Four members of the Knox County Republican Committee were behind the overhaul of the party’s platform at the past weekend’s state political convention.

The move has left some party members concerned that the stances will cost Republican candidates the support of moderate voters.

Steven Dyer of Rockland said the group had been working on revising the county Republican platform for 18 months. Dyer ran for the Legislature two years ago, serves on the Regional School Unit 13 School Board, and is running for county commissioner in November.

“We said why not offer it for the state platform,” Dyer said.

Also working on the Knox platform were Horatio Cowan III of Rockland, and Jonathan Stewart and Cynthia Rosen of Washington. Stewart ran for the Legislature two years ago.

Cowan said more than just the four members – who serve on the county’s platform committee – had a hand in designing the new platform. He said people from outside Knox County worked on it, but said they would like to remain anonymous.

Typically, platforms adopted at the prior convention and presented to delegates are adopted with a few changes. This time, Dyer and the group submitted a complete replacement platform they had worked on. They needed to get signatures from at least 10 delegates from three different counties, a task they achieved.

Dyer said the replacement platform was filed with the party platform committee May 7 and voted on the following day at the convention. He said 80 percent of the people in attendance backed the platform offered by Knox County in a vote done from the floor of the convention.

One plank in the new platform calls for the elimination of the Maine Department of Education.

“We need to get back to local control in education,” Dyer said.

Dyer, who works in real estate, said he ran for the school board out of his concern about loss of local control by communities over their schools. He said school districts have become too hooked on state and federal aid.

Cowan said the most important part of the new document for him is the one that states “the citizens of Maine united by free association as Republicans, dedicated to seeing the principles which brought forth the birth and ascendance of this state and these United States once again made dominant and pledge our unwavering allegiance, not to a political party, but to the Constitution of the State of Maine and the Constitution of the United States of America. The Republican Party is the vehicle through which we seek to better unify and promote those in pursuit of these goals.”

The new platform also calls for sealing the country’s border and protecting U.S. citizens along the border. Dyer said, however, this does not mean closing the Maine border with Canada.

Dyer said he had quite a few people at the convention stating their concern that the platform will drive away moderates from Republican candidates, a concern he does not share.

State Sen. Christopher Rector, a Republican from Thomaston, said he shares the concern. Rector is serving his first term in the Senate after three terms in the Maine House. He is seeking re-election in November.

Rector did not attend the convention May 8 when the platform was adopted. He said he has read the new platform but has not studied it thoroughly. He said he understands how the replacement gained support.

“People are angry, frightened and concerned about the future and the future of their children and grandchildren,” Rector said.

He said, however, that adoption of a platform in a convention process such as occurred this past weekend is not the best way to make such wholesale changes. He said one of the planks in the adopted platform is that legislatures must read all bills before voting on them even though from what he understands, many delegates at the convention had not read the replacement platform before it was approved.

Many of the issues appear to be aimed at Congress, he said. The platform calls for limiting members of Congress to two six-year terms in the U.S. Senate, six two-year terms in the U.S. House or a combination equal to 12 years. Maine’s two U.S. Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins, both Republicans, would be barred from seeking re-election if this plank were law.

Rector said candidates use the party platform as a guideline.

“To be perfectly honest, it is to be used as a guideline,” he said. “I’ll be running on my voting record of eight years and my constituent service.”

Rector voted in the Legislature last year for a bill to allow gay marriage. The party platform states that “marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.”

Rector said he also has concerns about the plank that calls for a return to the principles of Austrian economics. The Austrian economics theory supports the elimination of a central bank system and a return to the gold standard to base the country’s money supply.

“I don’t think this model stands up in the modern environment,” Rector said.

Helen Shaw of Rockport, who is running as a Republican for the Maine House in November, said she supported the platform when it was up for a vote May 8 but stressed that this does not mean candidates must adhere to all parts.

“I can safely say that some candidates from both parties support their entire platforms but there are also candidates who have to decide whether they support all parts,” Shaw said.

Shaw said she is uncertain about the part about eliminating the state education department. She said one of government’s responsibilities is to provide a public education.

Dyer said the platform adoption has gotten the attention of many people. He said he has been asked to give an interview on a conservative talk radio station in Orlando, Fla.

The complete platform follows:

Preamble:

In the course of a nation’s history, it is natural that political philosophies will evolve which run contrary to the original principles evident at the time of that nation’s founding. A nation founded in tyranny will by its nature spawn sentiment in direct opposition to that tyranny. Conversely, a nation which is dedicated to protecting the rights of its people, and seeks to bind the excesses of power which naturally accrue to governments, is subject to the evolution of factions which strive to throw off those shackles of restraint and gather power and influence over the people. Freedom is not a pre-existing condition into which everyone is delivered. Freedom and personal liberty are conditions of existence which are hard fought for and once won, must be maintained. Each generation must be taught anew the importance of eternal vigilance against those who would disregard the limits imposed on government, and usurp powers not granted to them by the people.

Today this state and the nation are in crisis precisely because we as a people have failed to maintain that vigilance. We have failed to pass down from one generation to another the critical knowledge and lessons that history provides. We have let rot from within, the foundation upon which freedom and prosperity must be built for it to survive.
This election cycle is unique in the history of both this state and our nation. We are presented with a situation in which WE THE PEOPLE, must re-educate ourselves and our neighbors, and put the knowledge of liberty to work in the elections this November. Years of neglect have allowed factions detrimental to the core principles of this nation, to entrench themselves in both political parties, and undermine the education of Constitutional principles vital to the survival of the republic.

The Tea Party movement is reminiscent of the principled revolt that led to the birth of the Republican Party in 1854. In June of that year, Horace Greeley referred to the newly formed Republicans as “…united to restore the Union to its true mission of champion and promulgator of Liberty…”. This year it is incumbent upon those Republicans who strive to protect and defend our Constitution, to reclaim that heritage.

It is within this context that We, the citizens of Maine united by free association as Republicans, dedicated to seeing the principles which brought forth the birth and ascendance of this State and these United States once again made dominant and pledge our unwavering allegiance, not to a political party, but to the Constitution of the State of Maine and the Constitution of the United States of America. The Republican Party is the vehicle through which we seek to better unify and promote those in pursuit of these goals.

The principles upon which the Republican Party was founded, to which we as Citizens seek return, and to which we demand our elected representatives abide, are summarized as follows:
1. The Constitutions, both State and Federal, are the framework to which any and all legislation must adhere.
2. State sovereignty must be regained and retained on all issues specifically relegated to the States by the constitution.
3. National sovereignty shall be preserved and retained as dominant over any attempted unconstitutional usurpations of such by international treaty.
4. It is the responsibility and duty, of “We the People”, to educate both ourselves and others; to demand honest elections free of corruption, and to hold our elected officials to the highest standards of honesty, integrity and loyalty to the constitution.
_______________________________________________________________________________________
In pursuit of these principles we endorse and shall promote the following initiatives.
I. To Form a More perfect Union
a. All legislation must adhere to the restrictions outlined in the Constitution to protect the individual from intrusive government.
b. Direct the State of Maine to join with other states in asserting our 10th amendment sovereignty rights which protect us from unconstitutional federal government intrusions.
c. Insist on strict adherence to our 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms.
d. Pass a “Read the Bill” act, to insure clarity, and eliminate the corruption associated with side issues, earmarks, pork or riders.
e. Oppose “Localism and Diversity”, the Fairness Doctrine or whatever else such attempted restrictions are labeled. Any restriction on speech is by definition NOT free speech.
f. Reject the Employee free -choice Elimination- act, as an unconscionable affront to the right to a secret vote.
g. Restore integrity to the electoral process:
i. Prohibit any public funding of advocacy groups such as ACORN, no matter what it or its affiliate organizations rename themselves; New York Communities for Change, New England United for Justice etc.; Conduct thorough investigation of their activities and voter fraud and prosecute violations.
ii. Eliminate motor voter and other voter fraud mechanisms; institute secure voter registration and identification systems.
iii. Reject any effort to give foreign citizens the right to vote in the US in any situation or capacity.
h. Oppose any and all treaties with the UN or any other organization or country which surrenders US sovereignty. Specifically:
i. Reject the UN Treaty on Rights of the Child.
ii. Reject “LOST” the Law Of The Sea Treaty.
iii. Reject any agreement which seeks to confiscate our firearms.
i. Restore the process of assimilation of immigrants to preserve the benefits of an advanced educated and prosperous society. Rescind Maine’s sanctuary State status. No amnesty, no benefits, no citizenship -ever- for anyone in the country illegally. Arrest and detain, for a specified period of time, anyone here illegally, and then deport, period.
j. Pass a Congressional reform act which includes the following provisions:
i. Term Limits: 12 years only, in any capacity.
1. Two Six year Senate terms
2. Six Two year House terms
3. One Six year Senate term and three Two Year House terms
ii. No Pension
iii. Congress participates in Social Security under the same rules as the general public.
iv. Congress can no longer vote themselves a pay raise.
v. Congress participates in the same health care plan as the general public. No preferential plans or treatment.
vi. Congress is subject to and must abide by all the laws they impose on the general public.
II. To Establish Justice:
a. Restore “Constitutional law” as the basis for the Judiciary.
b. Reassert the principle that “Freedom of Religion” does not mean “freedom from religion”.
III. To Insure Domestic tranquility:
a. Promote family values.
i. Marriage is an institution between a man and a woman.
ii. Parents, not government, are responsible for making decisions in the best interest of their children, whether disciplinary, educational, or medical.
iii. We recognize the sanctity of life, which includes the unborn.
IV. To Provide for the Common Defense:
a. Discard political correctness, make public the declaration of war (Jihad), made against the US on 23 Feb 1998, and fight the war against the United States by radical Islam to win.
b. Seal the border and protect US citizens along the border and everywhere, as is the prime directive of the Federal Government.
V. To Promote the General Welfare:
a. Return to the principles of Austrian Economics, and redirect the economy back to one of incentives to save and invest.
b. Cut spending, balance the budget, and institute a plan for paying down debt. Proclaim that generational debt shifting is immoral and unconscionable and will not be tolerated!
c. Pass and implement Fed bill #1207 (Introduced by Ron Paul), to Audit the Federal Reserve, as the first step in Ending the Fed.
d. Return to transparent and honest reporting of economic statistics free of gimmicks and distortions.
e. Require the government and all its agencies adhere to the same GAAP accounting rules that businesses must follow.
f. Restore the provisions of welfare reform removed with the stimulus bill.
g. Defeat Cap and Trade, investigate collusion between government and industry in the global warming myth, and prosecute any illegal collusion.
h. Freeze current stimulus funds, prohibit any further stimulus bills, and apply all unspent funds towards the debt they created.
i. Promote energy independence aggressively by removing the obstacles created by government to allow private development of our resources; natural gas, oil, coal, and nuclear power.
j. Institute Zero based budgeting on all programs.
k. Espouse and follow the principle: It is immoral to steal the property rightfully earned by one person, and give it to another who has no claim or right to its benefits.
l. Clarify that healthcare is not a right. It is a service. As a compassionate society we will aid those in need. However, the government takeover of healthcare is not only unconstitutional, but detrimental to the entire healthcare system. Only market based solutions will solve the problems.
i. In the state of Maine:
1. Remove the restrictions on health providers, (as was done in New Hampshire), to increase competition, drive down the costs, and increase the options available.
a. Bring Maine standards in line with national average.
b. Allow purchase of insurance across state lines. LD 290
c. Enact tort reform as exemplified by Texas.
d. Eliminate Dirigo
VI. To Secure the Blessings of Liberty:
a. Restore a vigorous grounding in the history and precepts of liberty, freedom, and the constitution to the educational process. As Thomas Jefferson said, “If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be.”
i. Eliminate the Department of Education and restore schools to local control as specified in the constitution.
b. Repeal and prohibit any participation in efforts to create a one world government.