By Robert E. Macdonald
Mayor of Lewiston
Just when you thought he was gone, he has been resurrected from the dustbin of political has-beens. Yes, Ben Chin will again attempt to rally enough of Bates student voters hoping to attain his dream: changing Lewiston into a liberal clone of Massachusetts.
It was interesting to see the placement of his mayoral announcement in Lewiston Daily’s City Section, Page 1, above the fold. I can’t remember a mayoral announcement getting this type of coverage. Such fanfare is surprising for a job that is defined by city charter as nothing more than a position whose duties include cutting ribbons, running Lewiston City Council meetings and voting to break a tie.
The article starts off stating that Chin was narrowly defeated in 2015. Don’t you just love it! If a liberal progressive wins by 7%, it’s either a resounding victory or a landslide. When a conservative wins by the same margin, it is referred to as narrow. In the 2015 mayor’s race, Chin lost by 572 votes. In order to win, he needed an additional 32% of Bates student voters.
Reading the article I almost choked when I read, “The decision to run was difficult because of his young family.” Poppycock! Chin is a political animal, often seen prowling the halls of the State House. His eyes are on political office where he hopes to become a mover and a shaker. Does anyone think he is content to remain the political engagement director of the Maine People’s Alliance?
Lewiston is a city where our everyday residents earned their Ph.D.’s in the mills and the shoe shops through hard and demanding physical labor, not thumbing through a book in the local college library. In Lewiston, people work for what they have acquired. We find Bernie Sanders Socialism repugnant. If you want something, like a college education, earn and use your own money—don’t confiscate ours.
Chin’s mantra of “overcoming the interest of the wealthy and powerful” is getting old and worn. Who is the “wealthy and powerful” in Lewiston he is referring to? With all those advanced degrees you would think that he and his followers could come up with something new. Better yet, instead of sitting around contemplating socialism, maybe they could transition from planning and thinking to actually contributing.
Over the past five-plus years, we (city staff and council) have invested large amounts of time and money trying to correct the straits that were thrust upon our city over the last few decades. Five years ago a tone was set when HUD officials were told that we no longer wanted any further Section 8 housing, as this had placed our city in a state of disrepair. Since then, over 100 unlivable buildings have been removed from our landscape.
While it is easy to place the blame on the building owners, the real culprit in our demise are the policies championed by groups such as the Maine People’s Alliance, which are responsible for state legislation that puts up barriers and makes it hard for landlords to collect money that is owed them and needed to make repairs.
Over the last five years, we have pushed for welfare reform only to have it fiercely opposed and defeated by pro-welfare groups such as the Maine People’s Alliance.
A bill that would have relieved Lewiston taxpayers from the responsibility of supporting asylum seekers (illegal aliens) was fought and killed in Augusta due in part to the Maine People’s Alliance. Chin and the Maine People’s Alliance are in favor of using local taxpayers’ dollars to provide General Assistance for asylum seekers and allowing illegal immigrants to get driver’s licenses. They are now pushing to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections.
Chin says he wants “Lewiston to be ‘America’s great comeback story’.” But with these policies, Lewiston will become known as Maine’s socialist haven for welfare recipients and asylum seekers.