As the political world shifts East from Iowa to New Hampshire, Democrats can look just one State further to Maine. The Senate race against Olympia Snowe is heating up and I am launching the first web advertisement of this 2012 race. Entitled "Red, White and You," the ad contrasts Olympia Snowe's special interest donors with my background as advocate, attorney, and legislator. The ad features corporate logos of several of Snowe's major campaign donors over a map of the United States while a voiceover states that, "the first step in making people's voices heard starts in Maine."
Unlike most people who seek higher office, I have not been following the well-worn track of career politicians. I am no stranger to fighting back against powerful special interests so my campaign will not financed by corporate donors. I'm out to challenge the status quo and remind politicians, and the voters of Maine, that it is everyday people, not special interest money, who give them the opportunity to serve in the first place.
Pushing back against special interest influence has been a centerpiece of my campaign because middle class families need their voice back in the United States Senate. One of the great challenges facing our country is the stranglehold that big money has on our government, and any politician who reels in dollars from powerful special interests will not be up to tackling that challenge. Certainly Olympia Snowe, one of the wealthiest members of Congress, has no interest in advancing social justice or economic fairness.
We owe it to past generations, who built us a great country, to hand down a nation that we can be proud of. I am intent on passing on to my daughter's generation a country which encourages innovation and entrepreneurship with more than just rhetoric, teaches our children to be the best in the world once again, and prevents our seniors from struggling to make ends meet in their golden years.
This first advertisement gives only a glimpse of the long list of large corporate donors to Olympia Snowe. Among those highlighted are ExxonMobil, the largest oil company globally; Pfizer, the world's largest pharmaceutical company; and Wall Street giant Goldman Sachs. I strongly support balancing the Federal Budget, but it should start with eliminating wasteful subsidies and tax loopholes for large corporations and the richest 1%. Snowe is unlikely to support such measures even while multi-national corporations like Bank of America and General Electric, neither of which paid any Federal Income taxes last year, continue to contribute heavily to her campaign.
I've stood up to the very same powerful special interest groups who finance Olympia Snowe's campaign. In this critical election year, the people of Maine can clearly state that they are fed up with a Senate that puts powerful special interests ahead of working people. They have the opportunity to send genuine fighter who has a record of taking down the big moneyed interest groups who rig the game in their favor and against middle class families.
Jon Hinck is the Ranking Member of the Legislature's Committee on Energy. Before serving in the Maine Legislature, Hinck was among the co-founders of Greenpeace, USA and worked as staff attorney for the Natural Resources Council of Maine. During his legal career, Hinck successfully represented commercial fishermen after the Exxon-Valdez Oil Spill and, later, Maine well owners harmed by MTBE groundwater contamination. Hinck is seeking the Democratic nomination to take on Olympia Snowe next November. Log on to www.JonHinck.com for more information.