Governor’s “One Maine” pledge loses in Committee
Legislative Committee votes to confirm Michael J. Sauschuck over Republican objections
STATEHOUSE – Republicans on the Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Criminal Justice and Public Safety today voted unanimously against Governor Mills’ nominee for Commissioner of Public Safety, Michael J. Sauschuck. The Committee voted 8-5 to recommend confirmation by the Maine Senate. Committee Republicans noted that the nomination is not in keeping with the Governor’s repeated references to “one Maine” since taking her oath to uphold the Constitution as Maine’s Governor.
Prior to this nominee, legislative Republicans have supported all twelve of the Governor’s nominees. All Committee members with previous law enforcement experience opposed the nomination.
Sauschuck, a former Portland police chief and assistant city administrator, has served on the Board of Directors of a major anti-gun group. He has actively opposed Second Amendment rights, by:
- Supporting a 2016 ballot initiative to criminalize private firearm transfers,
- Lobbying for bans on commonly owned firearms and magazines,
- Supporting laws that take away Second Amendment rights without due process,
- Opposing constitutional carry and concealed carry reciprocity
Republican Committee members had this to say:
“If this nominee is confirmed by the Maine Senate, he will have a great deal of influence on pending legislation dealing with the Second Amendment rights that protect Maine residents and allow them to enjoy several outdoor traditions,” said Rep. Richard A. Pickett (R-Dixfield). “The sheer volume and scope of anti-gun legislation submitted in Maine this session indicate that anti-gun groups are offering solutions in search of a problem. Maine is consistently at the top of the safest states in America.”
“Many people have shown up today to oppose this nomination for Commissioner of Public Safety due to concerns surrounding personal security and safety,” said Rep. Patrick Corey, District 25 (R-Windham). “I am a supporter of an individual right to keep and bear arms and have taken an oath to uphold the U.S. and Maine constitutions where this right is enshrined. For that reason, I opposed the nomination.”
“We need a public safety commissioner that is able to represent the whole State,” said Rep. Chris A. Johansen (R-Monticello). The nominee’s anti-gun activism concerns me the most.His nomination has generatedstrong opposition from every corner of Maine. There is a lack of confidence in his ability to respect the Constitutional Rights of all Maine citizens, citizens that make our State the safest state in the country.”
“The overwhelming number of people who contacted me, oppose this nomination as not in keeping with Maine values, traditions and the Constitutional rights and freedoms we have enjoyed since statehood,” said Rep. Dan Costain (R-Plymouth). “I could not vote to confirm the nominee because of his opposition to Second Amendment rights, constitutional carry and his support of bans for commonly owned firearms. Republican members were moved by the number of people who took time out of their busy lives to testify today and by those who expressed their concerns about this nominee prior to today’s hearing.”