Managing Editor, "As Maine Goes."
Largest Online Forum in Maine
Serving Maine (and Beyond) since 1998.
Maine Republican Party
For Immediate Release, August 31, 2012
Contact: David Sorensen, Communications Director
Phone: (207) 622-6247
Rep. Berry Launches Pathetic Attack on Tax Plan He Voted For
Short memory and omitted facts mark personal war in the editorial pages
"Rep. Seth Berry is being dishonest and hypocritical," said Maine Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen. "He has lied by omission and conveniently ignored his own policies of just a few years ago."
In a series of guest editorials to newspapers all over Maine this summer, Rep. Berry has been relentlessly attacking the biennial budget that he voted for. "It is understandable that there may be some things in the budget he doesn't like - no legislator is completely happy with every budget they vote for," continued Sorensen. "But the level of vitriol Berry has spewed about the tax cuts in the budget makes me wonder why he voted for them."
Berry has asserted repeatedly in his columns that the recent tax cuts passed under Republican leadership benefit the rich while everyone else loses, in one calling the tax reform "the largest tax shift in Maine history."
Berry knows that this is not true. He serves on the taxation committee. He knows that the share of income taxes paid by the top 10 percent will actually increase from 55 to 57 percent of total income taxes collected. He knows that the 80 percent of income tax payers in the low- and middle-income brackets pay only 24 percent of income taxes, but will receive 33 percent of the tax cuts, almost half again more than their "fair share."
But the truth doesn't matter to Berry. What matters is winning the election and gaining back the majority. He was the House Majority Whip two years ago, and now he is just a rank and file member of the minority party.
---> He has also been taking this fight to his fellow legislators, with whom he should be working across the aisle. He recently called the author of a column that rebuts one of his own to express surprise and anger that his Republican colleague would dare to respond. These intimidation tactics are unacceptable.
It also doesn't matter to Berry that the 2009 Democratic tax "reform" that he championed fits the mold of his own criticism. Berry specifically writes in one of his columns that those making over $350,000 per year will receive a $3,000 tax cut as a result of the GOP plan.
----> LD 1495, the bill that Berry fanatically defended and that was repealed by a people's veto in 2010, reduced income taxes by twice as much - $6,238 - for the very same group. He "paid for" this by jacking up sales taxes on everything from car repairs to dog grooming to nursing home meals. Republicans paid for theirs by cutting spending. Republicans passed real tax relief.
Berry says he wants to "put partisanship aside" in 2013. That's funny. Republicans built a bipartisan consensus for their plan, while Berry crafted his failed 2009 tax plan without Republican input and rammed it through without bipartisan support.
"The people of Maine rejected Rep. Berry's tax plan decisively at the polls in 2010," continued Sorensen. "It is pathetic for him to run around the state attacking the Republican plan that he voted for, and that Maine people kept in place."
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Reed tells me he was blocked from posting on these pages some time ago.