Alleged Peace Voter 2022 Campaign Endorses Warmongering Democratic Congresswoman Pingree

A peace advocacy organization that I used to be part of — and that used to actually advocate for peace — has endorsed Rep. Chellie Pingree for re-election. The organization explained in its November newsletter:

Peace Action Maine is a proud affiliate of Peace Action and supporter of their PeaceVoter2022 Campaign. Again, as in the past, PA has endorsed Rep. Pingree . Today PAM (a c4) announces: “Rep. Chellie Pingree is an experienced, thoughtful, and effective legislator who knows how to speak and act clearly and precisely on the issues facing our district and the nation as a whole. Among her colleagues in Congress, her track record on questions of war and peace, programs of social and economic uplift, and environmental protection is especially good. For those reasons, Peace Action Maine gladly supports her bid for re-election.”

“Especially good” in this context means that Pingree:

Signed the Progressive Caucus letter to President Biden suggesting negotiations with Russia commence immediately — and then retracted it!

* Voted yes on every bill sending billions in weapons to Ukraine at U.S. taxpayer expense. Many of these weapons have gone to neo-Nazi miltias allied with the Ukranian government, and many have found their way from Ukraine onto the black market.

Source: https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/6586/chellie-pingree/89/foreign-aid

* Voted yes on recent gargantuan funding bills for the Pentagon and its other wars, including Space Force, and NSA spying programs.

Source: https://justfacts.votesmart.org/candidate/key-votes/6586/chellie-pingree/89/defense/

In what sense is this candidate a peace candidate?

She isn’t. But she’s a Democrat, and that’s what matters to the millions who only oppose U.S. wars when a Republican is in the White House.

My photo of Maine peace lobbyists meeting with Rep. Chellie Pingree in Portland during her first term of office, 2009.

I’ve birddogged Pingree on her support for military spending for years. You can see some examples here and here.

My attempts to reach out to Peace Action Maine’s leadership to engage on the topic of their support for Pingree and, previously, support for the U.S./NATO proxy war on Russia via Ukraine, have met with silence.

I’m going to be returning the two PeaceWorker awards I’ve received from Peace Action Maine in years gone by, most recently for writing this blog. 

It is embarrassing to be called a PeaceWorker alongside the likes of Chellie Pingree. 

And it is extremely dangerous to be so beholden to weapons manufacturers that you obediently go along with the party line (“No negotiations! More weapons!”) as we teeter on the brink of a nuclear WW3.

Big Money Backing White Supremacist Form Of Govt For Portland, Maine

Some of you know that I host a community tv show in Portland with city councilors Victoria Pelletier and Roberto Rodriguez. Pathways to Progress is broadcast live from the Portland Media Center providing space to explore progressive opportunities in municipal government.

With a big election coming November 8, our episode #7 in October focused on the big money campaign opposing all thirteen of the ballot measures that voters will address. That’s right: corporate money is advising folks to just vote no on all of them. Disrespecting that the Charter Commission worked for months to craft Questions 1-8 based on input from the public. Disrespecting that Questions A-E were placed on the ballot via citizens initiatives. And maybe implying that voters are too numb to think through them all? Hard to say.

What can be said for certain: the big money in this election — $430k and counting — is on preserving the white supremacist form of city government designed in the 1920’s with Ku Klux Klan help.

Headline from 2021 refers to controversy over then city manager Jon Jennings, who subsequently resigned.

Currently Portland’s city manager role has most of the executive power with a weak role for mayor and other members of the city council. Thus a bureaucrat with no accountability to voters makes many of the decisions affecting them. Charter commissioners recommended fixing this by returning to a more responsive form of government. More districts with fewer constituents in each means a bigger city council, and a strong mayor that can be removed by either voters or the council is part of this plan.

Blogger/podcaster Samuel James has an excellent overview of the city manager role and its roots in slavery and Jim Crow in this month’s Mainer magazine.

Excerpt:

The history of the city manager form of government is a story of a small group of powerful, extremist white supremacists using their power to successfully normalize their hate. The problem with normalizing hate is not just that we stop being able to see it. It’s also that we then defend it. We forget the progress this country was once moving toward. We forget that some cities weren’t always segregated. We forget why the KKK marched through our streets and we forget that they won. And even though we can clearly see their desired outcomes all around us, many will say we should do nothing. “It used to be worse,” they’ll say, leaving out that it also used to be better. “That isn’t the right way,” they’ll say, even though it is the only way. “It’s complicated,” they’ll say, and that’s usually true, but this one time it’s actually simple.

This November, Portlanders voting “yes” on Question 2 will be voting for more democracy. 

This article is partially a transcript from Samuel James’ new podcast, 99 Years, exploring why Maine continues to be the whitest state. More information is available at 99YearsPod.com.

On Friday, November 4 our next episode of Pathways to Progress airs on Channel 5 locally (also watchable online). 

Just prior to the election, episode #8 will use lightning rounds to consider all the ballot questions with emphasis on the changes to city government. 

Those changes include two other questions designed to increase access and participation for all Portlanders: proportional ranked choice voting, and a clean elections fund.

Also significant are measures to control skyrocketing rents in Portland, and to raise the minimum wage. Obstructing equity in prosperity is also a white supremacy issue.

Because big money is powerful enough. It shouldn’t be able to buy municipal elections.