Archive for August 21st, 2012

DNC, NARAL Call on Mitt Romney to Denounce “Human Life Amendment” Inclusion to GOP Platform; RNC Chair Claims “GOP Platform Not Platform of Mitt Romney”

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Earlier today DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and NARAL President Nancy Keenan held a joint phone-in conference call, announcing their intent to demand that GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney denounce the GOP’s platform (PDF warning), passed this morning in Tampa.

Republicans have finally hit rock bottom,” Wasserman-Schultz said. “I don’t have to tell anyone how outrageous Republican Rep. Todd Akin’s comments were this weekend, but unfortunately he’s not alone in his extreme and dangerous views.”

“Mitt Romney has repeatedly endorsed the Republican party platform, including a human life amendment to ban abortion nationwide, without exceptions for rape and incest. This isn’t the kind of leadership that women and their families can afford,” she added. “He should unequivocally denounce the human life amendment and its inclusion in the Republican party platform. That would be a step in the right direction for the GOP.”

“Regardless of their campaign statements, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan represent a party with an extreme anti-choice platform that would deny women access to abortion even in cases of rape or incest,” said (NARAL President Nancy) Keenan. “If they truly believe that the platform ‘shows what the American people can accomplish when government respects their rights,’[1] as stated in the platform preamble, we call on the Romney-Ryan ticket to do just that: respect women’s reproductive rights and denounce the party’s extreme position. Voters are tired of the kind of divisive anti-choice policies that the Republican party has pledged to support. Voters are looking for a leader who respects women’s freedom and privacy. It’s time for Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan to take a real stand on behalf of women.”

The platform states: “We support a human life amendment to the Constitution and endorse legislation to make clear that the Fourteenth Amendment’s protections apply to unborn children.”

The amendment would outlaw many forms of contraception and in vitro fertilization, and would criminalize miscarriages. The platform draft also includes support of mandatory ultrasound bills, clinic regulations, and mandatory waiting periods. It needs to be noted that this extreme position is the same as that approved in 2004 and 2008.

Committee Chair Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, aka “Governor Vaginal Probe” congratulated the committee: “I appreciate the good work that that committee did — in past platforms that has been hours of discussion — and I applaud the committee’s work in affirming our respect for human life,” said Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, the chairman of the platform committee. “Well done.”

But RNC Chair Reince Priebus, sensing the language will be very problematic with women voters this year, has already started to try to spin the approved platform language away from Romney:

“I think as far as the details of some of these things, like an exception for rape or life of the mother, these are not uncommon differences that candidates have and don’t share some of the detail on some of those exceptions,” Priebus said on MSNBC. “This is the platform of the Republican Party; it’s not the platform of Mitt Romney.

So by the RNC Chair’s own admission, their presidential candidate’s platform does not conform with that of his own party. Got it.

Priebus will have to do more than just spinning, flip-flopping and Olympic worthy verbal contortionism to convince unmarried women voters in November, easily one of Romney’s weakest voting blocks.

What is definitely NOT helping the GOP nationally currently is Missouri Rep. Todd Akin’s refusal to quit his Senate race against incumbent Claire McCaskill. Akin and his extreme stance represent a significant portion of the GOP’s platform, and the “top of the ticket” is taking some serious heat from this.

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Romney, Others Call for Todd Akin to “Throw in the Towel”; Quit Missouri Senate Race- Akin refusing to Budge

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

When Mitt Romney says, ‎”Today, his fellow Missourians urged him to step aside, and I think he should accept their counsel and exit the Senate race”, you KNOW he’s really saying, DUDE! I can’t get rid of your stench; get downwind already!!”

The chorus has been quite loud today:

“We do not believe it serves the national interest for Congressman Todd Akin to stay in this race,” said the statement by Sen. Roy Blunt and former senators Danforth, Bond, John Ashcroft and Jim Talent. “The issues at stake are too big, and this election is simply too important. The right decision is to step aside.”

But try as they might, no one is getting Rep. Todd Akin to budge.

“I’m in this race for the long haul and we’re going to win it,” Akin told conservative radio host Dana Loesch. Akin complained his detractors overreacted to a liberal media campaign to take him down. He said fellow Republicans “ran for cover at the first sound of gunfire.”

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BREAKING: Deal In Works To Seat Some Ron Paul Delegates; No Word Yet on Maine’s 21

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

UPDATE, 4:15 pm– Nothing official regarding Maine yet, but rumor has it that Maine has rejected the RNC’s offer. Waiting for confirmation.

Here is a link to ongoing conversation threads, for those who want to follow along in real time.

CNN sharing the story as of an hour ago:

The RNC has agreed to seat 17 Ron Paul delegates from Louisiana, which has been a major point of contention between the Paul campaign and the Romney campaign. In addition, the RNC will also seat additional Paul delegates from Massachusetts, ending the controversy in that state.

There are still ongoing discussions over disputed delegates from Maine, which is being negotiated by Paul advisors, RNC officials and senior Romney staff.

Earlier today, Maine GOP national delegate Matt McDonald posted some thoughts on the situation:

As many of you know the Maine Delegation to the Republican National Convention is sitting in limbo right now… The question that has to be asked is “Why”?

Why are twenty one Delegates, that is one percent of one percent of the total number of Delegate, being treated in such a fashion? Why are twenty one Delegates being treated as if they are some type of threat to the Republican National Convention?

The answer isn’t that Maine Republicans do not support them.They have the full support of Governor Paul LePage (the Governor has threatened to boycott the RNC if the Delegates are not seated), Chairman Charlie Webster, dozens of GOP State Legislators and thousands of Maine Republicans.

The answer isn’t that the Maine Republican Convention back in May was run incorrectly. The parliamentarian, the specialist in Robert’s Rules of Order, did not object to how the Convention was run by the Ron Paul supporting chairman.

The answer isn’t even that the candidate that the Delegates are supporting has a chance of winning.

I am not sure what the answer is, but one thing is for sure: the Maine Delegates deserve much better than limbo.

This story will be updated as needed.

*Related: BREAKING: Maine’s Ron Paul Delegates Reject Webster’s Compromise, Setting Up Messy GOP Convention

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Coalition Partners Release New Ad Highlighting Why Marriage Matters

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

A new educational television ad about why marriage matters to all Maine families will be broadcast statewide beginning today. The 30 second ad features Pat and Dan Lawson of Monroe, married thirty years, talking about why allowing same-sex couples to marry is important to their family.

The ad, expected to air into September, was developed through the Why Marriage Matters Maine Project, a broad network of organizations supporting the freedom to marry in Maine. It is being paid for by Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders.

“We have a set of twin sons. One’s gay and one’s straight,” Pat says in the ad.

“Marriage is a commitment that comes from your heart. If that person wasn’t there, you’re not going to be complete,” Dan says. “If my son finds someone that he’s in love with and wants to create a bond that’s going to last a lifetime, that’s marriage in my mind.”

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So Long, Dirigo Blue, and Thanks for all the Fish

Posted on August 21, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

(With apologies and all due credit to the late Douglas Adams…)

This morning my friend Gerald Weinand made the sad announcement that after Labor Day, he will be serving as that site’s caretaker only- it is my understanding that Dirigo Blue will still exist, but that daily content will not be provided by him. I have known about this possibility (as well as the circumstances leading to this difficult decision) for quite awhile and have worked with him to investigate options, that unfortunately proved fruitless.

So. What next? Decision time for Andi.

Truth is, I love to write and gab online via new media, and get as much out of it as I give. My own style isn’t as formal or traditionally based journalism as Gerald’s has been; admittedly, my reporting skills nowhere as developed or honed. But, my stuff isn’t all that bad and part of the fun is learning the ropes.

(Photo: Me, Gerald and Bruce at 2012 Maine Dem convo)

Folks, especially members of the Legislature seem obliging, when asked to “explain the bill in language that a housewife turned journalist can understand and report”, to do exactly that. Members of various groups and state agencies have been very generous in explaining proposed bills- the impacts, history leading to the bill, the current situation within Augusta, etc. Then it falls to me to smoosh it altogether and present the story truthfully, accurately and in a timely manner, as well as in a way that provides hopefully information out to people that makes sense.

Maybe that is part of why people have responded so positively. My intentions are good (yeah, I know that one about intentions and paved roads…) and I try to be honest.

Again… so… decision…

I have decided that it makes no sense to stay in the room after the lights go out. When Gerald leaves around Labor Day, so will I- at that point, I will move to posting (for the time being) solely on Maine Progressives Warehouse. Other changes are coming down the road, but it is still to early to lay those out- suffice to say, I am excited about the possibilities and looking forward to the future.

Best of luck, Gerald– my friend, confidant, and online big brother… and thanks. It’s been a blast!

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