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This week’s edition!

Enough is Enough: Mainers have a right to know how their money is spent

By Robert E. Macdonald

Mayor of Lewiston

It’s time for a major overhaul of the many laws and policies dealing with confidentiality, laws that dictate how federal, state and local government are run.

A person’s medical records, financial statements and other personal information should be blocked from busybodies who seek it out of curiosity. This type of information should remain protected.

Recently, a friend asked if it would be possible to locate a gentleman he had known for many years and was now terminally ill. He sought to contact the man with the hope of providing him help and comfort in his final days. I called an organization I felt could locate the man.

I was told, correctly, that they could not give out that information. I asked if I left my friend’s name and number, could it be passed along to the person if, in fact, they knew him. I was told, again correctly, this would not be possible.

I bring this to the reader’s attention in an attempt not only to show the foolishness of these laws, but the fear they strike into the average law-abiding citizen.

In Maine there is a website that lists the pension amounts received by everyone who is issued a monthly check by the State of Maine. No privacy here because this is being paid out by the State; accordingly, taxpayers have a right to know.

Yet other recipients of state revenues are shielded. Yes, I am referring to those known as welfare recipients.  Why are they treated differently than pensioners? (A rhetorical question).

The answer: our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class. It’s none of your business how much of your money they get and spend. Who are you to question it? Just shut up and pay!

Well, the days of being quiet are gone. We will be submitting a bill to the next legislative session asking that a website be created containing the names, addresses, length of time on assistance and the benefits being collected by every individual on the dole. After all, the public has a right to know how its money is being spent.

Along with this bill, we will be resubmitting HR 368, which will bring local General Assistance into compliance with federal laws that limit General Assistance to a 60-month total lifetime benefit.

Additionally, we will be submitting a bill similar to one in Massachusetts, prohibiting the state from paying benefits for any additional child born after the recipient has been accepted into General Assistance.

Following up on last week’s column, these bills will be submitted to the Legislature for consideration and passage:

A bill that would make it a Class E Crime for a tenant to remove or disable a fire or CO2 detector in an apartment under the tenant’s control. This would result in a fine. If a removal results in injury or death, the tenant would be charged with a Class C Crime (a felony).

A city ordinance making the tenant responsible for keeping the hallway outside their apartment free of personal property and trash. We will further seek a state law that would make a tenant criminally liable if their property or trash is blocking an exit preventing passage in the hallway that results in injury or death.

Lastly, we will also be seeking language to be added to the current criminal mischief statue, clearly stating that tenants who intentionally damage an apartment under their control will be held criminally liable for the damage.

Next week, we will talk about our progressive liberal friends’ war on the elderly.

 

109 Responses to “Enough is Enough: Mainers have a right to know how their money is spent”

  • C Gustafson:

    Yes! This is a fabulous idea!

    • Linda:

      How about we publish the names & addresses of all the CEOs that are collecting corporate welfare instead, while they underpay their employees who are then forced to apply for assistance????? Then we need to publish the names & addresses of all those putting their money in foreign bank accounts to avoid paying taxes that could have been used to fund food stamps for the poor.

      • Tom J. Cassidy:

        Linda,

        Second the motion!

      • lori lou:

        Third the motion! And publish all the other expenses right down to the toilet paper in his office. I bet he was the kid nobody played with on the playground, and a little bit of power goes to his head and turns him into a bully. He’s discusting.

      • Sherman:

        I agree that CEOs are over compensated but at least they work hard to earn it. Your response is ridiculous without logical reasoning. I doubt you can give one example of anyone person that works for a CEO that is on assistance. If you can give an example I bet there would be some fraud involved. Don’t get me wrong there is a need in certain circumstances for assistance but the majority can help themselves if they really had to. For years people survived without cellular telephones but now if you cant afford one you can get an Obama phone. Really! people can’t live without a cell phone. Simple test, like to have vs. nice to have. Want more work harder. If a real disability prevents you from being able to do that, that’s a different story.

        • You are insufferable. There’s no evidence to back up your claim that people who receive public aid do not work just as hard, if not harder than a CEO of a major corporation does.

          I received public assistance while I was going to college full time, working 50 hours per week, and had a 4 year old child and a wife who was also going to school and working part time.

          We SLAVED away to maintain a reasonable standard of living for ourselves and our son. So **** you with your ********. Get educated.

          • Ben:

            I do landscaping and I wash dishes. I work hard.

            I am poor, but I make too much money to receive benefits outside of health insurance.

            Hard work has nothing to do with money and receiving benefits has nothing to do with being lazy.

        • Shintao:

          No,no, we are talking about the money they don’t earn working. We are talking about their share of $154 Billion in corporate aid that taxpayers fork out as freebies to these people. We are talking about the trillions we passed out to wall streeters, bankers, and business that have been on the dole forever.

          Now I am sure they are also proud of the wages they do earn, the property’s they do own, so we should list those as well to understand why they need your tax dollars.

        • Shaun:

          “…they work hard to earn it” Bahahahaha! Trolling man. Trolling.

      • Lou:

        If you understand public finance you would would not care what CEOs are paid. The stockholders of the company vote annually on executive compensation. If stockholders want to “overpay” their executives then only those stockholders lose with reduced dividends. But what public welfare recipients are paid is a concern to all workers and taxpayers. It is all who work and all who pay taxes (including the retired) who pay welfare recipient who can buy iPhones, video games, cruise tickets, booze, drugs, or gamble with other people’s hard earned money. And there is no audit. Only a welfare recipient or their advocate would complain.

        • Caleb:

          Lou, consider how much of our money goes toward corporate subsidies. It is far more than goes to welfare. We have a right to know how our money is spent, right?

      • mommylovesfamily:

        But Linda, its so much easier to pick on the poor, don’t you know? How dare they eat healthy food, have privacy and mess with smoke detectors….lol.

        How is it that anyone is sucked in by this “I am so superior to those trashy poor” mentality? The rich are just manipulating the prideful jerks of society to further oppress the poor.

    • btrayd:

      What about disability insurance benefits? Those aren’t “welfare”. They are an insurance payout for those who have paid into their insurance policies and like all insurance…you don’t really want to cash it out because that means something HORRIBLE has happened in your life.
      But, name and shame. then all the pseudo medical know-it-alls will be able to look at someone and decide if they “deserve” their medical assessments that were done by people who have actually gone to medical school.

    • alltheknews:

      oh my gosh finally that is the most brilliant idea get pushing for discloser time to clean house

    • gonzales27:

      add et to your reply

    • Gwenola:

      Publish them and I will invite them over for supper…..even the fat man that wants them published. Give us a decent wage and maybe then we can purchase food without having to apply. We have to when you make us apply for low wage jobs. No way to send children to the nursery. Some folk have no earthly sense at all.

  • Eric:

    Hey, when you submit that bill can you also add in a provision to make public the amount of tax breaks the rich get, along with their address, the total lifelong tax deductions they have gotten, and what those tax deductions were for? After all, since tax deductions reduce the taxes they pay and impact what taxes are collected the public does have a right to know what deductions they are using to avoiding paying taxes.

    • Erik:

      Eric, my almost name-twin, your misunderstanding on the issues suffer from the same fatal flaw that most left-leaning, progressives have. You think “tax breaks” are the same as “welfare recipients.” To the typical reasoning person, it is clearly that this is a logical fallacy–income is clearly not the same as welfare–and tax breaks (i.e. “loopholes” as progressives like to call them) are basically the Fed/State Govt agreeing to take less of the money a person earns.

      For your views to be true, we’d have to accept the claim that someone sitting on their couch right now collecting welfare has more of a right to the income/wealth of Michael Dell who made desktop PCs and laptops an easily affordable home luxury and work tool for millions of Americans. That of course is patently absurd.

      I think you have a conception that if someone has more than what you think is “enough”, they should be forced to give it away. Frankly, I cannot think of a statement more anti-American, the land where freedom and equality of opportunity has made it possible for any person to change his or her circumstance from what they are today to something better tomorrow.

      Pray that no one who makes half of your income decides to start thinking like you do, or indeed you will be the new “rich” and subject to the whims of those less capable, less motivated, and less informed than you.

      This is the hope and dream of a free man: to earn what is his by right, not to take that which belongs to another by force.

      • Jo Blow:

        Conservaturds are ruining the US. More poor shaming by idiot Republicunts.

      • Chris:

        I bet you’re one of those millionaires too, or maybe a thousandaire, who believes that someday you will be rich.
        Truth is, I bet you never worked retail or service, watching people work 40 hours, but still notable to pay for everything their children need, or for yourself all by yourself.

        The sad truth is, a lot of these people work hard and only tread water, only staying in place, never getting their heads up.

      • Fern Berkle:

        “Pray that no one who makes half of your income decides to start thinking like you do, or indeed you will be the new “rich” and subject to the whims of those less capable, less motivated, and less informed than you.”
        ***************************************************

        YOU are the one with the misunderstanding. You seem to think that by virtue of having more money, a person is “more capable, more motivated, and more informed” than someone with less.

      • Mike:

        Erik, You’re simply wrong. The fact you don’t know the difference between a tax break and a tax loophole, and consider there’s some kind unexplained evil liberal plot at hand just shows how useless your opinions are.

        The rest of your rant is corporatist talking point blather and a sad reflection of the state of today’s tarnished Republican party which is increasingly being led by utter morons and rabid crazies.

      • Dr. Brent MacQueen:

        Erik, your logic inconsistent. If the Gov’t pays out abstinence level money to families its welfare. One could also call this a negative effect on the Budget balance sheet. If the Gov’t decides to forgo a tax collection for any reason your reasoning calls this a tax break or “loophole”? Regardless of what you name it, it can also be called a negative impact on the Budget balance sheet. So in effect both welfare and “tax breaks” will have a negative effect on the Budget balance sheet.

        However in one case Michael Dell gets fatter and in the other the “couch potatoes” as you so grossly label those seeking abstinence level support get taken care of.

        Tell me again which is the more American?

        Self-centered egotistical attitudes such as yours are about as un-American as you can get.

        Your dreams must be full of fear to expose such hatred of your fellow man.

      • Sherman:

        Well said.

        • Sherman:

          Well said is meant for Eric, not the comments supporting socialism that think they have a right to take our money for their desires. By publishing their names I suspect a lot of fraudulent cases would be exposed. People who are on assistance should not be able to vote on how tax paying persons money is spent.

          • Sherman:

            Meant for Erik with the “k”. Well said. McQueen is probably a professor who actually believes the bs he is espousing. Simply said if we didn’t have corporations or businesses we wouldn’t be able to provide assistance to the people who really need assistance. The simple truth is if more people get on assistance than there are tax payers the system will collapse. Is it to late to for this mayor to run for president? Heard ther might be an opening for the Democratic Party. Nah they’ll probably nominate Bernie because he is all about taking hard working persons money and giving it to undeserving welfare recipients.

    • E. Bridger:

      +1
      100% support.

    • Eric:

      Erik, I don’t remember a provision in the Constitution that defines who deserves benefits from the taxes that they paid in based on how they earned them and how much? That person sitting home on the couch could be you because you lost your job because Michael Dell shipped your job overseas to save himself some money that he then spends on his second home and writes the interest off as a tax reduction. You may of spent 30 years working at your job and are out of work through no fault of your own looking for a job, but now you need to still feed your wife, kids and pay your mortgage so you are getting SNAP benefits, and Medicaid as unemployment maxes out at $397 and your mortgage is $1,500 a month, leaving you $300 to eat, heat, etc.

      Now on top of the embarrassment of not being able to provide food and a home to your family without help we are going to drug test you, (hopefully you kicked that drug problem you could afford before. We know how easy it is to quit cold turkey), post your address online so anyone can send you harassing mail and also let all your family and friends know about your personal situation. We don’t care that you paid in $200,000 in taxes over the last 20 years and may only draw back $5,000 in benefits now, we are going to shame you. We are going to embarrass you.

      You say you can’t think of something more anti-American, but I don’t think of publishing personal info and embarrassing someone for a circumstance beyond their control as very American at all. Our country specifically outlawed debtors prisons and hasn’t had public pillory in generations. The 8th amendment actually outlaws cruel and unusual punishment for crimes and you are talking about something that is not even criminal.

      You mention, “the land where freedom and equality of opportunity has made it possible for any person to change his or her circumstance from what they are today to something better tomorrow.”, but publicly posting this information would follow you forever possibly making it more difficult to change your circumstance for the better. You know there are people out there who will search this information and use it in determining if they hire someone or not as with two equal candidates they will assume the person you had to take Medicaid to provide medication for there sick child or SNAP to feed their family is lazier then the person who didn’t. The only difference may of been circumstances beyond their control.

      As it says in The Bible.

      “Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy”

      — Proverbs 31:8-9

      “Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the Lord will take up their case and will exact life for life.

      — Proverbs 22:22-23”

      • Thank you Eric you are exactly right and what dangers will that put young kids in when they go to school because now bullying is even worse because everyone now knows your personal information and assume they know what your going through so they treat you like crap because you can’t afford what they can and because everyone can attack you because they assume your lazy or your parents are and that’s the issue a lot of people I have seen have worked and put a lot of those taxes being used in themself so if they use it yea it’s what they put into it also. So many people think they know better just because they sit higher then you and can now judge you I watched 50 year old men and woman whom had beautiful homes and great jobs lose everything and ended up moving into moms basment and now they had to start over because of reasons out of their control only to have people judge you and kick you down every chance they get is unreal I loved what you wrote its good to see that good people still exists with how many people now are all out for a witch hunt

    • gs:

      ERIC is right on!

    • Gwenola:

      I agree Eric.

  • N Dickinson:

    I think all municipal employees[like Mayors] should also have a website listing there names and home addresses because it would make them less likely to talk shit.

  • Jack Spencer:

    I am appalled that the Mayor would advocate a bill that further stigmatizes the economically disadvantaged of this town Are you deliberately trying to shame those who have not had the same advantages as you enjoy Mayor? What have these folks ever done to you to deserve such contempt?

  • CJ:

    This is the most garbage “shame the poors” nonsense I’ve heard in years. Whoever seriously considers this a good idea should just march off a goddamn cliff and do the rest of us a favor.

  • This is a great idea! With this list, it will be possible to make sure every welfare recipient who’s eligible to vote is registered, and then coordinate transportation so that EACH AND EVERY ONE OF THEM can vote against this vindictive, stingy man.

    I’m convinced that Das Mayor’s plan is just another scheme to discourage Somalis and other immigrants from moving to Lewiston.

    By the way, it SHOULD have occurred to Das Mayor, a former police officer, that perhaps the organization he called to help his “friend” doesn’t give out or pass along information because they had no way of knowing he was telling the truth about his motivations. Das Mayor could have been a stalker with a sob story, or just another con man looking for an elderly victim.

  • Neo Blaque:

    The citizens Lewiston deserve to know if their Mayor wrote this idea down while being paid, since it is an utterly ignorant and shameful idea.

    The Mayor should also disclose all of his financial information for all to see, the citizens can then decide if he is deserving of any tax dollars for his “work”.

  • J:

    Let’s also include all of the personal expenses of any public official who is paid with Maine tax dollars. I can’t trust my mayor until I can account for EVERY dollar he and his family are spending and on what, regardless of privacy laws. Please make laws that allay all my moral fears! No privacy no matter what.

    Please dear god, tell me the mayor has a plethora of better ideas that actually make our city and community BETTER. If I had a nickel for every time someone said, “There should be a website for….” Please. As Bill Belicheck would say, “Do your job.”

  • David M Perry:

    Does this miserable excuse for a human being think an effort like this would do anything except to marginalize people who are already trying to cope with an existence that he cannot possibly imagine? A blatantly racist attempt to humiliate those who are least able to speak out.

  • […] in an op-ed titled, “Enough is Enough: Mainers have a right to know how their money is spent,” Macdonald […]

  • Nell Webbish:

    Does the website that lists the pension amounts received by everyone who is issued a monthly check by the State of Maine also list the recipents’ addresses or are you only interested in having poor people harassed in their homes?

  • Eriq:

    Yep tax breaks to the corporations cost way, way more than a few green stamps to poor people. I guess the mayor did;t get the memo from the Pope.

  • […] in an op-ed titled, “Enough is Enough: Mainers have a right to know how their money is spent,” Macdonald […]

  • Heather:

    Having grown up in the twin cities I am completely humiliated!!!!! This is not welfare reform it’s shaming! You should be ashamed of yourself….

  • Erin Thomas:

    You should be ashamed of yourself, you are not a leader. This is the most ill-conceived, offensive idea of poor-shaming the State of Maine has come up with thus far. Unless you like children being picked on at school and adults that may never be able to get another professional job to bring them out of poverty. I’m horrified!! and embarassed once again to be living in Maine. Shameful Mayor, Shameful!!

  • Oh, my gosh. This is mean-spirited, unnecessary, and morally bankrupt. This would harm kids most of all, and create unbearable stress in what is most likely an already stressful household.

    The answer to your “rhetorical” question is that the difference between pensions and welfare is that one is earned after a lifetime of work, and one may be proud of earning it, and the other is a helping hand in a time of need, and many people feel ashamed to have to ask for help. We, as a nation and a people and as friends and neighbors and fellow citizens, offer help to those in need. We do it to improve all our lives, and we don’t embarrass those that need our help.

    SOLUTION: If you’re concerned that welfare is being abused somehow, hire a few people to keep track of it. Give them the power to correct abuses.

    You should be ashamed of yourself.

  • […] sleep. Yes, it might seem insane, even for a Republican, but it’s true. In an op-ed for the Twin City Times, MacDonald argued that the location and identity of poor people was of public interest because the […]

  • Ronald L. Cain:

    Should we Abolish Entitlements?

    There are those that advocate abolishing all entitlement programs. (For the record, Social Security is not an entitlement program.) They allege that those receiving some type of assistance should get a job and work. (Many are working — temporary, part-time jobs that do not pay a living wage.)

    There are something like 16 million children going hungry in this country each day. Republicans have already cut nutrition programs.

    There is something like a hundred thousand veterans in this country. Many depend on some type of assistance to survive. (There are those that wave the flag and cheer when they are in the military. When they return, and have no job and become homeless, the very ones waving the flag turn their backs on veterans.)

    Tens of thousands of elderly and senior citizens depend on some type of assistance to survive. They have worked all their lives but now we turn our back on them.

    There are 492 billionaires living in this country and 16 million kids living in poverty. Yet we give tax breaks to billionaires and do nothing to feed the children.

    How is it that we can afford to give a trillion dollars in tax breaks to the top two percent but we cannot afford to provide for our veterans?

    What kind of nation are we when we give tax breaks to billionaires, but we cannot care for the elderly and the children?

    As Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

    Ronald L. Cain

  • […] sleep. Yes, it might seem insane, even for a Republican, but it’s true. In an op-ed for the Twin City Times, MacDonald argued that the location and identity of poor people was of public interest because the […]

  • Whew! Glad I don’t live in Lewiston. I’d be embarrassed by such a mayor, and by such ignorance.
    Not sure why Macdonald ends the piece with targets against apartment renters/dwellers. I guess he doesn’t realize that not everyone who lives in an apartment receives public assistance. Poor dude. It’s like that old saying, “He who knows not and knows not that he knows not is a fool.”

  • Nat:

    As a food bank volunteer, I find the Lewiston mayor’s suggestion abhorrent. There are a lot of folks that get free food and do not avail themselves to other government assistance. We actually encourage them to apply because the fact that they meet the criteria to get free food from the pantry means they also meet the criteria for government aid. The people that I have met are clearly not out to “game” the system, but merely survive. Many are too proud to go on govt assistance but the food pantry simply cannot provide adequate sustenance for the entire month! This mayor is a heartless, ignorant person and has no business being in public service.

  • S Fox:

    Tell you what Mr. Mayor when the list of Maine Corps getting corporate welfare and the amount their CEOs make as opposed to their workers, gets published then you can go ahead and try and kick your fellow citizen when he or she is down. And I bet you think you are a good Christian.

  • jilli brown:

    Yeah, because the poor aren’t suffering enough, let’s publically shame them some more. This clown apparently missed the popes message. I’ll bet he claims to be a Christian too.

  • Leave it to a former cop. What you should be doing in Lewiston is electing veterans. Veterans don’t come up with dumb shit like this. They deal with real problems. Even if all of Lewiston went off public welfare, the State of Maine’s finances would remain wrecked, and a lot of the wreckage is from incentives given to companies by people like the mayor here, who honestly believe that if you just give the rich a little more leeway they’ll magically just pay decent wages like my grandfather used to. You stood by while NAFTA happened, republicans and democrats alike, and you wonder why the state is in shambles. You want to blame someone, you blame Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Impeach this mayor or whatever it takes, it’s obvious he’s going to do something stupid before he goes to the grave, like most crooks with badges on.

    PHM

  • […] a Thursday column in the Twin City Times, Mayor Robert E. MacDonald, called for a “major overhaul of the many laws and policies dealing […]

  • […] mayor of a Maine city has proposed a statewide public database of people receiving state-funded public assistance, arguing that a list […]

  • […] mayor of a Maine city has proposed a statewide public database of people receiving state-funded public assistance, arguing that a list […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] and sleep. Yes, it might seem insane, even for a Republican, but it's true. In an op-ed for the Twin City Times, MacDonald argued that the location and identity of poor people was of public interest because the […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • doyouyou:

    look at these moronic commenters.. they whine about programs for the taxpayer yet they praise all the war funding out of their pockets..

    what a trip, voters are idiots.

  • doyouyou:

    the GOP the biggest welfare recipient there is.

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] an op-ed he penned for the Twin City Times, Mayor Macdonald explained that he wants to set up a website that would contain “the names, […]

  • […] Robert MacDonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] a column for the Twin City Times, Macdonald explained that he is planning to push his proposed bill that would make public that […]

  • […] announced these proposals in a Thursday column in Lewiston’s Twin City Times. In the column, Macdonald bemoaned the fact that everyone on a […]

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • […] unveiled his new plan in his regular op-ed column in the Twin City Times. He argues that since retired state employees have their pensions published, printing the names of […]

  • Peg:

    So, let me see if I get this straight.
    A woman or man who was in a bad relationship and got out, legally taking the kids, and has had to get assistance because the ex refuses to pay child support, will now have their name and address published in a database, so the absentee parent, who might be violent or have drug problems and who would have their address if they were paying child support, can now just look up the name of the person they are angry with for leaving them and go and stalk them.
    Will you also be providing police protection for all the single parents? How much will that cost in taxes? What about when orders of protection have been placed or people who are in battered spouse shelters, will those shelters, which previously have been hidden to protect the people who live their, now be made publicly available because the people being protected are also getting assistance?
    If someone used funds to go to the community health center for birth control, you will be releasing their names to church groups who usually only picket planned parenthood, but are now going to picket the woman who uses the pill, which is against their faith.
    The person who just got turned down for disability because their condition does not meet the standards, will they now find out their neighbor is on assistance and decide to confront them?
    If you are going to release the names of those getting assistance, will you also be releasing the amount of taxes they have paid into the system over their lifetime?
    I hope you are going to also increase the police force and jail size because you’re going to need it.

  • Beth:

    Dear Mayor:

    What are you going to publish? The names of the mother? The names of the unlisted/unknown fathers? The names of the children under the age of 18? What if they have pet(s); the names of the dogs, too? But then maybe you should publish their landlords names, too, since they’re accepting the ‘welfare’ money. And the free school lunches? Does that mean you’ll need to publish Sysco account salesperson? Where does it start and end. And, your idea to stop paying any benefits to additional children born after the first five years paid of benefits? That’ll create a strong, vibrant and competitive United States. Thank you so much for contributing to our role in the world leadership. Maybe if we spent more on Planned Parenthood we’d have less unwanted children being born to young parents unable to care for them financially. Or we could go back to the poor house days, we could employee them as cheap child laborers and be able to compete more successfully with the Asian countries were so many of the US companies have decided to move their factories, we could force these young (mostly undereducated and poor women) to wear arm bands calling them out. I’m embarrassed by you and public writing of such things. If you really think them don’t actually say them out loud. It brings shame on your city, your state and our great nation.

  • […] a Thursday column in the Twin City Times, Mayor Robert E. MacDonald, called for a “major overhaul of the many laws and policies dealing […]

  • […] a column for the Twin City Times, Macdonald explained that he is planning to push his proposed bill that would make public that […]

  • Johnny:

    Is ANYBODY paying attention to the Pope? Shame on you mayor.

  • […] Macdonald, mayor of Lewiston, Maine, pitched the plan in his regular column for the Twin City Times. He noted that a website already lists information on state pensioners, and complained that […]

  • Cicero:

    How could anyone take this Robert MacDonald fellow seriously when he proposes such colossally stupid and mean spirited idea like publishing the names welfare recipients?
    What’s wrong with that guy?
    He should quit being mayor get a job cleaning out horse stables or something.

  • […] a Thursday column in the Twin City Times, Mayor Robert E. MacDonald, called for a “major overhaul of the many laws and policies […]

  • Bill:

    If you really want to make a difference in families, relationships, and welfare, I would instead propose a public list of domestic violence abusers. Their abject failure as fathers, husbands, and partners is often a precursor to forced welfare situations on the part of women and their children who must escape a dangerous environment, often with little or no resources of their own.

    Additionally, public humiliation would merely add one more disincentive for a woman to leave her abuser. This is unacceptable and potentially life threatening. Put the perpetrators on a public list, not the victims. Maybe then we won’t have to clean up after them again when they move on to another vulnerable target and repeat their victimization.

    Holding men responsible for their threatening, abusive, and violent behavior makes a lot more sense than punishing their victims who are trying to do the best they can in untenable and dangerous situations.

    The mayor should stand up for the women in his community who need leadership. If you want to set an example, at least set a good one.

  • Bill:

    Money makes idiots out of people.
    If only there was some way to see a list of all gun owners, that would be a good list to make public.,

  • Wisco:

    It’s a disgrace how much Republicans literally hate the poor.

  • […] a Thursday column for the Twin City Times, Macdonald said a bill will be submitted during Maine’s next legislative session “asking that a […]

  • Peter Maffly-Kipp:

    As a young man in the late 1970’s I was a community organizer and advocate in Lewiston working with low-income people and families mostly around issues of housing. The people I met were wonderful people who worked incredibly hard to make life work with very little money – that requires a great deal of talent. All my memories are of those people – their humor and intelligence, their longing to create something better for themselves or their kids, their willingness to share with a total stranger. The mayor wants to reduce the people he is elected to serve to something less than human: a number that will be attached to a name. He can then stand back and point a finger and dismiss those numbers as unworthy of his concern. This fractures community and seeks to build political capital on the backs of people who (the mayor hopes) will not be able to respond. The mayor’s proposal is an unimaginative, small-hearted and lazy response to what is a complex struggle. He should spend more time getting to know these constituents rather than putting them into stocks in the public square. He might find their stories quite compelling.

    Rev. Peter W. Maffly-Kipp
    St Louis, MO

  • […] a Thursday column for the Twin City Times, Macdonald said a bill will be submitted during Maine’s next legislative session […]

  • Elizabeth:

    This is a terrible idea. Don’t you realize that many recipients work while still qualifying for assistance? Do you think they are not taxed like everyone else? Reducing their already hard working low income even more. Some people have had a good income their whole working lives and then suddenly…sickness hits, divorce, job loss, etc. They are faced with needing help. Its devastating to be self sufficient and then find yourself in a public notice telling everyone that THEY are supporting YOU and that you should be ashamed. Well, what happened to all that money they paid into the system they are now utilizing? Did those people not earn their right to use this public assistance? Why do people need to know your financial situation anyway? This is whole shame the recipient mentality is out of control. Shame on you for being so eager to judge those you mean to represent. You might as well slap a dollar sign patch on their clothing and tattoo their assistance amount and their recipient number on their wrists.

  • […] “Our liberal, progressive legislators and their social-service allies have made them a victimized, protected class,” Macdonald wrote in an op-ed. […]

  • Guildenstern:

    What an appalling attitude for a political leader. Name and shame? How about aid and enable?

    It’s also hard to believe this is really a pressing issue in Lewiston.

    Hope voters take your position into account during this coming election.

  • Anthony R.:

    This is a humiliating wedge issue. A scarlet letter approach to welfare reform. Simply because the person is forced to except public assistance does not mean we need to humiliate him by publicly publishing their name and address. It is as if it is a crime or a shame or a personal failure to have misfortune. We may as well reestablish debtors prisons. I would refer you to the 25th chapter of the book of Matthew where Christ reminds us that it is our duty to care for those who are less fortunate. Blessed are the poor. Blessed are the poor in spirit. Blessed are the peacemakers. Blessed are those that mourn. Shame on the mayor! Since when has it been a sin to be poor?

  • […] This is a Mayor from a small town in Maine. Of course the leftists are losing their minds over this idea. […]

  • Bo:

    Anyone who has utilized the morgage interest deduction on their income tax submission has no grounds to complain about subsidized housing for low-income residents (which includes elderly & disabled). Two side of the same coin…

  • […] a column for a local paper last week, the mayor of Maine’s second-largest city proposed an online registry of […]

  • […] a column for a local paper  last week, the mayor of Maine’s second-largest city proposed an online registry of welfare […]

  • […] registry.” Mayor Robert MacDonald of Lewistown announced this ugly proposal last week in an op-ed in the local Twin-City Times, offering the justification that Mainers “have a right to know how their money is being […]

  • […] in his regular column in the Twin City Times, a Lewiston-Auburn weekly paper, Macdonald said if the public can get information about people who […]

  • Troy Hightower:

    “I am for doing good to the poor, but I differ in opinion of the means. I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it. In my youth I traveled much, and I observed in different countries, that the more public provisions were made for the poor, the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And, on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer.”

    ~Benjamin Franklin, On the Price of Corn and Management of the Poor, November 1766

  • Bo Johnson:

    This is story about Rebecca Schaeffer. If you are old enough you may remember her form “My Sister Sam”. She is the reason why your private information is not public information. A man requested her address because he was an “Old Friend” much like the man in Mayor MacDonald’s story.
    But… He was not an “Old Friend” he was a stalker and now he killed.
    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/actress-murder-led-tougher-anti-718274
    Mayor why let the facts get in the way of a good scapegoat rant?

  • […] mayor, Republican Robert MacDonald. MacDonald received national attention last month when he wrote that welfare recipients’ information should be […]

  • […] Mayor Macdonald thinks there is a justification. He says that Maine already has a website listing the pension amounts individuals receive, so this should be […]

  • […] last week, Mayor Robert McDonald published an op-ed in the local Twin City Times, arguing that if taxpayers have a right to know the salaries of public […]

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