The MEA Anti-TABOR Horror Show

A new anti-TABOR pdf has begun circulating around the web.  I came across the piece at Behind Blue Lines.  There have been a lot of editorials for and against TABOR lately.  This one is likely to draw a bit more attention then others.  This new anti-TABOR invokes some strong imagery.  You might think TABOR was the next Jason or Michael Meyers after reading this piece.  Where does this new anti-TABOR work come from?  The MEAMark Gray, Executive Director of the Maine Education Association, penned this ad.  The main points of the article are rather mild and no surprise to anyone following TABOR.  TABOR limits growth, ties hands of local governments, etc.  As a side, I’m arguing neither for or against TABOR here.  The tone set right from the beginning of the article is what I’d like to address here.  TABOR II is a horror sequel says the piece.  This mad murderer is out to kill!  Kill our communities and schools.  GASP!  According to the there is are recurring actors as well.  The Maine Heritage Policy Center, out of state money, and libertarians (Oh no!) are back to suck the lifeblood out of the state of Maine.

If you’ve read my blog at all, you know that I am a supporter of same-sex marriage in Maine.  Something I’ve reported on many times are the fear based arguments sometimes used by the opponents of same-sex marriage.  I find it to be a weak shady way to win an argument.  If your argument can’t stand on it’s own without scaring people into agreeing with you then they probably don’t hold water at all.

Though this anti-TABOR ad does have some non-emotional points, but it starts with a bit too much fear.  The title “TABOR II – another horror show” says it all.  That may be why the MEA has removed this piece from their website.  They do still have a PDF calling the MHPC a bunch of “pests”.  While name-calling isn’t a great way to start a debate either, it’s better than the horror show that the most recent anti-TABOR piece was.

Some campaigns have done great things with fear and name calling in politics is as old as the Republic itself.  Still it is tough to play it right.  You have to be sure of what your doing, really commit to the strategy.  A smart opponent can flip that negativity right over on your head.  You can end up worse off then if you had said nothing at all.  Sometimes that’s probably best.

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One Response

  1. The fear tactics are not necessary, the facts would explain it all. TABOR has had bad effects in ?Colorado?. However, the fundamentals need to be explained: the “natural” increase approach bases the annual funding on overall inflation in the consumer price index, which includes everything we spend money on. The state government spend on health care and education mostly, which rises faster than the normal inflation (it has in past years anyway) and the rise for the price of bread doesn’t cover the cost in the rise of textbook prices. That is where TABOR fundamentally needs to be re-written and maybe then it would be good. The premise is good, like the health care debate, but the details are messy.

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