2017-09-28 / Editorial

Working with both sides is top priority

Legislative Lowdown
by Rep. Martin Grohman

To help break up the party gridlock and the strong influence of special interest dollars in Augusta, I have decided to unenroll from the Democratic Party and become an Independent.

It’s not a long journey for me. In fact, in my first term, I was ranked the most bipartisan legislator in the state. I work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to get things done. As an example, I recently sponsored health care reform signed by the governor. It’s a controversial topic but we listened to all sides, modified the proposed legislation and came to agreement. That kind of collaboration is all too rare.

I also think being an Independent more accurately reflects the views of my constituents. When I take my kids to the school bus stop every day, people don’t ask me, “Hey Marty, what are you doing to make Maine a better place for political parties?”

That’s because the people of Biddeford and the people of Maine vote for the person, not the party. We’re independent thinkers. We want a government that solves problems and that works to make our state an even better place to live and work. This is how I see the world and it’s why I feel so comfortable declaring my independence. Our state needs to fix, not fight. We’ve got serious issues to resolve. We need legislators who can cross the partisan divide, who are beholden first and foremost to the Maine people, and not to a particular political party.

In the Maine Legislature, I’m focused on economic development and not just jobs, but careers – all day, every day. That hasn’t always put me in alignment with either party. But I do think with every challenge we as a state need to take on, be it issues of education, the environment or the economy, we need to do so in conjunction with our growing companies, not in an adversarial manner where we impose barriers to economic growth and success. Successful Maine businesses are part of the solution, not part of the problem.

With this announcement, I am no less committed to supporting our veterans, our police, career growth and building a pre-release system in our jails to connect offenders with job opportunities. In fact, I think this change will make me more effective, and I can best represent our community as an Independent in the Maine Legislature, working in conjunction with our strong Biddeford and York County delegations from both parties to fix, not fight.

In the middle, via compromise, is where the work gets done, and I’m there to do the work. The way life should be needs to connect with the way life is.

Rep. Martin Grohman of Biddeford is serving his second term in the Maine Legislature and is a member of the Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. Outside the legislature, he is chair of the Biddeford Solid Waste Commission. Marty also hosts a podcast for Maine entrepreneurs called The Grow Maine Show, available on Apple Podcasts and Google Play. Sign up for legislative updates at www.growmaine.com or facebook.com/ repgrohman.

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