Five hundred fired-up people from all over southern Maine packed the front of Portland’s City Hall at noon today with one purpose in mind – along with thousands of others across the country today – they demanded that President Trump release his tax returns in what became known as Tax March Day – April 15th.
Under warm and welcome sun shine State Rep. Erik Jorgensen said that at no time have we seen anything like the Trump administration. He said that Trump’s “alternate facts” are coming from right wing radio talk hosts – the same wing that Governor Paul LePage talks to. Maine Democratic Party Chair Phil Bartlett said that voters have a right to know where Trump’s investments are and that he needs to be willing to put himself up for public scrutiny. “What is he negotiating with foreign governments,” he asked.
Former Under Secretary for USDA Kevin Concannon said: “Taxes are a necessary part of our democracy and they should be transparent. Trump refuses to go along with that long-standing policy of our nation’s presidential candidates.” (See below right photo.)
Economist Dr. Marianne Hill: “This country favors the wealthy instead of the underprivileged. The country’s consultants are paid more than federal employees. Between 2006 and 2012 corporations paid no taxes and that wages are lower today than they were in 1972. We need democratic control over our economy. We need an economy of and by the people.”
Kim Matthews, a member of the host group MarchForth reminded the enthusiastic crowd that shortly after the election, Kellyanne Conway, counselor to Trump, said that people didn’t care about the release of Trump’s taxes. “We are here to say we care We have a right to see those taxes, We want to see if there are ties to Russia and to know how he abuses the tax code.” “We are spending more than enough to cover everyone under the single payer plan,” said health care attorney Alice Knapp. “We spend more on health care then any industrial country and this doesn’t cover everyone.”
“We are stronger together than our opponents” implored Fred Brancato. “Let us continue to work hand in hand.”
Speakers comments were frequently interrupted with chants from an energized and engaged crowd – like: where is Senator Susan Collins, Answer Your Phone Senator Collins, Shame on You, Where’s Bruce and Lock Him Up! – during the 1 l/2 hour Rally. It then continued inside at the nearby First Parish Church – hosted by Rally4Justice.
The Rally was facilitated by Jennifer Jones, of the host non-profit MarchForth. It is composed of a group of women who made the trek to Washington, D.C. on January 21, 2017 for the Women’s March. Please see post herein dated April 12 for more background information on today’s Tax March in Portland.