Dems And Repubs Team Up To Profit From CMP Corridor Project

I fished my copy of this junk mail out of the trash.

I wanted to share the latest in deceptive advertising funded by big money interests promoting a loathsome clear cut through the northern Maine woods. 

Photo credit: Joel Dorr

Miles of tree removal eliminates their beauty and carbon sequestration in a time of climate chaos in order to enable a transmission line from Canada to Massachusetts. That project will benefit Canadian energy behemoth Hydro-Quebec, Spanish energy behemoth Iberdrola (owner of Central “Maine” Power, or CMP), and Goldman Sachs (the project’s investment bankers).

The project is strongly opposed by most actual people who live in Maine.

A bill to block foreign corporate entities from pouring money into Maine to influence the outcome of referendum items was vetoed by Democratic Governor Janet Mills. She also vetoed the bill to establish a consumer-owned utility in Maine that would replace the rapacious CMP. 

Do I need to tell you that Mills supports the CMP corridor project?

Do I need to tell you that her predecessor, a Republican, also supported the CMP project?

I heard Bangor Daily News political editor Michael Shepherd laughing with conservative radio host Mike Violette (starts at 3:55 mark in the clip) about the strange bedfellows teaming up to produce the deceptive message: Willy Ritch, former spokesperson for progressive Democrat Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Adrienne Bennett, former spokesperson for arch conservative Republican Governor Paul LePage.

Willy Ritch was last seen in action heading up the 16 Counties Coalition, a Democratic Party front group that aimed to unseat incumbent Senator Susan Collins. He presided over a “with or without her” town hall event in Portland in August, 2019 that my husband and I attended. 

My husband, Mark Roman, submitted a question on military spending at the August 20, 2019 meeting managed by Willy Ritch, so I know there was at least one in the pile.

Ritch allowed not a single question “from the audience” about the military whose budget is well over half the federal discretionary budget each year, and only one question on climate despite these perilous times. 

So, he is an experienced manager of messaging and public perception, whose last job boiled down to “Republicans bad, Democrats good.” 

I suppose Ritch and Bennett are chummy in the way of paid professional communicators who will work for whoever is paying well at the moment.

Their newest astroturf group, Mainers For Fair Laws, wants voters to believe that, if something illegal was done in the past — like issuing permits for use of public lands without the necessary consent of 2/3 of the legislature — rescinding it now would be dangerous.

But we should and often do overturn bad laws to set things straight. For instance, Black people were once counted as 3/5 of a person in the census. (Some people argued against fixing that, too.)

The battle against the CMP corridor continues on many fronts: a lawsuit aimed at the corporate-controlled DEP, and November’s upcoming referendum question among them.

Want to stand with Native people whose lands are destroyed by mega dams to produce dirty energy in Canada?