The Ati-thesis , Marxism


"By that definition, a state capitalist country is one where the government controls the economy and essentially acts like a single huge corporation, extracting the surplus value from the workforce in order to invest it in further production.[3] Friedrich Engels, in Socialism: Utopian and Scientific, argues that state capitalism would be the final stage of capitalism consisting of ownership and management of large-scale production and communication by the bourgeois state.[4]"

Quoted from Wikepedia

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

New Markets Tax Credit Program To Be Distributed to MRRA- High Paid Hotbed of Corporate Welfare !

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Published on Dec 4, 2013Uses New Markets Tax Credits to develop vacant property at Brunswick Landing, a former Naval Air Station managed by the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA), into 79,000 square feet of built-to-suit office and clean manufacturing space for Mölnlycke Health Care. Creates up to 85 new jobs, 90% of which will be hired locally.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UVSPFUppE90&feature=youtu.be

My Online Comment:
Mackenzie Andersen 1 second agoIn 2009 the Pine Tree Zone Tax Incentives were fundamently transformed from their original intent to be used for low income high unemployment areas. I did not realize until Representative Beth O;Conner sponsored a bill in 2015 to include the Town of Berwick as a speical zone qualified to recieve Pine Tree Zone corporate welfare benefits that the 2009 transformation did not "expand Pine Tree Zone tax incentives state wide" but had in fact limited Pine Tree Zone corporate welfare benefits to specific areas with a special mention for military development zones- which are the two state governed towns of MRRA and Lorring- billed as regional development authorities but serving regions composed of single municipal corporations in which there is no muncipal government, involving multiple violations of the Maine constitution,
Since the qualifications for Pine Tree Zone welfare is that the corporation must provide jobs paying higher than average "FOR THE AREA" - that means that as a plethora of corporate welfare programs created by Maine State Inc are concentrated in singular areas such as the city-states of MRRA and Lorring each new corporate welfare beneficiary will create jobs that pay higher than average FOR THE AREA so that the rate of pay in those designated areas will keep going up and up and up. To make matters worse the Pine Tree Zone Corporate welfare program includes up to 100 % corporate and personal income tax exemption and an up to 80% payroll tax exemption to be transfered as a tax burden on the part of the economy that is not privy to corporate welfare in Maine. No wonder the gulf between the top and the bottom in Maine economy is increasing !
It is no suprise to hear that the latest refundable tax credit program created by our legislature will be distributed at the state governed municpality of MRRA where many other corporate welfare programs are being distributed. But it is hard to understand how the legislature and administration manages to spin these areas as low income areas for which the New Markets Tax Credit program is intended !
The town of MRRA is not a low income high unemployment area. In 2013 the tax payer funded lobbyist for the DECD corporation, Mr Douglas Ray, bragged at a congressional hearing:
Of the 390 or so businesses participating in the Pine Tree Development Zone Program a vast majority, more than 300 are manufacturers, that's roughly 80%. These businesses have pledged almost a billion dollars in investment and anticipated payroll of nearly $850 million and 74 hundred jobsMr Douglas Ray testimony before THE JOINT STANDING COMMITTEE ON LABOR, COMMERCE, RESEARCH AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT March 19 2013
an average pay per year of $114864.00 !!! 
Factor in that each new PTZ corporate welfare recipient must create jobs that pay higher than average for the area ! 

Mr Douglas Ray goes by the title of “legislative liaison” for the Department of Economic and Community Development and is a mainstay in congressional testimonies.. In 2013 a bill came up, H.P. 448specifically targeting Maine based manufacturing, agricultural and creative industries, Mr Ray testified as neither for nor against it.

H.P. 448  House of Representatives, February 26, 2013 Resolve, Requiring the Department of Economic and CommunityDevelopment To Develop Incentives for Industries in the State ToIncrease Employment of Maine Residents

SUMMARYThis bill requires the Department of Economic and Community Development to work with the Department of Labor, the Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services and regional planning commissions to develop incentives for manufacturing, agricultural and creative industries in the State to increase their employment of Maine residents. The Department of Economic and Community Development is directed to submit a report of its findings, including any necessary implementing legislation, to the Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development by December 4, 2013. (emphasis mine)

Mr Ray’s testimony re H.P. 448  did not specifically address the content of the bill, which focuses on jobs - including manufacturing jobs in Maine. The testimony could have just as suitably been presented in any situation in which Mr Ray promotes the DECD corporation.  But when it came to testifying for the “Expanded and Improved Seed (REFUNDABLE) Capital Tax Credit” Mr Ray  testified “strongly in favor”. The difference is clear. Global capitalists do not manufacture in Maine- they manufacture in low cost global labor market places.
1987 Maine Department of Economic & Community Development:   Governor John R. McKernan, Jr.

§13051. Legislative findings

The Legislature finds that the State's economy is linked to the national and international economies. Economic changes and disruptions around the world and in the nation have a significantly impact upon the State's economy. The rise of 3rd-world and 4th-world countries as manufacturers of commodities for mass markets and the gradual evolution of the national economy to a technological, informational, specialty product-based economy have significantly ...readmore

The intent establishing the DECD corporation speaks of globalism. Investment money that the state delivers in Maine goes to those developing prototypes to be manufactured in the least expensive global labor market.- That is what “community” means to the global capitalist..

 Mr Ray makes claims about manufacturing jobs created in Maine- which when one does the math works out to an average pay per year of $114864.00 - Perhaps some kinds of industrial manufacturing can be done in the United States at that rate of pay but for other types of products, the competition in the global labor market hovers at around a dollar a day-and if Mr Ray’s facts are correct- and factoring in that he stated that they are Pine Tree Zone manufacturing jobs- that means that the Maine taxpayer has to cover 80% of payroll tax on 7400 jobs with an average pay of $114864.00 annually - that’s a big chunk of capital coming out of the pockets of the  taxpaying sector of the economy. I would call that a conflict of interest.

Maine Pine Tree Zone Information
Introduced by Governor John E. Baldacci in 2003, Maine's Pine Tree Zone Program is designed to spur economic development and job creation in targeted regions of the state where unemployment is relatively high and wages are relatively low.  
 Pine Tree Zones may be layered with other incentives:Municipal TIFsFederal New Markets Tax Credit* Community Development Block Grants* Maine Technology Institute seed grants* Maine Seed Capital Tax Credit * Maine Small Enterprise Growth Fund
           http://www.longchampsbusinesspark.com/clients.htm


That money coming out of general taxpayer's pockets could be used to revitalize a middle class. The middle class is the class that separates a free society within a free enterprise system from a feudalistic society with a large gulf between the haves and the have nots.

The Pine Tree Zone Tax incentives when originally created were intended for areas of Maine with high unemplyment and low income. It was transformed in 2009 with a special emphasis on benefitting Maine's city states ( former military development zones) where the highest paid jobs are being installed using a complex corporate welfare system in which the costs are transferred to the part of the economy excluded from benefits- otherwise known as taxation without representation. In practice the Pine Tree Zone Tax credits and now the New Markets Refundable tax credits are being used to shift capital from the bottom half of  the economy to the upper stratsopher of the economy and from a free enterprise system to a new breed of goverment which distributes socialist rations to the bottom half of the economy and capital for economic profits to the upper half of the economy.

In 2013 in an embrace of this new poliitcal philosophy the Maine State legislature passed a bill affirming Maines friendship with the Communist Republic of China citing "shared values"

This is the way the system works in China:

"Over the ensuing decades, particularly in the 1990s when massive investment poured into China, the families of CCP bureaucrats utilised political power and links with foreign capital to transform themselves into a new property-owning capitalist elite. CCP-connected entrepreneurs, executives, outsourcing contractors, import and export traders and professionals have emerged as the junior partners of major transnational corporations in ruthlessly exploiting the working class."
World Socialst Website -Chinese regime amends constitution to protect private ownership- 2004 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Cate Street Capital- Legal Fraud Status Checks Out -Here's How it Happened !

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Below is a quote that was passed on to me by an acquaintance who had contacted a member of the media concening investigations into the legal status of Subchapter 12: MAINE NEW MARKETS CAPITAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM , which is the premise of the legality of a fraud perpetuated on the Maine people as reported as fact by the Maine media and costing Maine tax payers 76 million dollars at the latest telling in this article by Whit Richardson

Thanks for writing, and for taking the time to do some digging. What you discovered is true. I don’t believe the Senate voted to approve LD 991 in 2011. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter as the bill’s language was folded into the budget bill that year. The House and Senate both voted to approve the budget, which means they also voted to create the New Markets program even though the original bill died on the appropriations table. Legislative leadership can fold language into the budget bill any time they want.
This response inspired a search for the truth as to whether or not the statute was in a budget bill voted on by the House & Senate in the process for bill enactment found in the Maine Constitution.

In response to one of my FOA requests to the Legislative Library, I had received a copy of record of the budget meeting in which the statute was embedded. That document was very difficult to read as it was a copy from a book with a distracting background texture but through that I was able to find the Record of the Budget Meeting on line-HERE

You can search "new markets" to get to the section where a statute is inserted into a budget.
This represents the rational I have encountered through out the Maine media whose story line continues with "There is nothing to be done about it"  and so Maine Tax payers must deliver the money as mandated by their representatives,who wrote thie following in the findings for Subchapter 12: MAINE NEW MARKETS CAPITAL INVESTMENT PROGRAM

The Legislature finds that the incentives offered by the State pursuant to this subchapter are intended to induce major investments in qualified businesses and developments located in economically distressed areas of the State and that any party who accepts and reasonably relies upon these inducements in making qualified investments is entitled to the full realization of these incentives without impairment by subsequent changes in law.
The Legislature finds that when determining whether a project is financially feasible an investing party must rely in good faith upon the Legislature to ensure that the promised incentives of this subchapter will be available for a period of 7 years following the date of each qualified investment and that a party's confidence in the full realization of these benefits is a critical factor in inducing the party to make the desired investment. It is the intent of this Legislature that all successor Legislatures honor the commitments held out by this subchapter. This section of the enacted statute based on the version enacted into law as found in the budget report appears to be identical to the LD 991 which was passed  to be enacted by the House. This section was written by the Committee "A"which judging by dates found in amendment records and the fact that this section came back as an amendment after being referred to the committee on taxation, the source of the section would be the budget committee who clearly wants to make certain that the taxpayers are bound firmly to this agreement.
All of which was arranged without the consent of the Maine taxpayers. I have not researched the source of such allocations-whether the funds come from bonds sold to the taxpayers as "creating jobs" or else where- that is another project. But let it be said that bonds voted in without the fiscal information accompanying the ballot question cannot be constitutionally ratified despite the fact the the legislature passed and LePage signed a bill saying other wise. The constituion cannot be ammended by passing a statute !

"The House and Senate both voted to approve the budget, which means they also voted to create the New Markets program even though the original bill died on the appropriations table".  -Lets examine the veracity of this claim !


This is the Budget Bill in which the New Markets Tax Credit Statute is embedded 

However Recall that in response to an FOA request, the Legislative Library wrote this:

Note that the subject matter was included in the biennial budget bill (PL 2011, c. 380, Pt Q) and LD 991 was allowed to die.

It was codified under 10 MRSA §1100-Z:
http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/10/title10sec1100-Z.html

Noting that the reference intended by the pronoun "It" is not clear. Does "it: refer to :the subject matter"- or does "it" refer to LD 991 ?

A further inquiry produced this response:

·         P.L. 2011, ch. 380, Part Q can be found starting on page 856: http://lldc.mainelegislature.org/Open/Laws/2011/2011_PL_c380.pdf·         What Ryan is referring to is that while the one bill did not pass (125th LD 991), the idea of the bill seems to have been rolled into the larger budget bill that year. In that way, while LD 991 did not pass, this program was still enacted into law because it was contained in the budget. This is relatively common, and the motivations may sometimes be unclear, but the result is similar to if the original bill passedIt is important to note that the language enacted in the budget bill (P.L. 2011, ch. 380) is not identical to the language in 125th LD 991 or amendment S-299, but it seems similar.
·         This program, enacted by P.L. 2011, ch. 380 Part Q is codified as 10 MRSA §1100-Z: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/10/title10sec1100-Z.html

This clarifies that it is the "similar but different " statute included in a bill written by a committee of 12 legislatures, three from the Senate and nine from the House, which has been codified into the statute which became the premise of a "legal fraud" perpetuated on the Maine taxpayers, which at last telling will cost the taxpayers 76 million dollars.

These were the Commitee Members SenateRichard W Rosen - Chair - R HancockRoger J Katz R KennebeckDawn Hill D York
House
Tom J Winsor R NorwayKathleen D Chase R WellsTyler Clark R EastonKenneth Wade fredeet R NewportDennis L Kesch R BelgradeMargaret R Rotunso D LewistonJohn L Martin D Eagle LakeFavid C Webster D FreeportDara R Stevens D BangorThis information was also obtained through an FOA request in teh form of a page copied from a book.



 I don’t believe the Senate voted to approve LD 991 in 2011. Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter as the bill’s language was folded into the budget bill that year. The House and Senate both voted to approve the budget, which means they also voted to create the New Markets program even though the original bill died on the appropriations table

To confirm this I needed to find the bill status. I found it by going to advanced bill search for the 125th Session using this information found in Part Q of the PDF file for the Budgetary meeting
HP0778, Emergency Signed on 2011-06-20 00:00:00.0 - First Regular Session - 125th Maine Legislature, page 38 
Part Q is found in the first Ammendment L.D. 1043

How ever Part Q found there contains only this summary:

PART Q  This Part enacts the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program, which is modeled after the federal tax credit to attract investment in economically distressed areas. It provides a refundable credit taken over 7 years equal to 39% of qualified investments for which a maximum aggregate amount of tax credit of $250,000 is authorized. The 20 credit amounts are 0% for the first 2 years, 7% in the 3rd year and 8% in the last 4 years. The credit can be carried forward.
The Part requires the Finance Authority of Maine to develop a process for qualified community development entities to apply for allocation of the Maine credit, to certify the qualified investments and to engage in rulemaking to implement the program. It requires the Commissioner of Administrative and Financial Services to enter into a memorandum of agreement with the investors eligible for the credit. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services, Bureau of Revenue Services processes the credits through tax returns and executes the recapture of the credit as needed. The Part requires the Finance Authority of Maine to report, no later than January 1, 2015, to the joint standing committees of the Legislature having jurisdiction over appropriations and financial affairs and over taxation matters on the activities and performance of the program. http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/getPDF.asp?paper=HP0778&item=2&snum=125
 Emergency Enacted, Jun 20, 2011Governor's Action: Emergency Signed, Jun 20, 2011

I put in an FOA Request for the  Senate and House Roll Call Vote

This is the Roll Call Vote for the Senate LD 1043 (HP 778)
This is the Roll Call Vote for The House
These are all the Details of the Roll Call Vote

The New Markets Tax Credit is in the amendment-The House and Senate did vote for this statute fully embedded as an amendment to the budget bill. 


Can't help but notice that while the amendment is not embedded in the bill text, when one clicks on the fiscal note for the amendment- that is embeded in the fiscal note for the entire bill. There are many generically lettered parts in the fiscal notes but none that say New Markets Tax Credit and so to figure out which lettered part refers to the New Markets Tax Credit one would have to do a lot of research and decoding- where as if the fiscal note were attached to a stand alone bill as was LD 991, what ever was in the fiscal note would transparently apply to the New Markets Tax Credit.

It is also true that by submerging The statute for the New Markets Tax Credits it is not easy to find out who voted for the amendment that  includes the statute, which is what I originally wanted to find out. Even in the amendment the New Market Tax Credit is submerged in many other considerations, which means that voting for the statute is contigent on voting for all of those other considerations.

The House was straight forward and voted on LD 991 by its self- not so the Senate !


SUMMARY:

The bill was submerged almost identically into the budget bill giving the impression that it was done for entirely political reasons with no concern for public transparency. This means that if a member of the public goes back to check the bill status of a published statute, it will say that the bill died before it was codified.

 When I finally tracked down that the statute has been submerged into a two year budget bill. and when I looked up the bill status of the budget bill, I still could not find the House and Senate vote. The information that resulted from a bill status search said only that the budget bill was enacted and signed by the Governor. It required an FOA request to locate the House and Senate Roll Call to confirm that there had been a, (nearly) conventional House ad Senate vote to enact a bill, which simultaneously enacted a statute.

The inquiry was originally initiated because I wanted to see the roll call for the vote on the New Markets Tax Credit Statute. Because the statute was embedded into a budget bill, that information is impossible to derive. A legislator voting for or against a permament statute would also be voting for or against an entire two year budget ! This entirerly compromises the decison to vote for a stand alone statute.

This raises the question: How many bills are there that are reported on the publicly available bill status to have died when they have actually been submerged into another bill and passed? It is particuarily disturbing when a statute is passed this way since a statute has a much longer life than a two year budget.

 There is also the question of the constitutionality of refundable tax credits. Our constitution places a limit on the debt that the legislature is allowed to occur without public consent. There is no public consent with refundable tax credits.

The Seed Capital Refundable Tax Credit was created in 1987 at a 30 percent refund taken from taxpayer pockets and transferred to corporate bank accounts based on nothing more than a legislative mandate, Now The Seed Capital Tax Credit is a 60% refund- and the limit was increased eight fold in 2013

Currently despite the scandal pusuant to Cate Street Capital the legislature wants to increase the limit for the New Market Tax Credit by doubling it !

 Refundable tax credits are the merging of Marxism and the public-private special interests hegemony. Refundable tax credits transgress constitutional limitations on the occurance of public debt and allow the legislature to increase public debt without limitation by merely deeming in a bill findings that such an action is good for the economy and the general public. The public has no say in this matter which mandates the public to transfer the fruit of their own labor into corporate bank accounts !- That is unless the money for these tax credits are being financed by public bonds sold to the voter as job creation- my research hasn't gone that far to date

 The media told us that our country bumpkin legislature had just rolled the statute into a budget bill- It's done all the time! As if that is supposed to make it legitimate. The media saw no need to substantiate where they got their own information. Was it from taking the word of the legislature ? As long as the media expects one to just take their word, end of  inquiry, the only way to know for sure is to follow the trail one's self. As a result of doing so, I now know that what I read on bill status as published by the government online is not reliable information.

Why Refundable Tax Credits are really just a legislative mandate to take money out of taxpayer posckets and trnasfer it to corporate bank accounts

Monday, April 27, 2015

Statute Enacted By Maine's Budget Committee Basis for "Legal Fraud" Foisted on TaxPayers !


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This is the Pathway to Enactment page, produced and distributed under the direction of the Clerk of the House and Secretary of the Senate of Maine.

What you will read on the  Pathway to Enactment page is consistent which what most of us learned in  Civics 101  - that laws are enactied by a vote of agreement in by both legislative houses.

Below is the explanation from the Maine Legislative Library about how laws are enacted in post-constituional Maine- and explaining that this is a standard means that Maine State Inc has been using to enact laws.

It is only under the new laws instituted in post- constitutional Maine- ie under the laws codified by Maine State Inc- that the tax payers are on the hook for what the media, long in bed with the transformation of Maine from a state to a corporation, has declared to be a "legal fraud"- all of which is based on the enactment of LD 991 into the statute- not by a vote by both houses- but by the budget committee which enacted it by writing it into the budget!

With emphasis added by myself- This is the response I have recieved to my latest FOA request:
In response to your request for further information, I have included some information that should be helpful. ·         P.L. 2011, ch. 380, Part Q can be found starting on page 856: http://lldc.mainelegislature.org/Open/Laws/2011/2011_PL_c380.pdf·         What Ryan is referring to is that while the one bill did not pass (125th LD 991), the idea of the bill seems to have been rolled into the larger budget bill that year. In that way, while LD 991 did not pass, this program was still enacted into law because it was contained in the budget. This is relatively common, and the motivations may sometimes be unclear, but the result is similar to if the original bill passed. It is important to note that the language enacted in the budget bill (P.L. 2011, ch. 380) is not identical to the language in 125th LD 991 or amendment S-299, but it seems similar.
·         This program, enacted by P.L. 2011, ch. 380 Part Q is codified as 10 MRSA §1100-Z: http://legislature.maine.gov/statutes/10/title10sec1100-Z.html If you have further questions please feel free to contact us again. Alex BurnettReference LibrarianMaine State Law and Legislative Reference Libraryemail: lawlib.reference@legislature.maine.govwebsite: http://www.legislature.maine.gov/lawlibphone: 207 287-1600

You can look it up for yourself. LD991 was been inserted into a budget meeting and by that means enacted into law by the budget committee and that is why the media is reporting that the Maine taxpayers have to foot  a bill for "legal fraud " now reported at $91 million dollars, as the committee makes moves to double the limit of the New Markets Refundable Tax Credit !

As I reported in an earlier post- when I first discovered that LD 991 had died in the legislature and reported that fact on this blog, the bill tracking link was temporarily changed to point to a page that said a committee had approved it. (post-constituional Maine)

When I wrote about how this only confirmed that the bill was never passed by the legislature, the link was switched back to point to the standard legislative session report ( Constitutional Maine)


Rule Changes Proposed by Lepage Threaten Private Property Rights in Maine


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An article in the Bangor Daily News discusses Governor Le Page's ambition to strip the Attorney General of authority over state agency rule making processes:

LePage bill would void attorney general’s authority over new rules By Mario Moretto Bangor Daily News
AUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage has drafted a bill to strip the attorney general of authority over the rulemaking process used by state agencies to implement laws approved by the Legislature.
LePage has criticized judgments by Attorney General Janet Mills that some regulations he wanted were illegal. Rather than accept his lawyer’s legal advice, the governor would eliminate the requirement that she sign off on new state agency rules.
........The bill represents the latest salvo in a long battle between LePage, a Republican, and Mills, a Democrat. Currently, the AG must approve the “form and legality” of any state agency’s new rule or regulation, but the bill would limit Mills to an advisory role only.
........ It’s wrong, LePage says, for an attorney general chosen by the Legislature to have “veto power” over the policy goals of a governor, who is elected by voters.

This article presents points of view on why the Governor threatens the checks and balances of governmental power with his proposed changes to the rule making process.

The article does not mention one particual new rule that LePage is proposing in this act, which underscores why we need an Attorney General with an concern for our constitution to reign in a politician like LePage

An Act To Improve the Maine Administrative Procedure Act

2 Sec. 1. 5 MRSA §8052, sub-§7, as amended by PL 1995, c. 373, §3, is repealed and the following enacted in its place:
LePage's changes add the following:
9. Adoption of a rule expected to result in taking of private property. An agency  may not adopt a rule if it is reasonably expected to result in a taking of private property  under the Constitution of Maine unless such a result is directed by law or sufficient  procedures exist in law or in the proposed rule to allow for a variance designed to avoid  such a taking. (emphasis mine)
This begins by saying (under the Constitution of Maine) a rule cannot be adopted if expected to result in taking of private property - as if it is intended to protect private property and then it says "unless such a result is directed by law or......." 

 "Under the Constitution of Maine"  is placed at the end of the first sentence rather than at the beginning lessening its importance as if only an afterthought.

The Constitution of Maine already protects private property. This rule is not written in protection of private property but to extend the power of government to take private property merely by writing a law that directs private property to be taken.In other words it claims that stutory law can over ride constitutional law.

This rule literally says that stutory law can be used to overwrite the constitution's protection of private property mirroring the statutory overwrite of  constitutional requirements for the placement of fiscal information accompanying bond questions on the ballot also occuring during the Lepage administration and which LePage did not veto.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Maine Media Reports LD991 New Markets Tax Credit Approved- FOA Response Says It Wasn't !

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This Sunday sees the second installment of Whit Richardsons expose on the scandal surrounding the New Markets Tax Credit
Shrewd financiers exploit unsophisticated Maine legislators on taxpayers’ dime
Stonehenge and its counterparts have orchestrated 10 deals in Maine totaling $195 million in investments under the Maine New Markets Capital Investment program. The arrangement requires that Maine taxpayers give the investors 39 cents for every dollar invested, for a total of $76 million to date.
A five-month Maine Sunday Telegram examination shows that nearly half of what was invested in low-income communities – $91 million on paper – never made its way to the designated companies for new upgrades or expansions. Instead, the money was used to pay off old loans or stayed on the books for less than 24 hours.
............. And it’s all legal.
Shrewd financiers exploit unsophisticated Maine legislators on taxpayers’ dime


As is typical whenever a scandal emerges in Maine politcs our legislators are portrayed as naive but innocent rural people being exploited by sophisticate shysters from out side of Maine:

Maine’s rural, citizen-led legislature and its shortage of sophisticated lawmakers makes it attractive to the architects of these programs, according to those who have followed them.......... Roger Katz, a Republican senator from Augusta and co-chairman of the Government Oversight Committee, said in retrospect he’s sorry he voted for the bill to create the program.Shrewd financiers exploit unsophisticated Maine legislators on taxpayers’ dime

Here is the biography of the naive rural Senator Katz:
Katz is currently one of two Republican Senators on the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee, which is responsible for drafting the  state’s budget.  He also serves as Chair of the Government Oversight Committee. >Senator Katz has long been active in his community, serving as Chair of United Way and Co-Chair of Team Cony, which helped raise $1.5 million for Augusta’s new high school.  He has also served as President of the Kennebec Valley YMCA, Chair of the Augusta Charter Commission, Co-Chair of the Augusta Bicentennial Celebration, Chair of the Augusta Development Corporation, and Vice President of the Maine State Music Theatre.
Maine State Republicans 
  Joint Standing Committee on Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development
Click to open link

All week long I have been trying to alert Mr Richardon to the fact that the bill status says it never  passed but I have yet to recieve a response from Mr Richardson. Instead Mr Richardson makes a statement that the bill was "approved" - hmm,, Obviously it was ! It is now a statute, isn't It ! But approved by whom? That is the question that needs to be answered and  I have submitted an FOA request to the Revisor's Office to that end.
 Two years later, representatives from Stonehenge approached local attorney Chris Howard of the Pierce Atwood law firm to draft language for a bill that would establish the program. Then-Senate President Kevin Raye agreed to sponsor it.The three financial firms then hired Josh Tardy, the Republican House leader from 2006 to 2010, to lobby legislators to encourage the bill’s passage. They also made roughly $16,000 in campaign contributions to the bill’s sponsors and to legislative leadership. That bill, L.D. 991, was approved and its language was ultimately wrapped into the state budget.Shrewd financiers exploit unsophisticated Maine legislators on taxpayers’ dime
THE RESPONSE TO MY FOA REQUEST TO THE MAINE LEGISLATIVE LIBRARY  SAYS OTHERWIZE !
The State Archives contacted us for information related to your request and thought it easier that we respond directly.  
The legislative history of 125th LD 991 is available here:
http://lldc.mainelegislature.org/Open/Meta/LegHist/125/lh125-LD-0991.pdf Any roll call votes would be found under ‘Floor Proceedings and Debate’ although it appears there were none.
 The committee materials are attached.(none were attached)
 This is everything we have on this legislation. To obtain information on the bill’s engrossing, you would need to speak with the Revisor’s Office.
 Note that the subject matter was included in the biennial budget bill (PL 2011, c. 380, Pt Q) and LD 991 was allowed to die.
 It was codified under 10 MRSA §1100-Z:http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/10/title10sec1100-Z.html 
Thank you for contacting the Law and Legislative Reference Library, a non-partisan office of the Maine Legislature. If you have further questions please feel free to contact us again.
 Ryan Jones
Reference Librarian
Maine State Law and Legislative Reference Library
email: lawlib.reference@legislature.maine.govwebsite: http://www.legislature.maine.gov/lawlibphone: 207 287-1600

I made the first comment on this article but it was never published0 No surprise there !



It seems that Steve Mistler has also authored an article, Payments flowed in attempt to create tax credit program,on this subject in which Mr Mister goes so far as to admit that LD991 was never enacted- but then he writes the article in a tone that suggests that it is perfectly legal for a committee to approve a bill and have it codified into a statute- which of course it is not as I pointed out in my previous post when I said :
It is reasonable to surmise that if the page to which bill tracking links is changed after the fact of pointing out that the original page reported that the bill died and it is not changed to a page that says the bill was passed by a vote in both houses- then it must not have been passed by a vote in both houses. It is standard that the legislative links report on the votes in the House and the Senate as did the page to which"bill tracking" originally linked. Now we see  a page reporting on decisicons made by an  unidentified committee. 
This is the equivalency to the replacement of municipal governments elected by the inhabitants of the municipalities with boards appointed by the state in the municipal corporations of MRRA and Lorring. Both towns go by the names of regional development "agencies" when in fact they are chartered as municipal corporations serving an area defined by their own municipal boundaries. MRRA and Lorring were both chartered by special acts of legislation but do not satisfy either exception to the constitutional prohibition against the legislature chartering corporations by special acts of legislation found in Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution. Nor do they satisfy the Home Rule Amendment that requires the legislature to provided the process by which the inhabitants of a municipality can conduct their own elections and yet these two towns are specific regional targets of the Pine Tree Zone corporate welfare program after it was transformed in 2009Mystery of the Missing Maine Senate Vote Passing New Markets Tax Credit

 Mr Mistler writes that
Although that bill was never enacted, its language was eventually folded into the biennial budget. Such a move required approval from legislative leaders, who negotiate the final details of a budget with the executive branch. It was unanimously approved by the Legislature’s budget-writing committee, according to legislative records. Payments flowed in attempt to create tax credit program

The reply to my FOA request wrote something quite different:
Note that the subject matter was included in the biennial budget bill (PL 2011, c. 380, Pt Q) and LD 991 was allowed to die.
 It was codified under 10 MRSA §1100-Z:http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/statutes/10/title10sec1100-Z.html 



The Maine media after first floating the story line that the Maine Taxpayers have to refund investors  a sum that is now at 91 million dollars,  is now starting to incorporate the fact that the bill LD991 died in the legislature before being codified as a statute. Now they seem to have convinced themselves that it is perfectly legal for a committee to codify a statute - bypassing the legislature. Or that a statute can just be written up at a budget meeting ! No need to have a vote in both houses- so much simpler just to write up statutes at the budget meeting !  Whatever the media is hinting that occured at the budget meeting- the only thing that makes the fraud "legal" is the statute which miracuoulsy came into being after it died as a bill  !

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Maine's Minimum Wage Bill Ties Increase to Inflation


An Act To Adjust Maine's Minimum Wage Annually Based on Cost-of-living ChangesBe it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:
Sec. 1. 26 MRSA §664, sub-§1,  as amended by PL 2007, c. 640, §4, is further amended to read:1. Minimum wage.   The minimum hourly wage is $6.50 per hour. Starting October 1, 2006, the minimum hourly wage is $6.75 per hour. Starting October 1, 2007, the minimum hourly wage is $7.00 per hour. Starting October 1, 2008, the minimum hourly wage is $7.25 per hour. Starting October 1, 2009, the minimum hourly wage is $7.50 per hour. Starting October 1, 2013, the minimum hourly wage is $8.50 per hour. Starting October 1, 2014 and each October 1st thereafter, if there is an increase in the Consumer Price Index on June 30th of that year from the Consumer Price Index on June 30th of the preceding year, the minimum hourly wage in effect at that time must be increased by the same percentage as the Consumer Price Index increase. For purposes of this subsection, "Consumer Price Index" means the Consumer Price Index for Urban Wage Earners and Clerical Workers, CPI-W, for the Northeast Region, or successor index, as published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics. If the highest federal minimum wage is increased in excess of the minimum wage in effect under this section, the minimum wage under this section is increased to the same amount, effective on the same date as the increase in the federal minimum wage , but in no case may the minimum wage exceed the minimum wage otherwise in effect under this section by more than $1 per hour.SUMMARYThis bill raises the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour beginning October 1, 2013, and it requires the minimum hourly wage to be adjusted for inflation on October 1st of each year, beginning October 1, 2014.

 The Maine Legislator now wants to tie a raise in minimum wage into a raise in inflation which will only cause an increase in inflation and in turn an increase in minimum wage and in turn another increase in inflation and perpetually so on and on and on.

The only justification for a raise in wages is when it is tied to an increase in productivity by the individual worker resulting in an increase in profit to the business which allows the busines to increase the wage of the worker without raising the prices of the business product to the consumer, whether this product be a material product or a service product. The increase in worth of the employee to the business can only be determined from the perspective of the business and/or the employee - not by a collective determination of the state mandated upon all business and employees without differentiation. If the costs of a business increases without relationship to the productivity of a business, the increase in cost will be passed on to the consumer as inflation.

Wealth is created only through productivity. Money manipulators manipulate the distribution of wealth but do not create wealth. There are indeed injustices in the system but tying minimum wage to inflation will have no effect on schemes devised by finacial markets and governments entangled in "public-private relationships" to redistribute wealth  without a genuine and ethical relationship to productivity. As the age old saying goes "two wrongs do not make a right" but only compounds the wrong. The solution has to be in the form of an increase in wage tied to an increase in productivity. Otherwise the purchasing power of the dollar will go down as wages go up. Such laws suggest that the private sector is not to be trusted but the government is ?!!

I have not yet figured out how this relates to the Chained Consumer Price Index that the Maine Legisature was proposing to adopt in 2013-or if it was actually adopted. The effect of the Chained Consumer Price Index, to my own analyis is to say that inflation has not increased if consumers sustitute a lesser priced item for a more expensive one- Lets say that they substitute frozen vegetables for fresh vegetables because they can no longer afford the latter. The Chained Consumer Price Index would report that as inflation remaining steady.  This is a blog post I wrote on the Chained Consumer Price Index

I may add more to this post on that subject as I find the time.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mystery of the Missing Maine Senate Vote Passing New Markets Tax Credit


TWEET THIS  goo.gl/bDXMYY

There is a noteworthy article in the Portland Press Herald by staff writer WHIT RICHARDSON

Pay Day At the Mill tells the story of how investors from out side the state lobbied the legislature to create new program Maine New Markets Capital Investment program, written by their own lawyers to include the ubiquitous refundable tax credit found throughout economic development programs devised by the Maine legislature
In the end, here’s what really happened: Two Louisiana financial firms arrived in Maine with a plan to create such a program, hired lawyers and lobbyists to get it passed in Augusta, then put together the Great Northern deal using one-day loans that made an $8 million loan look like a $40 million loan. While they claim they did this to leverage more investment, the result is that Maine’s taxpayers are going to pay $16 million to banks and investment firms that invested only half that amount. And all of it was legal. Whit Richardson Payday At The Mill


You can read the details of this story in the link above so I will not repeat it here myself
 http://goo.gl/L8TEziThe Legislature finds that the incentives offered by the State pursuant to this subchapter are intended to induce major investments in qualified businesses and developments located in economically distressed areas of the State and that any party who accepts and reasonably relies upon these inducements in making qualified investments is entitled to the full realization of these incentives without impairment by subsequent changes in law. Quoted from New markets bill

The Maine New Markets Capital Investment program is based on  the federal New Markets program A difference between the federal program and the Maine program is that the federal program does not allow refundable tax credits but the federal program does allow one day loans.
“So were mortgage-backed securities that turned out to be backed by unsustainable mortgages,” said Dick Woodbury, an economist and former state legislator from Yarmouth, after the details of the deal were explained to him. “I’m really angry to hear how (the Maine New Markets tax credit program) has been used, and it has made me incredibly cynical about nearly any tax credit program and its potential for profiteering motives over genuine state interests.” ........The federal program also has its critics
“Essentially, it just facilitates a sort of crony capitalism,” said William McBride, chief economist at the Tax Foundation, a right-leaning think tank. “A lot of these highly targeted tax credit programs are a way to funnel cash out of the general coffers and into some very, very select special interests.” The fact that Maine made its tax credits refundable means the program is “extra dangerous,” McBride said. Pay Day At the Mill 

While researching this post I decided to look up the original bill to find out how the vote went down and I came upon something quite baffling. According to the bill status, of 125th Maine Legislature, First Regular Session An Act To Establish the Maine New Markets Capital Investment Program, it died on adjournment- and yet there is a statute of the same name dated 2011





This I cannot explain ! I published this info on a recently published Portland Press Herald article but my comment was removed. I emailed this information
to Whit Richardson, which was returned without being delievered.

Update About 7 PM. I found the above page by first searching for the Bill. At the top of the Bill is a link that says "Bill Tracking". I clicked on the link and got to the page above.  The page to which  "Bill Tracking" links has now been changed to the one below which does not say that the bill was enacted but it makes it less obvious that it was not enacted by reporting instead about the committee recommendation that it "Ought To Pass". I have looked for the members of of that committee but I haven't found it yet.
It is reasonable to surmise that if the page to which bill tracking links is changed after the fact of pointing out that the original page reported that the bill died and it is not changed to a page that says the bill was passed by a vote in both houses- then it must not have been passed by a vote in both houses. It is standard that the legislative links report on the votes in the House and the Senate as did the page to which"bill tracking" originally linked. Now we see  a page reporting on decisicons made by an  unidentified committee. 

This is the equivalency to the replacement of municipal governments elected by the inhabitants of the municipalities with boards appointed by the state in the municipal corporations of MRRA and Lorring. Both towns go by the names of regional development "agencies" when in fact they are chartered as municipal corporations serving an area defined by their own municipal boundaries. MRRA and Lorring were both chartered by special acts of legislation but do not satisfy either exception to the constitutional prohibition against the legislature chartering corporations by special acts of legislation found in Article IV Part Third Section 14 of the Maine Constitution. Nor do they satisfy the Home Rule Amendment that requires the legislature to provided the process by which the inhabitants of a municipality can conduct their own elections and yet these two towns are specific regional targets of the Pine Tree Zone corporate welfare program after it was transformed in 2009

This is just another instance that validates my own view that Maine has been transformed from a state governed by its constitution to a corporation largely governed by global capitalism- although in this case it is being governed by American capitalism. Under our constitution a "committee" does not have the authority to pass a law. That authority belongs to the combined consensus of the House and the Senate. There appears to be a missing vote by the Maine Senate in establishing this law. The question is why is the Senate silent on this? This is a usurpation of the authority of the Senate. Did the committee decide that if the House has approved the bill that is all that is needed? Why would the entire Maine Senate allow this to happen and say nothing?



UPDATE 4.24 2015 - To day the bill tracking link on the bill links to the original page again0 but I am leaving this post as is - recording the changes online and my responses to those changes as they occured The essential point remains the same: The bill status says that the Senate never voted on this bill and yet it has been published into law

Below is a screen shot  is from the Summary. It shows that the House passed the bill but the Senate adjourned and so it was pronounced DEAD. There are dates for last enactment- which means "last enactment"


No fiscal Impact report for this bill- testimony link just jumps back to search page !


As Pay Day at The Mill explains there was concern at the FAME Corporation over the one day loans and part of the reason for going along with it is that the federal program allows one day loans- the difference being that the federal program does not permit refundable tax credits,( I recently updated a post on refundable tax credits first written in 2013 found HERE).

But the Maine legislature does not want to give up its refundable tax credits which is the life blood of the corporate state's redistribution of wealth system and a device that allows them to ignore all constitutional limits on dept  and/or requirements for public approval as they reach into tax payer pockets and transfer the money extracted to private capitalists. The Maine legislature justifies this by the claim that investors will not invest in our beautiful state with out bribes financed by the sector of the economy excluded from corporate welfare benefits. The system allows  the so-called representatives of the Maine people to play at being Masters of the Universe- to redesign all of Maine to their own specifications and burden the taxpayers with footing the bill although the taxpayers have no say in the investments what so ever. Refundable tax credits have no provision requiring public approval.

In a more recent article we find the legislature ready to make changes in response to the fraud committed upon the Maine people due to their own actions. They want to double up on the limit for refundable tax credits for the New Markets Investment Program
A bill to double the investment cap of the Maine New Markets program from $250 million to $500 million got a unanimous vote from the Labor, Commerce, Research and Economic Development Committee in early April. The Finance Authority of Maine, which administers the program, included a provision in the bill to prohibit the use of one-day loans from the New Markets deals, a tactic used by the investors and their middlemen to inflate the value of the deal and trigger the largest award of tax credits. Maine leaders want changes to tax-credits program
The article goes on to say:
Cate Street and the project’s investors do not appear to have broken any laws because the 2011 bill does not impose requirements on how taxpayer money would be spent or any mechanism for ensuring the money is invested in the local community. Pressed on the lack of accountability in the law, Eves said Cate Street “went well outside of what the program was designed for.”Maine leaders want changes to tax-credits program
Notice the lauguage? the 2011 BILL does not impose requirements but a BILL is not a law untill it is passed. According to the Maine Constitution a vote of approval of both houses is needed to pass a bill into law. The constituion represents the consent of the governed who are the ones being made to foot the bill. Without a vote by both houses- who allegedly represent the governed- the bill has no legal authority. It is the equivalency of a legal contract between two parties but only one of those parties has signed on in agreement ! Did the authors of this article intentionally use the word "bill" as opposed to"statute" or law"? The statute is indeed published and there in lies the appearance of a broken law. Has the public-private hegemony that unofficially runs this state become so arrogant that they believe they can just expedite the publishing of a law without the required vote of both houses ? Apperntly so ! I guess they were in a hurry to get this deal through ! Step aside Rule of Law! You're in our way !
This story was reported earlier on in Maine Biz

This Maine Biz article is  typical of the way the Maine media sells the refundable tax credit to the public. Notice that the tax credit is described as "a credit against their state taxes, up to 39% of a project's total cost." - no mention of the fact that it is a refundable tax credit ! Also notice that it is told solely from the perspective of those standing to gain from this deal. No mention of the lowly tax payer who are merely pawns in the game !
An impact statement prepared by CEI Capital Management LLC and based on a December 2014 report compiled by economist Charles Colgan concludes that for every $1 million of New Markets credits claimed, an estimated $1.56 million will be returned to the state's General Fund. Additional data shows that for every $1 million in credits claimed, an additional $3.43 million in private capital investment was brought to Maine.New Markets tax credit program needs higher cap
BY JAMES MCCARTHY

Who knows how they come up with their statistics but the last sentence is mere word parsing- it means the investors get an investment partner requiring no share in the profits worth 1 million for every 3.43 million that they invest but at a tax credit of up to 39% makes the math a little fuzzy.

This story of private capitalists writing the law themselves for their own benefit- is an old one in Maine with a long history as this one dated 1977 shows:.

Governor Longley's Architects Of Transformation