J. Hinck: Money belongs to taxpayers

I recently brought attention to the use of public funds for travel to Washington, D.C., by Maine Attorney General William Schneider.

Schneider was one of several Mainers who attended the U.S. Supreme Court’s hearings on the Affordable Care Act, but the only Mainer who used state government funds to subsidize his expenses.

In the editorial April 1, “The politics of rancor and foolishness,” the Sun Journal agreed that I “made a good point about travel on the public dime” but missed the key point in the criticism concerning Schneider’s trip.

Taking great pains to suggest that he only used money from the attorney general’s “settlement account,” Schneider implied that these funds are not taxpayer dollars. This is a distinction without a difference.

Those dollars were acquired with state resources, including staff time paid for by Maine taxpayers. In the words of William Weld, a former Republican governor of Massachusetts: “There is no such thing as government money; there is only taxpayer money.”

The conduct is particularly striking, given the barrage of partisan attacks on the Maine State Housing Authority for travel and lodging reimbursements. It is more than clear that no government money should be wasted by Democrats, Republicans or independents. This should always be true but, in particular, during tough economic times.

As state budgets continue to cut services vital to ordinary Mainers, strip health insurance for those in need, and force layoffs to hardworking people, public officials must employ more fiscal restraint. Middle-class families make tough choices in their own household spending and we should expect nothing less from those serving in government.

In this case, the attorney general admits that he was not needed in Washington. He was not there to present arguments. No parties were relying on his legal research or analysis. Schneider was there merely to watch and do media interviews. As a result, we may conclude that his trip was largely symbolic and political. Therefore, it does not pass the straight-face test to justify the use of government money.

It bears mention that Schneider and I are both candidates for the United States Senate. We disagree on the Affordable Care Act and perhaps on health care issues generally. Political discussion and debate is essential to democracy — but does not call for taxpayer subsidy. I applauded Sen. Margaret Craven, my campaign treasurer, for going to Washington to support health care reform. Her trip involved the use of no public funds.

When, as now, resources are short, it is particularly important for those in positions of public trust — including candidates for high office — to abide by basic principles with respect to the use of public money.

Rep. Jon Hinck, D-Portland

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Comments

Richard Begin's picture

wind grid

Alice;

Thanks for the reply. Wow your Reply seemed to be full of a lot of Venom. How can you be sure of what you wrote here?

Are you an educated Scientist or better yet are you a seasoned Front Line veteran of Like Causes?

Second were you on the Front lines in opposing the establishment of the Wind Project in Roxbury? Alice you Present an all out Everything or Nothing approach to this Issue.

I raise this Question of course becuse as I am begining to notice that the Subject of Wind Projects seems to be developing into a Major source of Concern.

And yet could it be the Vanguard of a new Eco Second or third generation of Green Peace Clones?

Did you have Previous Service in Marching with those who oppossed Deployment of US Missiles in England back in the 70's . I suggest that Alice because Simply speaking you are exhibiting all of the Sysmptoms of a World Class Eco Warrior Could I be off the mark here lice

 's picture

off the grid

75% WIND does not blow, 10-30% loss in transmission and a 5% draw from GRID to keep mechanism running.

I have lived off grid for 12 years. Hydro Quebec is greener than wind. If you trust your government go ahead, stay on the Grid. But, do not destroy our way of life.

Richard Begin's picture

Money belongs to the taxpayers

What was the point being made Mr Hinch? Was a law broken here? I would have to speculate that from time after time members of your Party that is the Democratic Party of Maine. I'm sure may have Violated the Public trust during their Occupation of the State of Maine in the Name of Majority Rule. Nay My Hinck I'm not clear about what it is that you are exactly trying to point out here.

Also Ms barnett just Exactly how does one Kill the State of Maine through Industrial Wind Project? I'm All ears

 's picture

GRID scale WIND kills Maine.

You kill the state of Maine by destroying habitat, killing birds and mammals, fragmenting habitat, closing land [Mars Hill, Highland, Roxbury, all gated, and more to come], you destroy the wild areas and scenery that brings in both tourists and those looking to buy homes/land, and you raise electric prices, which hurts both homeowners and businesses. Tourism is $10 Billion per year to the State---the largest industry we have ever had, and those tourists are already starting to go elsewhere because of wind development.

property devaluation; with-in sight......with-in hearing there is abandonment, sold-out, relocated.......

Split the town in half...those that stand to make money and those that don't....see WINDFALL...at least the trailors.

Maine has acidic rock on mountain tops...each blast cracks the fractures. While sulfur is harmless, it is hard to convince some one to drink the smell.

Clear cuts on the very apex of erosion. Herbicides added to this high point. All runs down hill wether in a contolled erosion or not.

Rotor Sweep Zone kills all in it's path. Weather radar cannot tell if what they see is a storm or turbines.

more to come....please join windtaskforce.com for a compilation of 3 years of digging into the background of Industrial Wind.

follow the money.

AND AND all this money goes to Boston based LLCs. except King Angus

 's picture

during tough economic times.

during tough economic times.
same sound bite your wife used on LURC friday.

 's picture

Hinck

You are out to kill this state of Maine through Industrial Wind Projects.
Your wife is the biggest WIND lawyer.

MARK GRAVEL's picture

Representative Hinck, Just to

Representative Hinck,

Just to be clear, can I assume that Sen. Craven was on unpaid leave or using vacation time when she traveled to Washington D.C.?

Or was she still receiving compensation form the State at that time?

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