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Androscoggin County Conservative Coalition is formed

The initial meeting of the newly formed Androscoggin County Conservative Coalition (ACCC) was held last week in Auburn. Mary Adams of Garland, a well-known conservative grassroots activist and the founder of the statewide Center Right Coalition in Augusta, was the first guest speaker.

John Turner of Auburn, chairman of the ACCC, said he was very pleased with the turnout and with Adams’s presentation. “Mary is an amazing lady who has changed the history of Maine,” he said. “She is highly respected and very knowledgeable which it comes to Maine politics and conservative issues. Her presentation was well received by those attending, especially when she discussed the creation of the long-standing Center Right Coalition.

“After eight years of her chairing the coalition, a growing number of Maine political leaders are now members, a testament to her tenacity, knowledge and the respect people have for her,” Turner said.

Members of Center Right Coalition in Augusta include several who are now serving in the State House, including Governor Paul LePage, Tarren Bragdon of the Maine Heritage Policy Center and Scott Fish, communications director for the Republican Senate President. When Adams launched the Augusta coalition nearly a decade ago, these members were merely voices in the wilderness, virtually ignored by the Democratic majority that controlled the State House and governor’s seat.

The ACCC is a coalition of like-minded citizens from all parts of the county, regardless of party affiliation. The monthly meetings offer the members a chance to hear and interact with speakers that have expertise in a variety of areas and offer a chance for members to better understand what is taking place in other parts of Maine.

The coalition provides a safe and supportive atmosphere for members, old and young alike, to discuss issues that are important to them. All are welcome.

“We are convinced that the liberal experiment has not been good for Maine,” Turner said. “After decades of liberal control in Augusta, what do we have to show for it? We are now one of the oldest, poorest and highest-taxed states in the Union. The cost of energy and health insurance for Maine families are among the highest anywhere in the country, and we have billions of dollars of unfunded liabilities that need to be paid.

“From 2002 through 2008 we actually lost six percent of the jobs available to our citizens, while other states were enjoying job growth, according to a study conducted by the Maine Heritage Policy Center,” Turner said. “Maine’s business climate is notoriously bad and now has reached the point where it may very well be the worst when measured against the other 49 states.

“A growing number of our young, an estimated 22 percent, leave Maine looking for better opportunities, while at the same time a growing number of older citizens are taking up residence in Florida where there is no income tax,” he said. “Our state is close to a financial meltdown if we do not address the financial problems we now face—and Augusta does not have a great deal of time to deal with these issues.”

The Androscoggin County Conservative Coalition actively support efforts to reduce the size of state government and decrease the amount of debt owed to hospitals and the state employees’ and teachers’ retirement funds. “Everyone knows we cannot sustain the quality of life we have enjoyed if our debt continues to grow,” Turner said. “We will be impacting our children and grandchildren’s ability to enjoy the benefits of being citizens of this great state.

“All the ACCC members are on the same page when it comes to the basic financial issues facing Maine,” Turner said. “We intend to educate citizens, especially our young, about conservative issues. We want them to understand that we can never again allow Maine to be managed as it has been over the past couple of decades. There is too much at risk.”

For more information about ACCC, contact John Turner at john@jcturner.net.

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