Attorney General Mills: Gut the First Amendment
By Jon Reisman
The Maine legislature will be electing constitutional officers in December. The expected candidacy and reelection of Democrat Attorney General Janet Mills will have important and far reaching implications for climate change policy, freedom of speech and association, partisan temperatures and the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Mills, daughter of a prominent western Maine family, has served the State and her political party as Attorney General, State Representative and as Democrat Party official. She has championed and advocated numerous progressive social justice causes, and is arguably the most public and recognized opponent of Republican Governor Paul LePage. She is a likely candidate for Governor in 2018. Her re-election as will put Maine on a collision course with President-elect Trump. While 1st District Trumpaphobes may rejoice at such macro-aggressions, 2nd District Trumpaphiles will not be amused
General Mills has adopted, endorsed and promoted several elements of the Democrat platform calling for government censorship of political speech and religious liberty- in other words, amending (as in gutting) the First Amendment.
The Democrat platform and progressives continue to call for campaign finance reform by reversing Citizens United and 40 years of precedent that money is speech. Attorney General Mills is all-in on how important it is to censor political speech, especially corporate political speech. Senators Collins and King, Representative Pingree and the League of Women Voters agree with her. The American Civil Liberties Union has not even raised a peep on government censorship of political speech, because speech from corporations, conservatives and other deplorables shouldn’t be protected. Super PACS are very, very bad, even if they were created by campaign finance reform. The Maine Conservation Voters PAC, which has spent close to a million dollars since 2010 opposing Gov. LePage and promoting statist environmental policies, is just fine however. Only the PACS promoting deplorable policies will be targeted by progressive speech nannies and General Mills. And there’s not a smidgen of evidence they will be held accountable for it.
The Democrat platform also contained a plank calling for the investigation and prosecution of climate change skeptics as racketeering enemies of the planet who must be punished and silenced. Green Pope Leonardo DiCaprio, speaking for the millennial sustainability caucus, said that believing in climate change should be a requirement for running for and holding public office, and apparently General Mills agrees with him. She joined 17 other Democrat State Attorneys General in an investigation of climate change skeptics which has subpoenaed think tanks and is clearly trying to chill political speech that the Democrat AG’s and environmental interest groups they work with and for want stopped. When President Trump vacates the executive orders and the Obama/King Paris climate “treaty” which is not a “treaty”, any defense of such unsustainable planetary malice must be prevented.
The most prominent Maine climate policy skeptic is not included in the investigation, and General Mills has apparently not devoted a lot of taxpayer resources to her prosecutorial effort…it’s just a show investigation after all. A federal judge found sufficient evidence of potential prosecutorial misconduct in New York and Massachusetts to allow Freedom of Access discovery requests which have shown a very cozy relationship between the Democrat State AG’s and environmental interest groups. Apparently the Sierra club uses Mill’s personal g-mail address; unfavored and unwashed non-progressives must contact her through her minions and state web site, where they might or might not get an answer. I went almost 6 months without being favored with a reply; one finally came hours after I complained to an equally non-responsive Maine Civil Liberties Union.
Janet Mills is likely to be reelected Attorney General by Democrat legislators next month, and she will undoubtedly continue to pursue and advocate for progressive policies to gut the First Amendment. Having an Attorney General and potential Governor who openly opposes freedom of speech should trouble even leftists and the mainstream media, but apparently not. The Maine Civil Liberties Union is unconcerned, as are legislative Democrats. The narrowly divided legislature is hoping for some degree of bi-partisan comity, but the 2018 gubernatorial race and the progressive agenda to regulate and control political speech may prevent it. Attorney General Mills and the Maine Conservation PAC have open invitations to speak at the University of Maine at Machias, but I don’t expect them to accept. Sunlight is a bit too good a disinfectant.
Jon Reisman (email@example.com) teaches environmental policy at the University of Maine at Machias.
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