Archives for General Dynamics

Maine Currents 3/20/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Studio Engineer: John Greenman

Opposition to Maine Taxpayers Funding “Corporate Welfare” for Military Contractor General Dynamics

In February we reported on a proposal to give a $60 million tax break to Bath Iron Works at the expense of Maine taxpayers. Those who support the measure say it protects jobs, but those who oppose it see it as corporate welfare for defense contractor General Dynamics, the company that owns BIW. Today we follow up with some of the activists involved in the issue, including Bruce Gagnon who was with us last month, as well as Bob Klotz and Lisa Savage. We’re also joined by Alex Nunes, an investigative reporter at He has exposed details about what is going on behind the scenes of this deal. Columnist Lawrence Reichard, joins us in the studio. He’s covered the issue in his weekly column “Bricks and Mortars” which runs in the Waldo County based Republican Journal and the Coastal Journal in Bath.

Later in the program we check in with Jessica Stewart, one of 3 women who were arrested at Senator Collin’s office last December where they were protesting her support of the tax bill. They are heading to federal court tomorrow.

Note: Activist Mark Roman was scheduled to be with us but was unable to join us due to technical difficulties. He sent the following comment:
“In the taxation committee testimony, BIW VP, John Fitzgerald was asked by a committee member if he would open BIW books to the committee to help determine the need for the tax break. Mr Fitzgerald said quite loudly and quite clearly NO! we will not do that. It seems that the state is not to question the subsidiary of General Dynamics Corporation, the fifth largest weapons maker on the planet. The $45 million being requested would just cover the annual compensation of the top four officers of General Dynamics. I believe that the people of Maine need that money for education, infrastructure repairs and health care for our citizens. I would ask listeners to call their representatives and tell them to vote no on LD- 1781. I want to thank WERU for being the voice of the people”

Follow the proposed legislation at:
Contact info for your legislators is available at:

To receive Lawrence Reichard’s “Bricks and Mortars” column via email, contact him at [email protected]

From Alex Nunes of
Here are a few links that may be of interest to your audience.
This is the original General Dynamics stock buyback story for The Providence Journal:
This is an op-ed I wrote for The Day newspaper in New London, Conn., about General Dynamics seeking state subsidies in New England. I talk about Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine:
These are two stories from a multi-part series about economic development in Rhode Island and Connecticut centered around building the Navy’s next generation of nuclear-armed submarines. The first story addresses the corporate welfare/economic development aspects of it. The second looks at the reaction from the peace community:

Investigative reporting from The Bollard was also mentioned on the show and can be found here:

Bruce Gagnon blogs at
Lisa Savage blogs at

Maine Currents 2/20/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

Maine legislature considers restrictions on the discredited practice of “conversion therapy”

On February 14th, the state legislature’s Labor, Commerce Research and Economic Development committee held a public hearing on LD 912, a bill that would prohibit licensed professionals from practicing “conversion therapy” on children. The practice– which claims to change sexual orientation– is widely considered to be unethical among mental health professionals but some defend it as being within their “biblical world view”. Today on Maine Currents we listen to the bill’s presentation to the committee, and some of the testimony on both sides.

Maine Currents 2/13/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne
Contributor/Engineer: John Greenman

Does General Dynamics Need $60 Million From the Pockets of Maine Taxpayers?

The Maine legislature is considering a proposal to give a huge tax break to a military contractor. At the request of BIW, Representative Jennifer DeChant, a Democrat from Bath is sponsoring LD1781, “An Act To Encourage New Major Investments in Shipbuilding Facilities and the Preservation of Jobs”. In introducing the bill she testified that it would provide tax incentives to keep BIW competitive in its marketplace and retain a large number of quality jobs in the state. The bill has several cosponsors from both parties, but it also has drawn harsh criticism from those who see it as corporate welfare that BIW’s parent company, General Dynamics, certainly doesn’t need from the pockets of Mainers. A public hearing for the bill was held before the legislature’s Committee on Taxation a few weeks ago. We’re going to start today listening to clips from that public hearing, recorded by documentary filmmaker Regis Tremblay, and then he and activist Bruce Gagnon will be joining us for an update on where things stand now.