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Democratic Party Platform 1952

We, the Democratic Party of Maine, in state convention assembled this 22nd day of March, A. D. 1952, 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 greater utilization 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 place more emphasis on professional and vocational training. We advocate a salary schedule for teachers which will raise them at least to the level of the employes with similar skills and responsibilities in private employment.

2. Those measures which will make available for useful service all our water and mineral resources. We particularly support development of the international Passamaquoddy Tidal Power project and maximum development of our river valleys. Maine should be ready to cooperate with other New England states and the Federal Government to bring about full development or our hydro-electric power potential if private industry is unable or unwilling to do so. We advocate repeal of the Fernald Law.

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 bring about acceleration of our road building program with due consideration for rural areas.

6. All other measures which will attract new industries and encourage present industries to expand, 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. The present program and facilities of the Maine Development Commission are wholly inadequate. We favor an expansion of the Maine Development Commission program with greater emphasis on industrial development and with sufficient personnel to assist cities and towns in their industrial programs.

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 increased 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 further improve the social security program.

5. Those measures which will indicate our State’s appreciation and recognition of service rendered by veterans of all wars, including the Korean conflict.

6. Those measures which will more adequately protect the rights of workers under the Workmen’s Compensation Law. We particularly support: (a) an increase the minimum benefits to $15 per week; (b) an increase in maximum benefits to $28 per week; (c) provision for medical and legal counsel of the worker’s own choosing at the expense of the employer.

7. Those measures which will improve our unemployment compensation program. We particularly favor increasing the weekly benefits and benefit period with additional benefits for dependents and support extension of coverage to all employees,

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:

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

2. Personnel policies must he 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 or 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. We deplore the action of the Republican-controlled 95th Legislature for imposing a sales tax on the people of the State of Maine without their consent by declaring an emergency when none existed. We propose repeal of the sales tax and the enactment of a personal income tax based on ability to pay to produce needed revenue.

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 committees, state commissions, and the judiciary.

3. Election of Governors Council by popular vote.

4. Elimination of the separate September election.

Source: Portland Sunday Telegram, March 23, 1952 Maine State Law Library. (Errors in the text may have been made by the newspaper and not the Democratic Party.)

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