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Meet Rand Paul’s Protege in Maine: State Senator Eric Brakey

In the 2014 election cycle, Rand Paul’s “leadership PAC” Reinventing A New Direction sent funds to just one candidate for the Maine State Legislature: Republican Eric Brakey of New Gloucester. With that kind of specificity, it’s fair to say that Rand Paul’s organization singled Eric Brakey as his kind of candidate. Brakey won office and is serving his first term in the Maine Senate, and he’s been a very active first-termer. Here are some of the pieces of legislation he’s become famous for already:

  • Legislative Document (LD) 15: a bill requiring that the state of Maine “provide campaign finance information for legislative elections on a publicly accessible website, including all contributions and independent expenditures used to support or oppose a candidate, sorted by candidate and district.” Rookie mistake: turns out we’ve got one of those already. The bill was quickly declared dead.
  • LD 35, allowing patients to imbibe marijuana in hospitals.
  • LD 80, a bill lowering the minimum age for a legislator from 25 to 21.
  • LD 112, a bill that would remove the requirement that people wear their seat belts. Senator Brakey is perhaps best known for this bill, given the following utterance he was forced to make during the bill’s hearing: “It’s very unfortunate timing that we’re discussion this legislation two days after the 75-car pileup on Interstate 95. At this time we do not know what role seat belts played in this accident. I would imagine that seat belts prevented a lot of injuries.”
  • LD 369, a bill to prevent people in Maine in desperate circumstances from receiving General Assistance funds if they are immigrants. Columnist Chris Busby declared that this push could merit a boycott of Maine similar to the recent boycott of Indiana. Oddly enough, some Democratic Party politicians in “liberal” Portland are jumping on the anti-immigrant bandwagon.
  • LD 531, the Fourth Amendment Protection Act, which would prohibit state law enforcement officers from cooperating with the collection of information about the communications of Mainers without the warrant that the Bill of Rights requires.
  • LD 652, a bill to let Mainers conceal weapons without regulation.
  • LD 1035, a bill to kick needy people off General Assistance after nine months.
  • LD 1037, a bill to prevent newcomers to Maine from receiving government assistance in a time of need.

Eric Brakey, in short, offers for Maine the curious combination of individual liberty and an end to helping those in need that Ron Paul and Rand Paul have offered on the national stage for years.

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