AUGUSTA – While many Mainers have long believed the Maine Democratic Party is comprised of fools, two Democratic State Senators proved as much on Wednesday by donning clown noses during a public hearing of the Health and Human Services Committee.
Sens. Colleen Lachowicz (D-Waterville) and Margaret M. Craven (D-Lewiston) performed their asinine act as several Maine citizens — many who waited more than six hours to do so — testified on a bill concerning availability of beds for low-income Mainers in nursing homes.
“It’s one thing not to agree on issues,” said Maine GOP Chairman Richard M. Cebra. “It’s entirely another to mock the citizens who come before the DHHS committee and the trust placed in you by the voters of your district.”
Republican members on the Committee were concerned at Lachowicz and Craven’s outrageous performance.
“I was shocked at the behavior of these two Democratic Senators,” said Sen. James M. Hamper (R-Oxford). “It was beyond the pale to watch the trust of the Maine people and the process being so disrespected,” he said. “The people of Maine deserve better.”
Rep. Deborah J. Sanderson (R-Chelsea) was stunned that her Democratic colleagues engaged in such foolishness during a hearing of vital importance to Maine’s elderly.
Unless bedhold days are reinstated, seniors on Mainecare are at risk of losing, what for many, is their home.
“The welfare of our seniors is a topic we all agree is important,” said Sanderson. “It was disheartening to see these Senators clowning around during a public committee hearing instead of being respectful of the public testifying on such an important issue.”
“Advocates and members of the public had been waiting patiently for six hours to offer testimony to support reinstating bedhold days to nursing homes.”
According to State House sources, Rep. Katherine M. Cassidy (D-Lubec) snapped a picture of her colleagues as they made fools of themselves. Cassidy did not immediately respond to a Freedom of Access Act request for the picture she took while tending to the people’s business.
Neither Craven nor Lachowicz responded to calls seeking comment.
According to the Lewiston-based Sun Journal newspaper, Craven has apologized her acting like a fool during the hearing.
Santiaga has yet to do so.