Right-wingers in Maine threw a Constitutional Convention, and only 9 people showed up. Many of them were members of the Maine Militia, according to the state coordinator Mack C. Page. Three of those who showed up were speakers. The other six were there to listen to what the organizers had to say.
The rest of the state did not care.
Via the Bangor Daily News:
“If we are successful with the summer symposiums, we will have created a new breed of legislator, a new breed who will enter the Maine Capitol building already knowing the Maine Constitution and knowing that they must make law under the mandates of the Maine Constitution,” said Phil Merletti, one of three men who presented material during the session. “If a bill enters a committee without being constitutional, they will have the knowledge and constitutional power to send it back to where it came from.”
State Sen. Andre Cushing, R-Hampden, said after the seminar in an email that he had been invited to attend the seminar but had a long planned, prior family commitment. He said that he had not received nor read information from the coalition.
“I have read through the Maine Constitution and do substantial reading on the history of Maine and its elected leaders to better understand the reason why many of the decisions where made previously in regards to our state and its policies,” Cushing said. “While I believe deeply in the oath I took each time I became a member of the Maine Legislature — to support and defend the Constitution of the State of Maine and the United States — and I strive to maintain this commitment when dealing with policy issues that come before us, I also do not believe the members of this organization are the sole source for promoting or defending the principles of the Constitution.”
Merletti and his coalition colleagues adhere to a strict interpretation of the original United States Constitution and the unamended version of Maine’s Constitution from 1820, which tells you everything you need to know about them. The best they’ve got is something that’s just six years shy of being 200 years out-of-date.
Laws are not wine, Mr. Merletti. They usually don’t age well.
His coalition has asked the legislative leaders to take the necessary steps to reinstate some of some provisions and remove others from the Maine Constitution. He hasn’t met with any success.
For example, Jack McCarthy pointed out how public schools are funded — a combination of state, federal, and local taxes. Article VIII, Section 1, states that the “Legislature shall require all towns to support public schools.”
And what happens if the town isn’t big enough to support its own schools? We can’t a afford a society of people as stupid as McCarthy. Funding education is a big enough problem as it is, and that’s without getting into higher education, which has become so laden with debt it’s practically become a tool for the wealthy and powerful to keep the poor and destitute even further under heel.
The people attending didn’t mind the company they were keeping:
“I came to be educated,” Maine militiaman Page said during a break. “I know most of this but it’s always nice to have a refresher. I’d like to have seen some of the representatives here. How can you be in the Legislature and know what you’re there for?”
“Educated.” You use that word, Mr. Page. It does not mean what you think it means.
You can watch a video on the convention below: