Archive for November 3rd, 2012

Weekly Address of President Obama: Recovering and Rebuilding After the Storm

Posted on November 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

This weekend, millions of our fellow Americans are still picking up the pieces from one of the worst storms in our history.

I toured New Jersey on Wednesday with Governor Christie, and witnessed some of the terrible devastation firsthand. It’s heartbreaking. Families have lost loved ones. Entire communities have been wiped away. Even some of the first responders who repeatedly put themselves in harm’s way to bravely save the lives of others have suffered losses of their own.

Today, I ask everyone to keep them in your prayers. And as President, I promise them this: your country will be there for you for as long as it takes to recover and rebuild.

Throughout the week, I’ve been in constant contact with governors and mayors in the affected areas, who are doing an excellent job in extraordinarily difficult circumstances. And we owe the first responders and National Guardsmen who have been working around the clock our deepest gratitude.

Our number one concern has been making sure that affected states and communities have everything they need to respond to and recover from this storm.

From the earliest hours, I ordered that resources be made available to states in the path of the storm as soon as they needed them. And I instructed my team not to let red tape and bureaucracy get in the way of solving problems – especially when it came to making sure local utilities could restore power as quickly as possible.

Before the storm hit, FEMA pre-staged emergency response teams from North Carolina to Maine, and deployed resources like food, water, and generators up and down the coast. As the storm passed, thousands of FEMA personnel were on the ground responding to those in need. And by midweek, the Department of Defense was ready to fly in cargo planes that could be loaded with trucks and equipment to help local power companies get up and running faster.

But recovery will be a long, hard road for many communities. There’s a lot of work ahead.

If you’ve been directly impacted by this storm and need temporary assistance getting back on your feet, you can call 1-800-621-FEMA, or apply at DisasterAssistance.gov. If you know folks who are still without power, please spread the word and let them know.

And if you don’t live in an affected area and want to help, supporting the Red Cross is the best and fastest way.

This week, we have been humbled by nature’s destructive power. But we’ve been inspired as well. For when the storm was darkest, the heroism of our fellow citizens shone brightest.

The nurses and doctors at NYU Medical Center who evacuated fragile newborns, carrying some down several flights of stairs.

The firefighters in Queens who battled an inferno from flooded streets, and rescued people from an apartment building by boat.

The Coast Guard crews from North Carolina who saved a sinking ship in stormy seas – and their rescue swimmer who, when he reached those in need, said, “I’m Dan, and I hear you guys need a ride.”

That’s who we are. We’re Americans. When times are tough, we’re tougher. We put others first. We go that extra mile. We open our hearts and our homes to one another, as one American family. We recover, we rebuild, we come back stronger – and together we will do that once more. Thanks, God bless you, and God bless America.

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(1980 Blast from the Past) “Sanfordgate: Shameful Manipulation”

Posted on November 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Read for yourself.

A shame that this didn’t come up when Bradford Littlefield and John Tuttle, running for SD 3, were recently interviewed. But it is interesting to note that Sanford’s charter draft discussions “touched a nerve” earlier this year:

    … the most heated debate was among the commission members themselves, led by Margaret Trowbridge, who accused the commission of driving useless changes, breaking with tradition, and trying to take control of town government away from the public.

    “I’m telling the truth, dammit!” Trowbridge shouted over the protests of commission member and Town Councilor Brad Littlefield, who chaired the meeting in absence of chairman Robert Stackpole and vice chairman Jonathan Mapes. Commission member Gerry Gay was also absent.

Here is a look back into Bradford Littlefield’s 1980 activities, also involving Sanford’s charter.

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Weekly Democratic Address by Rep. Emily Cain (Orono): Stakes are high, make your voice heard

Posted on November 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

Audio link here.

Good morning, I’m State Representative Emily Cain from Orono, the House minority leader.

Thank you for tuning in.

It’s the height of election season, which means most of you are probably fed up with all of the political TV commercials, radio spots, and your overstuffed mail boxes.

On Tuesday, all of that will end. And this election will come down to you. The noise will stop and you will have choices to make when you enter the voting booth.

No matter what political party you belong to or who you plan to vote for, your vote matters. It counts. There is a lot at stake for our country and our state. Our state and our nation have serious challenges to address.

But we can’t do it unless we have leaders who listen to us — and to each other.

Maine needs lawmakers who work together to get our economy on track. We want results — not a partisan or extreme agenda dictated by special interests or big corporations.

We want reasonable solutions for the problems we face each day. We need good paying jobs for a hard day’s work. We need a stronger middle class – that is growing not shrinking.

A working mom or Dad should be able to go to their child’s soccer game after a hard day’s work — not head to a second or third job because they can’t earn enough at the first.

An 82 year old grandmother should not have to choose between paying for her medicine or her groceries.

No student should walk away from college or technical training because they can’t afford it. And, we need to make sure we have those engineering and technology jobs they trained for here in Maine, so they don’t have to leave the state when they graduate.

We want clean air and water so our fishermen and farmers can continue to make a living here and support the amazing Maine brand across the world.

But no one party can do it alone. We must set aside our differences to find common ground.

When you get in that voting booth, you have an opportunity to send a strong message to our leaders. A message that says you care about the future of our state and our country. And that your voice will be heard.
In Maine, we have a tradition of high voter turnout. We know how important our vote is and we won’t take it for granted.

Our voting laws ensure that Maine people can conveniently get to the polls on or before Election Day to vote. The rules for voting are simple: You have to be 18 years old, a U.S. citizen and a live in the municipality where you want to vote.

A photo ID is not required to vote. Again, you do not need a photo ID to vote.

You can register to vote on Election Day.

Do not allow anyone to intimidate and bully you at the polls. Sadly, some may try. The American Civil Liberties Union of Maine will be providing voter protection services on Election Day.

Your vote matters; make it count. Vote on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

Now let’s set aside politics and the election. I want to share some information on how we can help our neighbors to the south who suffered incredible devastation from Hurricane Sandy. In most of Maine, we were fortunate to miss the worst of the storm.

Many of us want to know how we can help the families that have lost everything in the devastation. One simple and easy way each of us can help is to donate to the Red Cross. You can donate $10 by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 or visit RedCross.org.
Thank you very much for listening, I’m Rep. Emily Cain from Orono.

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Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: Protecting Maine’s Most Vulnerable

Posted on November 3, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: |

(This week’s address is a video rather than audio. ~AP)

Many of us in Maine were born into tough circumstances. With the help of friends, family and mentors and a whole lot of hard work, we created a better life for our children and ourselves. To those who have achieved success, I applaud you. I will continue to ensure you are able to live, work and be prosperous in Maine.

However, far too many people are slipping through the cracks. While government cannot be all things to all people, I do believe Mainers should have access to a safety net when they need it most. Right now, some of our most vulnerable Mainers are not being served.

Welfare programs in the State of Maine account for hundreds of millions of dollars. My Administration is advocating for a quality safety net. However, with less and less money coming from the federal government we must prioritize.

Maine has been more generous than most other states when it comes to Medicaid, Maine’s welfare program – we are already well beyond the eligibility levels required by the Affordable Care Act. But as more people become eligible for services and utilize those services at growing rates, our ability to control costs relies on making strategic cuts so that we can continue to serve those most in need.

Maine, like many other states across the country, has asked for waivers from the Federal government so we can serve the people of Maine who are most vulnerable. But, unfortunately, election year politics is getting in the way of finding solutions in Washington.

With fiscal challenges, Maine has had to prioritize programs and services, and last session the Legislature approved reductions in eligibility to our welfare program. These cuts affect 19 and 20 year olds who are able-bodied, and reduce coverage for non-pregnant and non-disabled adults.

Three months ago, Maine asked the Federal government to allow us the flexibility to help those who need it most. Federal law provided the Obama Administration a 90 day time span to make a decision. To our dismay, the Federal Government delayed responding to our request until the 86th day. On the 86th day, we received a letter asking 3 simple and, frankly, irrelevant questions which are clearly meant to stall the process. They now have reset the clock for another 90 days to respond.

I don’t care if the federal government is trying to wait out an election. Maine needs and deserves answers now.

The inflexibility of the Federal Government is out-of-control. Our most vulnerable are not being served in a timely, responsible manner. For example, there are Mainers who are disabled on waiting lists who desperately need services while able-bodied adults receive free health care from you – the taxpayer.

Every month these changes are not implemented we are losing nearly two and a half million dollars. The inflexibility from the federal government is driving our welfare program to insolvency.

To compound the problem, the previous administration withheld payments owed to hospitals to try to keep our welfare program afloat at the sustainable levels. Maine owes hospitals more than $460 million dollars.

Please call your representatives in Washington and demand that the Federal Government puts politics aside and address the needs of our most vulnerable. We are simply asking Washington to follow the wishes of the State of Maine Legislature. Maine needs flexibility to manage our own welfare programs and the time to act is now.

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