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Politics | Thursday, May 13th, 2010, 2:08 pm

Maine GOP turns toward the Tea Party

The Maine Republican Party has adopted a new official platform that contains not only the traditional conservative values of the party, but also new positions inspired by the Tea Party movement.

The platform includes support of abolishing the Department of Education and the Federal Reserve; opposition to Motor Votor, which allows people to register to vote when they get their driver’s license; and clarifies that “health care is not a right. It is a service.”

The platform as passed was an alternative to the proposed document that contained general conservative themes, according to the Bangor Daily News. Various news sources in Maine, as well as the AP, attribute the platform to a group of activists from Knox County. Sen. Peter Mills, R-Cornville, said delegates wouldn’t have approved the platform if they had understood its implications, according to the Kennebec Journal.

“This platform here can be used to defeat Republicans in the general election,” [Mills] said. “The convention this year attracted a number of people I think who had not been to a convention before and came to highjack the platform.”

The platform also includes the following text, in homage to the Tea Party movement:

The Tea Party movement is reminiscent of the principled revolt that led to the birth of the Republican Party in 1854.  In June of that year, Horace Greeley referred to the newly formed Republicans as “…united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty…”.  This year it is incumbent upon those Republicans who strive to protect and defend our Constitution, to reclaim that heritage.

Contrary to the usual generalities present in party platforms, the Maine GOP’s is now hyper-specific, mentioning several pieces of legislation by name, such as the Employee Free Choice Act (opposition to) and Sen. Ron Paul’s Federal Reserve Audit act (support for). It also moves forward initiatives only achievable at the federal level, such as backing out of international treaties that “surrender U.S. sovereignty,” limiting the payroll-related decision making of Congress and instituting stricter term limits.

A Republican political consultant working with one of the GOP’s gubernatorial candidates said platforms mean very little in contemporary politics.

“A platform is just a platform,” said the consultant, who preferred to remain anonymous. “No one is going to change their opinion because of a party platform.” Sen. Olympia Snowe gave similar comments to the Kennebec Journal, saying that “Nobody is going to agree chapter and verse with the party platform.”

More items in the new Maine Republican Platform:

  • Support for 2nd and 10th amendments.
  • Support for the arrest and deportation of all illegal immigrants, regardless of circumstance.
  • Assertion that “‘Freedom of Religion’ does not mean ‘freedom from religion.’” and that “Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.”
  • A directive to “Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the US on  23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win” and to “Defeat Cap and Trade, investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion.”

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Mario Carmine Moretto is editor of Politicator and a founding editor of the Observer.

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