Friday, January 21, 2011

Beware of Corporate Carpetbaggers

“Go back to Rhode Island and stay there,” Gerald Griffin from Falmouth told me in a recent letter. He’s sick and tired of “carpetbaggers” vacationing in Maine and “then gotten the idea that they want to live here and push their views on us.”

Griffin wants “carpenters, plumbers, electricians, fisherman, lumberjacks and housewives” to make the laws in Augusta instead of “strangers” like me.

Gerald, baby, wake up! Housewives? Really? Who can afford to do that?

The carpetbaggers you need to worry about are not middle-aged mothers raising their kids, working three jobs, and paying taxes. Write your nasty letters to the out of state corporations who pumped $1.8 million dollars in to the campaign of Governor Lepage and are now driving his agenda to roll back regulatory protections and shrink government so small it will only fit in our bedroom. Send a snarky letter to the Republican State Leadership Committee in Arlington, Virginia, who spent $400,000 on nasty Maine state senate races.

Sure, I’ve only lived in Maine for twenty-two years, but I’ll bet my views are more in line with yours than the pharmaceutical industry or a private prison company.


Becky said...

Agree with you completely. BTW the "from away" phenomenon in Maine does not serve this state well. We are originally from the Midwest who moved to the Midcoast from NY eight years ago and are mostly retired. We were both well-employed in NY for many years and educated four children on our earning. Frankly the "from away" concept is insulting to people like us who are now seriously engaged in volunteer activities and church life, have offered our friendship to many Mainers and, of course, pay our tax dollars just like all Mainers do. We also spend our bank account in Maine and support local businesses. Why categorize us as "from away" and not entitled to consideration in the political process and elsewhere?

Cynthia said...

Becky, the "from away" thing drives me nuts! Thanks for the comment.

Ms.Paula Page said...

We, have seen "retired wealth" from let's say Conn. Come here buy two homes,a restaurant,a campground and then jump right into local politics to have their way with our systems. All the while the hard working Mainer is too busy or played out to fight, or even see it coming. So, we do have to allow for some of the misplaced anger, it stems from fear. For we are slowly losing all we have, and have had to be proud of.
The Maine people have watched all of the former camps that many Maine families had, sold off to wealthy out-of-Staters, because they simply could no longer afford the taxes on them.This was because people from away paid way more than the camps were worth and thusly drove the hard working families out of their camps, by driving up property valuations.

Anonymous said...

Paul la page....

I am retired wealth from NYC.

Came here, bought an (existing) house from Mainers, they were happy to sell for a large amount, then I spent a year employing a crew of (Maine) builders renovating it, as well as lumber, materials, taxes. I saved a good amount of money from 30+ years of teaching, and living frugally so I could come here and spend my money here.

Anyone paying "too much" for a camp (really now, isn't that just another word for 'second home?') should not be blamed. The Mainers who charged 'too much' for it were happy to take it. And you know what? Maybe THEY took it with them to Florida???

NYC is full of your (and Iowa's, and other states') children who are working there and learning, making a name for themselves or fulfilling a dream. They were never "from away" as far as I was concerned, they were just "new New Yorkers," who deserved to vote, and be involved with NYC--and they added to the whole mix, a whole range of ideas and peoples.

Americans have the right to live, work, and vote anywhere in these 50 states. And pay taxes, and run for office. If you did not get involved in politics "before" we got here (and we have been coming here for 100+ years...), if you did not insure the tax base, the infrastructure, the maintenance, then someone will have to, now, won't they?

You really are looking the wrong way. If you are not asking why Wall Street gets off free, why BP gets off, why Halliburton, Boeing, Blackwater and all the big war profiteers get off, (and get yours kids' blood and lives too...) then YOU are not paying attention!

Scott said...

my friend Bert and I hereby grant you the title "Mainer", may you use it well.

Anonymous said...

I think I just qualified as a "Real Mainer", my family came here 110 years ago, so it's all good now!

Becky said...

Although my husband and I are never going to qualify as Mainers, I strongly prefer NOT to be called "from away." It's so ridiculous to label people with the intent of silencing them and causing others not to pay attention to their comments because not worthy of a Mainer's ears. Do the people dishing out "from away" labels actually think that those of us who have chosen to live here, somehow hope that the state will decline and thus offer opinions to make it so. And that somehow our opinions which were highly valued in another state, are too "forceful" to be offered when we cross the state line into Maine. So we should shut up and sit down and accept without question whatever the real Mainers decide. This is not how democracy works and I do not accept an undemocratic process.

Whatever economic and social problems that the state now has, they are clearly not the fault of those who moved in from another state. I refuse to accept responsibility for what Mainers have wrought in the past but I accept responsibility for helping find good solutions for those problems and paying ME taxes to support those solutions.