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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: L-A could become a political powerhouse in Maine

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

“And this is good old Boston, the home of the bean and the cod. Where the Lowells talk to the Cabots and the Cabots talk only to God.” Thus spoke John Collins Bossidy at a Holy Cross Alumni Dinner in 1910.

This quatrain is an amusing poke at the blue-bloods of Boston commonly referred to as “Boston Brahmins.” These were the descendants of the English Protestants who left England throughout the 1600s aboard such ships as the Mayflower and Arabella to settle in America. They included family names such as Lodge, Cabot, Lowell, Adams, Quincy, Winthrop, Forbes and Saltonstall.

Their names appear throughout the pages of history. They were presidents, governors, senators, bankers, businessmen and industrialists who were responsible for and controlled America’s economy. They looked at everyone not sharing their bloodline as the hoi polloi, uneducated and deplorable. They felt the lower classes should look upon them magnanimously for allowing them to live and work (increasing their wealth) in their country.

So how does this relate to Lewiston?

It was the Boston Brahmins, the most notable of which in L-A was Benjamin Bates, who built the Lewiston mills. They built mill-worker housing and mill-worker stores, which added to their bottom lines. By supplying housing and jobs, they kept workers complacent. They also kept companies that might have helped these workers in their quest for upward nobility out of the area.

In Boston, the Irish Catholics, full of generational hatred, pushed back and wrested their power from them to run the city and state. Now it’s time for L-A’s citizens to take back and mold our cities’ future.

For too long we have served as a doormat of the well-to-do communities of Southern Maine, especially the elitists who run Portland. They continually degrade our city and its French heritage. This November, like the Boston Irish, we have a chance to become a power in Maine.

The melding of Lewiston and Auburn into one city will create a political powerhouse in Augusta. Will it save money? I doubt it. But in the long run we will grow in both wealth and political power. We will go from the cities of the Androscoggin to the shining city spanning the Androscoggin.

In the late evening of July 4 and the early morning of July 5, three water breaks occurred in the outer Sabattus Street and Pond Road area of the city. Public Works personnel from the Water and Highway Department responded, and by 6 a.m., just in time for those getting up to start their workday, had service restored. As the Mayor of Lewiston, I thank and commend them for their service during this crisis.

This week I testified before the State Liquor/Lottery Commission asking they not de-list 50ml bottles of liquor, referred to as “nips.” Half of the nips sold in Maine are the Fireball variety, which are bottled in Lewiston.

When Beam Liquors announced its intent to close the Lewiston plant, which would have resulted in the loss of over 100 jobs, Sazerac Liquor Company purchased the distillery and saved these jobs. They are now thinking of a million-dollar expansion to the facility, which would increase jobs and add tax revenues to our city coffers.

Drunk driving is the lack of responsibility on the part of the vehicle operator. Nip bottles don’t kill—the driver kills.

Lastly, this week I was saddened to learn of the death of Anthony “Tony” Emmi. Tony was a retired Lewiston Police Captain. He also was the person responsible for starting me in politics, 30-plus years ago. But what I will really miss about Tony is communicating with him using my limited knowledge of Italian.

Restare in Pace il, mio amico.

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