Archive for February, 2012

Rachel Sukeforth Announces Candidacy for HD 80 (Monmouth, Litchfield, Wales)

Posted on February 28, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

From her bio:

When asked why she decided to run for State Representative, Rachel Sukeforth, like many, describes the challenges that she and her family have recently faced. She too worries about her economic stability and job security.

“As a recent college graduate, I was surprised at the difficulty I had finding a job in my degree field,” Sukeforth states. “And even now, with a great job, I feel that there is still so much uncertainty in this economy. I grew up in this small town, and I came back after college for the close knit acceptance that I knew this community offered. I want to raise my family here. There are already solid foundation blocks laid here in the community, and it is up to all of us to come together and build a stronger future. I want to be the representative for Litchfield, Monmouth, and Wales because state government does play a key role in developing that future. Government is a product of people coming together and finding the best solution to the issues that arise. There has been a lot of talk about shrinking government; that it’s wasteful. Government does and can work for the people. I hope my future constituents will elect me to go to Augusta to work for them. And help restore their faith in government.”

Sukeforth earned her Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science from Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva, NY. She is employed as a Laboratory Assistant at Woods End Laboratories in Mt. Vernon. This past summer she volunteered with the Friends of the Casco Bay in their Citizen Stewards Water Quality Monitoring Program. She has also volunteered for the Maine People’s Alliance. For the Spring 2009 season, Sukeforth was the Junior Varsity Girl’s Lacrosse coach at Deering High School in Portland. In 2007, she served as Secretary on the now defunct Housing Rehabilitation Planning Committee in Litchfield. As a college student, Sukeforth was an active member of the Campus Greens, the student environmental club, and CloseKnit Handwork Guild, the student handcraft club. She is an alumna of Hebron Academy.

Sukeforth, 26, currently resides on the West Road with her parents and can frequently be seen walking their St. Bernard, Pearl.

Link to her campaign Facebook page.

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MoveOn.Org Asks: “What If Mitt Romney Held A Rally In His Home State, And Nobody Came?”

Posted on February 28, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

During Romney’s Detroit Economic Club speech, C-SPAN panned the camera over the 65K empty seats at Ford Field.

As the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. But apparently not a thousand attendees.

We will see today if this was an indicator of the level of support for Mitt Romney in his home state.

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Joanne Twomey Announces Candidacy for House District 135 (Biddeford)

Posted on February 27, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

From her bio:

“From 1998 to 2006, Joanne Twomey represented Biddeford as the State Representative for District 135. As an environmental activist, Twomey served on the agriculture, conservation and forestry, and natural resources committees. In addition, she collected ash samples from MERC, the large trash burning facility in Biddeford, and brought a two-million dollar fine against the company.

She has also served as a Biddeford City Councilor for 6 years and as Mayor for 4 years. In her capacity as Mayor, she championed a renovation project for Biddeford High School; the school faced losing its accreditation otherwise. Twomey initiated the Open Space Committee that embarked on creating and protecting parks and natural recreation areas. She secured 100 gallons of oil from “Citizens Energy” for 100 Biddeford families as they faced the financial stress of heating their homes. Facing a tough economic landscape, she led the fight to bring jobs to Biddeford by introducing a racino project that twice received support from Biddeford voters; however, did not receive support from the state overall.

In every capacity that Joanne has served, she is an advocate and tireless worker for the citizens that she represents!”

Her campaign Facebook page link.

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VIDEO: House Democratic Steering and Policy Committee: Testimony of Sandra Fluke

Posted on February 25, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Watch here.

Via C-SPAN: “Georgetown Law Center student Sandra Fluke testified about women’s health and contraception. She had been blocked from testifying at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee the previous week on the 2010 health care law regulation requiring employers and insurers provide contraception coverage to their employees. Committee members noted that the previous hearing only had men as witnesses, leading Democratic leaders to call a separate hearing to let a woman’s voice be part of the discussion.”

Some reactions from Democratic lawmakers:

“Following your rejection by the Republicans from the panel,” Pelosi declared, “we’ve heard from over 300,000 people saying we want women’s voices to be heard.”

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) went an order of magnitude higher. “You certainly speak for millions,” he said.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) revised that further. “I know you’re speaking for tens of millions of women,” she informed Fluke. “Can you think of any reason why [Issa] would be so adamant that your voice should not be heard?”

“Chairman Issa’s head,” the young woman replied, “is somewhere I don’t want to go.”

In a poll released the same day by Quinnipiac University, voters by 82% to 12% said it is not wrong to use birth control.

The DCCC had sent out a petition and fundraising e-blast earlier this week, that read in part:

“First, Republicans held a hearing on women’s access to birth control coverage with five men and NO WOMEN.

Now, In a last-minute move, House Republicans have apparently changed their own rules to prevent Congressional television cameras from filming the testimony of Sandra Fluke, the Georgetown law student that Republicans refused to let testify last week on women’s health issues.

We’re calling on Speaker Boehner, Majority Leader Cantor, and House Administration Committee Chairman Dan Lungren to immediately reverse their decision to deny Sandra the right to have her testimony televised.”

They did not. So the Democrats had to improvise, if they wanted the denied testimony to get out to the world.

Sandra Fluke was the lone witness at an unofficial Democratic-sponsored hearing. While the rest of the Capitol was mostly empty, Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, three other Democrats and dozens of mainly young women supporters crowded into a House office building room to applaud Fluke as she spoke of the importance of reproductive health care to women.

Prominently displayed by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., was a photo of five religious leaders, all men and all appearing at the invitation of the Republican majority, testifying last week with Fluke visible in the background, sitting in the visitors’ section.

“We almost ought to thank the chairman (Rep. Darryl Issa, R-CA) for the lack of judgment he had,” in denying a seat to Fluke, Pelosi said.

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David Dutremble Announces Candidacy for Senate District 4 (York)

Posted on February 24, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

(This is an open seat, as Senator Nancy Sullivan is termed out this year.)

From his submitted bio:

David E. Dutremble is 44 years old, the youngest of five children born and raised in Biddeford. Politics have always been a part of his life one way or another.

His parents were the late Richard D. Dutremble and the late Anne S. (Seymour) Dutremble. His father Richard D. Dutremble was York County Sheriff for 17 years, then United States Marshall under the Carter administration. His late Uncle Lucien “Babe” Dutremble has a long standing history in Biddeford politics from Mayor to House Representative, as well as his cousin’s Dennis “Duke” Dutremble, who held the District 4 seat he is seeking to win as well as Senate President. Another cousin, Richard “Ricky” Dutremble, serves as County Commissioner.

“I have lived and worked in Biddeford all my life becoming a full time firefighter in 1988 and currently a Lieutenant for The City of Biddeford. As far as politics I never actually thought of myself in politics, but it suddenly became clear this was something I needed to do. I continued talking about it with my wife Charlene (Roy) Dutremble and she has been supportive of my wanting to seek office. She sees my passion when I talk about running and believes I will be doing what is right for Mainers. It’s time we protect our working middle class and make sure Maine remains an affordable place for our children to live when they get older and our elderly to be able to retire comfortably after they have worked all their lives. I look forward to supporting Maine’s working class in Augusta!”

His email address is ddutrem1@gmail.com.

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(VIDEO) Mal Leary, Maine Press Members, Others Hold Press Conference, Testify Against LD 1805

Posted on February 24, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

“As many of you know, I am a journalist by trade, and I interviewed all the candidates for Governor. Let me read you a quote from the Governor, in our campaign interview. Quote: ‘If I am elected Governor, we’re going to be so open that even you will be amazed.’ I am amazed… but not in the way the Governor thought I would be.” Mal Leary, 2/23/12

For context, Mal Leary has been a journalist throughout his life, working in both Washington D.C. and in Maine as both a reporter and editor. He has won numerous awards for his reporting, both in broadcast and in print and currently reports on state government issues in Maine on radio throughout the state and in several state newspapers. Mal has been a long time member of the Society of Professional Journalists and the Association of Capitol Reporters and Editors. He is the SPJ Sunshine Chair in Maine and is currently the president of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition and is a director of NFOIC.

A press conference was held yesterday morning at the Statehouse by Leary, other members of the Maine Press Association and concerned groups regarding LD 1805, “An Act To Implement Recommendations of the Right To Know Advisory Committee Concerning a Public Records Exception for Proposed Legislation, Reports and Working Papers of the Governor”. Later a public hearing before the Judiciary Committee was held, in which they and others testified against the Governor’s bill. A work session is scheduled for the bill next week.

Here are more clips from the press conference.

Intro by Suzanne Goucher, President and CEO of ME Association of Broadcasters, President of the Maine Freedom of Information Coalition. Her own statements regarding LD 1805 and the conclusion of the press conference.

Shenna Bellows, executive director of ACLU of Maine.

George Smith, former president of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine.

Mike Dowd, editor-in-chief of the Bangor Daily News.

Jim Henderson, former state legislor and Maine State Archivist.

Greg Rossel, WERU Board of Director President.

Conclusion by Goucher, Q/A

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LePage Signs DHHS Budget Bill, LD 1816, Not in Augusta- But in Madison

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

While Gov. Paul LePage spent the day touring businesses in Somerset County, the Maine Legislature passed the Supplemental Budget compromise reached by the Appropriations Committee. The committee spent many long hours and days trying to address the shortfall at the Department of Health and Human Services, and rather than rubber stamp the draconian cuts suggested by the Governor (which may not have even been legal), came up with cutbacks with as little impact on poor Mainers as possible.

So that the committee could continue its work addressing a projected shortfall in the 2013 fiscal year, a member of the Governor’s staff carried the actual bill to Madison, where a Town Hall meeting was scheduled. The Governor signed the bill there, causing a bit of a delay in the start of the Town Hall. Gov. LePage leaves Friday for a weekend meeting of the National Governors Association in Washington, D.C.

Legislative leadership in both parties were hoping to have the budget bill signed and behind them before the weekend.

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Tweets from Governor LePage’s Somerset County “Capital For A Day” Town Hall

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

Here they are!

1. #LePage announced he signed #DHHS budget bill passed earlier today #mepolitics

2. Joining #LePage at Town Hall Winglass (Labor) Aho (DEP) Beardsley Bernhardt (DOT) #mepolitics

3. Also Mayhew (DHHS) Whitcomb (Ag) Bowen (Ed) Treasurer Poliquin #mepolitics

4. Poliquin doesn’t even wait for a question but bashes #MSHA MaineHousing during his intro #mepolitics

5. Just wrapping up intros 25 minutes into Town Hall – so much for questions #mepolitics

6. 1st Q to Poliquin Will you release your Tree Management Plan? He does not answer #LePage steps to defend him #mepolitics

7. 2nd Q about public funding of religious education #LePage choice should be left to parents Not everybody learns same way #mepolitics

8. Q on innovative schools to Bowen says recreated fund eliminated during Baldacci – funding for it in next supplemental budget #mepolitics

9. Q on E/W highway Bernhardt says will bring jobs #LePage we’ve talked to Canadian ptemiers who favor & Fed now interested #mepolitics

10. Bernhardt adds that E/W highway would cross freight rail lines possible intermodal sites #mepolitics

11. @GriffinClubMerv Ack – I meant USFed interest in E/W highway which current scheme has private financed #mepolitics

12. Q on energy costs #LePage industrial & coomercial elect rates will drop 2¢ kWh Rez drop 1¢ kWh #mepolitics

13. #LePage claims that Maine can buy cheap hydroelect from Quebec then tells audience to not sign Alt Energy petition #mepolitics

14. #LePage says Wyoming has cheap elect cuz they use coal but then complains about polluted air coming from western states to Maine #mepolitics

15. Poliquin says state gov’t doesn’t pick winner or losers How does that fit w/attacks on #MSHA to favor for-profit developers #mepolitics

16. #LePage says NH has avg income $60K compared to Maine $45K #mepolitics If only Maine was next to Boston

17. #LePage says we need to figure out how to tax snowbirds more Says US has 2nd highest corp tax rate in world #mepolitics

18. If you missed it #LePage signed #DHHS compromise budget bill passed earlier today by #meleg #mepolitics

19. #LePage “A forest is nothing but a garden that takes longer to grow.” #mepolitics

20. On school choice Bowen said he had choice of 3 different high schools then mentions that his town didn’t have one #mepolitics

21. #LePage There’s a good reason we don’t pay our teachers enuf We have too many of them oer number of students #mepolitics

1. Ran into Treasurer Poliquin ahead of Madison town meeting. Tried to ask him about my FOA request. He ignored me. #mepolitics

2. Skimpy crowd tonight, especially being this close to Waterville. #mepolitics

3. Also very little press in attendance. #mepolitics

4. Bowen says he wants less of a regulatory department & instead assist great work of schools.Yet he wants to rip system apart. #mepolitics

5. Poliquin worried about taxes going up. His neighbors should be too. #mepolitics

6. Poliquin is once again talking about cutting wasteful spending at MSHA. #mepolitics

7. Labor Commissioner Winglass: plenty of jobs available in social service. #mepolitics #notforlong #didntgethememo

8. First question is about tree growth! Poliquin dodges. #mepolitics

9. Poliquin is dodging the question about his tree growth. #mepolitics

10. LePage communications team in complete disarray. #mepolitics

11. Now LePage is trying to cover for Poliquin… #mepolitics

12. LePage says he wants what is best for students and that they should go where is best for them. Including religious schools. #mepolitics

13. Bowen during question about education says that they are no longer a carrot and stick system. Now all about incentives. Huh?? #mepolitics

14. LePage says we need more cordial people in state government. Governor please listen to your own suggestion… #mepolitics

15. LePage is once again talking about energy costs and how Maine is in trouble. Yet we are cheapest in New England. #mepolitics

16. LePage talking about economic mobility as those who flee to Florida and don’t pay taxes. Doesn’t he own a house in Florida?? #mepolitics

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Marriage Makes the Ballot for November 2012

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Photo of the boxes containing more than 100k petition signatures. ~Andi)

Via press release:

The Maine Secretary of State today confirmed that enough signatures have been verified to place a Citizens’ Initiative allowing same-sex couples to receive marriage licenses on the November ballot.

“Just as my own thinking has evolved on this issue, more and more people in Maine are coming to understand that loving, committed same-sex couples should not be denied the freedom to marry,” said Pastor Michael Gray of Old Orchard Beach United Methodist Church and the citizens initiative’s lead signer. “We gathered signatures from voters in more than 450 towns all over Maine, and those people signed the petition because they want the chance to vote on this issue again so their gay and lesbian family, friends and neighbors can have access to marriage licenses.”

“Same-sex couples want to marry for the same reasons other couples want to marry: because they love each other and want to spend their lives together,”
said Betsy Smith, the executive director of EqualityMaine. “During the last two years, our coalition has had thousands of face-to-face conversations about marriage with Mainers who have changed their minds about this issue. There’s no question that momentum is growing for same-sex marriage in Maine.”

“In 2009, our campaign mobilized more than 8,000 volunteers. We believe that number will grow this year as momentum for marriage increases,” said Shenna Bellows, the executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Maine. “People are excited, engaged and willing to work to make sure all loving couples can get married.”

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Keith Welch Announces Candidacy for House District 89 (Farmington, Industry)

Posted on February 23, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

From his press release:

Keith A. Welch of Farmington, a retired public school administrator, announces his candidacy for the Maine House of Representatives for District 89, Farmington and Industry.

A lifelong Democrat, Mr. Welch describes himself as a creative thinker representing a moderate point of view. His leadership background, developed over thirty years as a school principal and director of programs for the handicapped and disadvantaged, has taught him that progress is best made through consensus and the process of give and take while still representing the historic ideals of his party.

Keith was born in Farmington, graduated from Wilton Academy and completed his studies at the University of Maine at Farmington and at Orono.

He believes that every Maine citizen has the right to a fair and impartial voice in Augusta, and is running for the local seat in the Legislature to represent all Farmington and Industry residents. Mr. Welch further states, “I will be a public advocate for the interests of those who enjoy the privileges and rights afforded all Americans, as well as for those whose voices are not always heard.”

Mr. Welch can be reached at 778-3696 or kandjwelch@myfairpoint.net.

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