Skip to main content

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

Tweet This !

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 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: 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: 
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: 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: 

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  !


Popular posts from this blog

An Incomplete Theory of Inflation Made to Order for Mass Consumption.

M oney is not what it used to be, so must our ways of thinking about it adapt. jaakko-kemppainen-unsplash The message treads across the media terrain, beating louder and louder as if to drown out the beat of the distant drummer. W arning! The only thing the stimulus will stimulate is inflation. The people will pay as the wealthy elite invests their windfalls in financial assets. Doom and gloom set to march across the land to the beat of the distribution of stimulus funds. In recent years as past predictions of fiscal disaster following stimulus spending failed to materialize and so the thinking about national debt and deficits has evolved, most noticeably with the development of  Modern Monetary Theory . In the   fall of 2020,  National Affairs  published a story,  Does the Debt Matter ? by Peter Wehner & Ian Tufts. Peter Wehner is vice president and senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center and served in the last three Republican administrations. Ian Tufts is a recent g

Why are social impact investors trying so hard to defeat smaller shelters for the homeless?

  "Social Impact” developers in Portland, Maine seek to squelch a referendum for smaller shelters called for by qualified practitioners with concrete experience in the field. A large sign says Vote C to support the Homeless, small handmade sign next to it says Untrue! That sign is paid for by developers who want / Photo by Jess Falero In   the 1970s under Governor Longley , Maine became a centrally managed economy that expanded Maine’s wealth gap and merged, almost seamlessly, the public and private and the non-profit and for-profit economic sectors into one mutually beneficial wealth-concentration & distribution system. Currently, mutually benefitting factions are coming together once again in hopes of building a mega-shelter for the homeless in a Portland, Maine industrial development district. In addition to beds for the homeless, the project will include, dining, and locker facilities, as well as offices and an attached health clinic. The promotion  describes the facility

JECD Group Holds Master Plan Pow Wow for Boothbay Peninsula

The most honest statement to come out of the ringleaders of the Joint Economic Community Development Group in their first workshop program was "none of us are experts on economic development", which in my most humble opinion is evident in the fact that the JECD begins with the premise that economic development can be master minded by central management. The article in the Boothbay Register begins with this paragraph: The Joint Economic Development Committee master plan workshop on Thursday, Oct. 12 discuss findings from stakeholder interviews conducted early last month. The interviews centered around building an overall economic development strategy for Edgecomb, Boothbay, Boothbay Harbor and Southport. Who are the stakeholders?  A search for articles in the Boothbay Register comes up short. Why is the public not told who the stakeholders are. Since the taxpayers of Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor footed the bill for the JECD's consultants, why are they not the stakeh