Sunday, February 27, 2011

Whining and Dining With Special Interests

Thank God the Maine Heritage Policy Center, that bastion of constitutional law and government transparency, is now running things in Augusta. The Maine Legislature might finally get the respect it deserves. This week, for instance, lawmakers are cordially invited to attend a “a private Legislative Briefing and Dinner” at the Senator Hotel and Spa to hear DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. This will be the first time she addresses policy makers as a group about welfare reform, a huge and controversial issue, so its fitting that We the People and the press won’t be pestering legislators while they scarf down prime rib and garlic mashed potatoes.
It appears Commissioner Mayhew, on the job now for about two weeks, is a heck of a lot smarter than some thought. She cracked the welfare system puzzle, and will rescue the thousands of poor Mainers trapped in poverty. And a big shout out to the MHPC! In a stunning coincidence, Mayhew has apparently concluded what these “free market conservatives” have been telling people for years: 
Maine's welfare system undermines hard work and traps parents and children in poverty and we must fix the system to free families from dependency through accountability and hard work!
One in seven Maine children are living in poverty because they don’t work hard enough. Simple.
Former Governor Baldacci and the Democrats treated legislators like the proletariat when they were in charge. Attending a briefing by a Commissioner meant cramming in to the stuffy Appropriations Committee room with members of the public (!) and the press, or worse, suffering through an American Chop Suey dinner on paper plates at the Armory. The cost of this slop was actually deducted from their per diem. How humiliating.
Its mourning in Augusta, friends. Don’t you feel prouder, stronger and better?


Ms.Paula Page said...

lawmakers are cordially invited to attend a “a private Legislative Briefing and Dinner” at the Senator Hotel and Spa to hear DHHS Commissioner Mary Mayhew. No Press, No people...Just big RED AGENDA. Spending OUR Money. Time to go have fun at the SENATOR hotel in Augusta folks. It has handy exit right off the Turnpike.

Jane said...

Take lots of pictures for us peons!

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't we like to know an underpaid, overworked server at the Senator hotel, sort of a 'fly on the wall,' who can sling potatoes and remember what Commissioner Mary Mayhew has to say at the same time...?

MRMacrum said...

Maybe you ought to brown bag it if you go.

I guess I would ask who is paying for this little get together? Not that it matters really. If it's on the State's dime, then where is the "fiscal responsibility" we were promised. And if the MHPC is paying, then that opens up a whole different can of worms.

The old way seems the most transparent, but then it appears we are in for transparency of a new kind. You get to know what's going on only after the decisions have been made.

Anonymous said...

Did you write this on your snazzy new clean elections funded Mac laptop?

Bruce Bourgoine said...

Please go Rep. Dill

Since this is behind closed doors and the invitation is to all legislators, having someone enter with the purpose in mind of opening those doors by shedding light on the proceedings would be a wonderful evenhanded service to the people of Maine who pay for welfare services or use welfare services.

If you choose to go but not to dine and whine, I'll be happy to by you a beer at the Liberal Cup following the event.