The Coastal Packet: Music vs. politics splits Maine Greens

Wednesday, January 18

Music vs. politics splits Maine Greens

Bangor Daily News -A high school band’s performance at President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration has struck the wrong chord with some on Maine’s far left.

Tom MacMillan, a 2015 candidate for Portland mayor, and Seth Baker, who lost a November bid to represent the city in the state Senate, say they’re leaving the Maine Green Independent Party because a party leader will be attending the presidential inauguration.

Instead of sticking with a party that “is unwilling to keep its own leadership in line,” MacMillan said he and Baker would be joining the Socialist Party, which is not currently on the ballot in Maine.

“That was the last straw,” said MacMillan. “It’s really a betrayal of values.”

The thing is, Green Secretary Ben Meiklejohn says he isn’t going for political reasons. He’s a music teacher and director of the Madawaska school band, which was invited to perform in the “Make America Great Again! Welcome Concert” at the Lincoln Memorial on Jan. 19. Trump will be sworn in the following day.

“The students are really excited,” said Meiklejohn, who served on the Portland school board from 2001 to 2007. “I think it would be an injustice to deny them the opportunity they would get because of my political views.”

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