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What’s in it for them? Oodles and oodles of money… Why don’t we all just become politicians?

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William T. Haines, my fraternal great grandfather, was a Maine Republican, career politician:

  • 1882 to 1887 ~ Kennebec County’s county attorney
  • 1888 to 1892 ~ Maine State Senate
  • 1895 to 1896 ~ Maine House of Representatives
  • 1896 to 1901 ~ Attorney General of Maine
  • 1901 to 1905 ~ Governor’s Executive Council
  • 1912 ~ Nominated for the governorship of Maine by the Republican Party
  • 1913 to 1915 ~ Won the general election by a popular vote.
    • During his administration, a bond issue was authorized for road improvements. A public utilities bill and an anti-trust act were sanctioned.
    • He was unsuccessful in his re-election bid.
      • As a Republican, he introduced a social welfare bill
      • It killed his chances for re-election

Somewhere in there, my great grandfather found his heart, while also amassing a great deal of wealth in the process. I have some remnants of that past still with me, and I grew up knowing that my great grandfather was a very wealthy man, owning all of the buildings and lots of land in Waterville, Maine. “How did he get all of that property?” I used to wonder. Then, I grew up.

I also have learned that although he failed to get his social act passed through the system, he actually created a program for women with children and no man to support them in Waterville, that’s still in existence today. His act of introducing a bill that had some social welfare attached to it is what killed his chances for re-election, according to my Uncle Joe.

Republicans just don’t introduce “social welfare” kinds of bills. Everyone knows that, right?

What he couldn’t do politically, he did accomplish privately. I know that will make every Republican so proud, that he did it the way he should have… privately. For me, humility is the better side of pride, and I swing that way. I can’t condone pride for myself. In the dictionary, “pride” is a very a negative word… Look it up. I just know that I need to avoid pride at all costs. I’m pleased that my great grandfather found his way. He was out just as the Roaring 20s were headed in; massive corruption within the government was going to be taking a tremendous upswing through Prohibition… And the greed of those days within our political system hasn’t had any slowdown.

Where am I coming from?

I just read this headline on WineBusiness.com, “Liquor lobby gives $45,000 to treasurer.” The subtitle, “Grossman aide says gifts won’t affect actions.” All I can say is, “Well, that’s pretty gross, man. Who are you kidding? Do you think we’re all that stupid? Give me a break, you’re on the take.” Pardon me, but what an idiot this Grossman guy is…

FROM Boston.com: In his biggest one-time haul of political cash since he took office, state Treasurer Steve Grossman accepted $45,000 at a fund-raiser earlier this month from package store proprietors, bar owners, and liquor distributors, industries his office heavily controls and regulates.

Grossman took donations from executives across the state, all of whom have a financial interest in the decisions and policies set by the Alcoholic Beverages Control Commission, the agency he oversees as treasurer.

The donations represent nearly one quarter of the entire $187,000 Grossman has raised since he took office in January.

At what point do citizens become outraged? I am, darn it, so I’m writing about it. It’s totally disgraceful.

Okay people, I’m waiting for y’all to take to the streets and get some control back… Or, is it too late? Do you love the way your state controls what you can and can’t enjoy for wine. Are you satisfied only drinking the truly great stuff when you come to the West Coast?

More for us, I know, but this stinks… Smelling of major corruption.


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10 Responses to “What’s in it for them? Oodles and oodles of money… Why don’t we all just become politicians?”

  1. Jo, the Republican Party back in your great grandfather’s day was very different from today. It was the party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt. They were liberals, environmentalists and against entrenched corporate interests. Lincoln signed the law that created the first national park, Yosemite. Can you imagine a Republican president creating a national park today? They’d prefer to sell it to Chevron. Teddy Roosevelt was a trust buster who broke up the railroad monopoly. Today, Republicans are trying to eliminate all government regulation of corporations. If your great grandaddy were alive today, he’d be a Democrat!

  2. “Do you love the way your state controls what you can and can’t enjoy for wine.”–No, I don’t. Fascinating read & very informative. Thank you!

  3. Jo Diaz says:

    Steve, I believe you’re right. He had a heart, which I can’t seem to see in any current Republican doings. (and… I’m an Independent, basing my decisions/observations on what’s right… not Right or Left.)

    After the Great Depression, Roosevelt set about putting people to work creating/building our national parks… their roads and bridges.

    In today’s economy, the road and bridges – that Obama is trying to have become repaired (never mind built) – is a parallel to Roosevelt’s efforts.

    Imagine what would have happened back then (post GD days) if those parks hadn’t put people to work.

    I just don’t understand how the Republicans can be blocking such efforts, when so many people are out of work, out of their homes, and out of their luck.

    It’s shameful.

  4. Jo Diaz says:

    Andrea, thanks for weighing in.

  5. James McCann says:


    I know some people hate to read things like this… imagine if liberals gave as much as conservatives to charity and blood drives… how many more people could we help?

    Conservatives have hearts, we just use them differently.

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    James, your link is no longer working.

    I definitely agree that conservatives use their hearts differently.

  7. James McCann says:

    The link works fine, you may need to cut and paste it if your browser does not allow you to click through.

    It is just a NY Time editorial lamenting that fact that liberals are not very charitable when it comes to their own money / time / blood.

    Fun fact: If liberals gave blood at the same pace as conservatives, overall blood donations would climb by 45%.

  8. Jo Diaz says:


    Great. It worked this time. Thanks. It is an interesting read by a very good author.

    He should have interviewed me for that study. I would have really really ruined his bell curve. I’ve been volunteering about 50 hours a week for the last nine years about 50 hours a week. I carry the ball for a lot of people, it appears.

    Maybe the Democrats – being a working class – don’t have much to give, given blue collar et al. It makes a difference if you don’t have it to give in the first place. Just thinking…

  9. James McCann says:

    Actually, the editorial was based on an extensive study, not just a small sample of interviews. Multiple studies all demonstrate the same results, and when reported as a percentage of income, the disparity is actually greater. Just goes to show that the accepted narrative sometimes does not reflect the truth. Some of us conservatives, who give generously to charities, volunteer, give blood, etc… and watch our conservative friends do the same, get tired of being told that we are heartless.

    Good for you (and for your neighbors who benefit) for giving of your time.

    Fun fact: During economic downturns, liberals severely curtail their giving, while conservatives maintain virtual the same levels.

  10. Jo Diaz says:

    James, I do hear what you’re saying, because Conservatives are really well positioned in life, just like my great grandfather was… and, it did trickle down to my father’s generation, but he went nuts with what was left.

    Meanwhile, if I make $1,000,000 a year, I’m in a much better position to give generously, than someone making $50,000. Would you agree?

    Being that I lived really well, but then was given no tools for being able to do the same, I’ve had a really hard row to haul, and the only thing left for me to give is my time. If I give my blood, I won’t have the energy to give my time… However, I do thank those who can and do give blood, because it saved my bother’s life, when a cop took him off his motorcycle, when the cop fell asleep at the wheel. Even cops, who are overworked and middle class can barely make it.

    So, in that fun fact, and I’m not trying to take the wind out of your sails, just having you see through the eyes of someone very middle class… “You can’t squeeze blood from a turnip.” If you are barely making it, and there’s a downturn, people hunker down in a “Family comes first” effort.

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