Tea Party activists have now taken control of the official GOP platform in even the blue state of Maine — but it remains to be seen whether this will have any actual influence on the state party’s politicians.
At the Maine GOP convention on Saturday, Tea Party activists succeeded in substituting their own platform, stating that “The Tea Party movement is reminiscent of the principled revolt that led to the birth of the Republican Party in 1854,” in place of the party establishment’s original draft.
Among the policies the new platform calls for: “Direct the State of Maine to join with other states in asserting our 10th amendment sovereignty rights which protect us from unconstitutional federal government intrusions”; “Return to the principles of Austrian Economics, and redirect the economy back to one of incentives to save and invest”; and “Pass and implement Fed bill #1207 (Introduced by Ron Paul), to Audit the Federal Reserve, as the first step in Ending the Fed.”
State GOP chairman Charlie Webster told TPMDC that the new platform, and its reference to Ron Paul, are not a problem. “There are several things in the platform that I’m not — probably, if we’d had a different format, might not have been included,” said Webster. “But I don’t have a particular problem with Rep. Paul. He’s probably a good guy who does what he thinks is right.”
That said, Webster pointed out that platform itself is not binding on actual officeholders. “Platforms are a way for the activists to express their opinion, and as far I’m concerned this document is fine,” said Webster. “But candidates don’t run on the platform specifically. They run based on individual issues, and what the people in their areas want.”
“Take a look at the Democrat Party platform,” said Webster. “It’s probably one of the most liberal in the country.”
Webster also added: “So this represents the views of many people that work with their hands and drive a truck, regular folks.”
The original proposed platform, which is nowhere near as fiery or detailed in its rhetoric, is available here. Webster told us that the intention had been to not be overly detailed, but to be a statement of general principles that would not be tied down to a particular moment in time.