Dirty money

In memory of Brewster
By AL DIAMON  |  August 3, 2011

As I walked down the corridors of the Ralph Owen Brewster Hospice for Decaying Political Ideals, there were no indications of despair, pain, or misery. Perhaps that's because the management keeps the lights really low and pumps heavy metal music at ear-bleed volume through the sound system.

This facility is aptly named for the former Maine governor and US senator, who began his rise to power with the support of the Ku Klux Klan and ended it as a bag man for Richard Nixon. In memory of Brewster, compassionate admirers such as shady developers, sleazy consultants, and party hacks raised funds to construct a place where weary concepts that are running out of time and integrity can spend their last days in semi-gloom while being forced to listen to the complete works of Anthrax, Ozzy Osbourne, and Motorhead.

Through partially open doors, I glimpsed some familiar faces.

The Maine Green Independent Party was in the homeopathic ward getting a transfusion. I checked the stuff they were pumping in. The label said "Fertilizer," but the attendant assured me it was organic. "It won't be long before Greenie is up and around and once again getting less than 5 percent of the vote," he said. But he didn't sound like he believed it.

In another wing, I spotted what was left of Dennis Bailey's antigambling group Casinos NO! A worried looking doctor stood by its bed staring at a chart that showed a racino being approved in Biddeford, another in Washington County, as well as casinos in Lewiston, Bangor, and maybe even Oxford County. "I wouldn't bet on my patient making it through November," the sawbones said.

In the ward for charity cases, I saw beds holding all that was left of the Maine Democratic Party, Rosa Scarcelli's political future, Republican hopes of winning the 1st Congressional District, and the reputations of former LePage cabinet members Philip Congdon and Norman Olsen. I learned I'd just missed the hearse picking up the remains of Scott D'Amboise's senatorial hopes, and that GOP state chairman Charlie Webster's credibility had been transferred to the psychiatric floor.

That was all right, because I hadn't come to visit them. I was there to pay whatever respects I could muster to that last gasp of liberal idealism, the Maine Clean Election Act.

On July 20, that law was involved in a tragic collision with the US Constitution, when a federal judge slammed headfirst into the provision that provides publicly funded candidates with matching money if they're outspent by a privately financed opponent. Medical experts were called in and concluded they'd have to amputate that section, but were uncertain the patient would survive the procedure. "It's like cutting off both legs, one arm, a lung, the spleen, the pancreas, six ribs, a kidney, an eye, an ear, and a nostril," said one physician. "What's left isn't going to amount to much.

"Although," she added as a Nazareth track replaced the Uriah Heep blaring from the ceiling speakers, "in this place, losing an ear or two might not be so bad."

1  |  2  |   next >
  Topics: Talking Politics , Politics, Judas Priest, Maine,  More more >
| More


Most Popular
ARTICLES BY AL DIAMON
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   A LITTLE NIP  |  July 23, 2014
    You might not realize it, but while it’s legal to carry a gun in Maine (either openly or, with a permit, concealed), putting a flask containing an alcoholic beverage in your hip pocket is against the law.
  •   THIS IS AN OUTRAGE  |  July 16, 2014
    Politics and other mistakes
  •   BETWEEN THE DYING AND THE DEAD  |  July 11, 2014
    Being politically deceased, you’d think Steve Woods would give us a break by putting on a dark suit, lying down in a coffin, and closing his eyes.
  •   ALL THE WRONG CHOICES  |  July 07, 2014
    Reform is in the air. Olympia Snowe and the Portland Press Herald are calling for changes in the way we elect our leaders in order to restore public confidence, end gridlock, and reverse global warming. There’s a much better chance they’ll accomplish that last one than either of the other two.  
  •   INSIDE GAME  |  June 25, 2014
    The university system’s decision to add Demeritt to its roster at a salary of $125,000 a year generated criticism because it was done by ignoring normal hiring procedures and came at a time when the system is facing budget shortfalls, program cuts, and layoffs. Demeritt is going to have to hit a lot of three-pointers to make up for all that negative reaction.

 See all articles by: AL DIAMON