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Republican Party Platform 1968

Preamble

Recognizing that the dignity of man is God-given and affirming our belief in the eternal truths of the Declaration of independence which proclaimed this country tree, in the Constitution which kept it free, in the philosophies which are rooted in the traditions of this land of ours, and in the free men and women who have made it the greatest nation on earth, we, the Republican Party of Maine, in order to build and maintain a strong and effective party so vital to the welfare of all its citizens and to provide candidates for public office who will adhere to these principles, do pledge ourselves to the following purposes, beliefs and principles:

Public office is a sacred trust to be administered in behalf of all the people without fear or favor of special interests or pressure groups. All public officials must be dedicated to honest, efficient and courageous service of the people with no consideration of self or motive or personal gain.

Freedom of the individual, with equal opportunity for all, is the key to the greatness of Maine and of our nation. The state must adequately fulfill its obligation to assist those citizens who are in genuine need. At the same time, however, individual initiative, responsibility and resourcefulness must be constantly encouraged.

A free enterprise economy is essential to the continuation of our free society. in order to maintain the strength of Maine’s agricultural, business and industrial economy, governmental competition and interference with private enterprise must be eliminated and governmental regulations must foster, not hinder, the growth of that economy and the further development of new opportunities for employment.

The ever-increasing centralization of power and authority in the Federal government is inconsistent with the preservation of our Republic. Governmental authority must be decentralized and Maine’s state, county and local governments must resume their fundamental responsibilities to its citizens.

We believe that deficit spending at any level of government is unsound.

The Republican Party is dedicated to providing sound and efficient government responsive to the needs of the people and tempered by the principle that liberty is man’s most precious possession.

This nation must continue to be the bulwark of liberty. We can live in peace and maintain the respect of the world only if those responsible for dealing with the governments of other nations do so with firmness, integrity and the constant application to others of our own great principles of self-reliance and freedom under God.

Foreign Policy And National Affairs

We support, as all loyal patriotic Americans should, our fighting men in Vietnam. We proclaim that our purpose is victory in the struggle to contain aggression by Communism. We must at all times maintain our readiness to negotiate a just peace and pledge ourselves to do everything possible to end the war on honorable terms.

We call for an end to foreign aid to anti-American governments.

We pledge ourselves to continue the vigorous pursuit of the goal of equal opportunity for all our citizens regardless of race, creed, color or national origin and to do everything within reason to eliminate the conditions that have given rise to the riots and defiance of law and order, but not at the price of appeasement of irresponsible elements that defile our country.

With education, welfare, pollution and other needs mounting rapidly, preservation of decentralization of governmental functions depends on the national government doing for the state what most states have done for local government. The Federal government must share its greater revenue sources. We advocate the program of so-called “tax sharing” under which Maine would receive its fair share of the Federal tax dollar by the return, without strings attached, of a portion of the revenue from the federal income tax to be used to resolve state and local problems through state and local determination.

We deplore the Federal administration’s mismanagement of the national economy which has produced inflation and eroded the purchasing power of the dollar. This has placed a burden on every citizen, particularly on those with fixed incomes, and has likewise increased the cost of local and state government.

We urge the Federal government to cut back Federal spending in non-essential areas in order to alleviate inflation and restore the confidence of the world in the American dollar.

Fiscal Policy

A specific prescription to cure all of society’s ills is neither possible to achieve nor the purpose of a platform. The Republican Party will not promise, as others do, to deliver a perfectly tailored world. Promises of “pie in the sky” have always had price tags which the promisors have been unwilling to pay — except by borrowing from the future. Our generation has inherited such a burden of debt from the Federal government that we are reluctant to increase that burden for our own children.

We will advocate the necessary budgets to accomplish the work of the state efficiently and economically and we will forthrightly propose a revenue program to pay our bills as we go. Just as all fiscally responsible citizens must, we will administer the state by living within our income and foregoing those frills which we cannot afford.

Economy in government at all levels with sound budget practices is our goal. We shall continue to oppose extravagance and waste. The tax burden must be distributed so that all pay their fair share of government.

Economic Development

The increasing cost of progress must be financed by economic growth. It is the responsibility of state government to take active leadership in meeting competition of other states in the quest for new industry and in the expanding of present industry. To that end we pledge a continued good measure of intensive effort toward creating an attractive atmosphere for industry through improvement in transportation, education and community attitudes toward industry — including those tax reforms and other incentives that will apply equally to established as well as new industries.

We applaud the efforts being made to develop tourism as an industry in Maine and support the expansion of tourist and recreational facilities.

Education

Our children are our most precious resources; they are literally the future of this state. We believe that it is the greatest responsibility of government at every level to provide every child with an education of the highest quality through our free and locally controlled system. To this goal, the Republican Party pledges its every support.

Recognizing that the local property tax supports the housekeeping services of local government but no longer provides a suitable financial base for public education and welfare, we believe that a larger share of public education and welfare must be placed upon the shoulders of the State and be financed by sound and fiscally responsible means — consistent with the wishes of Maine people and their ability to pay.

We commend the 103rd Legislature for the increase in school subsidies to effect property tax relief.

We support higher education at the commuter college, vocational school, college and university levels, at as low a cost as possible to the student.

Transportation

We favor the support of all modes of transportation and port facilities, and the expansion and improvement of trunk arid arterial highways to promote tourism and the marketability of Maine products.

We favor continued expansion of air facilities for both air taxi and general aviation throughout our state.

We believe consideration must be given to the aesthetic value of surrounding countryside in our freeway planning, and that statutory provision is needed to sharply curtail the number, placement and use of billboards.

We urge the construction of the East-West Highway to enhance the economic growth of the State of Maine.

Natural Resources

We believe that the local and state government, combined with the technical resources of private industry, should unite to rid this state of the wasteful pollution of our air, land, streams and waterways and that funds should be appropriated to provide adequate enforcement of water, land and air pollution control measures.

We recommend enactment of laws covering strip mining to require that all overburden from stripping be returned to mine and gravel pits, conforming approximately to original contour.

We urge protective planning to preserve the beauty of our lakes and streams by the development of a system of land classification in unorganized townships of the state so that previous to development, plans can be made with foresight so as not to overburden nature in its attempt to maintain a balance. In this way we can prevent the pollution of ponds, lakes and streams before they become a problem.

We recognize the tremendous untapped potential of our relationship to the sea and encourage greatly expanded efforts in oceanographic research, statutory protection and the economic development of our coastal enterprises.

We favor maximum extension of the territorial limits off shore.

Labor

The Republican Party of Maine has always been cognizant of the contribution Labor makes to our civic life and to our economy. More and better employment opportunities will continue to be the goal of our Party. Republican Party sponsorship of progressive labor legislation will continue as we strive for improvement in our labor-management relations and our industrial laws relating to safety, health and welfare of all Maine workers.

We advocate a careful reappraisal of all laws regulating employment to see if these laws are in fact consistent with employee protection and economic growth and development.

The key to effective State Government is to have a work force of enthusiastic state employees. We pledge ourselves to provide salaries and other benefits to state employees commensurate with employees working in the private areas of the economy.

Senior Citizens

The Republican Party recognizes the special debt that is owed by Maine citizens to the aging members of our population. Medical science has extended the normal life expectancy. It is now our obligation to see to it that our elder citizens live in the dignity and comfort that are their due.

Municipal Affairs

Realizing the undue share of the total tax burden that the property tax bears, we favor shifting to the State that portion of the cost of the Aid to Dependent Children program currently borne by municipalities.

We will support legislation to grant expanded home rule powers to local communities.

We acknowledge the unfair burden placed upon part-time assessors and selectmen and the inconsistencies inherent in existing assessing practices. We shall promote the establishment of qualified tax assessors on a district basis to provide equitable and consistent assessment of property for tax purposes.

Health And Welfare

We favor the consolidation of facilities and the possibility of interstate cooperation to effect economies in our penal institutions.

We favor the strengthening and expansion of our program dealing with all handicapped children.

Indians

We urge the adoption of a long range program designed to assimilate finally the Indian population of our state, now largely composed of dependent communities, and affording Indians all the same rights, privileges and responsibilities of Maine citizens.

Agriculture

We favor review of our export-import policies to prevent injury to our farmers and their employees by importation of agricultural products raised by cheap labor and allowed to be sold in this country at prices which undermine our wage rates.

We urge relaxation of federal regulations to permit controlled use of foreign labor in state forestry and agricultural pursuits when the local labor market is insufficient to supply the need.

Law Enforcement

Respect for law is the basis on which our society rests. In a free society there can be no justification for defiance of the law.

Republicans have always recognized that the most basic function of state and local government is the maintenance of law and order and the Republican Party condemns unequivocally those who abuse the right of dissent by acts of violence, those who confuse the right of dissent with anarchy.

We strongly urge those with responsibility and in authority in schools and all phases of government to carry out the mission entrusted to them by quick positive reaction to acts of violence in their domain.

We advocate improved methods of recruiting, selecting, training and compensation of law enforcement officers so as to develop and maintain strong local and state police organizations. Professional and full-time prosecutors are a needed supplement to professional and full-time police and judiciary.

We support modern methods of rehabilitating offenders as the best way both to reclaim individuals and protect society against the human and economic effects of future crimes.

State Government

Consistent with our belief in the opportunity for our citizens to elect public officials of the highest caliber and integrity, we support the elimination of the Party box on the ballot so that each voter may carefully consider the qualities of all candidates.

We favor the adoption of suitable legislation to provide an orderly and effective procedure for collective bargaining in the area of public employment.

We advocate districting standards for apportionment of the House of Representatives within the framework of the equal population principle of the Supreme Court.

Inasmuch as the State must tax itself to find additional revenues, we recommend that the substantial savings which can be effected by bureaucratic reform be brought into existence by a revision in depth of the form and functions of the forty-odd bureaus, commissions and departments within the Executive Division. If, as has been stated in the past, there is a saving of 10 per cent of the general fund budget to be found by bureaucratic reform, we recommend that finding what is equivalent to a penny on the sales tax be obligatory before we burden tax payers with an additional major broad-based tax.

We reaffirm our support for effective, long range planning to establish goals and priorities in the utilization of all natural resources.

The Republican Party recognizes that in the foreseeable future the complexities of State government and the budgetary problems incident thereto will justify the increased costs involved in holding annual sessions of the Legislature.

Veterans Affairs

In recognition of the contribution of those who served the Armed Forces of our country, Maine has developed a program of Veterans Legislation designed to meet the particular needs of this group. We pledge continued review of these programs to insure that they continue to be responsive to and adequate for these needs.

This then, is our Platform. We offer a record of accomplishment and demonstrated capacity for leadership.

With an abiding belief in the future of the State of Maine, we pledge the Republican Party to dedicated service and, with God’s help, to continue progress, opportunity, security, happiness and prosperity for all the people of the State of Maine.

Source: Copy of the printed platform at the Maine State Law Library.

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This entry was last modified: April 26, 2013 02:26 PM

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