Archive for October 1st, 2012

(UPDATED) LePage Fires Back at Maine Conservation Voters: Scorecard Deserves ‘I’ for “incomplete, irrelevant and inaccurate”

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

Apparently the Governor disagrees strongly with the Maine Conservation Voters’ Report Card grading of a “D” for LePage and his administration earlier today. Late this afternoon, he and his staff fired back with a press release:

LePage Administration Continues to Protect Maine’s Environment and Natural Resources
Governor LePage calls out MCV for politically-charged grade

AUGUSTA Today, the Maine Conservation Voters (MCV) released a scorecard which unrealistically reflects the efforts of the LePage Administration relating to Maine’s clear air, water, land and wildlife. However, the ‘D’ rating from “A Report Card to the People of Maine” is no surprise to the Governor because MCV is known to be a politically motivated group.

“This scorecard deserves an ‘I’ for incomplete, irrelevant and inaccurate,” commented Governor Paul LePage after learning of the report. “I am disappointed that despite my Administration’s hard work on the natural resources areas over two years and our willingness to engage that this is the result. Our natural resource-based agencies continue to be committed to promote good stewardship of our natural resources and ensure a sustainable economy through pragmatic protections.”

According to the Maine Conservation Voters website, the organization’s 2012 political endorsements reflect support for Democrats 82 percent of the time with 90 percent approval to non-republican candidates. However, political intent aside, the information provided in “A Report Card to the People of Maine” is inaccurate. The LePage administration continues to protect Maine’s environment and natural resources through various initiatives among which effectively implement safer chemical regulations, improve product stewardship programs, and protect clean water for Maine’s natural resource-based industries.

“The hardworking people of Maine, our fisherman, farmers and loggers, understand how our administration is working toward policies that encourage a sustainable industry and prosperous Maine,” said Governor LePage. “While Maine Conservation Voters attempts to sway a handful of voters my administration will continue to work for all Mainers.”

UPDATED (5:30pm): Not satisfied with his own office’s response, the Governor issued a press release from the Department of Marine Resources moments after the above LePage retort to MCV:

    Department of Marine Resources Response to MCV Report Card

    The Department of Marine Resources (DMR) welcomes Maine Conservation Voter’s acknowledgement of our accomplishments with regard to development of a rotational management plan for scallops, establishment of a permit bank to protect Maine’s access to the groundfishery, and the Department of Environmental Protection’s oil-spill preparedness activities.

    However, the department strongly disagrees with MCV’s characterization of the LePage Administration’s efforts on two key issues: 1) protection of clean water for Maine’s shellfish industry, and 2) the removal of the Great Works dam in the restoration of the Penobscot River.

    Under the LePage Administration, the Department of Marine Resources has made access to safe shellfish a key priority. Legislation was passed in early 2012 (with an emergency preamble signed by the Governor) which changed the structure of the opening and closures of shellfish areas from an emergency rule process to a notification under the Commissioner’s authority, saving staff time that could be redirected to other activities of benefit to the shellfish industry, as well as making the process more understandable and user-friendly for the general public. The phytoplankton species that has the most impact on coastal Maine shellfish resources is Alexandrium (red tide). This species of phytoplankton occurs well offshore where established cyst beds exist. It is important to note and there is no direct connection between localized nitrogen pollution and the abundance or duration of red tide blooms in coastal Maine waters. DMR, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, and Department of Health and Human Services have made a concerted effort to improve communications to resolve known fecal pollution issues, as sources of fecal pollution have the single largest impact on our shellfish resources.

    Additionally, on June 11th, the Great Works Dam removal on the Penobscot River commenced. Commissioner of Marine Resources, Patrick Keliher, whose personal work history on this project is extensive, attended the ceremonies on behalf of Governor Paul LePage, noting in his address that the day was “celebration of a project which is the embodiment of many of the goals of this Administration: increased hydropower production, improved business certainty, and the provision of a wealth of economic prospects through rebuilt fisheries.” He also noted that while the Governor has previously expressed his concerns about dam removal in the context of our broader energy needs, he appreciates the long history of collaboration among numerous and diverse interests that have advanced the Penobscot project over many years, and the positive outcomes for both energy and environment that resulted from the Great Works Dam removal.

    “I am disappointed that Maine Conservation Voters has so egregiously mischaracterized the LePage Administration’s efforts to protect Maine’s marine resources industry,” said Commissioner Patrick Keliher. “We have made great efforts to collaborate with other departments and the general public to ensure the health and safety of our marine environment and the industries which depend on it. Although we appreciate MCV has recognized our work in some areas, we believe their criticisms do not accurately represent our efforts to preserve Maine’s environment.”


*Related: Maine Conservation Voters Release 2010-12 Report Card On Governor LePage…

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MSHA Announces New Director

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , |

Via press release:

Maine State Housing Authority Welcomes New Director

John Gallagher brings affordable housing development, finance experience to position


AUGUSTA – The Maine State Housing Authority today welcomes John Gallagher as its new director. Mr. Gallagher, who was nominated by Governor Paul LePage in August and received legislative confirmation on September 6, becomes MaineHousing’s 11th director since the quasi-independent governmental entity was created in 1969.

“Our focus is on the future of this organization,” Mr. Gallagher said. “While we may need to resolve a few issues from the past, we’re welcoming change and embracing opportunity. Our goal is to improve upon the work of this mission-driven agency. We’re going to do better.”

The rest of the release can be found here. His nomination acceptance speech is here.

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New Ad Released by Rep. Mike Michaud Focuses on 29 Year Record, Issues

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

It’s worth noting that earlier today, Daily Kos moved Mike’s 2CD run from “likely D” to “safe D”:

    ME-02 (Likely D to Safe D): Just because he represents an unusual rural district that always seems to threaten to take a turn toward the conservative, Dem Rep. Mike Michaud often makes various watch lists. But he’s a good fit for ME-02, and public polling has showed him with dominant leads over his GOP opponent, Kevin Raye.

Here is an earlier released ad from a few weeks ago, focusing on Mike’s work for veterans:

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(UPDATED) Maine Conservation Voters Release 2010-12 Report Card on Governor LePage…

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

(6pm update: Link to video of press conference)

… and the results aren’t very good.

MCV, who has been issuing report cards on Maine’s sitting Governor since 2006, held a press conference at the State House this morning to release their report to the public where speakers expressed their disappointment with LePage’s legislation and lack of understanding about how a large number of Maine businesses and industries require solid environmentally protective policy in Augusta.

“Maine people have long understood a simple truth: our environment, our health, and our economic opportunities all go hand-in-hand. It is unwise and unnecessary to choose one over the others,” stated Leslie Harroun, Board President of Maine Conservation Voters. “A review of the Governor’s record indicates that rather than moving Maine forward, many of the Governor’s actions do not reflect Maine values and instead put our air, water, land, and wildlife at risk.”

“Instead of building on the Maine brand, the Governor advanced policies that took a short-term approach to economic development and didn’t create value for our children and grandchildren,” said Kevin Slater, a Maine Guide from Newry. “As a result, core environmental protections have been weakened. The Governor needs to get back on track by investing in timberland, farmland, and coastal land, and working to improve the health of Maine’s rivers and waters.”

“While we appreciate some positive outcomes from the LePage administration, most represent the ongoing responsibilities of government agencies,” stated Barrie Brusila, a forester from Warren. “They are simply not enough to offset the many policies the Governor advanced that take Maine in the wrong direction. The Governor acted to weaken state agencies and, by failing to issue voter-approved bonds, he missed opportunities to lower energy costs and help municipalities improve water quality, promote economic development in environmentally sustainable ways, and support the good health and good jobs that Maine’s clean water and greener technologies can provide.”

“All in all, the Governor’s first two years have been bad news for Maine children and families. It’s time for him to get back on track,”
said Laura Brady, a mother of two from Hallowell. “The Governor needs to make children’s products safer by naming new Priority Chemicals under the Kid-Safe Products Act. He also can help build our local economies and put healthy local food in school cafeterias by supporting the Farm and Fish to School Program. If one of my kids ever comes home with a D on her report card, I will have her work very hard to get back on track. I expect nothing less from Governor LePage.”

“Governor LePage’s approach to conserving Maine’s natural resources is out of step with Maine’s history of enacting environmental protections that support our economy, our communities, and our health,” said Harroun. “We encourage the Governor to shift to a more productive policy agenda. We believe the five initiatives we have recommended will create sustainable jobs, attract new employers and entrepreneurs, keep Maine people healthy, lower costs for families and businesses, and keep young people living and working in the state.”

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Maine People’s Alliance: Stand Up for a Fair Share

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

MPA executive director Jesse Graham sent out the following video clip late last week, announcing the official kick-off of the organization’s “Fair Share” campaign. Some of the accompanying email blast:

    “If everyone, including the wealthiest, pays their fair share in taxes and everyone gets a fair shot at opportunity, we can all have a stronger, better state.

    Jobs, health care, education and the economy are all connected, and by tackling them together we can make life better for everyone.

    We need to elect the right legislators here in Maine that will stop Governor LePage’s extreme agenda and put us on the path to a Fair Share economy and then we need to continue our campaign to hold them accountable and achieve our vision for the state.”

Here is the clip and information from their website about the initiative.

    “It’s time to promote a better, more fair vision for our communities and our state and to work to see it actually achieved. It’s time for a Fair Share Economy. Watch our kick-off video and learn more about what a Fair Share Economy would mean for Maine!”

Via Maine People’s Alliance:

    1. In 2009, the top 1% in Maine earned almost as much as the bottom 50% combined.

    2. The top 10% earned nearly as much as everyone else combined.

    3. Low income Mainers paid an overall state and local effective tax rate 70% higher than what the richest 1% pay.

    4. The LePage tax cuts will give the top 1% nearly $3,000 in tax breaks. In contrast, most Mainers will get less than $100 back.

    5. Wal-Mart gets over $1 million a year in tax breaks. Maine gives away more in tax breaks each year than we spend in actual programs.


Our Plan to Pass Through the State Legislature or Referendum:

    1. Universal education from pre-K through college. Education is a human right. From the time a child is 3 years old until they enroll in the University of Maine or Community College system, their education should be free.

    2. $1 billion to eliminate unemployment. Meaningful work is a human right. The Job Creation Fund will create jobs in key sectors of the economy, such as infrastructure, health care, clean energy, and education. We’ll also raise the minimum wage to $10/hr to get closer to a living wage.

    3. Publicly Financed Health Care. Health care is a human right. In a “single payer” system with no health insurance companies, everyone gets the care they need by contributing what they can afford through taxes.

    4. We’ll pay for it by making our tax system fair. Lower taxes for the bottom 70%. The top 10% will pay 5% more than low-income Mainers pay now.

For more information visit www.mainepeoplesalliance.org/fairshare

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