Thursday, February 15, 2018

Corporate Welfare For General Dynamics? Maine Voters Say NO To LD1781 As Bill Sponsors Scramble To Amend

We are hearing from Maine voters who have contacted their reps in the legislature that the tax giveaway bill for General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works, LD1781, is stalled in committee, and its sponsors are scrambling to draft amendments making it more palatable.

The bill's $60 million price tag is very similar to some other pressing needs in Maine: a Medicare expansion that voters passed in November requires around $54 million to access more than half a billion in federal health care funds.

Also, bringing Maine's aging bridges up to code is estimated to cost around $60 million.

We are hearing now from voters across the state that their reps are expressing reluctance to vote for a tax giveaway to wealthy corporation General Dynamics. Was it GD's $6.8 billion cash offer to buy another government contractor that did it? Or their years of stock buybacks? Or paying their CEO $21 million last year?

Bruce Gagnon and Mary Beth Sullivan in Bath this week.

Regular people in Maine need all the relief they can get. I hope Mainers will continue to contact their legislators to let them know that General Dynamics does not need corporate welfare. Spending $60 million on fixing our bridges or providing health care for low income people should be our priorities.

Bruce Gagnon is on day four of an open-ended hunger strike to defeat LD1781. He actually had a conversation with BIW vice president John "For us to be punished because our owner has capital seems unjust!" Fitzgerald yesterday, which he reports back on here.

While the bill is tabled in the taxation committee, BIW announced it is laying off electricians; despite already receiving generous tax breaks from both the state and the city of Bath.

So who is actually being punished by General Dynamics' insatiable greed for $$$$$$$$$ ?

Meanwhile, I will continue collecting op-eds and letters to the editor from opponents of LD1781, and listing the names of those who have joined Bruce's so-called "one man band" (another gem from Fitzgerald in an email to bill sponsor Rep. Jennifer DeChant).

Here's the current tally as of this morning. Note: I know there have been many more letters published, but these are the ones I can find online links for; if you know of others, please paste a link in comments.

No tax handouts for General Dynamic by Rob Shetterly (Bangor Daily News 2/15/18)
Op-ed: An opportunity for choosing people over profit by Rosalie Paul (Times Record 2/14/18)
Corporate welfare for GD by Karen Wainberg (Times Record 2/13/18)
Safety on our highways trumps BIW tax break by Cushman Anthony (Portland Press Herald 2/13/18)
Corporate Welfare for General Dynamics by Russell Wray (Sun Journal 2/11/18)
Sounding Off Against BIW Tax Credit by Susan Cook (Times Record 1/31/18)
The Right Thing by Eric Herter (Times Record  2/9/18)
Tax break for BIW by Jim Anderberg (Lewiston Sun Journal 2/2/18)
No tax giveaways for General Dynamics by Leslie Manning (Bangor Daily News 1/30/18)
No need for Maine taxpayers to subsidize BIW by Mary Beth Sullivan (Portland Press Herald 1/28/18)
General Dynamics doesn't need tax handouts by Robert Hayes (Bangor Daily News 1/25/18)
No Tax Giveaway for General Dynamics by Mark Roman (Morning Sentinel 1/18/18)
General Dynamics has asked for enough money by Peter Morgan (Portland Press Herald 1/3/18)
No more handouts for General Dynamics by Dud Hendricks (Bangor Daily News 12/25/17)
No More Tax Breaks for General Dynamics and BIW by Lisa Savage (Kennebec Journal 12/3/17)

Individuals in Maine opposed to LD1781:
  1. David Fortier
  2. John Peck
  3. Peter Garrett
  4. Don Kimball
  5. Pasha Huntington
  6. Connie Jenkins
  7. Peter Zack
  8. Katharine Giovanella Chaiklin
  9. P. Amy Carr
  10. Michael Cutting
  11. Robin Farrin
  12. Seth Wigderson
  13. Ursula Slavick
  14. William Slavick
  15. Karen Marysdaughter
  16. Bob Klotz
  17. Starr Gilmartin
  18. Brian Pulling
  19. Jeffrey Evangelos
  20. Dixie Searway
  21. Dan Marks
  22. Sophia Bahlko
  23. Jon Olsen
  24. Nancy Allen
  25. Lynne Williams
  26. Joseph de Rivera
  27. Mike Michalski
  28. Susan Cook
  29. Jacqui Deveneau
  30. Sue Pastore
  31. Ridgely Fuller
  32. Meredith Bruskin
  33. Deborah Capwell
  34. Janet Caldwell
  35. Lisa Burke
  36. Rosalie Paul
  37. Dud Hendrick
  38. Brown Lethem
  39. Robert Walter
  40. Suzanne Hedrick
  41. Denny Dreher
  42. Sally Chappell
  43. Thankful Butler
  44. Alice Bostridge
  45. Doug Rawlings
  46. Joe Ciarrocca
  47. Pat Taub
  48. Selma Sternlieb
  49. Dan Ellis
  50. Judy Robbins
  51. Peter Robbins
  52. Jim Anderberg
  53. Ginny Schneider
  54. Orlando Delogu
  55. Christine DeTroy
  56. Bernard Huebner
  57. Lynn Bradbury
  58. Eric Herter
  59. Patsy Messier
  60. Mary Luby
  61. Carol Huntington
  62. Ann E. Ruthsdottir
  63. Eliot Morgan
  64. Julie Keller Pease
  65. Mary Beth Sullivan
  66. Karen Wainberg
  67. Mary Donnelly
  68. Peter Morgan
  69. Peter Woodruff
  70. Regis Tremblay
  71. Mark Roman
  72. Lisa Savage
  73. Jason Rawn
  74. Russell Wray
  75. Jessica Stewart
  76. Natasha Mayers
  77. Bob Dale
  78. Jeff Evangelos
  79. and "one man band" Bruce Gagnon

Organizations opposing LD1781
  1. 350 Maine
  2. Americans Who Tell the Truth (Brooksville)
  3. COAST (Citizens Opposing Active Sonar Threats, Hancock)
  4. Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space (Bath)
  5. Greater Brunswick PeaceWorks
  6. Green Horizon Magazine (Topsham)
  7. Island Peace & Justice (Deer Isle)
  8. Maine Green Independent Party
  9. Maine Natural Guard (Solon)
  10. Maine Veterans For Peace
  11. Maine War Tax Resistance Resource Center (Portland)
  12. Maine Women’s International League for Peace & Freedom (Brunswick)
  13. Peace Action Maine (Portland)
  14. Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine (Bangor)
  15. Peace & Justice Group of Waldo County
  16. Peninsula Peace & Justice Center (Blue Hill)
  17. Resources for Organizing & Social Change (Augusta)

Now I will go ahead and send this updated information to the members of the Joint Standing Committee on Taxation, their clerk, and the bill's sponsors. 

You can, too. Here's a handy copy and paste list of their email addresses:,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

No comments: