Blaine Richardson of Belfast, 63, is a small business owner and veteran of the U.S. Navy.
Richardson studied at Brandywine High School in Wilmington, Delaware and the College of Charleston in Charleston, South Carolina, before enlisting during the Vietnam War. After graduating from Naval Flight School in 1974, Richardson served in four military conflicts, including Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom, before retiring at the rank of Captain in 2004. Richardson also served as the U.S. Naval Liaison Officer to the State of Maine during the terms of former Govs. Jack McKernan and Angus King.
As a civilian, Richardson worked for a decade in a family-owned greenhouse business before starting B. Richardson Company, a Belfast-based construction company that builds homes on Maine’s coast. Richardson’s first entry into politics came during the 2012 primary race for Maine’s Second Congressional District, when he faced off against Kevin Raye, whom he will face again in 2014. Despite spending just $53,167 on his campaign, compared to Raye’s $688,484, Richardson finished with 34 percent of the primary vote.
Richardson recently took some time to answer questions about his candidacy for The Maine Wire:
If elected, what would your priorities be in the U.S. Congress?
“First, pursue a sane and proper national security policy that eliminates the need to spy on American citizens, ends the terribly expensive war in Afghanistan, and that does not involve our nation in wars with allies like the Al-Qaeda affiliated rebels in Syria. The power to declare war belongs solely to congress, but the Executive Branch flaunts this aspect of Constitutional authority routinely, no matter which party is in power. The Executive Branch needs to understand that they cannot secretly plan to commit our nation to war, while leaving Congress and the people in the dark. I will vigorously fight against any further attempts to tear our fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters away from Maine to fight in any more undeclared wars in the Middle East.
“Second, real cuts in spending. You will hear a lot during this campaign about “fiscal sanity”. I am not sure what this term means to others in the race, but to me it means reducing spending to less than the previous year. It does not mean cutting proposed increases to the rate of growth in 2020 or reducing future borrowing costs to make debt finance cheaper down the road. When I say “cuts in spending”, I mean real cuts.
“I support eliminating the Department of Agriculture, Commerce, Education, HUD, Energy and other programs that are the tools of crony capitalism and no-bid contracts, and out of control bureaucracies. By doing this, a budget can be established that protects funding for popular programs our citizens rely on, like Social Security, while also providing for tax relief.
“Another place to cut spending is our foreign policy. As a 30-year Navy Veteran, I can tell you that our nation can no longer afford to spend one billion dollars a week in Afghanistan on an undeclared war that does nothing to further our national security. When I am elected to Congress, I will fight for an immediate withdrawal of all American troops and resources from Afghanistan. This will bring relief to taxpayers and hopefully bring healing to many American homes.
“Third, a moratorium on immigration, and the refugee programs. Until the nation reaches 5% unemployment, it is not in the interest of working people to offer amnesty to illegal aliens, or take on more immigrants or refugees. Amnesty and mass immigration is in the interest of Big Business, who seek to lower labor costs by depressing the wages of Mainers and American citizens, many of whom are already struggling and living paycheck-to-paycheck. Mass immigration is also in the interest of Democrats, who see more clients for welfare services and don’t mind passing the social costs onto the local taxpayer.”
What do you bring to the table that the other GOP candidates do not?
“I am not from the political class; my family has roots in Maine that date back to 1634. When I speak to lobstermen, home-schoolers, farmers, shopkeepers, working men and women, veterans groups, and I hear their grievances, I don’t have to first check with which interest or lobby that contributes to the party before I speak out on their cause. Offending a powerful interest is of no consequence to me when I am working to represent Mainers.”
What do you think are the most serious challenges facing Maine and the United States?
“There is an entire economic class in the State of Maine that owes their careers and livelihood to federal money the citizens send the federal government in the form of income, estate, gas, excise, and on and on taxes, and it has corrupted our political culture entirely to the point that the grievances of everyday people are ignored and unaddressed by either party.
“Rather than speak to challenges for Maine, as District One seems to be doing just fine, the challenges to those of us in Northern Maine are manifold as our elected representatives refuse to act in our interest.
“For example, why hasn’t our national delegation pointed out that there is something insane about a heavily government subsidized Somalian community in Lewiston-Auburn? That has to be addressed, someone has to do it.
“The Food Modernization and Safety Act of 2011 placed many unnecessary federal regulations on small Maine farms that have absolutely no history of making anyone sick. This act, which was encouraged by big farming and their Crony-Capitalist relationship with the federal government, will cost small farmers tens of thousands of dollars in compliance and will put many farms out of business across our country. The hard-working small farmers of Maine should be able to exercise their God-given rights to buy, sell, and produce without interference. The FMA needs to be repealed and I will introduce legislation to do just that if elected to Congress.
“Portland schools hand out birth control pills to kids as young as age 11. I have no idea if this a popular thing in the South, but in CD-2, we have agents of the state trying to take a child away from his mother because she didn’t agree with a doctor. If Southern Maine won’t fight for the citizens of Maine, we at least have to try and protect each other up our way.”
Why do you want to be a congressman?
“My country called and I answered, honorably serving during four conflicts over 30 years and retiring with the rank of Captain. I served during the Cold War, and its merciful conclusion. However, the runaway deficits, the Crony Capitalism, the Wall Street Bailouts, and the targeting of the vulnerable by government agencies compelled me to act one more time.
“What initially drove me to run for office was the passage of the [National Defense Authorization Act] in 2012. This gave the military an awesome and terrible power to arrest and hold American citizens without trial. I have too much love and respect for our military services to imagine how these institutions could be corrupted with such a power.
“The distance between the Ruling Class in Washington DC, and the Country Class, those of us out here in flyover country, has never been wider. In order to address the major problems that await our children and grandchildren, someone has to speak for the Country Class.”
What makes you the best person to take on a Democrat in the general election?
“I am the only one who can credibly build a Left-Right/Republican-Democrat-Independent coalition that can win in a general election and be effective as a legislator. I advocate for what I feel is in the best interests of Mainers and not what consultants, political parties, and special interests claim is in our best interests. Like I stood with the local woman who ran afoul of DHHS and the USDA for giving her child goats milk (and they backed down), I am looking forward to standing with my fellow citizens of Maine in the future.”
Maine Wire Reporter