Thursday, April 22, 2010

On Protocols and Caldrons

(ed note: file this one under “you just can’t make this stuff up!”)


You’d think someone aspiring to become Governor, an attorney at that, and who not all that long ago lectured the town council on the necessity of establishing and honoring protocols, would be able to master the relatively simple protocols associated with the Maine Clean Elections Act.  Just like some of his competitors have, and hundreds have in the past. 

You’d think so, but you’d apparently be wrong, judging from published reports out yesterday.  The two major print media outlets in the state have reported on the situation; this one in Portland, and that one in Bangor.

Favorite Son Richardson managed to deliver a ball of snakes to the Maine State Ethics Commission, headed by Brunswick’s own Johnathan Wayne, on April 1st.  Reports are that a ruling should be issued this week on whether Richardson will get clean election funding or not.

We’ve looked at the form used when collecting qualifying checks, and there really isn’t any room for claiming confusion or other causes of failing to sign the form.  (You’ll find it here.)  Further, if the circulator had read the statement he was signing on the form, he/she would have realized the need to get missing signatures, or find themselves misrepresenting the form’s contents.

Coupled with the campaign’s recent confusion over who is working for it, and whether they were paid or volunteering, this has to be causing some snickers and chortles among the Augusta chattering class, and especially “Johnny Protocols’” primary competition.

I’ve always thought that typical campaign workers are wannabes – those hoping that a successful effort will result in a plum job working at the left-hand of the winner.  And history would bear this out.  So we can take the campaign team’s performance as an early glimpse of the candidate’s administration.  How do you think Maine will do being governed by a gang that couldn’t shoot straight?

To paraphrase a classic line from a Seinfeld episode:

And you want to be my governor?

The Ostrich, of course, living up to our characterization, seems to have completely missed this story, even though it involves two Brunswick notables.  Which brings us to the second part of our story.

Surely you remember fondly the caldron of conspiracy stew described in “Double, double toil and trouble,”  which, we’re proud to say, is now our all time highest ‘idiotic’ rating grabber.  We’re so proud it hurts!  Subsequently, as you know, we fretted that the stew was going cold in this follow-up.  Would our credentials for speculation be damaged beyond repair?  Would our crystal ball implode?  Would the loss of revenue force us to close our doors?

And then, in an attempt to reverse the tide, the Ostrich, in a kind gesture of professional courtesy, figuratively stopped by to dive into the smoldering caldron, single-handedly bringing things back to a steady simmer.

Yesterday, in what could well have been an intentional distraction away from the Richardson campaign’s protocol incompetence syndrome (PIS), Ostrich editors blanketed the front page with gushing puff pieces about how their obviously favored son will resurrect Maine from its systemic economic doldrums, for which he apparently has had absolutely no responsibility.

So interested was the Ostrich staff in bringing the stew back to a bubble that they even reprised the whole “Bailey pulls out” passion play, keeping the sets and props ready to go in case Richardson and Bailey should need to schedule a stage performance a few days before the primary.  They even went so far as to remind us of those doubting ‘bumpkins’ on our council, Margo Knight and Ben Tucker.

Tucker reportedly declined to comment about “Johnny Protocol’s” assertions about the area’s attitude, as did council chair Joanne King, who is also Richardson’s campaign treasurer.  (How’s that little box you’re suddenly sitting in, Joanne?)


While it may be too early to suggest that Side has been vindicated for it’s bubbling caldron theory, we do need to thank the Ostrich for seeing to it that the jury remains in deliberations.

In its front page homage, Richardson’s pronouncements on the subject of jobs seems to be based on three main points: 1) spending and borrowing more, because government is the engine of the economy; 2) those fools in Brunswick should have listened when we told them we knew best; and 3) he will fix all the problems created by he and his associates.  While he didn’t say “and you can trust me on this, because I’m not like all the others,” it’s there for those who believe to see. 

Don’t you just love it when a campaigning politician promises to fix everything he had a major role in creating and perpetuating?  As certified members of the permanent ruling elite class, JP and his mentors, forerunners, and successors have made up the ruling aristocracy for nearly 40 years, with a nearly total grip on both houses of the legislature and the Blaine House.

We can lay the regulatory climate, the taxes, the lack of business friendliness, the demographic decline, the driving away of investment capital, and the general decline in jobs and prosperity (except for government, of course) directly at the feet of John Richardson and those like him.

Even the President of the Southern Midcoast Chamber, writing in the same Ostrich edition, stated:

I am extremely disappointed that our great state more often than not falls in the “Bottom 10” list when comparing states at the national level, specifically in being business friendly and working on business attraction.

As one of the most powerful politicians in Augusta for the past 10 years, John Richardson had the bully pulpit and the policy power to completely reverse the abysmal ratings Maine receives from a variety of credible sources.  Instead, he presided over and perpetuated the failed policies of nanny statism, instead of letting free enterprise prosper, and creating a climate to retain our youth.

Here’s a question: if you didn’t do it then when you had the power to make the difference, why should we believe you will now, John?

Maybe the Ostrich will give some thought to posing that little puzzler to their guy.  Nah; better to talk about “quality of places to kayak” and school health clinics.

Here’s another question to ask him, and they won’t need to give Side credit: where do you stand on state funded 3 R’s tutoring at doctor’s offices, Mr. Speaker?

1 comment:

  1. Yes indeed, Mr. Poppycock, an attorney should know better. Maybe it's just habit that caused all of this. The habit developed by Johnny whilst serving in the legislature of not reading bills before actually voting on them. Or perhaps it's because Johnny is not a Mainer and is still learning the fine points of Maine law - after all he attended law school in Nebraska. Or, perish the thought, Johnny thinks he's above the law. Maybe we will all understand this trouble with the Ethics Commission after hearing Johnny's explanation - I'll be waiting to hear his explanation.