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Democratic Party Platform 1940

We highly commend to the people of the State of Maine the humanitarian laws enacted by the national Democratic administration, such as the social security wage and hours bill and the federal deposit insurance law, as those laws guarantee security to the aged, restore confidence in our banking, and the youth of our country can look forward to a brighter future.

To the people of the State of Maine we heartily commend President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his administration for the splendid and efficient manner in which they have maintained our neutrality, and their determination to keep us out of war.

UNEMPLOYMENT

We advocate the continuance of public works for the employment of the unemployed at a living wage, until such time as industry can absorb labor.

TAXATION

We believe that the distribution of the tax burden is inequitable and accordingly our tax system should be revised without further levy of new taxes (and that a fair proportion of our potato tax be expended in scientific research for the benefit of the potato industry.)

STATE MONEY

We condemn the present inefficient system used throughout the state for the protection of money belonging to the State of Maine, both in the various depositories and sub-offices and we recommend the installation of an adequate accounting system and move [more?] even distribution of state deposits in banks throughout the state.

AGRICULTURE

The potato industry being one of the principal agricultural products of the State of Maine we recommend engagement of federal entomologists working in conjunction with the state department of agriculture for the eradication of potato diseases.

LABOR

We again advocate an amendment to the workmen’s compensation act, by making occupational diseases compensable. Permit the injured to at all times select his own physician, and make the employers of lumbering and logging operations subject to the act. And we further recommend the enactment of a wage and hour law in the State of Maine

The right to work for compensation being [a?] property right, shall not be abridged or denied by reason of race, religion, sex, economic, or marital status.

LABOR RELATIONS ACT

We favor the immediate enactment of a state labor relations act, believing in the right of labor to organize in bonafide trade or labor organizations and bargain collectively through representatives of their own choosing. We believe in the establishment of arbitration proceedings of a public nature, prior to recourse either to strike by employes or to lockouts by employers.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION ACT

We recommend that the State of Maine law relating to unemployment compensation be revised so as to make subject, employers who employ four or more persons, instead of eight or more as the law now reads, with the retention of present exemptions under the law.

We further recommend the waiting period be reduced to one week and benefits be increased to $20, maximum weekly payments for 20 weeks.

APPOINTMENT TO COMMISSIONS

We recommend the appointment’ of members of bonafide trade or labor organizations in each and every department directly affecting workers, and appointments to be made on the recommendation of a bonafide state organization of Labor.

UNEMPLOYMENT TAX

We believe that the system or merit rating under the unemployment compensation act is unfair and unsound.

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR AND INDUSTRY

We recommend an increased appropriation for the department of labor and industry in order for the department to operate more efficiently in protecting the workers, in the existing industries and to encourage the establishment of new. industries.

LABOR INJUNCTIONS

We deplore the use of the injunction in labor disputes and recommend that the incoming legislature enact legislation prohibiting the use of the injunction in labor disputes.

We advocate the rehabilitation and development of the Port of Portland

LOCAL SELF-GOVERNMENT

We reaffirm our belief in the right of local self-government and most seriously condemn the attempt to foist upon the citizens of Biddeford a state-controlled commission to govern their police department.

OLD AGE PENSION

We favor the employment of ways and means of raising sufficient funds to pay old age assistance to all eligible persons.

We advocate the relief of confiscatory taxes on real property.

We advocate the spreading of part of the state expenditures to intangibles and luxuries.

We advocate a constitutional amendment to prohibit expenditure of gasoline or automotive taxes, except excise taxes, for other than highway purposes.

DISFRANCHISES OF VOTERS

We condemn the present Maine law which disfranchises unfortunate persons who are obliged to seek either municipal or state relief and we recommend an immediate amendment of this law.

AUTOMOBILES

We condemn the inefficiency and unnecessary delay in the registration of automobiles in the State of Maine, and the dictatorial attitude taken by the registration office and we further recommend the immediate repeal of the so-called Automobile Title law.

STATE EMPLOYEES

We recommend the enactment of a law forbidding all state employees from taking any part in political activities.

HIGHWAYS

We condemn the reckless expenditure of money by the state highway commission on trunk line roads. The absolute disregard for the so-called country roads, which is so necessary for the farmer to reach market. Therefore, we recommend the immediate enactment of the necessary legislation for the building up and repairing the so-called “farm to market highway.”

AMENDMENT TO THE WAGNER ACT

We condemn the Republican party, both state and national for the advocacy of the repeal of the Wagner act, so-called. But it is quite apparent to both labor and industry that certain amendments should be made to the act. Therefore, we recommend amendments to this act so that it would be more understandable and workable and therefore, more beneficial to both labor and industry.

FISHERIES

We advocate the forming of fisherman and lobsterman cooperatives with the aid of the commissioner of sea and shore fisheries, with the ultimate aim of obtaining a fair price for their catches.

We pledge our efforts to obtain from the federal government financial assistance for the erection of pounds and rearing stations along the coast to be used by these cooperatives.

We recommend that our national state department be memorialized. that our Trade Agreement with Canada pertaining to the importation of fish, lobsters and scallops be changed by raising the Tariff on a sliding basis to equalize the rate of exchange, and that this be extended to Newfoundland and all other foreign countries whether the producer be foreign or American.

SHEEP INDUSTRY

As there are a large number of abandoned farms in the State of Maine that can be used to good advantage to its citizens for the raising of sheep, and as sheep raising could be made a major industry of our State. We recommend that the State of Maine give all assistance possible to this industry.

BLUE SKY LAW

We advocate the rigid enforcement, in spirit as well as letter, of our so-called Blue Sky Laws, by the Attorney General’s department and the banking department of the State of Maine

STATE FINANCES

A recent examination has shown the State finances to be in a chaotic condition. We advocate placing the finances of the State on a sound basis through the employment of approved business methods and economy; the elimination of duplicated effort and overlapping agencies, and we extend to the Bangor Daily News our thanks for informing the taxpayers of Maine of the chaotic conditions and misrepresentation made by the present Republican State officials on our State finances, We also extend our thanks to the Bangor Daily Commercial for informing the people of Maine of’ the tremendous expenses in the employment of hundreds of unnecessary state employees.

Source: Bangor Daily News newspaper clipping. Maine State Law Library. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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