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Lynne Williams Running as a Green for Governor of Maine

The Maine Green Independent Party, which recently saw two of its members elected to the Portland City Charter Commission, is moving upward in scale with Green Party member Lynne Williams running for Governor of Maine in the elections of 2010.

Lynne Williams shares her life story here, one with many moves in many places and through many institutions and counter-institutions. With electoral work for Tom Hayden and Gary Hart, a PhD in psychology and a legal degree, residence from New York to California to Maine. Considering that Williams is someone who has come to Maine from “away,” it is interesting to me that she ends her biography with a proclamation against “interlopers who seek to colonize Maine.” A more complete introduction to Williams’ campaign principles is here.

Maine Green Independent Party Gubernatorial Candidate Lynne Williams Speaking at a ProtestA reader may be surprised to learn that Williams does not back the current expansion of wind farms into Maine by corporations such as First Wind. Indeed, her current line of work as a lawyer has been to advise the rural communities of and surrounding the town of Lincoln in social movement organizing against the erection of wind farms. Her arguments regarding “the impact of noise, vibrations and light flicker on people and wildlife” has some critics belittling Williams for NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) activism that promotes green industry… just not the sort that smirches residents’ own pretty view and property values. But Williams clearly promotes other forms of wind farm development, highlighting this year’s successful arrangement for cooperative windfarm development on Vinalhaven, community owned, community researched, community developed, providing local power and local income.

If a Maine progressive is looking for other indications of Lynne Williams’ bona fide status, a look to the Bangor Daily News supplies detail of Williams’ recent work as a legal backbone for Maine activists in trouble:

As an attorney, she represents Forest Ecology Network and RESTORE: The North Woods in their roles as intervenors in the permitting process for the Plum Creek development proposal on Moosehead Lake. She represents the Wildlife Alliance of Maine and Animal Welfare Institute in their efforts to protect endangered lynx by increasing restrictions on trapping in the state.

She also represents groups that oppose the development of liquefied natural gas terminals in Washington County and southern Maine towns that are concerned about Poland Spring’s use of groundwater in its water-bottling operations.

Former clients include anti-war protesters charged with criminal trespass after refusing to leave the Bangor offices of U.S. Sens. Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, and Friends of Magurrewock, which sought to halt construction of a new border crossing in the Moosehorn National Wildlife Refuge in Calais. She also represented Deane Brown, an inmate at Maine State Prison in Warren who unsuccessfully sued prison officials for barring him from speaking to the media.

Williams has advocated for repeal of Maine’s school administration consolidation law, favors impeachment proceedings against President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney, and briefly represented two men who were accused of trespassing on Martha Stewart’s property on Mount Desert Island. She has helped gay and lesbian couples in Maine register as domestic partners and has been honored by the Peace & Justice Center of Eastern Maine for representing nonviolent protesters of the Iraq war.

Lynne Williams will not be running against incumbent Democrat John Baldacci, who must step down due to term limits. This will be an open election for an open seat. Ongoing evidence of the Green Party’s viability in Maine will make this a good race to watch.

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