Archive for May 3rd, 2013

ME Republican Party; Maine Wire Call Out 126th Dem Leaders- for Doing What 125th GOP & Others Before Them Did

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

(Since the admonitions given in this earlier post “Hey Dave- Thanks Bunches For Illustrating Again Why Maine Dems Won BIG In November. Now, Shush!” were ignored and wonkiness/ out-and out, bald-faced lying seem to be the modus operandi of the Right this year, I decided to channel some GOP flavor for this post. ~AP)

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Oh, those “Liberal Elitists in Augusta”– Governor LePage just today tried to warn us all about them! Now, look at the no-good, very bad thing they did!

Gasp and swoon!!

Via Maine Wire:

Governor LePage's "Liberal Elitists in Augusta" (aka Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves) once again refuse to provide Maine with a plan to pay off Maine's hospital debt. NOTE: Completely ignore, as the Maine Wire and Maine GOP do,  the information behind the nefarious pair of no-goodniks!

Governor LePage’s “Liberal Elitists in Augusta” (aka Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves) once again refuse to provide Maine with a plan to pay off Maine’s hospital debt. NOTE: Completely ignore, as the Maine Wire and Maine GOP do, the information behind the nefarious pair of no-goodniks!

    State Democratic leaders have suspended a rule providing for transparency in the proceedings of the Legislature.

    Senate President Justin L. Alfond (D-Cumberland) and Speaker of the House Mark W. Eves (D-North Berwick) informed lawmakers in an email Wednesday that they are suspending the public notice requirement for advertising public hearings.

    “Effective today, the notice requirement for advertising public hearings for bills that are referred to committee after May 3rd is waived entirely,” the Democratic leaders wrote in an email to state lawmakers.

    Suspending the public notice requirement will make it difficult for Maine citizens to monitor the progress of bills in Augusta and attend public hearings to voice their concerns.

House Minority Leader Ken Fredette had the following reaction:

Minority Leader Fredette turns away from the awful badness that is House Speaker Mark Eves and looks to the far right instead for guidance.

Minority Leader Fredette turns away from the awful badness that is House Speaker Mark Eves and looks to the far right instead for guidance.

    “This is symptomatic of some of the problems we’ve been seeing in committees,” said House Republican Leader Kenneth Fredette (R-Newport). “Add to that Democrats continuing to use the one big thing we all agree on, the hospital bill, as a bargaining chip and a lack of credible solutions coming from them on balancing the budget, and we’re bound to have a very rushed final two months of session,” Fredette said.

Assistant Minority Leader Alec Willette concurred:

Wearing a nice suit in a potato field apparently makes sense to Rep. Willette, even if there is not a single potato farmer in Maine who would ever do this.

Wearing a nice suit in a potato field apparently makes sense to Rep. Willette, even if there is not a single potato farmer in Maine who would ever do this.

    Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapelton) said the Democrat’s decision does not bode well for the creation of sound public policy.

    “Anytime you stop advertising public hearings, you’re hindering the public’s ability to weigh in on important issues and, as a result, hindering our ability to craft good public policy,” he said.

As both Fredette and Willette are on their second term in the House, they KNOW what this is about; they know what has happened in the past. This is such a marked difference from the transparency and procedure of the past GOP-led 125th Legislature!

So it was no WONDER that a fuming Maine Republican Party Executive Director Jason Savage this week shot off a quick response in the form of an email blast, to alert the public of these shameless shenanigans, complete with quotes from equally shocked and horrified former Maine Legislative member Rich Cebra.

Here is their press release:

    MAINE GOP: DEMOCRATS SUSPEND TRANSPARENCY, TIP HAND FOR REST OF LEGISLATIVE SESSION
    Back-loaded session now ripe for Dems to ram contentious bills through while denying Maine people a voice

    AUGUSTA – The Maine Republican Party is speaking out about a dangerous and disrespectful situation created by Democratic leadership in the Maine Legislature.

    Yesterday, a memo from Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves notified legislators that the Maine Legislature would be suspending rules requiring public notification for public hearings.

    The memo also indicated that the Democratic majority had only voted 50% of their bills out of committee with about 2 weeks to go until the deadline.

    CebraColor“Democrats took time to try to sell the Governor’s house, ban teenage girls from going tanning for prom, and a host of other petty and low priority bills, but they have failed to do the work they were sent to Augusta to do,” said Maine GOP Chairman Richard M. Cebra.

    “With just a few weeks remaining in the session, it is now clear that Democrat leadership has either completely failed to lead, or has intentionally back-loaded the session to ram through bad and extreme public policy,” said Cebra.

    “The public deserves to know what their government is up to, and this action denies them that ability. The people of Maine are now in the dangerous position of being denied transparency on a back-loaded legislative session ripe for those who would ram bad and extreme policy down the throats of Maine people under the cloak of darkness. This political malpractice is unacceptable,” concluded Cebra.

    Full text of memo here. Maine Wire article here.

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Oh, that is terrible! Awful! How dare they?!?

Hey, wait a minute… what? Could it be that the Maine Wire/ GOP is trying to score cheap political points out of nothing at all?

Nah… couldn’t be. Not those bastions of honesty and truth!

But, then how does one explain today’s media advisory?

Via Maine House Democrats:

    Enclosed please find a notice from the 125th Republican Legislature waiving the two-week time period for public hearing notices for bills referenced after a certain date. This week, Speaker Eves and President Alfond sent committee chairs a similar memo. This is a routine time-management tool used by past legislative leaders — Republicans and Democrats. Similar notices waiving the two-week notification period have occurred in the 125th, 124th, 123rd, 122, and 121st Legislatures. I’d be happy to provide a back log of those memos.

    Please note that public hearing notices are still required. They must be posted on the Legislature’s web site and in the committee room.

Cebra_ethicsSure; sounds like a party operative/ apologist, just trying to cover up for the Dems. One would like to remind the majority party that Maine Republican Party chair Rich Cebra was himself a member of those same 122, 123, 124 and 125th Legislatures.

So it stands to reason that if such notifications HAD been issued, he would certainly know about it!

Well, unless he were unethical, duplicitous or something really gawdawful like that. And goodness knows, that is NOT the case!

Where is your proof, Democrats?

Oh.

This.

Hmm… well, this is awkward!

125th GOP letter

Waiting for Ken Fredette, Alex Willette, Jason Savage, Rich Cebra and Steve Robinson to respond/ issue heart-felt apologies in 3… 2… 1…

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Weekly Democratic Address by Speaker Mark Eves (N Berwick): LePage plays politics with health care; turning down federal health care dollars is worst deal for Maine people

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

(Also released today without embargo. ~AP)

Audio link here.

mark evesGood morning, I’m Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick. Thank you for tuning in.

We’ve all heard stories about someone in our lives who has struggled to pay for health care when they need it most – perhaps a friend, a family member or a neighbor, or it may even be you.

If you walk into any corner store in Maine, you’re likely to see a tin can on the counter to help raise money for someone’s surgery or health care expenses. We hold bean suppers and community potlucks to cover sick Mainers. We run races and pass the hat to fundraise for those who are sick.

Now, the federal government is offering to help take away the need for those tin cans. It will pay for health care coverage for 70,000 hard working Maine people, who aren’t lucky enough to have jobs that provide health insurance.

But Governor LePage is pushing them away.

It’s a good deal that we can’t pass up: Turning down these federal health care dollars would send the money to other states. That’s why Democratic and Republican Governors across the country have already agreed to expand Medicaid in their states.

Let me make this clear: by not accepting these federal dollars, Governor LePage is making a bad deal — the worst deal — for the people of Maine.

Now. I’m asking you to join me — and nearly 70 percent of Maine people – to urge Governor LePage to accept these federal health care dollars — and stop playing politics with people’s health care.

Any business person would agree: it’s a good deal for Maine. It makes good fiscal sense.

It will help bring health care costs down for EVERYONE.

Maine hospitals are required by law to provide care to people without insurance. Often this care is in the form of expensive emergency room visits that could have been prevented with earlier and less expensive treatment. In the health care industry, this is called charity care.

Charity care costs Maine hospitals $200 million per year – and the costs keep going up.

Hospitals pass these charity care costs to consumers, including the state and individuals and businesses with private insurance — driving up all of our bills.

By accepting federal dollars we can significantly reduce that charity care bill. We will lower the state’s costs for Medicaid by $690 million dollars over the next 10 years, according to non-partisan Kaiser Foundation estimates.

When more people have health care coverage, costs go down for all of us.

If we are truly going to address our hospital debt head on, we should accept these federal dollars. Maine’s hospital debt is a symptom of our high health care costs.

Democrats and Governor LePage agree that we must make the final payment on our state’s debt to hospitals. As we make a final payment on Maine’s hospital debt, Democrats believe we must also address the underlying problem that helped cause the debt.

We can’t just treat the symptom; we have to treat the problem.

By accepting federal funds and covering more Mainers, we do just that. To address only one of these elements would leave the job half done.

Join me in urging Governor LePage to accept federal health care dollars and cover more Maine people. Call the Governor’s Office at 287–3531 and tell him to and stop playing politics with people’s health care.

Thank you for listening; I’m Speaker of the House Mark Eves. Have a wonderful day.

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Weekly Address of Governor Paul LePage: Points Fingers at “Liberal Elitists in Augusta”, MPA and Feds- “Medicare Expansion is Welfare Expansion”

Posted on May 3, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

(This week’s address was released earlier this morning without embargo by the Governor’s office. Interesting how the Governor is both accusing Dem leadership of delays and rushes… seems like LePage can’t make up his mind and is just pointing fingers as fast as he can- be it at Senate President Alfond, Speaker of the House Eves, Maine People’s Alliance as well as the federal government! ~AP)

Audio link here.

finger plpHello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

Folks, I am a Franco American, and I come from poverty. Like many of the immigrants who made this country great, Franco Americans lived by a simple code: you work hard; you take care of your family; and you pay your bills. Franco Americans are very frugal, and they don’t spend money they don’t have. They know that if you don’t pay your bills, you will face serious consequences. I learned that the hard way very early in life.

But some of the liberal elitists in Augusta don’t live by that same code. They believe that government will always provide enough money to pay for whatever programs they want, no matter how expensive they are or how much they burden Mainers.

Most legislators in Augusta agree we should pay one of our biggest bills: the $500 million in welfare debt that we owe to Maine’s 39 hospitals. We have been talking about this for months. My plan to pay the hospitals has broad support of Maine citizens, and it has bipartisan support from Republicans and Democrats. So what’s the hold up?

It’s really quite simple. The hold-up comes from just two people: Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves. They are the Democratic leadership, and they are doing everything they can to prevent paying the hospitals.

Even though members of their own party want to pay the hospitals, Alfond and Eves have moved the goal posts once again. Now they won’t pay the hospitals unless Maine agrees to another expensive expansion of Medicaid.

Folks, let’s call it what it is. Medicaid expansion is welfare expansion. That is a completely separate issue than paying the hospitals the half-a-billion dollars we owe them.

Eves said in February that tying different issues together in the same legislation is “Washington-style politics.” Now he is doing exactly that: he is tying the hospital debt to welfare expansion.

To make matters worse, the Maine People’s Alliance, a liberal activist organization that controls the Democratic agenda is spreading misinformation about welfare expansion. The Maine People’s Alliance activists would have you believe that the expansion of welfare covers children, the disabled, and the elderly, but these people are already covered by our existing welfare system. The expansion would cover able-bodied childless adults.

IMG_2872As soon as my plan is approved, the hospitals will get paid, we will release bonds for infrastructure projects and we will inject $700 million into Maine’s economy. This would jumpstart projects that are on hold and create jobs for Maine people. But Democratic leadership would rather rush into welfare expansion – which caused this mess in the first place – than put Mainers to work today.

The federal government claims it will fund welfare expansion for three years. After that, there are no guarantees. Maine could face over $100 million in additional welfare spending in each budget after those three years. Despite those looming costs, the Democratic leadership is eager to expand now and ask questions later.

I don’t operate that way. I won’t spend money we don’t have, whether it is today or three years down the road. I am negotiating with the feds for 100 percent coverage for 10 years before I would even consider expanding Medicaid. My cautious approach would amount to hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for Maine people.

Again, I go back to my Franco American roots. Maine cannot spend money it does not have, and we must pay the bills. We must not include welfare expansion with the plan to pay the hospitals. These issues have nothing to do with each other.

So let’s pay the hospitals and put Mainers back to work. I’m calling on Democratic Leadership to let legislators take a simple up or down vote on my plan. Call Senator Alfond at 287-1515. Call Representative Eves at 287-1300.

Tell them to do the right thing. Tell them to pay the hospitals today.

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