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Democratic Party Platform 1950

Lewiston, March 25.

We, the Democratic Party of Maine, in state convention assembled this 25th day of March, A. D. 1950, do hereby recommend to the people of Maine, the following platform, which shall control our administration of the affairs of this state in the event such administration shall be entrusted to our care.

Platform:

First, our first concern will be the development of our state’s resources, human and natural. Toward that end, we will work for the following:

1. Those measures which will promote uniform and improved standards of education throughout the state, and which will place higher education within the reach of an increasing number of our young people. We are particularly interested in working for a higher minimum wage for teachers with increases based on merit and or seniority, and tenure for teachers.

Back Quoddy Project

2. Those measures which will make available for useful service all our water power and mineral resources. We particularly support development of the Passamaquoddy tidal power project and maximum development of our river valleys. We support amendments to the Fernald Law to permit export of surplus power.

3. Those measures which will conserve, protect and expand our forest and soil resources.

4. Those measures which will attract sports-loving and vacation-bound people throughout the Nation to our state, but which will, at the same time, insure that our natural beauties and vacationland assets will be conserved for the enjoyment of posterity.

5. Those measures which will create in the shortest possible time a state-wide network of good highways for the benefit of our industries and our farms, our people and our guests.

6. All other measures which will attract new industries, encourage the development of new products, search out new markets for our products, and otherwise create those opportunities which will attract young, capable and enthusiastic people who, alone, can insure the future prosperity of our state.

Second, our next concern will be to strive to eliminate those conditions which breed crime, diseases of the mind and body, divorce and broken homes, dependent and poverty-stricken old age. To provide for those who are now the victims of those conditions, we propose to support the following:

1. Those measures which will provide adequate care and rehabilitation for those eligible to seek the assistance of our state institutions,

2. Those measures which will provide adequate grants to those of our aged, who are in need with a minimum of red tape.

3. Those measures which will insure the distribution of ADC funds on an equitable and efficient basis, by: (a) more strict enforcement of the liability of those legally bound to support dependent children; and (b) more local supervision and control of ADC cases.

4, Those measures which will liberalize the Social Security program.

5. Those measures which will reduce or offset the handicaps under which veterans labor with regard to job seniority, Social Security credits, etc., as a result of their war service.

6. Those measures which will more adequately protect the rights of workers under the workmen’s compensation law. We particularly support: (a) an increase in minimum benefit to $15 per week; (b) an increase in maximum benefits to $20 per week; and (c) provision for medical and legal consent of the workers own choosing at the expense of the employer.

7, Those measures which will restore the power of the Employment Security Commission to adjust the size of benefit in accordance with the stability and safety of the unemployment compensation fund. We also support the extension of unemployment compensation to cover employers of one or more persons.

8. A wage-hour law conforming to the provisions of the Federal law.

Third, our next concern will be to administer the affairs of the state within the ability of our citizens to pay for government. In order to achieve this goal and at the same time implement the first two planks of this platform, we are convinced that we must support the following propositions:

Would Streamline Government

1. The number of state agencies and departments must be reduced by eliminating overlapping and unnecessary functions.

2. Personnel policies must be reviewed to insure the procurement of personnel on the basis of ability and training rather than political background and to insure efficiency in the use of available personnel.

3. Purchasing and inventory policies must be overhauled to insure better control of expenditures.

4. Wasteful practices, such as the highway betterment fund, and notorious road resolves, whose only justification is their political usefulness, must be eliminated.

5. Until the basic reforms just described have been effected, we cannot consider passage of a. new major tax with the resultant flow of new tax dollars which will discourage for years to come any incentive in state government to economize along the lines Indicated above.

6. If, after these basic reforms have been effected, the revenues appear to be necessary to implement the first two planks of this platform, we will consider a new major tax based on ability to pay.

Fourth, our next concern is to insure a working, two-party system of government for the state. Then, and only then, can our people hope for economy and efficiency in the administration of their affairs. Toward this end we advocate:

1. Elimination of the Gerrymandering of legislative districts.

2. Bi-partisan representation of legislative committee, state commissions, and the judiciary.

3. Bi-partisan representation on the Governor’s Council or elimination of that political institution,

4. Elimination of the separate September election.

Source: 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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