of Representatives, officially registered as a member of the Maine Green Independent Party. The move comes in anticipation of his Friday announcement as a Green candidate for U.S. House Representative to Maine’s Second Congressional District, challenging incumbent Congressman Bruce Poliquin, R-Maine.

Bear will announce his candidacy with an event at 2 p.m., Friday, at the Aroostook Treaty Education Center, 41 Elm St., in Houlton.

 “I’m different,” said Bear, “and that’s why I have a reasonable chance of succeeding in this campaign. I represent change. I’m capable, fearless when necessary, and the first tribal member with a law degree to run for U.S. Congress in Maine. Due to my life experience with the U.S. Coast Guard as a rescue coordinator, followed by extensive legal, small business and legislative experience, I am motivated to not shy away from conflict. Instead, I run toward it seeking to know who's in trouble and what the threat is, and then take timely action to help. That's my nature."

In registering as a Maine Green Independent, Bear joins Ralph Chapman, G-Brooksville, as the second legislator in Maine serving in the Maine House of Representatives. Maine now has the two highest elected Greens in the United States.

Bear is a distinguished House member, in his third term representing the Houlton Band of Maliseets. He has been roundly praised for his work on the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, helping to move through a bill to provide tuition assistance for veterans, for example, and earning the American Legion’s Legislator of the Year Award in 2016. A 15-year veteran of the Coast Guard, Bear works as a designer on the guided missile destroyer program's naval weapons electrical systems at General Dynamics’ Bath Iron Works.

Now he looks toward serving the tribes and all people of Maine's second congressional district in a federal role, prioritizing issues on the environment, civil rights, strength through non-violent and humanitarian military sophistication, and economic equity.

Bear points to incumbent Poliquin’s lack of support for Medicaid expansion, which recently passed overwhelmingly at the ballot box, as a clear sign the people of the Second District need representation that more closely aligns with their interests.

In joining the MGIP, Bear credits Green Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and Chapman, his seatmate in the House, for articulating positions that aligned with his own and drew his attention to the rising interest in the Maine Green Independents.

“I have found that our issues are very similar,” said Bear, “especially on the issues of the environment and civil rights and economic equity. I believe in health care for everyone who can’t afford it and I believe in ensuring that one person's hard day’s work results in a living wage, enough for a house and a car payment, and food for her family.”

While Bear will announce his candidacy Friday in the Aroostook County watershed traditional to the Maliseet Tribe, he is also the son of a French Canadian-American mother, with parents married in the Catholic Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul, was born in Lewiston at St. Mary's, lived in four excellent Auburn foster homes, and graduated from Edward Little High School, then the University of Maine at Presque Isle, before earning his law degree in nearby New Brunswick.

“You could say I’m a true son of the Second District,” Bear said, “born, educated, and life-long resident. I have skills to put differences aside and use democratic solutions to achieve a truly moral economy and push back against powerful bullying in all forms. We have the technology to communicate with each other, anywhere, instantly. I will use it to implement policy agreements that move us toward a healthy and prosperous community, a progressive and transparent government, and safer and more inclusive world community.”

 

 

DCoUzFqUAAAvJcN.jpg