Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the maine State Constitution

Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution says:

Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained, and, however formed , they shall forever be subject of the general laws of the state ( emphasis mine)

Quote from the legislative Charter for Brunswick Landing Maine's Center for Innovation : The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority is established as a body corporate and politic and a public instrumentality of the State to carry out the purposes of this article. The authority is entrusted with acquiring and managing the properties within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station. [2009, c. 641,
§1 (AMD).]
1. Powers. The authority is a public municipal corporation and may:D. Exercise the power of eminent domain; [2005, c. 599, §1 (NEW).]

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Foukara's Hope and Change Speech at the General Knox Museum

I recently listened to the Maine Public Radio’s broadcast of Foukara, the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera’s speech at The General Henry Knox Museum. During the introduction moderator Matt Dafour thanked Act For America for transforming the anticipated low attendance for the Foukara speech to a sold out event. Dafour then goes for a cheap laugh by recommending that The General Henry Knox Museum seek another speaker that Act For America will disapprove next year- begging the question as to why The General Henry Knox Museum does not simply invite someone from Act For America to speak next year? To answer this question one needs only examine the list of previous honorees who all share a common identification with the left wing of the American political media. The “open minded” board of the museum is not so open minded as to give a pulpit or an honor to American conservatism, although conservatives are grounded in the intent to preserve the American political system that was founded during General Henry Knox’s life time, and resulted from the successful Revolution in which General Henry Knox fought.


Al Jazeera may be the mid easts most listened to news media but Brigitte Gabriel, the founder of Act for America, is a frequent pundit on America’s most listened to news media, Fox News, where she weighs in on the middle east and the threat to America from creeping Shariah. Ms Gabriel’s resume includes not only addresses to media but also addresses to the American and British Governments and their agencies.

Upon listening to the entire tape, I have found that the prepared speech has the earmarks of calculated propaganda but when Foukara answers question spontaneously , he comes across as speaking his own mind and so that becomes the most valuable portion of the presentation. Foukara comes across as a possibly unwitting puppet of forces that he does not understand and into which he projects his own dreams and aspirations. He does not seem like a bad sort but neither does he seem particularly acute or disciplined. Throughout the speech Foukara, like Obama makes reference to “change” leaving the interpretation of that term up to the beholder. Foukara indicates that the change the people are demanding is “democracy” and identifies the United States as having “democratic capital” but does not show any sign of understanding what took place during the times of General Knox when our founding fathers created our constitution and recorded the creative process in the Federalist Papers. In Federalist Paper #10 , Madison makes a clear case as to why the founders rejected pure democracy, with its historical record of failure, and opted instead for a “democratic republic”. Madison goes on to discuss the dangers of a “tyranny of the majority “inherent within a pure democracy.

Contemporary language usage conflates the democratic republic of the United States with “democracy”, there by erasing the fundamental distinctions made by our founding fathers. Institutions such as the General Henry Knox Museum, whose mission is to further understanding of period of history when the United States was founded are where we should find this crucial distinction preserved, however the current governance of the General Henry Knox Museum shows little evidence of understanding the essential thinking that formulated the American constitution, a constitution about which their 2011 gala fundraising honoree also admits to lacking an in depth understanding, when, at about 23 minutes into the speech, Foukara states:

The American Constitution or at least how it sounds to my layman ears, for I am not a constitutional expert, is not just piece of paper where a bunch of middle-aged rich white guys hurriedly scribbled squiggles on a piece of paper for a crowd happy to see the back of the British Red Coats. “The American Constitution to me is a live meaningful political philosophy, which guarantees, at least, that life in America will be a constant state of revisions and amendments to meet new and rejuvenating aspirations to change and regress – that is how I would recommend Arabs to read it at this crucial point in their history- regardless of how they feel about US Foreign Policy ……… That is where it becomes very important to take a very close look at how a constitution such as America’s deals with protecting both majorities and minorities from each other’s tyranny
This would be the natural point at which to reference the American Federalist papers and in particular Federalist Paper #10 but instead Foukara lapses into generalized ideals about ”good governance accountability, dignity and citizenship”, entirely skipping over any mention of the detailed examination found in the American Federalist papers- but then Foukara has already admitted that he is just a layman when it comes to the American constitution and has not offered any indication about how far his layman understanding has delved into actually reading our constitution- or if his ideas are formed merely by generalized understandings- the same sort of generalized understanding that never thinks to distinguish between a “democracy” and a “democratic republic”.

Foukara’s confession is astounding. Foukara is the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera. This is comparable to the head of Fox News, the most widely viewed American media, confessing to know nothing about Shariah Law. If Foukara believes his own words then why has he himself not engaged in taking a “very close look” at the United States Constitution- and more importantly the Federalist Papers which record for prosperity the thinking process that resulted in our constitution? Foukara praises the United States Constitution for its adaptability to change but fails to understand that the amendment process needs to be clarified within the broader scope of the whole constitution and the political philosophy that formed it as recorded in the Federalist Papers. Since Foukara is the head of a mid-east media, which he claims attempts to represent both sides of the issues, why has he not educated himself on the very constitution which he claims the world should be examining closely? As influential a position that Foukara holds in Arab media, how can he serve the cause of closely examining the American constitution unless he himself does so? In his question and answer segment Foukara makes a reasonable argument for broadcasting Bin Laden’s message, which goes to taking away the mythical power of mystery- but why then does he further the mythical representation of the American constitution by leaving The Federalist Papers veiled in obscurity?

“Progressivism” – believes that the United States is a “living constitution” constantly subject to revision and change and often refers to the original version as a “dusty old document” that is “out dated” in the contemporary (rejuvenated) world. Progressivism has transformed the American educational system into one in which the works of Marx are more widely read than the Federalist Papers. In fact the Federalist papers have only recently been re-introduced into the American dialogue through the efforts of the Tea Party. By emphasizing the American constitution as a document that was designed to be constantly revised, Foukara has identified his progressive political colors. He later re-enforces this when he quotes from George Soros in a generic statement which could have been said by countless others, but Soros is Foukara’s man of choice. Soros is identified as a native of Hungary, but Soro’s youthful history as a Nazi collaborator against his own people is left unmentioned, instead Soros is portrayed through the chosen quote as a champion of “democracy”. Like Obama , Foukara delivers the message of “hope and change” and like Obama, Foukara associates himself with George Soros, and in so doing- Foukara plays the same role in mid-eastern media that the American liberal media- those same stations whose pundits have been past honorees of The General Henry Knox Museum, played for Obama. Foukara gently white-washed George Soros, painting him as a champion of hope and change, leaving out the dark facts of Soros’s past and present, just as the liberal media would not discuss Obamas activities at the Chicago Annenberg Challenge or the disastrous economic policies that Obama either sponsored or supported as an Illinois senator- or any of Obama’s other sordid associations. It seems this is just one area where the Arab and Western worlds “merge together” as Foukara would say.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

As in Qatar - So in Maine, Free Speech - As long as you support "The Party".

The Bangor Daily News continues to report on the General Henry Knox Museum honoring the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera exclusively as a "free speech issue"- not really surprising since  "free speech" in the Maine media has so much in common with "free speech' in Qatar, where journalists who question the administration are hauled away without explanation. In Maine free speech is for those that support the far left power elite that has been over running this state for far too long. Just as the Maine main stream media functions as the PR firm for the state legislature reporting the pretty word packages that wrap up the legislation that can not stand the light of day, they like wise will do the same for the far left agenda that hides behind the established reputation of the General Henry Knox Museum.

The Bangor Daily News grants a public forum to Foukara's spin about how much better and freer Al Jazeera is than our news media- No mention of the fact that Al Jazeera is the news media of Qatar where there is no freedom of the press. But of course not- The Bangor Daily News supports "freedom of speech" NOT "freedom of speech for all" . Don't be silly !They like Foukara and Beth Dyer but no so much the treasurer of the Knox Lodge - whose outrage received no voice in Maine’s “freedom of speech “ press. But of course! Criticism of Foukara does not compute as freedom of speech in the far far left state of Maine.

Now the Bangor Daily News reports that Foukara compared "the Arab Spring" to the American Revolution- As I predicted would be the case when I brought up the qualifications for tax exempt non-profit income on As Maine Goes. Never once before in the media has Beth Dyer made mention of Foukars's special knowledge of the American Revolution without which he cannot draw comparisons beyond the statements based on superficial knowledge of our history as reflected in what is quoted in Maine's public media. Does Ms Dyer know that the United States is a Democratic Republic and not a "pure democracy"- She being in charge of a museum whose non-profit function should be to educate us on the founding of our own country? Why, in all the words that Beth Dyer has published, has there been no mention of our the American Revolution prior to pushing the question about the tax exempt status of the Foukara fund raising event? (As Maine Goes discussion)? Did Foukara compare what is going on in the Middle East to any thing that General Henry Knox did during the Revolutionary War ? Did he "honor" any of the heroes of our Revolution?

The Village Soup  gives press to Foukara's snarky comment that he thanks Act For America for publicizing the event in which he is honored and then focuses on showing that Foukara superficially talks about the history of our revolution- which is based on what he sees in the contemporary news and not on actual knowledge of the politcal philosophy that founded this great country. In the mushy world view of Ms Dyer and our liberal power elite- any revolution what so ever is "directly" related to the function of the General Henry Knox Museum, which begs the question- how well educated is Ms Dyer about the founding of this country?

For all the spin that blatantly attempts to align this fund raising event directly to the non-profit function of the General Henry Knox Museum, I have not found the actual text of the speech in any of the stories thus far. It seems curious in this day when anyone can record events with their cell phone. I wonder if cell phone recordings were dis-allowed at the speech? Did not even the Museum record this speech? Why is the actual text missing in action?

Also so interesting in the "freedom of the speech" press in Maine- the story of the reaction of Brad Smith, the treasurer of the General Henry Knox Lodge is no where to be found. That’s the way freedom of speech works in Maine’s main stream media- and why this story was driven by a discussion on the internet.

Brad Chase explained to Cliff Kincaid of Acuuracy in Media, “I telephoned the museum, talking to a woman, and told her I want to ask the following questions: Why are you having the Al-Jazeera Washington bureau chief as your speaker? Don’t you know that it is funded by the Emir of Qatar, and is a propaganda arm of the Islamists? Have you ever heard of the Muslim Brotherhood? Why don’t you have an American General for a speaker?”

The Major General Knox Lodge, a Masonic lodge  meets in Boston, Massachusetts,. It is a paid member and sponsor of the Knox Museum. Annually, around July 25th (Knox’s birthday), about 40 members spend a three-day weekend in Thomaston, Maine, and have a graveyard service, placing a wreath on Knox’s gravesite. Someone from the Knox Museum usually appears and takes part in the ceremony.

Also as noted in the on going discussion on As Maine Goes, while the Maine media dutifully reported how much money the Museum made from this event- they did not even mention the likely loss of funds that will inevitably result from this open disregard for the original and intended function of the General Henry Knox Museum - Once again that portion of the story doesn't compute as "free speech" in the state of Maine- nor would it calculate as such in Qatar.- though I am not sure that "free speech" is even an issue there. America' enemies are so adept at turning our own freedoms against us as they blatantly deny those freedoms on their own turf. as is the case with "freedom of the press" in Qatar. But don't hold your breath waiting for anyone in Maine's main stream media to ask Ms Dyer why she chose to honor the bureau chief of the media in a country where there is no freedom of the press.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Ld 204 Dies - General Henry Knox Museum Honors Wahington Bureau Cheif of Al Jazeera

Up date on LD204 for which the full correspondence it found HERE
Around April 5 I heard that there was to be a vote on LD 204 and that it was expected to pass
Subsequebtly I sent the following letter reminding Honorable Robert Nutting of his former promise:

Dear Senator David Trahan.
Representative Bruce McDonald
Honorable Kevin L. Raye,
Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney,
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman,
Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House
Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III

I have heard through the grapevine that LD 204 is expected to pass. I am writing to remind you the the challenge to its constitutionality remains unrefuted. I am also reminding the Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House, that he has promised to take this challenge into consideration if and when the bill comes to a vote. This is a challenge to the entirety of LD 204- a bill designed to strip local governance from the board of the municipal corporation, The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Corporation, chartered by a special act of legislation.

If this bill is passed with a constitutional challenge remaining unrefuted it then constitutes a willful betrayal of the oath of office- the only justifiable reason that I know of for "re-calling" any elected official.



On July 5th I received the following from Honorable Robert Nutting:

Dear Ms. Anderson,

I am writing to update you on the status of LD 204, "An Act Regarding the Membership of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Board of Trustees." The House took up this bill on June 14, at which time we voted 76-69 to indefinitely postpone the bill, which would have killed the legislation. A Committee of Conference was subsequently convened, composed of three members from each Chamber. The Committee could not agree on an outcome. On June 28, 2011, the bill was placed in the Legislative Files and is now dead.

Sincerely,

Robert W. Nutting
Speaker of the House ~ 2 State House Station ~ Augusta, ME 04333-0002 ~ (207) 287-1300 ~ Fax: (207) 287-1308 ~ RepRobert.Nutting@legislature.maine.gov



On another note, Today is the scheduled sate for The General Henry Knox Museum to honor Foukara, Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera. The General Henry Knox Museum is a non-profit organization formed to honor General Henry Knox, and the period of history of which he is a part, The American Revolutionary War.

 I believe it is an outrageous usurpation of the purpose of the Museum to honor a man who has advocated to Hillary Clinton, that the US should be negotiating with Hamas and to honor a news organization from a country, Qatar, which does not have freedom of the press. I started a tread on As Maine Goes. which lead to being interviewed by Channel Six and the Bangor Daily News. Both news organizations edited what I said leaving only the same two statements-That I believe that Al Jazeera is a front for Jihad recruitment, and after being prompted, I said I supposed there would be protests. I felt that these were the statements for which the media was seeking a mouthpiece, as both news media framed the issue as a freedom of speech issue, which I refuted in both interviews, only to have my view edited out of the story. Subsequently when I was contacted by The Village Soup, The Herald Gazette in Camden, I decided to respond to the interview request but not to say anything about Jihad recruitment but when I explained the issue as I saw it to the writer, I was rudely interrupted and told that others had already expressed the view that I was attempting to put across. If that is the case, then the writer intentionally selected not to publish that view in her news report and so here it is.

The General Henry Knox Museum is a non-profit organization. The Annual Report is not available online, instead there is a description of the annual meeting. The newsletters describe the annual Gala event guest speakers as "honorees". This has been the case for the last several years when the General Henry Knox Museum has chosen to honor contemporary news media, all from the left of the political spectrum, as their honorees for their "Gala" fundraising events. This was the case in regards to Foukara. When an institution honors a speaker it takes it out of the realm of "free speech". "Free speech" is the opportunity to have one's voice heard. To "honor" someone is to endorse them, to place them on a pedestal of respectability- and of course to give them something that they can add to their resume- Foukara can now put on his resume that he has been honored by a Museum that honors the American Revolutionary War.

A non-profit organization must pay taxes on proceeds from activities that are not “directly” related to the reason stated for the non-profit status on their application to the IRS. The word “directly” is found in the IRS tax code governing non-profit tax reporting. It is a stretch by any standard to say that any news personality from contemporary media is directly related to General Henry Knox and the period of history of the American Revolutionary War. - The only exception would be if the news personality were known as an expert on that period of history or the American constitution. This is not the case with Foukara. In numerous interviews, Beth Dyer of the General Henry Knox Museum justified the invitation of Foukara as an opportunity to learn about Foulard’s views on “the Arab Spring”- never once suggesting that Foukara was exceptionally informed about the American constitution.

Why would a museum invite speakers who have no relationship to their non-profit status year after year after year? It is possible that some may have spoken about the Museums dedicated purpose, but it is clear form Ms Dyers own words that this was never the intent in inviting Foukara as an “honoree” guest speaker of the museum. It is clear that this is not a tax-exempt fundraising event for the museum and yet the “gala” events appear to be their most publicized fund raising events of the year. There is currently a flood of books on the market about the founding of the United States of America by well-known authors. who would make appropriate honorees for a Museum whose dedicated purpose relates to the founding of the United States of America. Any of these authors would be directly related to the museum’s tax-exempt status. There is also is Janine Turner, the blond bombshell American actress who has started a website called Constituting America that discusses the Federalist Papers. Not only would Ms Turner make a perfect honoree for a museum that honors our founding, and be a tax-exempt choice for the Museum’s gala fund raising event, But she would be a huge box office draw- being much greater a household name in this country than is Foukara

This begs the question “Why would the Museum choose an honoree for their gala fund raising event that is not directly related to their tax exempt purpose, requiring that taxes be paid on the proceeds of the event? It is possible that the real purpose is to honor Foukara and to confer upon him a veneer of respectability that any organization with a hidden agenda of its own would covet.

Since the 1960s the far left has infiltrated Americans institutions of higher learning, which has now filtered down to the earlier educational years. Recently in Maine, The University of Maine -a standard in our legislature’s “targeted sector”- invited Bill Ayers as a quest speaker. If one searches for “socialism” on the University of Maine, there are 104 results. If one searches for the "Federalist Papers", there are 12 results. If one searches for "Marx", there are 211 results, if one searches for "James Madison" there are 161 results but those at the top of the results refer to James Madison University and so another search for “publics “ results in only 9 listings.

The General Henry Knox Museum should be educating us on our own history and the political philosophy that founded this country. Instead it is having a Gala fund raising event honoring the Washington Bureau Chief of Al Jazeera, which is portrayed by proponents as a “respectable news organization”, a comment frequently followed by a claim that all American media is propaganda. But at least American media exists in a country where freedom of the press is granted by our constitution- unlike Al Jazeera, which is the news media from Qatar, where journalists who question the administration are known to vanish into thin air.

There was a long debate on As Maine Goes, with the occasional intrusion from those who joined it Just to say “Ok- everything has been said that can be said- it is time for your guys to move on! “ but in the end I turned the mind of my detractors much to my own surprise. I think this occurred when I said the following:

”No one knows what the outcome of the Arab Spring will be- if it will result in democracy somewhat related to what we have in our culture, or if it will result in a heavy handed Sharah Law having a grip in the Middle East. The left loves to portray this country as "imperialistic" because we actively further democracy in other nations but now – suddenly- it is copasetic to do so as longs it is allegedly perpetuated by Al Jazeera. Even if the Arab Spring results in democracy, it might be quite different than the breed of democracy that we have in this country, which is not a pure democracy, but a Democratic Republic. If the Middle East had a pure democaacy that could mean a tyranny of a majority that favors Shariah Law since no one really knows what the majority in the Middel East favors. To jump to the conclusion that the Arab Spring has a direct relationship to the founding of the United States of American is to asume far too much.”

After that the general consensus of the thread was that the tax exempt application of the General Henry Knox Museum needs to be located.

I am not actively pursuing this but I hope that others will. The General Henry Knox Museum is not our only cultural constitution whose original purpose is being used as a respectable cover for a left wing agenda. The Chicago Annenberg Challenge also comes to mind.

Footnote about the link to the video in th efirst paragraph, the speaker Jeff Kincaid was one of those who contacted me behind the scenes of the discussion at As Maine Goes. The Maine news media asked both myself and Beth Dyer if we had been contacted behind the scenes but only reported on Beth Dyers answer. Also I brought up the news letter that is posted on the screen in the video to the Maine News media but they persisted in presenting the invitation as a guest speaker until I posted it a second time and then Ms Dyer was forced to admit the truth but she did so in a manner which redefined the significance of "honoree" as meaning "Guest speaker" - Glad to see Cliff Kincaid is not buying it.

Also in the same video -a Russian TV station that is raising campaign funds for Ron Paul.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Maine Needs to follow South Carolina with Guidelines for what qualifies as “State Wide Interests”

Last Week Shawn Hannity aired a segment on eminent domain. The segment focused on row house homeowners in New Jersey who were being driven from their homes through the power of eminent domain in order to make way for a business development. The homeowners were not compensated well enough for their properties to afford a new home.

In Maine we have a potential similar situation at The Brunswick Landing Maine’s Center for Innovation, chartered by special act of legislation under the name of The Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Corporation. The charter states that it is a “municipal corporation” and an “instrumentality of the state”- a contradiction in legal terms if ever there was one. The charter also grants this newly chartered “instrumentality of the state” the power of eminent domain over adjacent property.

Making the MRRA a “municipal corporation” was clearly an attempt to get around Article IV Part 3rd Section 14 of the Maine State constitution which prohibits chartering corporations by special acts of legislation with an exception for “municipal purposes”. By definition, a municipality is locally governed, thus the constitution grants the authority to amend a municipal charter to the “inhabitants of the municipality” – not to the legislature. When I pointed this out in a correspondence with the legislature, Senate Majority Leader Jon Courtney shrugged it off with the thought that it will never be challenged because should that happen the 8 million dollar bond and associated federal grants (tax payer deficit) will have to be returned. 

A bond is a public debt. The voters of Maine passed the 8 million dollar bond funding the Brunswick Landing Maine’s Center of Innovation in June 2010. How many of those that voted for it knew that it included granting the power of eminent domain to the state?  When bonds are up for vote they ought to be presented with information about the current debt the taxpayers owe and how much the new bond increases that debt per taxpayer, the same information as is considered when entering a debt agreement in the private sector.

Once the legislature charted the MTTA as a municipal corporation it went about excluding all local governance from the board of directors of the new state owned business development. They used amendments to the original charter to do so. It was not until I read the federal regulations that outline the qualifications for a state grant, that I truly understood the legislature's motivations in excluding all local governance from the board of the MRRA. Local governance disqualifies a project from receiving state grants from the federal governance (I am not a lawyer and so cannot say there is no loophole - however the disqualifying character of local governance is repeated several times in the regulations). On the MRRA website, the MRRA is described as a “non-local unit of government” despite the fact that the charter identifies the MRRA as “a municipal corporation”. 


The legislature received little opposition to the usurpation of power beyond its constitutional authority. John Courtney’s assessment is proving to be correct. The Maine State Constitution has been bought & paid for with taxpayer debt. Government chartered business developments such as the MRRA and the Loring Development are promoted as benefiting “state wide interest” but in the charter for the MRRA, the “targeted sector” clearly identifies special interest beneficiaries, the same beneficiaries  that have been the “targeted sector" of reams upon reams of legislation written over the last couple of decades. Last summer, when the legislature silently expanded the Pine Tree Zone, originally designed for low income, high unemployment areas to the whole state, they added legally useless words, “including precision manufacturing” after the general manufacturing category, sending a clear message about which special interests they would prefer that the Pine Tree Zone benefits. 

The high tech industry so favored by the legislative investment bankers depends in large part on the availability of rare earth minerals found only in China. If one is investing in the private sector, one can hedge that with other investments not so dependent on rare earth minerals, but the tax payer is a captive investor and the legislature assigns no value to all which has not been delegated as “innovative” and “creative”, a government delegation that has an entirely co-incidental relationship to concentrated investment capital.

The only justification offered for claims of a  “state wide interest” is that the government is “creating jobs” This is reported by a compliant media, which fails to include any examination of the cost to the taxpayer for the jobs that the government creates. The text of the charter, the  eminent domain, and the regulations governing the acceptance of state grants, all go un-reported by the main stream media. As Jon Courtney said- who will mess with all that "money " (otherwise known as tax payer debt). This is truly a case of "there is no wrong done unless caught" and then the wrong becomes very very wrong for it will not be the special beneficiaries of government chartered corporations which repay the federal government if the fraud is discovered, it will be the Maine state tax payer. The longer the MRRA continues to spend the taxpayers money on giving deals you can refuse to private businesses and choice pension plans to its employees, the greater becomes the potential debt covered by Maine state taxpayers if the underlying fraud is discovered.


The Annual report for the MRRA for the years ending in 2009 & 2010 is not listed as a link on the MRRA's website but it is available on line. It sates that certain expenses are not allowed to be funded by state and federal funding sources. Identified are  “certain compensated absences”, which contribute to the unfunded balance sheet deficit. The MRRA intends to use future unrestricted income sources to fund these balance sheet shortfalls.

I do not know what the cryptic term “certain compensated absences” means, but it sounds like certain people are being paid for time not spent on the job and that MRRA’s earned income will be used to compensate for that time.

In another section there is mention of yet another amendment made to the charter by the legislature which says that 25% of the income tax of those employed at the MRRA will be used for further development. It does not say who will be the beneficiary of the development fund. - Will it be “state wide” or will it be “targeted” for the special interest groups?  

There is also a paragraph about pension plans for the employees of the MRRA. Since the MRRA is an “instrumentality of the state”, the employees must be state employees, but since it is also a “municipal corporation”, then employees must be municipal employees, and since the MRRA is primarily funded by taxpayer money, the employees must work for the public. Why are these public employees of the MRRA not covered under MPERS? Why does the public have no role in authorizing money promised for pensions plans? Why is an un-elected board of the MRRA authorizing further promises of indebtedness on behalf of the taxpayers?
 

In South Carolina the Supreme Court produced a guideline for what qualifies as “for the public benefit”. The court quotes from the State Attorney General “….citing Anderson v. Baer (1975): “It is not sufficient that an undertaking bring about a remote or indirect public benefit to categorize it as a project within the sphere of “public purpose.”

Maine also needs to establish guidelines as to what authentically qualifies as “public purpose”.

The full correspondence with Senate Majority Leader Jon Courtney and well as with Speaker of the House Honorable Robert Nutting is published on my blog, Main Street Economy at http://sma-mainstreeteconomy.blogspot.com. There are also links to the Annual Report for the MRRA and an article on the Supreme Court of South Carolina’s guideline for “public purpose”.


Note on June 17th- I just submitted this letter to the Boothbay Register for the third week in a row. I will keep submitting it.







Wednesday, April 27, 2011

An Encouraging Response for the Office of The Speaker of the House

On behalf of Speaker Nutting, thank you for writing to share your idea on maineisopenforbusiness.com.  Input like yours is an essential part of the legislative process on all of the issues we address in Augusta, and we hope you will continue to share your thoughts and ideas.  The Information you suggested could help voters make more informed decisions.  I will pass along your idea for consideration.
Thank you again for writing. 
 
Susan H. Wasserott
Office of the Speaker of the House
House of Representatives
2 State House Station
Augusta, ME  04333-0002
207-287-1300
 
 


From: Website [mailto:lance.dutson@gmail.com]
Sent: Monday, March 21, 2011 4:36 PM
To: lance.dutson@gmail.com; Nutting, RepRobert
Subject: Input
Name: Mackenzie Andersen
Town: East Boothbay
Email address: mackenzie@andersenstudio.com
Your Message:: In regards to bonds unauthorized by taxpayers that is currently in the news. Since the legislature still gets to exempt bonds at will, they should be required to publish a list of all bonds that they have exempted in a manner that is as publicly accessible as possible. When bonds are put to the vote, information should include the total debt owed by the taxpayers and how much that calculates that each individual taxpayer owes.

Form Displayed on Page: www.maineisopenforbusiness.com/we-need-you/
Sender IP: 72.224.111.23

Saturday, March 5, 2011

LD 204 Regulating Mid-coast Regional Development Authority Lacks Constitutional Authority

This is the entire Text of LD 204 . Vote to take place on March 8. If any one wants to send the letter presented below permission is granted.








An Act Regarding the Membership of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority Board of Trustees
Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §13083-I, sub-§2, ¶E,  as enacted by PL 2005, c. 599, §1, is amended to read:
E.  A member appointed to the board of trustees may not hold an elected office in municipal, county or state government or be an employee who serves at the pleasure of a person who holds elected office in municipal, county or state government.
summary
This bill provides that a member appointed to the board of trustees of the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority may not be an employee who serves at the pleasure of a person who holds elected office in municipal, county or state government.





Dear Honorable Kevin L. Raye,
Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney,
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman,
Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House
Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III
I am writing to you to ask you to vote no to LD 204 which prohibits those employed by those elected by the inhabitants of the municipality from being on the board of the municipal corporation known as The Mid Coast Regional Redevelopment Authority.
 LD 204 lacks constitutional authority and arguably violates the intentions of the  authors of Maine Sate constitution- which, I submit is to make municipal corporations sovereign powers.
Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution
Corporations shall be formed under general laws, and shall not be created by special Acts of the Legislature, except for municipal purposes, and in cases where the objects of the corporation cannot otherwise be attained, and, however formed , they shall forever be subject of the general laws of the state ( emphasis mine)


Article VIII. -- Part Second.
Municipal Home Rule.
     Section 1. Power of municipalities to amend their charters. The inhabitants of any municipality shall have the power to alter and amend their charters on all matters, not prohibited by Constitution or general law, which are local and municipal in character. The Legislature shall prescribe the procedure by which the municipality may so act.

The constitution is clear- The legislature has authority to charter a municipal corporation. It does not have the power to amend the charter. It is inconsistent with of the Maine State constitution to make a legislative decree within a charter for a municipal corporation that makes said corporation "an instrumentality of the state". 

The state must have the authority to charter a municipal corporation (a town) because a town does not exist until it is chartered and requires an external entity with the authority to charter the municipal corporation- but once chartered ,the constitution grants the authority to amend the charter to the inhabitants of the municipality. That authority does not belong to the legislature. 

LD 204 is inconsistent with the Maine State constitution in its entirety

Email addresses for the above recipients found HERE




Responses
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 3:11 PM
Subject: RE: LD 204 lacks constitutional authority
 I would have to respectfully disagree.  The premise of your argument is incorrect.  The Redevelopment Authority is not a Municipal Authority as it was created by the Legislature.  When the board was created it was the intention that elected officials and those who report to them not be on the Authority.  This was designed to keep politics out of the process.  LD 204 simply clarifies the intent of that provision.
 This provision was put in to ensure a statewide interest rather than a local municipal one.  The state has made significant investments already and I can assure you that if the board is compromised there will be little interest from many other parts of the state for future investment.
 Best Regards,
 Jon Courtney
 Republican Majority Leader
Maine Senate Dist. #3
Alfred, Limington, Lyman, Sanford/Springvale & Waterboro

****************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************** 
Ms. Anderson,
Thank you for writing to express your concerns about LD 204Input like yours is an essential part of the legislative process on all of the issues we address in Augusta, and I hope you will continue to share your thoughts and concerns at any time. 
At this point the bill is working its way through the committee process and has not yet come to the House floor.  When it does, I will keep your concerns in mind. 
In addition, I would suggest that you contact the Representative and Senator from your area.  In case you do not know the names of your legislators, I included a link so you could get their contact information:  http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/townlist.htm
Thank you again for writing. 
Sincerely,
Robert W. Nutting
Speaker of the House ~ 2 State House Station ~ Augusta, ME 04333-0002 ~ (207) 287-1300 ~ Fax: (207) 287-1308 ~ RepRobert.Nutting@legislature.maine.gov


From: mackenzie@andersenstudio.com [mailto:mackenzie@andersenstudio.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 08, 2011 3:53 PM
To: Jon Courtney
Subject: Re: LD 204 lacks constitutional authority

Dear Mr Courtney,
I applaud you for having the where with all to respond to this issue as you are the first politician that has. I formerly had a dialogue with my Representative Bruce McDonald and my Senator David Trahan, but once I questioned the constitutionality of the massive and entrenched structure of state capitalism that exists in this state, neither of my own representatives would engage in the conversation.
 However. I do not think you have made a convincing argument.
 The legislation that chartered MRRA defines it as a municipal corporation.-
5 §13083-I. MIDCOAST REGIONAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY; POWERS;
MEMBERSHIP; OBLIGATIONS
1. Powers. The authority is a public municipal corporation and may:

The reason seems clear- because municipal corporations are an exception to the constitutional prohibition to the legislature chartering corporations through special acts of legislation. If you can offer me any other reason for the above quoted statement being in the charter for the MRRA, please do tell. I can think of no other reason since it does not function in accordance with every legal definition or court ruling that I have read in which there is always an emphasis placed on the municipal corporation as a self governing local government. The term "instrumentality of the state" is often contrasted with the municipal corporation, which is a sovereign entity in the same way that states are sovereign entities in relation to the federal government. If the legislature did not intend for the MRRA to be self governed by the inhabitants of the municipality- then why does the charter state in no uncertain terms that the MRRA is a municipal corporation?- other than the reason I have suggested?
 The interpretation of the law is in the letter of the law- not in explanations external to the law.
 The elected officials are elected by the inhabitants of the municipality. The Maine State constitution grants the inhabitants of the municipality the authority to amend the charter - The constitution does not grant this authority to the legislature, and so for the legislature to exclude those elected by the inhabitants of the municipality seems in direct defiance of our state constitution.
 MRRA is a mini-corporate state ,which is diametrically opposed to the  political philosophy in both the Maine and United States constitutions.
If the legislature keeps on creating these mini corporate states - each with the power of eminent domain to take adjacent property, then in about a decade our state and our constitution will have been fundamentally transformed into a corporate state, benefiting the favored sector and expecting everyone else to pay for it.
 The members of the legislature took an oath to uphold the Maine state constitution. That is what you are supposed to do. How can you tell me that the MRRA is not a municipal corporation when those very words are in the special act of legislation which chartered said corporation? Have you not read the legislation?
 Mackenzie Andersen
************************************************************************************************************


I am sorry you are not convinced.  Like any law it can be overturned if deemed unconstitutional, but I am sure this one will not.  Thank you for sharing your position.

I would suggest the bigger picture is the future commitment from the state with regards to the redevelopment of the base.  These little squabbles do not help foster future statewide interest and goodwill.  For instance there are some in my community that would be happy to turn everything over to Brunswick and have the Authority return the $8 million bond issue and the additional state investment to the state.   
 I am hopeful we can get past this and create more opportunity for the people of Maine.  
 Best Regards,
 Jon Courtney
 Republican Majority Leader
Maine Senate Dist. #3
Alfred, Limington, Lyman, Sanford/Springvale & Waterboro
joncourtney@metrocast.net


Sent on March 10 around 9:25 AM By Mackenzie Andersen


Dear Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney, 
Your premise is flawed. The authority has no money to return. Bonds are public debt. The return of the property to the town of Brunswick, would reduce the deficit. 
The Authority is a special interest group. Special Acts of legislation are special because they serve special interests as opposed to the common good. If the Authority returns the land and its associated bond to municipal control, the deficit owed by the general tax payer is reduced.
The money you say "the state" invested is also derived from funds contributed by the general tax payer but used to benefit a special interest faction. Other funds may be redistributed wealth from grants, bonds, gifts- not earned or created wealth and much of it also in the form of a tax payer deficit and/or risk. You are right about one thing no business in the private sector can wheel and deal with taxpayer dollars to offer investors a deal they can't refuse, which with the extension of the Pine Tree Zone includes 100% exception from income tax, 100% exception from corporate tax and an 80% "tax credit" on payroll tax.

I wonder why the legislature added the words "including precision manufacturing: to the language of Pine Tree Zone.? "Precision manufacturing is a special manufacturing sector already included in the category "manufacturing". This is useless legal language. Why does our legislature add useless legal language to a bill? Your job is supposed to be the construction of clear non-ambiguous legislation for the "common good" -  borrow a phrase from the preamble of Maine State Constitution. Your job is not managing the economy for the benefit of a favored faction. You are constructing legislation very poorly, even borrowing bad language from the other's states poorly written legislation as in last years inclusion of the L3C into the statute of the LLC- The language of that law actually states that a qualifying business must not intend to make an income. Even non-profit corporations make incomes! And need I mention that in the special act of legislation that chartered the MRRA, there is mention of a transfer of property which does not identify to whom the property is transferred - and then goes on to identify said property not with the clarity of latitude and longitude but with vague language that can be interpreted as "it is whatever we deem it to be at any unspecified moment in time".
The whole economy would benefit more from a fair and equitable playing field than from the manipulation of wealth by a government overlord society which has decided it is their job to pick and choose who will get a choice deal and who will be taxed to fund the favored sector.
The MRRA sounds like a modern day kings court to benefit the favored economic sector. It is like a walled community- eventually leading to a feudalistic society. Manufactures will not  locate there because they are so eager to have the government as their landlord- in fact some may think twice about that- but the overlord elite is probably offering the businesses that they favor, a deal they can't refuse with the tax payer's money. Return the money to the general economy- create an honest business environment and that will make Maine different from so many other states using the template to success designed by Pied Piper Richard Florida- Every state following said template has to continually make the deal they offer to businesses more attractive than the other states following an identical template. Create an honest business environment and then Maine offers something unique that can't be found as commonly as a Richard Florida man-made Garden of Eden. -which can never compete with the real thing. 
But clearly our legislative overlord society has no appetite for a vision of success through creating an honest fair and just business environment for all
.
Mackenzie Andersen
CC:Honorable Kevin L. Raye,
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman,
Honorable Robert W. Nutting ,Speaker of the House

Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis
Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III
Senator David Trahan
Representative Bruce McDonald






LD 204, a bill that seems specifically targeted at keeping Town Manager Gary Brown off the MRRA Board.

I received this in my email urging people to contact the people listed below to defeat what seems to be an attempt to exclude the Brunswick Town Manager from the Board of the Mid_coast Regional Development Association.

Brunswick Republican Town Committee
Minutes of the MAR 2011 Meeting
Mar. 3, 2011
Brunswick Business Center
18 Pleasant St. Brunswick

MINUTES:

1. Meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM.

2. Chair’s Report:
            A. - Discussed LD 204, a bill that seems specifically targeted at keeping Town Manager Gary Brown off the MRRA Board.  This is strange, as a review of the makeup of redevelopment boards in other towns, most particularly the Loring and Pease base redevelopment boards, shows that the town councils where the bases were sited invariably had a permanent elected representative sitting on their respective boards.
            This bill is being held up temporarily, by Rep. Kerri Prescott, but will come up for a vote soon, possible Tuesday, the 8th of March. We urge all hands to immediately contact the following persons and urge them to defeat this bill:
            Senate Leadership

            Honorable Kevin L. Raye
            President of the Senate
            Phone: (207) 287-1500
            senator@kevinraye.com
           
            Majority Floor Leader: Senator Jon Courtney, joncourtney@metrocast.net , testified in favor of this bill and the question to his boss, Kevin Raye, is why was he allowed to do this?
             
            Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Senator Debra D. Plowman, SenDebra.Plowman@legislature.maine.gov


            House Leadership

            Honorable Robert W. Nutting
            Speaker of the House
            tel: (207) 287-1300
            e-mail: RepRobert.Nutting@legislature.maine.gov

            Majority Floor Leader: Philip A. Curtis <http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/hsebios/curtpa.htm>  (R-Madison), tel: (207) 287-1440
             
            Assistant Majority Floor Leader: Andre E. Cushing III <http://www.maine.gov/legis/house/hsebios/cushae.htm>  (R-Hampden), tel: (207) 287-1440

Governor’s Office
            Tel. 207-287-3531

            John McGough: Chief of Staff รจ he is from Brunswick

            Kathleen Newman: Deputy Chief of Staff

TALKING POINTS

            --The Brunswick Town Council is unanimous in desiring to have Town Manager Gary Brown represent their interests on the MRRA board (the authority overseeing the re-development of the base.

            --A survey of re-development authorities across America, including Pease and Loring after which the MRRA board was based, shows EVERY host communities has permanent representation on such a board selected by them, not the Governor

            --Currently the host community of Topsham has NO representation on this board.  Brunswick has two, a private citizen and a resident who happens to be the Freeport Economic Development Officer. We would like stronger local representation. Let us control our own destiny.

  

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Letter Of Evasion

To date this is the only response that I have received from my letter addressed to Governor LePage with a copy sent to Attorney General Schneider.

The only instances in which the response shows evidence that my letter was actually read is in the mention of the name of the Brunswick Landing Maine's Center for Innovation. in the first paragraph - and- in acknowledging that I am addressing a constitutional matter.

However the grammatical structure of the first sentence  gives credence to the speculation that the letter is a form letter used as a response to multiple letters.

 The letter says "Thank You for your letter requesting the "constitutionality of the Brunswick Landing  Maine's center for Innovation '" as though "constitutionality of the Brunswick Landing Maine's center for Innovation"  is imported content  in a mail merge process. More correctly I wrote a letter requesting that the Attorney General challenge the constitutionality of The Brunswick Landing Maine's Center for Innovation. It seems telling that the action requested of the Attorney General is left out of the structural syntax of the sentence. This is the first evidence of evasion, which is carried through in the remainder of the response.

The next sentence suggests that I wrote to the Attorney General requesting private legal advice, when in fact it was Governor LePage to whom my letter is addressed and only a copy sent to the Attorney General. Nor did I ask for private legal advice. I do not need to consult an attorney to know that as a private citizen I do not have standing to challenge the constitutionality of The Brunswick Landing Maine's Center For Innovation unless I can show direct personal harm. Since I do not own property abutting the Center and since I am not an inhabitant of the municipality, I cannot show direct personal harm and thus I wrote a letter to Governor LePage suggesting that the Attorney General challenge the constitutionality of the Center. I thought the Attorney General has the power to represent the people of the state of Maine. Silly me.


In fact my letter does not ask for legal advice, it requests legal action. In fact I audaciously offered my own legal opinion.

The next sentence says that Maine Statute requires the Attorney General to represent the state and the state agencies. I can see where this becomes a conflict of interest if the Attorney General were to represent the people of Maine, which is one interpretation of "the state" against an action taken by a branch of the state government, which can be interpreted as a "state agency". Statutes are written by the legislature so we can blame them for this "conflation of " as opposed to "separation of"  the powers of the branches of government.

The Attorney General himself was once a member of the legislature during years that some of the legislation that I, as a member of the public, have requested that our current administration constitutionally challenge. So is it a surprise that - given the conflict of interest written into the statute by the legislature, the Attorney General decides it is his role to represent the state agency and not the people of the state, who happen to be the ones footing the bills mandated by the legislature.

The letter pretends that I am not writing as a member of the public but as a private citizen with private interests, that makes it easy for the Attorney General to dismiss the role of representing the people of the state, that is , if the Attorney General actually had a hand in writing the letter..

There is a very large question raised by the letter.When the word "state" is used, what is intended? The people and the land of the state- or just the state government ?- which is a faction of the state.

The letter actually says that the Attorney General provides opinions on the matter of law to the Governor, but this letter fails to recognize that this is the function of the Attorney General that my letter intended to engage on the behalf of the people. The Governor has asked the business community to engage and I have engaged, but not in the pre-determined box, it seems- and so the form letter that (speculatively) was assigned to merge with my imported information was not a very good fit. Was it?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Governor LePage Addresses Mountainf of Taxation Unapproved by Maine Voters.

In mid- February Maine's Governor LePage gave a radio address explaining why he declined to approve bonds promise by quasi governmental agencies These are a few quotes from LePage's Radio Address

 $19,448! If you are one of Maine’s 653,000 tax filers, this is your share of the Maine’s $12.7 billion in public debt. If you do not remember approving nearly $13 billion in bonds, you did not necessarily miss an election. More than 95% of Maine’s debt was never approved by voters as required by our Constitution!

As a voter and taxpayer you have only had a say on about $500 million in general obligation bond questions on the ballot. The remainder of our taxpayer-backed obligations is the result of promises made, but never paid for and decisions made by quasi-governmental authorities you have never heard of.

 ....Most of the remaining obligations backed up by Maine’s taxpayers were issued by boards or authorities you probably have never heard of. The debt was issued without your approval and passed onto other entities who we hope will repay the money.....

....Article IX, Section 14 of Maine’s Constitution is clear. With very rare exceptions, the credit of the state shall not be directly or indirectly loaned without a two-thirds vote of the Legislature and a majority vote of electors.

In an article for The Bangor Daily News, Matt Wickenheiser said:

“AUGUSTA, Maine — A $31 million bond package sponsored by a little-known quasi-state government body has stalled after Gov. Paul LePage’s decision not to approve it.


The decision highlights a fundamental shift in how the executive branch views debt in the state and has implications for agencies that issue bonds to help fund such things as college loans, low-income housing, and hospital and school expansions.


The Maine Health and Higher Educational Facilities Authority, or MHHEFA, is the government entity in the state that educational and health care nonprofit groups must go through under federal law to sell tax-exempt bonds, borrowing money for capital expenditures at low rates of interest.


Maine residents have not been asked to vote on such quasi-governmental agency bonds in the past, but that appears to be changing under the LePage administration.”

The bond issue discussed in the Bangor Daily News article is just the tip of a huge mountain of wheeling and dealing that has created a favored class that benefits and an unfavored class that pays. We will hear many voices trying to make LePage guilty by claiming that it is LePage’s actions which are bad for the economy. Although every one wants to see hospitals built and other worthy causes funded, it is outrageous that there are quasi public companies funding bonds at the taxpayers expense without taxpayer knowledge or consent.

One voice, in the above article, tries to make LePage the guilty party for stopping the funding of a hospital construction project and attempts to belittle LePage's actions with the words  that his reasons are "only a philosophical principle"- yes it is a philosophical principle- a political philosophical principle which is recorded and preserved in the Maine state constitution !. LePage gets credit for referencing the actual Article of the Maine state constitution which the issuing of bonds by quasi public corporations violates.

Over the years, the plethora  the wheeling and dealing by quasi government agencies has been justified by claims that it is for "the social benefit" and indeed some of it is, but what starts as a cause to benefit of the impoverished and struggling classes has been twisted time and time again to benefit the well to do. Such is the case with the recent statewide expansion of the Pine tree Zone, an economic zone which was originally conceived of as an act to benefit areas with low income and high unemployment to become, with the state wide expansion, aggressive corporate welfare, in which the favored private economic sector has tax breaks that non-profit organizations would envy, while avoiding an equal level of transparency as a non-profit organization must maintain by having publicly accessible annual reports.

Once the government starts manipulating, there is no end to it, and what starts out as seemingly reasonable cause is co-opted by the power elite to use for their own ends. This has become a massive practice in Maine, which LePage has only hinted at, but he is the first politician to do that.

Along with the manipulations comes the hidden and expanding expense of a bureaucracy needed to manage the transference of wealth to the chosen ones, whoever they happen to be. Just the bureaucratic expense, alone, wipes out part or all of the alleged benefit to the larger society. There is no way to even keep track of who the real beneficiaries are - given the combination of increased bureaucratic expenses and increased lack of transparency.

The other side of it is that it creates an artificial world in which some businesses and organizations are worthier than others. This is a mechanical and atheistic "philosophy", one in which the ruling elite takes the place of God.

In a state in which one discovers a new government chartered corporation or regulations designed to benefit the favored sector, every week, this is the best news I have heard in a very long time.

Imagine what resources might be suddenly freed up, if we could eliminate all special interest benefits with the swoop of a wand. It would be like the sudden rushing of a frozen river in the early spring.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Letter to Lepage Requesting State Attorney General Challenge the Constitutionality of The Brunswick Landing Maine's Center For Innovation

INTRODUCTION: This letter was submitted twice on line. After receiving no response, I sent it certified mail and cc'd it to Attorney General William J. Schneide on March 23, 2011, also by certified mail.

Dear Governor Lepage,

Second Submission to make sure that it was received.

Re: Challenging the constitutionality of corporations chartered by special act of legislation.

Source: Maine State Constitution, Article IV, Part Third,Section 14

Dear Governor Le Page,

You have asked the business community for input concerning regulations that inhibit business growth but there is gorilla in the room that no one talks about, which is the escalating structure of corporations chartered by special act of legislation, which have increased dramatically since 1990.

As you know, having taken an oath to uphold the Maine State Constitution, Article IV, Part Third Section 14 of the Maine State constitution prohibits the charter of corporations by special act of legislation, with two exceptions. Although language used in some of the legislation attempts to suggest that the corporation being chartered satisfies either one of these exemptions, it is unlikely that the plethora of corporations chartered by our legislature could all satisfy one or the other of the exemptions. In my opinion, none satisfy the exemptions.

I am writing to request an investigation into the government chartered corporations, be they non-profit, quasi-public, or entirely state controlled corporations and whether they are called “the fund”, “the fund of funds” “trusts, or non-profit corporations. A corporation by any other name is still a corporation.

 A few years ago I encountered the Small Enterprise Growth Fund at the Juice Conference. It was there that I learned that the taxpayer invest 10% of the total amount of “the fund’s” assets in a “roll over fund” meaning a fund that keeps rolling over to re-invest in “the fund”. Conversely, the other 90% of investments from private “high growth” investors demand an “exit strategy” (typically selling the business) as part of the terms of agreement, in order that the high growth investor can make a profit.

Small business owners are well aware of “roll over investments”- this is a primary source of capitalization in the private micro-economy sector- it just means that self-generated profits are re-invested in the business as on-going operating capital. When the Small Enterprise Growth Fund uses tax payer money to underwrite its investments, it does by extracting capital investment funds from the entire economy.

What private sector corporation can use taxpayer funds as “roll-over” investment capitalization? When the legislature charters a corporation and in so doing assigns the use of taxpayer funds to be used as investments or as promissory notes to back up private investor losses (as in the case of last year’s “Fund of Funds” (LD1), they create an unequal competitive edge for the government sector over the private sector. Is not this a reason why, in the 19th century, our legislature added Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 to the Maine State constitution prohibiting corporations from being chartered by special acts of legislation?

The Small Enterprise Growth Fund is but one building block in a steadily escalating network of corporations chartered by special acts of legislation. These corporations are aimed at underwriting a favored sector of the economy, which is composed of the high tech sector, the academic sector, the green energy sector, the health care industry, and data centers. Government chartered corporations are partially or completely controlled by the state and are granted a competitive edge over private sector competitors through the use of taxpayer dollars. All that the taxpayer gets in return for the use of our capital is a claim that the government is creating jobs in the private sector. When did it become the government’s role to manage the Maine economy?

The legislature has also devised ways for government chartered corporations to accumulate capital from foundations grants and private gifts, whether they be non profit corporations or merely “municipal corporations which are an instrumentality of the state” as in the newly chartered Brunswick Landing Maine’s Center for Innovation. This recently chartered corporation is authorized to seize private property by eminent domain. What do you find across the street from this newly chartered corporate state, complete with an airport, a campus for the University of Maine, and housing for the workers”- you find long standing micro businesses that are in the government’s un-favored economic sector! This expresses openly and clearly the attitude with which our legislature regards that part of the economy, excluded from its favored sector- The legislature would bulldoze it over so the land can be claimed for the ever expanding corporate state.

The charter for the Brunswick Landing Maine’s Center for Innovation is full of contradictions which have no other explanation than that they exist as a blatant attempt by our legislature to get around Maine’s constitution. “A municipal corporation” which is simultaneously an “instrumentality of the state” is a contradiction of terms. When, in the 19th century, the legislature made an exception for municipal corporations, they did so because they had no other choice. Towns are municipal corporations but cannot exist until they are chartered. There for it is necessary that there be an outside authority which charters the town. This authority was granted to the state but the legislature wisely granted unto the “inhabitants of the municipality” the authority to amend the charter created by the legislature. The intent seems clear: a municipal corporation is self-governing. The state is not a municipal corporation and does not have governing authority within municipaliti

Whereas real estate deeds and towns have specific boundaries defined by longitudes and latitudes, the geographical location of the municipal corporation known as The Mid-coast Regional Redevelopment Corporation is identified as “within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station” and also includes other geographically separate property that the authority determines should be part of the base .

Quoting from the legislation chartering this corporate state:

  • "Brunswick Naval Air Station" or "base" means those properties and Facilities within the geographic boundaries of the United States Department of Defense naval air station at Brunswick existing on the effective date of this section "Base" also includes other geographically separate property that the authority determines should be part of the base if the municipality in which the property is located has chosen not to accept the property and use it for other purposes” (emphasis mine)

  • "Real or personal property" means those properties and assets transferred by the United States Government or the United States Navy after the closure of Brunswick Naval Air Station.”

Since the above does not identify to whom the property was transferred, I am assuming it was the state. The state can constitutionally create a municipal corporation but I argue that municipal corporations are intended by the 19th century authors of our constitution to have a geographical location, while the website for The Brunswick Landing Maine’s Center For Innovation describes it as a “non-local unit of government” 

The bylaws that the legislature created when they chartered said “municipal corporation” call it a “public municipal corporation”. What is the meaning of the additional term, “public”? Is it to mean that this is a town collectively owned by the people of Maine- i.e. the state? 

By what constitutional authority can the legislature create a state owned municipal corporation? The legislature inserted the word “public” into the bylaws of this corporation in an attempt to pull the wool over our eyes. The constitution clearly states that “the inhabitants of the municipality” have the power to amend the charter of a municipal corporation, but the legislature is attempting to alter this by including in the bylaws that the charter can only be amended in ways that are “consistent” with its own charter. This is a usurpation of the powers of “the inhabitants of the municipality”- which is not “the general public” but specific individuals and business which inhabit the vaguely defined territory of Maine’s new mini-corporate state.

The charter for this “municipal corporation” and “instrumentality of the state” has granted unto itself the power of eminent domain to seize adjacent property – Is this what is meant by the charter’s claim that “The authority is entrusted with acquiring and managing the properties within the geographic boundaries of Brunswick Naval Air Station’?

Given that our legislature has claimed in a vague and provisional manner that the geographical territory includes territory which it intends to acquire, then do the current “inhabitants of the municipality” include those small businesses and other private property that are the target of the Mid-coast Regional Redevelopment Authority’s self-claimed authority of eminent domain?

Is it not a mockery of the Maine State Constitution to include in a charter that it can only be amended in a way that is consistent with the states’ charter- which is arguably inconsistent with the intended meaning of Article IV, Part Third, Section 14 of the Maine State Constitution.

Governor LePage, you campaigned on the concept that it is not the government’s role to manage the economy- but the only justification that our legislature has given the public for the massive structure of corporations chartered by special acts of legislation over the last fifteen or more years is that the government is “creating jobs in the private sector”. This is also the way in which our media reports on Maine’s entrenched state capitalism. Note that “creating jobs” is not one of the two exceptions that the constitution grants to its prohibition against corporations chartered by special acts of legislati

I request that the Attorney general’s office challenge the constitutionality of the charter for The MIDCOAST REGIONAL REDEVELOPMENT AUTHORITY’ and that an investigation be initiated into the constitutionality of the entire network of government chartered corporations, to include making known the private investors who are the beneficiaries of our government’s wheeling and dealing.

I understand that the media has painted a picture of this scheme as seen through rose-colored glasses. If you believed the media, it is about creating jobs- end of story. There is much more to it than that. We are told it is only about “creating jobs for Maine”- but how are these investors being attracted? It is reasonable to speculate that they are being offered deals that they cannot refuse-paid for by the taxpayers of Maine.

 Cleansing Maine of unconstitutional state capitalism is a national media story. We may lose the “high growth investor” attracted by the get rich quick deals offered by our government but we may attract a new breed of entrepreneurs hungry for an honest, free and equitable environment in which to conduct business.

If we don’t do this now, in ten years our state may be taken over by mini corporate sates like the Brunswick Landing Maine Center For Innovation armed with the power of eminent domain to seize private property which is not “consistent” with its vision - that is if a Chinese embargo on rare earth minerals hasn’t caused its collapse- at the taxpayer’s expense.