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Democratic Party Platform 1954

An

INVITATION

to

BETTER GOVERNMENT

______

1954 Platform

of

The Democratic Party of Maine

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Title Page 1954 Maine Democratic Platform

Title Page 1954 Maine Democratic Platform

We, the Democratic Party of Maine, in state convention assembled this twenty-seventh day of March, 1954, do hereby adopt the following platform with these as our aims:

1. To strengthen our Party so that it may give effective leadership to the many people of Maine who believe in it.

2. To bring to the government of the State of Maine the wholesome effects of strong competition, which, in the affairs of state as well as in business, is the only guaranty of honesty and efficiency, and continuing progress.

3. To bring about, on the part of the legislative and executive branches of our state government, a keener awareness of the challenging duties of their trusteeship in developing and preserving the human and natural resources of the state.

4. To insure that Maine shall keep in step with the economic progress of the nation and shall no longer be discounted in national planning because of its safe and sure domination by one political party.

CONSTITUTION

1. Reapportionment. Special session of the legislature to enforce compliance with the Constitution.

2. Revision. A preparatory commission followed by a Constitutional Convention to revise the Constitution, (to include changes here set forth).

3. Election Date. Elimination of separate dates for state and national elections.

4. Governor’s Council. Abolition of Governor’s Council.

CONSERVATION

1. Reorganization. Creation of Department of Conservation to have jurisdiction of forestry, inland fish and game, sea and shore fisheries, mineral, water; and other natural resources; to administer anti-pollution program; to be adequately staffed by career personnel.

2. Legislation.

a. Anti-pollution law, tested by experience elsewhere, together with necessary positive legislation to combat problems of industrial and sewage pollution.

b. Legislation to insure adequate fishways.

c. Regulations to stimulate intelligent cutting practices and reforestation.

JOBS AND PAYROLLS

1. Credit Unions and Cooperatives. More active leadership by state government in aiding farmers and fishermen to organize credit unions and cooperatives for production, merchandising, and marketing.

2. Milk Control. Repeal of price fixing of milk above the producer level.

3. Maine Development Commission. More emphasis on development activities of Maine Development Commission to achieve balance with recreational efforts.

4. Seaports. Recognition by State Government of importance of Port of Portland an other seaports to statewide economy; increased facilities and promotion.

5. Deflation Insurance. Leadership by State Government through the Department of Labor and Industry in aiding communities to take prompt advantage of any federal public works program enacted to forestall depression.

HIGHWAYS

1. Investigation. Immediate and exhaustive inquiry into purchasing and contracting policies of the State Highway Commission, to be directed by a bi-partisan committee.

2. Reclassification. No reclassification of highways without adequate safeguards for sparsely populated areas.

3. Pork-barrel. Abolition of system of highway pork-barrel appropriations.

HEALTH AND WELFARE

1. Problems of the Aged. Continuation and financial support of existing state Committee on Aging.

2. Aid to Institutions. Increased appropriations for State institutions, including Pownal, State mental hospitals, T. B. sanatoriums.

3. State Aid Programs. More realistic level of benefits and financial responsibility requirements for relatives of recipients of state aid in terms of the value of today’s dollar. Aid to physically handicapped through administrative program rather than through special resolves of the Legislature.

LABOR

1. Unemployment Compensation

a. Coverage enlarged to include all employees.

b. Increase of benefits and benefit period, and additional benefits for dependents

Industrial Accidents

a. Coverage enlarged to include small firms.

b. Increase o£ benefits to reflect lower purchasing power of dollar.

c. Rehabilitation program for disabled veterans.

3. Minimum Wage Law for intra-state firms.

PUBLIC UTILITIES

1. Rate-making law. Re-examination of rate-making law to prevent inflated values entering into base for utility rates charged-to consumers.

2. Public Utilities Commission Staff. Increase of Public Utilities Commission technical Staff to be more equipped to evaluate requests for rate increases and decreases.

3. Passamaquoddy. Aggressive continuing support of Passamaquoddy tidal power project together with Federal development of the undeveloped potential power of .the state, where practicable, on a multiple purpose basis.

EDUCATION

1. Increased state aid to remove discrimination against communities under present law.

2. Adequate recognition and support of state teacher training schools.

3. Adoption of six-year legislative program for progressive increases in minimum salaries for teachers, with appropriate state participation.

4. Increased support of the University of Maine.

LOBBYING

Requirements that lobbyists file reports of compensation and expenses which shall be available .for public inspection.

ADMINISTRATION OF JUSTICE

Support of newly formed Judicial Council and serious consideration of its recommendations.

TAXATION

Revision of Tax structure. Complete reappraisal of state tax structure by adequately financed independent Citizens’ Committee.

Specific tax legislation including:

a. Elimination of unjust features of sales tax, tax on water consumption and other inequities.

b. Adequate tax provisions for land owners in. unorganized territories.

ECONOMY IN GOVERNMENT

Creation of a state commission for the reorganization of the Executive Branch of the Government, consisting of legislators and citizens of both parties, and aided by an adequate technical staff, to study the Executive Branch and make recommendations, including the following areas:

a. Personnel procurement policies.

b. Personnel workloads.

c. Inventory policies.

d. Purchasing policies and Procedures.

e. Budget control methods.

f. Overlapping of functions.

CALL TO ACTION

We stand ready and willing at all times to commend the opposition party for any and all acts of a constructive nature which it may accomplish in the best interests of the large majority of the people of our state. These, we feel, have been all too few for decades of uninterrupted control. But we also reserve the privilege and accept the responsibility of condemning majority control of our public affairs for its omissions and failures in serving our people which we feel have been too many.

The greatest of these has been the lack of imaginative legislative and executive action to meet the challenges of a society in this atomic age. The declining, or, at best, static population, the emigration of Maine youth, the “down at the heel” condition of too many phases of the economy of Maine, disgracefully low standards in educational and social welfare programs, and in institutional services and properties are grave indictment – free of technical defects – against the majority control of the affairs of our state.

Maine Needs a Change

Source: Vose, Clement. Editor. Political Party Platforms, State of Maine, 1952-1958. Citizenship Clearing House, Bowdoin College. Brunswick, Maine. 1958.

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