Government Watch / Politics

Woke Politicians Warring on Public Pensions and Single-Family Homes: Warning from Maine

AMAC Exclusive – By Sam Adolphsen

Maine

It was below zero in Maine last week. That is not exactly unusual for January in one of the northernmost states in America. But this year the cold isn’t just freezing the lakes, it is also squeezing Mainer’s checkbooks more than usual, thanks to the high cost of heating fuel brought on by the Biden administration’s energy policies.

Energy affordability is a big deal in a state that relies more heavily on heating oil than any other state in the country. In a geographically large, rural, blue-collar state where you are just as likely to see a pulp truck as a Prius, heating oil, diesel fuel, and gasoline make the state economy go.

That is why it is so perplexing that Maine democrats have followed California, Oregon, and New York leftist politics to use the state pocketbook to protest heating oil and gasoline companies. Maine is now the first in the nation to pass a law banning investments in those companies.

Maine Democrats, including democratic Governor Janet Mills, pushed through the law last year titled “An act to require the state to divest itself of assets invested in the fossil fuel industry.” The bill title explains it well. The law requires the state to end all its current investments, and no longer invest, in “fossil fuels” in the state’s public pension program. The state must divest from “any fossil fuel company or any subsidiary, affiliate or parent of any fossil fuel company” by January 1, 2026.

Maine’s public pension program, which invests retirements funds for around 100,000 current and retired Maine state workers and teachers, in a state of just over a million people, holds about 8% of the $18 billion pension portfolio in the traditional energy sector.

But it won’t anymore, thanks to Maine democrats and Janet Mills’s new anti-oil, progressive investment plan.

So-called “ESG” investing, which stands for “environmental, social, governance” investing, is the white-collar version of protesting in the streets against “evil corporations.” But instead of looting a Target, these progressive protesters look at American energy companies as one of their primary targets for destruction.

The Maine bill specifically targets the “200 publicly traded companies with the largest fossil fuel reserves” and companies who use “coal-fired power plants” or have “infrastructure used exclusively for fossil fuels.”

ESG investing upends the traditional fiduciary responsibility of money managers, which is earning their member’s solid returns, and instead requires them to become woke police. The focus is to only allow investments in industries and companies deemed worthy by far-left progressives and climate shills like Al Gore who recently started his own ESG investment group.

While Maine may be the first state with a law on the books, this progressive panacea has quickly become in vogue across the country. The Trump administration slowed the ESG tidal wave with a rule that required retirement plans to focus on financial returns over climate religion, but that rule has since been reversed by the Biden administration.  

That’s not surprising given that much of the Biden administration is populated with former high-level BlackRock employees, who hold millions in BlackRock equities. BlackRock and CEO Larry Fink, the investing group buying up single-family homes around the country, is also leading the efforts to force “environmental investing” down the throats of 401k holders around the country, often under the guise of fighting the “global threat of climate change.”

The Maine public pension program loves BlackRock. Nearly half of the state’s pension portfolio is with the company. They also invest Mainer’s pensions with Carlyle, a group that has partnered with California’s public pension group, and others like BlackRock and the Canadian pension system, to bully companies into giving up data on their “greenhouse gas emissions, renewable energy, and board diversity.” This ESG effort will presumably be used to kick out companies that are deemed “unclean” by ESG standards.

The retirement-fund-rioting extends to the boardroom as well. The Maine retirement system brags in its 2021 “ESG report” that they were part of the hostile takeover of the ExxonMobil board of directors, by partnering with “Engine 1” – an activist ESG investing group.

The Maine pension ESG report also boasts of its increasing investments in “renewables” like wind power. The report notes that “the largest growth in private MainePERS renewable energy investments since 2012 has been in wind energy.” Interestingly, Maine’s U.S. Senator Angus King has been in office since 2012, when he had to divest from his wind project after a congressional investigation.

The Biden administration has also shut down part of the Maine lobster industry, apparently in pursuit of their wind power goals.

Workers and retirees in Maine and around the country, from state employees to schoolteachers, deserve their investment managers to focus on making the choices that deliver the most returns and stability for them. That is clearly not what ESG investing does. Instead, it promotes a global leftist agenda at any cost.

It’s banning investments in oil in Maine right now, but it may be banning companies who won’t support critical race theory next. This sets the precedent that states can force adherence to leftist politics using tax dollars and public pensions. Mainers will have to hope that woke investing won’t make their pension system broke again, like it was before former treasurer and current candidate for Congress Bruce Poliquin, and then republican Governor Paul LePage fixed Maine’s pension system.

Maine public pensioners, thanks to Janet Mills and Maine Democrats, are in the wind with financial returns based on the political left’s social agenda. That could leave them out in the cold, just like they would be without heating oil.

Is your state next?

Sam Adolphsen is the former chief operating officer at the Maine Department of Health and Human Services. He currently serves as the policy director at the Foundation for Government Accountability and lives in Maine.


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Lee S McQuillen
4 months ago

It would be interesting to see what’s in the portfolios of those banning investments in fuel industries, etc. Bet they own some of them….

james michalicek
4 months ago

I live in a small town on the Mississippi River. What are Woke people?? We have none here. Is that good?

Bruce P
4 months ago

Woke people are those who are in line with the politically correct ideals that don’t hurt the feelings of anyone who is easily offended or don’t think like the majority of normal contributors to society. They push the agenda that America is a racist country, all white people are racist, criminals are only criminals because the rich white man has denied them an honest living, (even though they might have quit school or are too lazy to have learned a trade and gone to work), they believe that even though a person might be too lazy to work to earn a living, the government (those of us who worked and earned what we have) owes them a living anyway. They believe that the government is never going to lie to you and has no hidden agendas so they can be absolutely trusted.
A Snowflake is one of those persons mentioned at the beginning who are deeply offended and even angered when they don’t like what someone else says or does so they want everyone else to agree with them and change it, no matter what the cost.

David D
4 months ago

District 1 is made up of out of staters, forced immigrants (brought here by Obama) and brainwashed young people – college educated. It’s Senator is a IINO. It’s Representative is a rich female dog.District 2 is the real Maine. Though it’s Senator is a RINO.If LePage and Poloquin are not elected, yes better to move

Nick Patriot
4 months ago

I feel sorry for the conservatives on Maine. Such a long winter. As for the commiecrats, I hope you freeze your family jewels off. You reap what you sow, comrade!!

Mike B.
4 months ago

Obama stopped lobster fishing in Maine. The Canadians were laughing at us fishing in our waters in the Atlantic. President Trump opened up the lobster fishing in Maine. Now Biden has stopped the fishing on account of some climate bullshit. Anything President Trump puts into law, it’s reversed by Biden. The residents of Maine have their heads up there a**es. Now fossil fuels. WAKE UP MAINE ! Vote these communists out of office. Such a beautiful state & friendly people. Vote red !!!

Harlan Schwendemann
4 months ago

I might add that we should put the Republicans feet to the fire and make all schools in America teach US history or do not graduate.

Harlan Schwendemann
4 months ago

You must feel the pain before you do something about. You are the ones who vote that way and if you do not see the problem then you need more pain.

REB1957
4 months ago

Other than for heating needs, I would stop all shipments of fossil related products to Maine.

I say walk to work, school, medical centers , groceries, …

Of course, the Governor won’t be affected. They’ll find fuel to get her around one way or another.

Art
4 months ago

The picture that accompanies this piece make me wonder. Was Alfred E. Neuman a Democrat and did he father any children? The line of thinking in Maine is horrendous. I believe that it has been sated many times “Vote for the D” and don’t look into what the consequences might be.

Jerry Spangler
4 months ago

Nothing but communism from democrats

Ed L
4 months ago

I grew up in Maine and it has always been a democrat state. I was smart enough to leave in 1971 and never went back except to visit. It does seem like they only vote for people with a D after their name. when they had a republican Governor who tried to fix the system they voted him out of office. They seem to love misery up there.

Gen. Grant
4 months ago

Wakeup Maine——-time to vote out Comrade Mills

HocasPocas
4 months ago

Probably, we have a communist governor, who killed a lot of senior citizens while his Secretary of whatever it was took it’s mother out of a nursing home. This person is now employed by the federal government

Lee S McQuillen
4 months ago
Reply to  HocasPocas

Oh, you’re from PA! Hopefully we can change some things in the next elections!

Tom
4 months ago

I will enjoy watching them freeze to death to their liberal stupidity! I wonder if the idiots know they will need fossil fuels for their electric autos to be charged? LMAO

Backwoods
4 months ago

The Democratic Party has been highjacked by COMMUNISTS wake up dumb A$$’s.

Pete from St Pete
4 months ago

Hey Maniacs! Wise up and don’t just vote for everyone on the ballot with a D next to their name. Take the time to look beyond the labels and find out what they really stand for. Goes for every other voter in this country too.

PaulE
4 months ago

That is the root of the problem Pete. Far too many people in this country have NO IDEA what most of the candidates they vote for actually support or intend to do, if elected. Too many people just look for the (D) or (R) and pull the lever or mark their ballot straight down the list. Given the nature of what most Democrat politicians stand for these days, that is simply empowering the very people that want to pick the pockets of the voters clean and then say “It’s really good for you.”.

Bill T
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

I live in liberalville USA, all my neighbors are either teachers or union managers, all have young children and they are absolutely blinded by the liberal progressive socialist democrats. No doubt they go D CRAP every time! When I was flying my TRUMP 2020 flags they had daggers in there eyes! Really who’s the racists dividers of our UNITED STATES OF AMERICA?

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Bill T

As I’ve said before Bill, the socialist indoctrination in the public school systems has been wildly successful in producing at least two whole generations of compliant and completely brainwashed “useful idiots” for the so-called “progressive” (socialist) cause. That is what happens when the vast majority of Americans don’t pay close attention to what their kids and grand kids are being taught in school until it now way too late. Yes, Americans are starting to realize how truly bad the public education system has become, but that is only after we have lost nearly 90 percent of two whole generations to socialist indoctrination.

This conditioning has been going on full tilt in K through 12th grade since the Department of Education was created and the so-called “progressives” were handed unilateral control of America’s public education system in the mid 1970s. Progressives have never been known to waste a golden opportunity and this was a colossal one that would have made Stalin and Mao proud. The end result is the type of neighbors you describe.

In all the years of I’ve been speaking to high school and college age people, only about 10 to 12 percent of them are not completely brainwashed by the system and savable. They represent our country’s only chance at a decent future for what will be left of the United States going forward. The rest, the 88 to 90 percent of the people in each generation, are just programmed sheep, incapable of any independent, critical thinking on any level. Fully conditioned drones that will simply repeat the talking points they hear on CNN and the rest of the mainstream media and do as they are told pretty much without question.

Richard DeHart
4 months ago

Check out VOTE SMART!
You can look at any politician’s voting record.

HocasPocas
4 months ago

Have to look into the candidates with an r next to their name also. You don’t always get what you think you’re getting

Patricia A Arsenault
4 months ago

THIS PERSON NEEDS TO RETIRE OR JUST GO! #AmericaFirst

Thomas F. Olszewski
4 months ago

These morons voted them in , let ‘em suffer. You can’t teach stupid this shows exactly that.

PaulE
4 months ago

That would be great, if the only people impacted were the morons that voted for these politicians. The problem is that it ultimately impacts everyone, not just the people stupid enough to vote for these folks.

HocasPocas
4 months ago

It’s not how many votes they get, it’s who’s counting the votes

Liz
4 months ago

They are getting WHAT THEY VOTED FOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

PaulE
4 months ago
Reply to  Liz

That would be great, if the only people impacted were the morons that voted for these politicians. The problem is that it ultimately impacts everyone, not just the people stupid enough to vote for these folks.

Sheepdog #1
4 months ago
Reply to  PaulE

Sure enough, simply look at the suffering being caused by the alleged millions of useful iduiots that voted for Brandon! Unfortunately for them, most have no idea their future has been significantly dimmed!

Golfmoto
4 months ago

They are not fossil fuels, they re ORGANIC fuels. We should refer to them as such.

Ed L
4 months ago
Reply to  Golfmoto

how true. archaeologists have dug up 100’s of dinosaurs and none were found in a pool of oil.

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