LATEST NEWS

Category
< Back to all posts
  • Maine State Rep. Charlotte Warren’s speech for action to impeach Gov. LePage

    by Rep. Charlotte Warren.
    Thank you Mr. Speaker.
    Mr. Speaker, Women and Men of the House, I stand today to support this house order to create an investigative committee to study the question of impeachment.
    The Chief Executive through his actions has brought us to this point today. We'd rather be talking about education and economic development and health care.
    But all of us in the House today accepted a duty when we were elected by the Maine people.
    We took an oath and therefore have an obligation to uphold the Maine Constitution.
    Today we are confronted by a Chief Executive who has allegedly used the power of his office to improperly intimidate and coerce Maine citizens serving on the boards of the Acadian Congress, the state Community College System, the Human Rights Commission, the Land for Maine's Future, and - by his own admission - Good Will Hinckley.
    Is this a precedent we want future Chief Executives to follow?
    It is a situation like that which faced first-term Maine Congressman Bill Cohen 40 years ago, in the investigation of Richard Nixon, Cohen described the feelings of legislators in these words:
    "Each of us, by a force of circumstances beyond our desire or control, was placed on a high wire that was strung between disloyalty to party and disloyalty to principle."
    That's where we are today. On a high wire, regardless of our political affiliation, weighing the political advantages of burying our heads in the sand and ignoring these abuses of power, against the political cost of standing up for the powerless.
    A fellow representative of Bill Cohen's on the House Judiciary Committee, William Flowers of Alabama, expressed the choice that they faced in these terms.
    "I felt that if we didn't impeach, we'd just ingrain and stamp in our highest office a standard of conduct that's just unacceptable."
    That's the issue we are voting on today in Maine. Are we going to say to this Chief Executive, and to all future Maine Chief Executives, that such abuses of power constitute acceptable political behavior?
    That the House of Representatives of the state of Margaret Chase Smith, Bill Cohen, Ed Muskie, George Mitchell, and Olympia Snowe, are now afraid to stand up and say enough is enough?
    This isn't an issue of Democrat or Republican.
    It isn't an issue of conservative or liberal.
    It's an issue of whether or not to abide by the letter and spirit of the Maine Constitution.
    You know in your heart that what's been going on around here is not right.
    Today, follow your heart. Stand up for the Maine tradition -- the way Maine politics should be.
    Vote yes to create the House Investigative Committee to study impeachment of Maine’s Chief Executive.