IN RADIO INTERVIEW, LIBERAL DEMOCRAT STATE SENATOR DECLINES TO SAY HE WOULD REPEAL A LAW LEGALIZING SLAVERY IF PASSED BY VOTERS IN A REFERENDUM
AUGUSTA – The Maine Republican Party today released a statement highlighting a shocking revelation from a prominent Democrat State Senator representing Maine’s largest city in a morning interview on WGAN radio.
In the audio, Senator Chipman is asked if a referendum to legalize slavery were passed by popular vote of Maine people, if he would work to repeal it. Chipman simply says “I might” as he continues to explain that he respects the will of the voters and believes their votes should stand in all matters.
“This is the face of the current Maine Democratic Party,” said Maine GOP Communications Director Nina McLaughlin. “There is such a devotion to ‘democracy’ by popular vote, they are in danger of completely abandoning the rights of the minority and our Representative Republic.”
“The State Senator representing our largest city is so devoted to the principle of mob rule by popular vote, he can’t even go on the record to oppose the legalization of slavery if it was passed by a referendum,” McLaughlin continued. “While the Senator’s colleagues are actively working to fight modern day slavery in situations such as sex-trafficking, he can’t even say whether he would oppose slavery if it were passed by a majority vote. If that doesn’t scare you, we have a problem”
“Chants of ‘this is what democracy looks like’ might energize the liberal base, but what Senator Chipman just revealed is the danger of unrestrained referendums with people like him in charge,” said Jason Savage, executive director of the Maine GOP.
“The rights and dignity of the people of Maine should not be subject to popular vote,” continued Mr. Savage. “We are calling on Senate and House Democrats to denounce Senator Chipman’s statement and take appropriate action. The referendum process should not be a tool to infringe the rights and prosperity of Maine people. Any elected official who cannot rule out legalizing slavery by popular vote is not suitable to hold office in the state of Maine,” concluded Mr. Savage.
Since the creation of the referendum process in Maine, well over 50% of laws passed by Maine people through the referendum process have been revised or amended by the Maine Legislature.
State Senator Eric Brakey, R-Androscoggin, introduced draft legislation (LR 949) earlier this session which seeks to address the problem of referendums which may violate the Constitutional rights of Maine citizens. Senator Brakey’s bill seeks to institute a system where referendum language of questionable Constitutionality can be challenged in the Maine Supreme Court before being voted on by the people of Maine.
Given Sen. Chipman’s shocking statement Sen. Brakey’s proposal looks almost prophetic in its wisdom.
We hope Senator Chipman’s admission pushes lawmakers of both parties to pass reforms that protect Maine people from the danger of unconstitutional actions via popular vote referendum. With lawmakers like Sen. Chipman lacking the fundamental belief that people’s rights are not subject to popular vote, action must be taken.