The Democratic Party of Maine, through its duly elected representatives in State Convention assembled, invite serious consideration and public support of the following policies and principles:
It is generally admitted, that the 18th Amendment is not satisfactorily enforced. Many states present only the pretense of enforcement and others hardly present that pretense. We see lawlessness, the wholesale defiance of law and bribery and corruption among public officials with no prospect of improvement.
We believe that such a condition increasingly breeds disrespect for all law and portends the undermining of the basic institution upon which our government rests.
The responsibility for such conditions is wholly upon the Republican Party, which has been in full and complete control of the enforcement of our prohibition law ever since its enactment.
The Democratic Party believes in law and order and in preservation of the government uncorrupted and incorruptible. To this end the Democratic Party in Maine pledges itself and all its officials if intrusted with the powers to do so to enforce without fear or favor each and every provision of the statutes relating to intoxicating liquors, both state and national, with the strictest fidelity.
Reorganization Of State Government
Efficient state government at minimum cost is the ideal being striven for in many states. Maine presents the picture of inefficient government at high cost. It is obvious that only with both able officials and an efficient form of government may the ideal he realized.
No officials, no matter how able, can produce efficient state government at minimum cost if there are an excessive number of state departments. Other states have recognized this fact. Yet no charge is made. The present government has spoken in favor of this change; finally, near the end of two years in office, a survey has just been started. The Republican Legislature decisively defeated one effort at consolidation; there is no valid reason to expect approval of consolidation by another Republican Legislature. The actual record of the present Republican administration shows no accomplishment in this direction.
It is hopeless to expect such reduction by any future Republican administration.
We pledge the best efforts of our candidates for Governor and Legislature, if elected, to produce actual results in a program of consolidation of state departments leading to efficient government at minimum cost. On this great issue, touching as it does the pocketbook of every citizen of the State, we ask for the support of the citizens of Maine
We believe the people of this state should have the privilege of expressing their views upon important questions that vitally affect their rights without being deprived thereof by technicalities or specious reasons.
We condemn the action of the Republican Governor in depriving the people of this state of the opportunity to express themselves upon the Eminent Domain and the Fish and Game Laws, for which thousands of our best citizens petitioned in good faith, without making public his reasons for condemning certain names invalid; and we urge that legislation be enacted to preserve to the people of Maine the right of referendum.
We condemn the political administration of our State Highway Department, which has characterized successive Republican Administrations. Since 1917 nearly 100,000,000 has been spent upon the highways of this state; generations yet unborn will pay interest and the principal of road bonds, the principal of which was applied to poorly constructed roads which no longer exist, having had to be rebuilt. A comparison of the actual existing mileage of permanent roads with the money spent by people for roads, reveals a sad story. The existence of political considerations in state highway operations has proven very expensive for the people.
We recommend the removal of the State Highway Commission from political control. We demand that the State Highway Commission members be selected from standpoint of ability only, rather than with the view of paying political debts. We further advocate that the political control by the Governor and Council be abolished, in order that a Highway Commission, thus ably selected, may proceed in a business-like way unhampered by political machinations. The roads of the State of Maine are too important to all of the citizens of Maine, regardless of party, and too much money is involved, to allow the continuance of the method of using the roads and road money to aid in the building of any personal or party political machine.
We pledge our candidates if elected, to work out a highway program free from politics, in order that the people of Maine will get a dollar’s worth of results for every dollar of expenditure.
We believe that immediate, intelligent and energetic steps should be taken to check the tendency toward centralization of rural schools; that this policy of centralization is resulting in abandonment of farms and a depreciation of farm values in localities in which the schools have been discontinued.
We believe that fads and non-essentials have been permitted and encouraged, and the sound development and maintenance of our rural schools correspondingly neglected; and we pledge our candidate and officials to a readjustment of school administration which will place greater emphasis upon the convenience and efficiency of education in rural districts.
Viewing a tax as a sum paid for the services of government or for some special privilege granted, just as price is a sum paid for other services or commodities, we suggest for the consideration of the electorate the following proposition:
The prosperity of the State is closely allied with its taxation; that there can be no real progress so long as taxes are based upon political expediency either from a party or administrative standpoint. We stand for scientific revision of our tax laws to the end that there may be just and equitable distribution of the burdens of taxation.
Unnecessary or inequitable taxation is unjust and undefensible and we demand that the next Legislature make careful investigation for the purpose of finding methods by which this burden may be reduced or more fairly distributed.
We deplore the tremendous amount of unemployment among the honest, industrious citizens of our State. Thousands have been thrown out of employment in Maine and in the nation, causing great distress to their families with no prospect of relief from the Republican Party.
Two years ago we called attention to the practice of the Republican Legislature of making insufficient appropriation for mothers’ aid, thereby subjecting mothers and their dependents to unnecessary hardship and suffering. The last Republican legislature continued this practice and Republican officials have been repeatedly charged with favoritism in the administration of this fund. We cannot too severely condemn this practice and pledge our officials if elected to make appropriations for this purpose sufficient in amount and disburse the same impartially and without unnecessary delay.
Corrupt Practices Act
At the last State Convention the Republican Party in high sounding phrase advocated the immediate revision of the Corrupt Practices Act. With a Governor amid an overwhelming majority in the Legislature what did it do? As usual nothing. How much longer are the voters of Maine going to accept the worthless promises of that party? The Corrupt Practices Act, a product of the Republican Party, is acknowledged by all to be meaningless, ineffectual and incapable of enforcement. We believe that a new Corrupt Practices Act should be enacted which will reveal the total amount of money expended by any candidate for office or in any referendum; the sources from which such expenditure comes; the purposes for which it is expended and which shall contain within itself provisions for its thorough, adequate and impartial enforcements.
We point with pride to the fact that our candidate for Governor two years ago aroused the electorate of our State to the danger of the export of an atom of our hydro-electric power and that his timely warning and subsequent activity contributed most effectively to the defeat under the referendum of the Legislation passed by the last Republican Legislature.
[The legislation “To permit export of surplus hydroelectric power” was defeated in the 1929 referendum: 54,070 YES; 64,044 NO.]
We are opposed to the exportation of hydroelectric power and endorse the policy of non-export adopted by the people of this State in the recent referendum on that question.
We invite all citizens, regardless of party affiliations, who believe in the policies and principles hereinbefore set forth to unite with us in electing Democratic officials whom we pledge to put them into effect.
Souce: Maine State Law Library