Archive for August 2nd, 2012

Redevelopment Funding for 4 Communities Clarified; Questions Remain Regarding Hold Up For Others

Posted on August 2, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

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(A reminder to readers: Gerald, who has been the one chronicling this story to this point left for vacation this morning. In full disclosure, I live in one of the towns affected. ~Andi)

According to the Lewiston Sun Journal, developer Kevin Bunker said yesterday he has received a $400,000 Maine Rural Development Authority loan to go forward with Livermore Falls’ Lamb Block project.

As collateral, Bunker used a letter from Gov. LePage stating that said bonds would be issued in that amount by June 20, 2015, to repay the loan.

“I needed to have the project done by the end of the year for HealthReach to move into,”
Bunker said. “I couldn’t sit around and wait for the governor to release bond funds. I had time constraints.”

LePage spokeswoman Adrienne Bennett said Wednesday that three other communities that expected to receive funding for projects are either in the process or have been qualified for other funding such as Community Block Development Grants.

“The state is ready and willing to help these communities, and we have demonstrated it,” she said. “What we really want is town officials to reach out to us to find a solution because they are our customers.”

Those three other eligible communities — Eastport, Dover-Foxcroft and Monmouth — secured Community Development Block Grants for their projects, according to Doug Ray, a spokesman for the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. All three “had signed contracts that were well underway” and all three projects fit CDBG guidelines. Eastport received $190,000, Monmouth received $157,641 and Dover-Foxcroft garnered $140,000.

But other communities are still waiting and asking the Governor when it will be their turn:

Bennett said the administration awarded the grants based on an evaluation of each project’s estimated “return on investment”, as well as that economic development department, not LePage, will likely participate in the meeting requested by several town and city administrators.

As Steve Mistler noted in his report, how the administration quantifies the “return of investment” qualifier or whether other projects are falling short of it remains unclear:

Geoff Herman of the Maine Municipal Association said that the current situation complicates the communities’ ability to receive other financing, because they don’t control the issuance of the bonds and the state does.

“Banks and bond houses may need something firm (from the state),” Herman said.

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UPDATEDX2: (VIDEO) MDP/ SDCC Ad: “Paul LePage and the Rubber Stamps”

Posted on August 2, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

The Maine Democratic Party and Senate Democratic Campaign Committees today released a new video, focusing on five 125th Legislative state senators who supported Governor LePage’s agendas with their votes 100% over the past 2 years.

The ad is an ambitious, early paid media campaign, targeting several Republican State Senators Garrett Mason, Senator Tom Martin, Senator Nichi Farnham, Senator Chris Rector, and Senator Lois-Snowe Mello. It includes television ads, a website, and direct mail, that question Governor LePage and the Republicans’ failed record on the economy and middle class Maine families. Check it out.

“Paul LePage came into office promising jobs, but one look at his agenda shows a different story. LePage has pushed through tax cuts for the rich, cut funding for healthcare and worked to increase profits for insurance companies.

But Senators Garrett Mason, Tom Martin, Nichi Farnham, Chris Rector and Lois Snowe-Mello have stood with Paul LePage every step of the way. They’ve given a rubber stamp of approval to the LePage agenda nearly 100% of the time.”

2pm UPDATE: Via MDP press release comes the following statements regarding the ad, which will debut on air in targeted districts tonight.

Maine Democrats mean business this election season and that means making sure Maine voters know what’s happened in the Statehouse since 2010. In the past two years we’ve seen the Republican majority rubber stamp the LePage agenda, leaving middle class and working people behind. It’s our job to make sure voters know that Republicans in the Legislature have supported LePage at every turn – even when the vote hurt their own district. It’s our job to make sure they are held accountable,” said Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party.

“We are coming out strong,” said Justin Alfond, Assistant Senate Democratic Leader. “It’s important for the people of Maine to see that their Republicans have chosen to carry the water for the governor’s anti-middle class agenda instead of standing up for them. Our Democratic candidates reflect Mainers’ values and it is time to set the record straight. We have a plan to move Maine forward and we want Mainers to know Democrats have their back.”

3:30pm UPDATE: The Maine GOP was quick to issue a press release about the ad. Some quotes from Charlie Webster:

“I’m a little confused because the Democrats voted for the bills that enacted the tax cuts and much of the medical welfare reform,” said Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster. “I know they weren’t too thrilled about cutting taxes for working Mainers and curbing welfare, but they did go along with it – does this make them ‘rubber stamps’ of the Republican legislators?”

“When you can’t run on your record, you resort to baseless attack ads,” said Webster. “Maine Democrats are following the Obama playbook of, ‘when your policies caused the problems, just go negative and hope people will forget.'”

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(VIDEO) ALEC Rock

Posted on August 2, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

An interesting twist on the old Schoolhouse Rock clips. Take a look:

A reminder to some of ALEC-affliliated Maine GOP legislative members:

  • Rep. Andre Cushing (R-Hampden)
  • Rep. James M. Hamper (R-Oxford)
  • Rep. R. Ryan Harmon (R-Palermo)
  • Sen. Brian D. Langley (R-Ellsworth)
  • Sen. Debra Plowman (R-Hampden)
  • Sen. Christopher W. Rector (R-Thomaston)
  • Sen. Richard Rosen (R-Bucksport)
  • Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-Winterport)
  • Link to the original “I’m Just a Bill” video.

    For more info on ALEC, please check out Alec Exposed. Of particular interest is the Maine portion of the site.

    *Related- Maine’s Majority: Who is Writing Maine’s Laws?

    * Is there something else behind the proposed DHHS cuts?

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