Jason Levesque owns and operates a direct marketing company in Auburn — think infomercials. He drives too fast so often that his license is currently suspended. More than once, he’s struggled to pay his bills and, some years ago, had to satisfy a number of liens against his personal property.
So, he’s not perfect. But he is focused, energetic and bristling with ideas. He is also as direct as a bulldog, a necessary trait to cut through the fog of rhetoric in Washington.
Rep. Michael Michaud is one of Washington’s so-called Blue Dogs, a gently right-leaning Democrat. Even with his lean, though, he’s a loyalist to his party.
Maine doesn’t need follow-along comfortable right now. We need aggressive. We need someone in Congress who will fight against the status quo with the guts of a drill sergeant.
We need Levesque in Washington.
Sen. Olympia Snowe lamented some months back that she’s never seen such partisanship in Congress as currently exists.
Partisanship is just another word for bias. Or resistance. Or just plain mulishness.
Its existence has fractured Congress and made for bad politics.
Americans have the power to fix that by casting votes for representatives who pledge to repair the damage and move this country forward. Levesque is ready to move.
Rep. Michaud has done some good in Washington, including fighting for fair trade and raising an early alarm on the Chinese currency problems, but he’s a party-line guy. He does not represent change.
And, it’s very hard to accept Michaud’s campaign promises that he’ll be tough on waste, fraud and abuse in Medicare and other government programs when he’s been in Washington for the past eight years and has yet to exercise that tough streak. Same goes for his pledge to push for change and reform when he’s been in Washington so long and has a history of supporting new regulations and increased spending during that time.
Levesque supports real reform in health care, including allowing all Americans to buy health insurance across state lines, much like they buy other goods and services.
Michaud points to the recently passed federal health reform package that allows pockets of states to participate in insurance purchase “exchanges” across state lines, but there is no requirement that states participate and Maine’s Legislature has shown no interest in doing so. Maine customers want competitive health insurance market rates and Levesque seems interested in delivering.
We endorsed Michaud for Congress during his inaugural run in 2002 because he is a straight talker, a hard worker, a genuinely nice guy and he sported an impressive record of accomplishments as a member of the Maine Legislature. Washington’s a tough town, though, and the halls of Congress are a far cry from the corridors of the State House and he’s not been able to sustain the kind of success Mainers need.
While Michaud has been in office, this state has suffered crippling job losses, endured rising health care costs, and struggled to attract new business despite his pre-Congress assurances he would tackle lost jobs and a faltering economy.
If Mainers are serious about getting different results out of Washington, we need to send different people to do the job.
Levesque is tenacious, borderline edgy and determined. He knows what it’s like to establish a business and raise a family, and he has the vigor to fight for us.
Michaud is a nice guy, a Blue Dog.
We need a bulldog.
Levesque is such an animal.