Bricks and Mortars

Has anyone seen Bruce Poliquin?

By Lawrence Reichard | Aug 04, 2017

For Halloween, I think I'm gonna dress up as myself. I seem to scare the hell out of Bruce Poliquin, and he's a congressman, so that ought to work pretty well.

I emailed Poliquin's press secretary and asked for an interview, and he wrote back that he had seen several of my pieces, and he was sorry but they couldn't accommodate an interview with me at this time. But I don't feel bad. It's not personal. For months Poliquin's constituents have been trying to talk with him about his party's heroic effort to kick 23 million people off health care, and he hasn't been able to accommodate them, either. Maybe if we all got together and started a hedge fund.

In any event, as a public service, I am presenting what might have been our conversation.

LR: Mr. Poliquin, is that you? It's so dark in here.

BP: Yes, it's me. I mean I. I can't stand the light. It's bad for my complexion.

LR: Perhaps you should see a doctor.

BP: That's a good idea. Hell, it wouldn't cost much. As a congressman, I've got a great health care plan. My whole family, too. Besides, I've got plenty of money. And I'll have even more if we ever get this health care crap out of the way so I can get some damn tax cuts. I mean tax reform. You want some bottled water?

LR: Do you have tap water?

BP: No, I don't go near the stuff, too much fracking.

LR: But I thought you supported fracking.

BP: I do?

LR: Well, just last year you voted against closing a fracking loophole in the Clean Air Act.

BP: I did? Well, I'll be damned. Who knew?

LR: Well, do you think it's fair that about three-quarters of your gold-plan health insurance is paid by taxpayers, and you want to deny health care to 23 million Americans?

BP: Hell, they should do what I did, start a hedge fund. Then they'd all have money to burn. Like I do.

LR: Twenty-three million hedge funds? Isn't that a little unrealistic?

BP: I don't think you understand hedge funds.

LR: Mr. Poliquin, have you received any campaign funds from health insurance companies?

BP: Yes, I have. But I get funds from all kinds of folks. Banks, high finance, capital funds, hedge funds, Wall Street, you name it. That doesn't mean they get special treatment. Well, actually it does, but that's off the record. Like I said, all kinds of folks.

LR: Are you saying that corporations are people?

BP: Of course they are. John Roberts said so. You think it's for nothing that the Supreme Court went to law schools with multi-billion-dollar endowments? You think they raised that money from bake sales?

LR: Your constituents are upset that you won't meet with them to discuss health care. Will you commit to meeting with your constituents to discuss health care?

BP: Meet with them? Christ, I've got all kinds of ads on YouTube in which perky upper middle class women explain that the Republican plan is good for America. What more do they want?

LR: Well, I think they want to hear it from you.

BP: Are you kidding me? I've heard about those meetings. People get angry. They raise their voices. No thanks. That's why I won't go to Iraq. Christ, they throw shoes over there.

LR: But isn't it your responsibility to meet with your constituents?

BP: For $174,000 a year? I don't think so. Hell, I'm doing them a favor. I could make that in an hour and a half on Wall Street.

LR: So, you think it was OK that when residents of Nason Park Manor senior living community in Bangor on July 11 asked you about your vote for Trumpcare, you talked instead about a bill to sell a federal building, and then hurried away from the meeting, saying you'd answer questions outside, which you then failed to do?

BP: Obviously I think it was OK — I did it, didn't I?

LR: Mr. Poliquin, do you worry that President Trump's historically low poll numbers might threaten your re-election in 2018?

BP: No, I'm not worried about it. No one reads newspapers anymore anyway. That's another benefit of tax cuts, less money for nonsense like public schools. You couldn't catch me dead in one of those places. Besides, who are they gonna run against me, Percival Baxter?

LR: But aren't you worried that the deeply unpopular Republican health care bill will drag down the Republican ticket?

BP: No, I'm not worried. We can spin that crap six ways to Sunday and flood the airwaves, works every time. If you don't believe me, go interview P.T. Barnum.

LR: Do you have any moral qualms with throwing 23 million people off health care and giving 40 percent of the savings to the 1 percent in the form of tax breaks?

BP: Moral qualms?

LR: OK. But do you think it would be responsible to repeal Obamacare without something to replace it?

BP: No. I mean, you could repeal the Emaciation Proclamation without something to replace it.

LR: I think that's the Emancipation Proclamation.

BP: Oh.

LR: Mr. Poliquin, will you personally benefit from such tax cuts for the wealthy?

BP: Yeah, sure, of course I will. But it's chump change.

LR: But doesn't that make it even worse?

BP: I'm not sure I follow. Look, I'm gonna take that money and create jobs.

LR: OK. Like what?

BP: You know, like someone to cut my lawn, wash my car, that kind of thing. It adds up. And people are grateful for those jobs. They tell me that all the time.

LR: Mr. Poliquin, were you at all embarrassed by the big, prominent Boston Globe article about congressmen who won't meet with constituents, and which featured you most prominently among them?

BP: I'm sorry, what did you say? I can't hear you in the dark.

Lawrence Reichard is a first-place Maine Press Association winner, freelance writer and activist living in Belfast.

Comments (4)
Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 12, 2017 18:36

Criticism of credibility, from the right?  From the party of the liar-in-chief? You're joking, right, Melvin?

Posted by: Melvin J. Box | Aug 11, 2017 18:44

Ronald, you lost all credibility with your opening statement.

Posted by: Ronald Horvath | Aug 11, 2017 11:03

No, Melvin.  Poliguin, like most Republicans, has never worked for anyone but himself.  Here's an Breitbart estimation.


“But more than his record, it’s Poliquin’s image that should be troubling. In a downward spiraling economy, American voters are not fond of candidates who seem to revel in the conspicuous consumption of the so-called 1%. And Poliquin revels on a consistent basis. He used a helicopter to build his house on a Maine island. He has sued a neighbor to stop him from expanding his business. He tried to prevent the expansion of a campground because it “disturbed his enjoyment of his beachfront cottage.” His campaign, which has raised over $200,000, is largely self-funded – almost half of that money comes directly from his own pocket.

Poliquin is not a terrible Republican. And it’s not illegal to be an elitist. He’s just a soft Republican, a squishy conservative, and a man with severe egoistic and image issues. In a time when every Republican Senate seat counts, especially given that control of the Supreme Court may weigh in the balance, Maine Republicans should think twice before picking Poliquin over his GOP rivals.”

Posted by: Melvin J. Box | Aug 11, 2017 07:59

Yes. He is in Washington DC working hard for all the people of Maine.

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