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Demi Kouzounas is the chair of the Maine Republican Party. Dr. Kouzounas, a Saco dentist, also served as a captain in the U.S. Army and is the Northeast regional co-chair of the Republican National Committee.
Janet Mills’ governorship is hurting Mainers on a lot of fronts, but today I want to talk about one in particular: jobs.
New statistics show that Mills is failing Mainers when it comes to jobs.
When compared to the other states in the union, Maine comes in a weak 33rd in our percentage of jobs recovered during the COVID pandemic, according to a University of New Hampshire study. We’ve lost nearly 30,000 jobs since before the pandemic began.
In other words, there are 32 governors doing a better job growing employment than Gov. Mills right now. And nearly 30,000 of our friends and neighbors are in a tough spot.
Thirty-third is unacceptable.
That number, I believe, points to clear failure on Mills’ part. Her economic policies are not up to the task she faces. In fact, Mills’ focus right now seems to be on promoting policies that make jobs harder to come by.
Here’s the proof: according to a recent Maine news article, Maine actually lost jobs this fall.
Let’s add to the mix that Maine was recently ranked the 48th worst state to do business by CNBC. I believe that is due to a misunderstanding by Mills and the ultra-progressives in Augusta about how to create an environment where Maine’s economy can grow.
Through her policies, Mills has made it harder for the lobster industry, paper mills and nursing homes to do business here.
What’s the governor’s jobs plan? She may argue that there is some plan in some drawer deep in an Augusta desk somewhere. Well, if there is, Maine’s abysmal recent jobs statistics show it is failing.
I see no cohesive effort to build and grow a sustainable, vibrant economy here in Maine. Mills and her ultra-progressive party colleagues in Augusta have spent their time making it harder for businesses in Maine, not creating conditions in which they could thrive.
That’s how we got here. That’s why we’re flirting with job numbers that are in the bottom third of the country.
I, and my Republican colleagues, simply cannot fathom the disconnect between Maine’s needs (good jobs, good health care, and a diversified economy) and Mills’ actions. How can you travel the state and not see the compelling, forceful evidence right before our eyes that our economy needs help that she is not providing?
And it’s not just Mills — Democrats have seen terrible recent election results in Virginia, New Jersey, and Maine. Voters are understandably unhappy with the fact that Democrats are mismanaging economies, and they want change.
Maine is no exception. Our state should aspire to offer so much more, and we need new leadership that allows jobs and businesses to flourish. From our perspective, Mills is not providing that leadership.