Saturday, February 10, 2018

Evidence That Bath Legislator Colludes With Corporation To Rob Poor, Enrich Wealthy

Battleships versus health care -- which side are you on? Banner by ARRT!

The guns or butter conflict seldom comes to such a clear head as it did this week in Maine Rep. Jennifer DeChant's emails with General Dynamics' Bath Iron Works executive John Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald is the same guy who guided DeChant through her bumbling presentation this week of the $60 million corporate welfare bill she is sponsoring. My husband who attended the Committee on Taxation's work session on LD1781 February 8 said it was clear DeChant barely understood her own bill or the amendments that have been crafted to respond to public outcry against the tax giveaway. She fumbled through questions from committee members and deferred often to Fitzgerald.

Fitzgerald does know what he wants and he knows how to sell it, by alternately playing the victim and threatening Maine with job loss if they don't vote his way.

DeChant and Fiztgerald's email exchanges, obtained via a public access request by investigative journalist Alex Nunes, included this gem:

Hi Jon- Have you see the LTE by Bruce Gagnon. Is there a communications plan around responding, etc.? I hope this bill is run early. Jennifer 

Fitzgerald responded: I agree earlier in session the better, I have no illusions about the difficulty we may have amidst the Medicaid expansion debate. [emphasis mine]

Former state legislator Jeff Evangelos explains the connection:
"..the state's Medicaid expansion local matching money is $54 million, which will unlock a $550 million federal grant to Maine. Ironic that the State share of $54 million for health care is almost identical to the $60 million bailout, something the Bath fellow seems to have taken notice of."
Medicaid expansion has been refused to date in Maine despite glaring need. The result is that my low income students who have health services through MaineCare have parents who lack health care. Mom and dad's teeth may be rotting, they may need mental health care, insulin, or a myriad of other things that wealthy nations provide for their citizens.

Banner by ARRT!

But if Democrat DeChant gets her way, low income adults in Maine will continue to go without so that a corporation that paid its CEO $21 million last year can get a tax giveaway.

Go without, or go to the emergency room -- if they can find one. This fall a town about an hour north of us closed its 24 hour emergency services facility. Folks who are injured logging, white water rafting or snowmobiling now have to travel about 70 miles to reach the nearest emergency care. This is in a region with an economy heavily dependent on tourism. 

I find government in service to corporations not only disgusting but dangerous.

I'm not surprised that it took DeChant several weeks to comply with the request for her emails with General Dynamics' BIW executives. I suspect she likes the free lunch but knows she is on dangerous footing with any claim to be representing the actual people, her constituents in Bath.

Stay tuned for more gems from DeChant and Fitzgerald's email exchanges.

No comments: