SIDNEY — New York City Councilman Dan Halloran told fellow Republican Liberty Caucus members Sunday that Democrats will continue to come up with “crazy ideas” as long as they are in power in New York and elsewhere.

His prime example?

Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposal to ban sodas larger than 16 ounces in an effort to curb obesity.

“This is the kind of mentality Democrats have brought to government,” he said. “We’re going to throw money and we’re going to throw money and we’re going to throw money at bad ideas that aren’t going to fix anything, but it’s going to make you think it’s going to fix something.”

Halloran, 40, who is running for Congress in New York’s 6th District, spoke at the 3rd Annual Liberty Caucus Calvin Coolidge Clambake in Sidney, an annual fundraiser for the group. Between bites of lobster and clam, about 40 caucus members talked about Ron Paul, local legislative candidates and Gov. Paul LePage.

Two years ago, the group endorsed LePage shortly before the June primary. Vic Berardelli, vice chairman of the group, said LePage had hoped to attend the fundraiser but had another commitment.

“He’s a friend of the RLC,” he said. “We’re going to see if we can work hard to get him re-elected.”

The Republican Liberty Caucus focuses on limited government, free enterprise and individual liberty. A handful of Ron Paul delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa attended the clambake, eagerly awaiting a decision by the national party about whether they can be seated.

Two mainstream Republicans — Peter Cianchette and Jan Staples — have charged that the group was not elected properly during a high-spirited state convention earlier this year. Paul supporters make up 21 of Maine’s 24 delegates.

Ashley Ryan, 21, of South Portland, who was elected to replace Staples as national committeewoman, called the challenge “kind of baloney.”

She said presumptive nominee Mitt Romney should be able to deal with a small group of Paul supporters.

“Come on, man. You’re running for president, and you can’t deal with a couple of people who don’t like you?” she said.

When it comes time in November, she said, she will support the Republican nominee.

Matt McDonald, another Paul delegate, said he thinks the national committee eventually will support them.

“I see us having the support of so many people,” McDonald said.

Halloran, who said he’s a Romney supporter, said he thinks the Republican Party should adopt a big-tent approach to all factions of the party.

“I think that our party needs to look at its big tent a little more objectively,” he said. “Sometimes we miss the forest for the trees. Ron Paul is an example of that. He brought millions of young people into the discussion.”

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.