Troy Jackson for Congress Addresses 2014 Maine Democratic Convention (Video, Transcript)

Posted on June 2, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Troy Jackson for Congress Addresses 2014 Maine Democratic Convention (as prepared)

      Troy Jackson’s Speech

    Hello fellow Democrats! My name is Troy Jackson and I’m running for Congress because I believe the middle class needs a voice. I’m running for Congress because I don’t hear enough people in Washington saying things that need to be said.

    DSC_0101Like so many, I grew up in a place in Maine where people work unimaginably hard their entire lives only to scrape by and have little to show for it. Too many times, I watched families pack up and leave despite their best efforts. The vast wealth that was made off of Maine’s natural resources was hoarded by industrial landowners from far away who saw us as a tool and the forests of our home as a commodity.

    I really started questioning this when I had a family of my own. Most of you don’t need me to tell you this, but when you have children you stop thinking about yourself and start to see the world around you in an entirely different way. You start to realize you have to do better because your family’s future depends on it.

    In order to do the best I could for my family, I was willing to take any logging job to keep a roof over our heads. Within a few years’ time that meant leaving Allagash every week for jobsites far away from home while Canadian companies cut wood all around our little town. As most of us that live paycheck to paycheck do, I tried to accept it as just the way things are.

    But I knew something wasn’t right, especially on Sunday nights. You see, Sunday nights I would pack my lunchbox and some clothes for the week, preparing for my long drive early in the morning to places on the Golden Road. And Sunday nights, my son, who was three or four by then, would ask me not go. He would tell me that he was going stay awake, holding my hand all night so when morning came I would still be there.

    I used to watch him fight to stay awake with his little hand wrapped around my thumb, as if, by strength of will alone, he could keep me home. As if all the strength he had in his little hand could counter generations of corporate greed that was keeping other young children in the St. John Valley from their parents. It was during those long Sunday nights that would turn into early Monday mornings that I stopped accepting things for the way they were and started thinking about the way they should be.

    DSC_0090Those days took me back to being 12 years old, standing behind my father and his fellow loggers when all they were asking for were decent wages for their hard work. I remember my fear as the rich landowners told them to take what they were being offered or they’d get nothing at all. The fear I felt then was probably nothing compared to the desperation my father must have felt as he stood with his son in front of the man that held his livelihood in his hands. I knew then, just as I knew as a young man with a growing family, and just as I know now, that there was no compromise to be had with people that use their power to keep others down. Instead, you have to make a stand, whether it’s blocking the Canadian border and forcing their hand, or standing up to a tea party Governor when too few are willing to do it. I’ve known people like those land owners and people like Paul LePage all my life. They may think its okay to abuse us and tell us we’re stupid and should go back to the woods. Let me tell you something; when they say I have a black heart, I wear their insult as a badge of honor, because it means that I’m standing up for men and women that have been forgotten and left behind for far too long.

    You’re gonna hear a lot about compromise in this campaign. That’s not why I’m running. I am running for Congress for every family who has laid their heads down at night with the ache of being powerless to change their situation. I am running for every child that watched their parent pack up and go to work away from home for the week, and for every parent who had to let go of their child’s hand to do it. I am running for every person whose story ever went untold while the lobbyists with offices around capitol buildings made damn sure the corporate story was told by passing off things like trickledown economics and free trade as the only option for our future.

    100_4843I stand before you today because I put more faith in the proud loggers of Allagash than in the foreign companies who play them like chess pieces. I put more faith in the lobstermen in Jonesport that literally fly the flag of their union and their right to organize than in the Koch brothers that fly the flag of corporate greed. I put more faith in the folks reviving Lewiston’s downtown than in big box stores like Wal-Mart that are killing downtowns across America. I put more faith in Rumford’s millworkers than in the corporations that want to outsource every single good paying job we have. I put more faith in the nurses in Bangor than in the insurance companies who watered down healthcare reform and prevented us from having a single-payer, universal healthcare system. And I put more faith in our state employees whose pensions were taken out from under them in a “compromise” than I do in the rich who got a 400 million dollar tax cut in exchange.

    My mother is one of the strongest people I have ever known. When I was growing up, she taught me that once you’ve worked hard for your family the best thing you can do is help others.

    She dropped out of school at 15 when she became pregnant with me. She didn’t go back to finish her high school diploma until I was five. When I got a little bit older she found a way to go to college to become a teacher. She was able to take care of me, go to her classes, and get her schoolwork done, all while keeping our home together. When she started teaching, she was making $14,000 a year.

    For a little more than half of that first year we lived in small home on the St. John River. I remember playing with Matchbox cars down by the river and thinking it was a fun place to live.

    But for my mother, it was nothing more than a shack without heat or running water. To her, it was the embodiment of failure.

    When the summer waned and fall came to Maine I remember the cold. And this is why I don’t like to tell this story: Because Mum would remind me how lucky we were, because we weren’t the only family living just like this, and right around us and all over the world people had it much worse. They were colder and more scared than we were, maybe right up the road.

    I think back to those cold nights when I would hear my mother cry. I didn’t know teachers are some of the most poorly paid professionals in this country. And while I knew we were poor, I didn’t know what the term “income inequality” meant.
    I’m not running for Congress because I’ve wanted to for a long time or because I can use it as springboard to bigger and better things.

    I’m running because of income inequality, poverty, unfairness, corporate greed and political cowardice. I have known these things my entire life and I have watched them wreck communities and tear people’s lives and families apart. And during those cold nights in that small shack along the river I never would have thought I would one day have the opportunity to do something about it. If you’re going to run for Congress, you have to know in your heart – in your soul – why you’re running. I run for all those cold nights all across America and all those crying mothers and all those aching families of the middle class I damn sure intend to!

    DSC_0118So I won’t back down when bullies like Paul LePage want to blame struggling parents for the world’s problems. If he doesn’t scare me, John Boehner and Paul Ryan sure as hell won’t.

    I won’t back down when Wall Street wants yet another bank and CEO bailout and hedge fund managers don’t want to be regulated. I won’t back down when some, even in our own party, want to hold hands with the Tea Party to extend tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. I won’t back down when the GOP tries to go after social security and Medicare. I won’t back down when corporate politicians on both sides of the aisle try to pass more free trade agreements. And when the privileged elite tries to keep me quiet with their checkbooks and their political machine, whether it’s at the Canadian border in 1998 or on the campaign trail today, I sure as hell won’t back down.

    We have been told to sit down and shut up for too long, and all it’s got us is less and less while it’s given the wealthy and the privileged more and more, and it’s time we stood up and changed the conversation.

    When the Tea Party goes after the powerless, I will be their power. When Congress forgets the words of the middle class, I will be their voice. When Republicans target the downtrodden, I will be their shield. And when they try to pull the ladder of success up behind them, I will grab it and be there holding it in place, because that ladder is supposed to be there for everyone. Because, damn it, we built that ladder. It’s ours. And no one gets left behind. That is what being a Democrat is about, and that’s what you’ll get from me. I ask you to rise up and stand shoulder to shoulder with me – with your support and with your vote. I won’t let you down. Thank you, Democrats.

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Diane Russell, John Patrick Speak in Support of Troy Jackson for Congress at 2014 ME Dem Convention

Posted on June 2, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , |

(Both speeches below are shared as released.)

Rep. Diane Russell of Portland Introduces Senator John Patrick, Speaks in Support of Troy Jackson for Congress

      Diane Russell Convention Speech

    Hello Democrats! My name is Diane Russell and I am here to speak in support of a voice for those who’ve not had one, in support of a champion for those who need one, and in support of my friend, Troy Jackson. You may be wondering: what do Troy Jackson, a logger from Allagash, and I, a progressive representing Munjoy Hill have in common? More than you might think:

    In 1968, Troy was born to a young couple in Allagash. It was extraordinarily unlikely the generational poverty his family had known would be anything but a challenge for their son. Instead, Troy has turned those trials into an opportunity to stand up for people like us and lead him here, poised to be our voice in Washington.

    Troy grew up under the specter of the landowners who held the lives of northern Maine’s logging families in their hands. At twelve years old he watched them dehumanize his father and dozens of other loggers and truckers by threatening to replace them all with Canadians if they didn’t work for the low wages they insisted upon. Troy hid behind his father as two of the striking woodcutter’s dared challenge them. To their protests the landowners replied, “Grass will grow in the roads of Allagash before we’ll pay another cent.” The memory of the wrongness of using working people as chess pieces to make more profits was powerful and would never leave Troy.

    Years later as a young woodsman with his own family, Troy found himself trapped in the same abusive system his entire community had suffered for decades. He believed if he worked as hard as he possibly could and did his very best for his family he could keep the bills paid and build a better life for his kids. But as millions of Americans, thousands of Mainers, and very few members of Congress know, a person’s “best” has not been enough to make it in this country for a long time now.

    DSC_0027This is Troy’s story, but it’s also ours. This is the story of everyone who has ever wanted to “make it” in America but were paralyzed by the reality of corporate greed, of politicians’ distance from working people, and by the greatest problem of our age: income inequality.

    My Dad is a truck driver from Bryant Pond. For years, I’ve watched him get up at 2:00 am, fill his thermos with coffee, and head off to work. His entire life has been spent working as hard as he possibly could for my brother and I. When I hear Troy Jackson speak, I hear my Dad.

    When I hear Troy Jackson speak I don’t just hear the pain of struggling to take care of his family, I hear the voice of a struggling middle class that feels abandoned and ignored. When Troy Jackson speaks I don’t just hear the fears of a man who is concerned for his children’s future, I hear the fears of millions of Americans who every single day wonder if the best days of the middle class are behind us. When Troy Jackson speaks I hear the story of America and the story of Maine and I am here today because it’s time our working class had a voice again. I support Troy Jackson because we deserve – we demand – a voice in the process and a place at the table.

    And now please welcome the Senator from Oxford County, my friend and fellow rabble rouser, John Patrick.

Sen. John Patrick of Rumford speaking in support of Troy Jackson for Congress

      John Patrick Convention Speech

    Hello brothers and sisters! My name is John Patrick, and I’m a maintenance worker at the mill in Rumford, a proud member of the United Steelworkers Local 900, and a proud Labor Democrat. – {pause} – I’ve worked at the mill my entire adult life, just like my father and my brothers and sisters.

    I had served in the legislature for two years before Troy Dale Jackson got there. Like many people, my first estimation of Troy Jackson was that he was a quiet, unpolished young man who spoke with a thick accent. Boy, wasn’t I wrong. Well, not about the accent.

    It didn’t take me long to understand who Troy Jackson really is. – {pause} – He is far and away the strongest voice, the fiercest advocate, and the most determined fighter for working people that I have ever seen.

    Time and time again, I’ve seen Troy stand up to the Republicans, the big companies, and even Wall Street corporate Democrats who need to be reminded that we are supposed to represent the people of Maine who don’t have lobbyists to do their bidding.

    I was never more proud than in 2011 when Troy Jackson lead a small group of Democrats in the Senate to try to block Paul LePage’s 400 million dollar tax cut for the wealthy, a tax cut that was balanced on the backs of working people and the middle class. Troy understood that standing up for working people is important, and unfortunately, too many Democrats then and now need to be reminded of that.

    Brothers and sisters – {pause} – this election offers us a clear choice: we can send someone to congress who makes the middle class one of their talking points, or we can send Troy Jackson to Washington and have a representative that will make the middle class a focal point. – {pause} – In the 430-some congressional districts all over this country there are hundreds of candidates telling people that they’re going to personally go to Washington and bring everyone together and somehow magically make bipartisanship happen.

    Folks, let’s be honest: – {pause} – the people who tell us those things do it because it polls well and it helps them win elections. Every two years we hear about it and yet Congress is more polarized than ever. – {pause} – So I’m going to tell it like it is: whoever we elect to Congress from this district isn’t going to go to DC and bring Democrats and Republicans together. They aren’t going to get Democratic and Republican leadership to hold hands and pass some super-budget that saves the world. But here’s what they can do, – {pause} – and this is why we need Troy Jackson.

    DSC_0032Our next member of Congress can take on the tea party in their radical assault on social security and medicare – just like Troy did when he stood up to LePage to fight for pensions. Our next member of Congress can push fellow Democrats to speak out against the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy and remind Americans what supply-side economics really is – {pause} – a bunch of nonsense. And our next member of Congress can fight like the dickens to make sure our next health care reform results in a universal, single-payer system – {pause} – Ask Troy Jackson about healthcare – {pause} – he’s on pacemaker #3 that he wouldn’t afford without state sponsored healthcare. Troy is giving up that healthcare to run for this seat so he can fight to give that healthcare to all of us.

    Ladies and gentleman, Troy Jackson is the only politician I’ve ever truly believed in. This is the person we need on the floor of Congress – {pause} – giving them hell every single day. – {pause} – This is the person we need to choose as our nominee on June 10th. Fellow Democrats – ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the next congressperson from Maine, my friend, and a friend of every working man and woman, Troy Dale Jackson.

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2014 Maine Democratic Party Convention Videos: Day 2, 5/31/14 (Saturday)

Posted on June 2, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

(With this next batch, I will be setting videos with released prepared speeches individually as well. Please note that a request was made to the Cain campaign and as of this morning, there has been no response yet- if the text of her speech is forwarded, hers also will be set as a stand-alone post.)

1. Secretary of State Matt Dunlap Addresses 2014 ME Dem Convention

2. Attorney General Janet Mills Addresses 2014 Maine Democratic Convention

3. Androscoggin Chair Tom Reynolds Introduces Shenna Bellows for Senate at Convention

4. U.S. Senate Democratic Candidate Shenna Bellows Addresses Convention

5. Rep. Peggy Rotundo of Lewiston Introduces Emily Cain for Congress

6. Emily Cain for Congress Addresses Convention

7.Troy Jackson: Core Values” at 2014 Maine Democratic Convention

8. Rep. Diane Russell of Portland speaking in support of Troy Jackson for Congress

9. Sen. John Patrick of Rumford speaking in support of Troy Jackson for Congress

10. Troy Jackson for Congress Addresses 2014 Maine Democratic Convention

11. Mike Michaud for Governor at 2014 Maine Democratic Party Convention

12. Mike Michaud for Governor addresses convention

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Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum (VIDEOS)

Posted on May 23, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

2CD Democratic primary candidates Troy Jackson and Emily Cain cut the ribbon together at the opening of the Oxford County Democrats' 2014 office in S. Paris prior to the forum.

2CD Democratic primary candidates Troy Jackson and Emily Cain cut the ribbon together at the opening of the Oxford County Democrats’ 2014 office in S. Paris prior to the forum.

The fourth public forum between Maine 2nd Congressional District primary candidates State Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash and State Senator Emily Cain of Orono, was held last night in S. Paris, ME.

Previously, the two met in Androscoggin County (Lewiston)- a link here to video clips of that event- Hancock County (Ellsworth) and earlier this week in Aroostook County (Presque Isle) at a televised debate. Link here to WAGM-TV footage and a Storify collection of campaign tweets during that debate.

Hosted by Oxford County Democrats at the Paris Town Office and moderated by selectman Bob Kirchherr, himself the Democratic candidate for House District 73 (Buckfield, Hebron & Paris), the event was a combination of the moderator asking both candidates prepared questions provided by members of the Oxford County Democratic Committee and questions posed by the more than three dozen audience members in attendance.

There will be more opportunities for Maine voters to hear from both candidates, with televised events planned on MPBN and WLBZ and a Washington County Democratic Committee sponsored event hosted in Machias, as well as the 2014 Maine Democratic Party’s convention at Bangor’s Cross Insurance Center on May 30-31.

Here are the full clips from the forum.

1. Introductions at Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum

2. Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum Pt 1

    TOPICS/QUESTIONS:

    1. Maine’s Future
    2. East West Highway
    3. ACA/ Healthcare
    4. Veterans
    5. Tax cuts for wealthy
    6. Lyme disease epidemic, insurance coverage bill

3. Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum Pt 2

    TOPICS/QUESTIONS:
    1. Gun control
    2. Follow-up, location restrictions
    3. Infrastructure and job creation
    4. College debt- current and future

4. Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum Pt 3

    TOPICS/QUESTIONS:
    1. Opportunity Maine- retaining students post graduation
    2. Negative attack ads
    3. Economy, unions, past legislative achievements and endorsements by labor

5. Concluding remarks by Emily Cain at Oxford Co Dem 2CD Candidate Forum

6. Concluding remarks by Troy Jackson at Oxford Co Dem 2CD Candidate Forum

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2nd CD Democratic Candidates Troy Jackson, Emily Cain Answer Questions at Lewiston Forum (VIDEOS)

Posted on April 25, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson answers questions of USM L/A student Jihan Omar on the needs of immigrants.

Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson answers questions of USM L/A student Jihan Omar on the needs of immigrants.

Last night the Androscoggin County Democrats hosted a candidate forum at the L/A USM campus for the open Second Congressional District seat, vacated by Rep. Mike Michaud who is now running for Governor.

Conducted by former Rep. Elaine Makas, the two primary challengers Troy Jackson and Emily Cain were asked questions on a number of topics. While the pair were on similar pages on many of the topics, their styles in approaching their answers appeared to contrast this race most for the large audience in attendance:

    Cain seemed precise and detailed in her responses while Jackson drew on his personal experiences and connections to the working class.

    “Troy reminds me a little more of myself,” said Jimmy McHugh, a retired boilermaker from Mexico. “I love to hear someone like him talk about the struggles I’ve had to go through. He’s a regular guy, like me.”

    Others said they valued Cain’s record in Augusta and her ability to find solutions, broker deals and bring Republicans and Democrats together.

1. Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (Allagash) opening statement:

2. State Senator Emily Cain (Orono) opening statement:

3. Q1 (Healthcare): “Do you feel that healthcare is a human right, and would you support a universal, single payer system? And if so, how would you ensure that everyone would be covered by a single payer system, that no one would be left out because of economic hardship?”

4. Q2 (Veterans 1): “For the past 13 years, we have been at war in Afghanistan and for part of that period with Iraq as well. Millions of Americans answered the call to service during that time and continue to to do in Afghanistan today. Our veterans are equipped with the strength of character, resiliency, and dedication to public service that military service breeds. They have been leaders in the most austere environments, possess the adaptability necessary to overcome adversity and understand how to work as part of a selfless team. Can you please share with us how you would use your position as a Congressman or Congresswoman to help veterans lead successful lives after service and to reach their full potential within their communities and the workforce?”

5. Q3 (Veterans 2): “Recently, the Veterans Administration has been outsourcing its disability claims to expedite the processing of the thousands of backlogged claims for veterans. The goal was to have the claims reviewed within a 3-6 month period. My claim was initiated in April 2013, outsourced to Tacoma, Washington, and has not been reviewed, and contact with them has been impossible. Other veterans are experiencing similar problems. What would you do to address this problem?”

6. Q4 (Seniors): “Some seniors in Maine have only their Social Security checks to live on. The biggest concerns of seniors today is that my Social Security check be in the mail or deposited into my bank account as promised. What would your solution be to strengthen the Social Security Trust fund?”

7. Q5 (Immigration): “Our community has experienced some rapid demographic changes over the past decade or so as African immigrants have relocated to the area. The have been inconsistent response to the arrival of New Mainers both by local leadership and in terms of governmental support. In Lewiston and Auburn most New Mainers are refugees from Africa, primarily Somalia- however, as neither Lewiston nor Auburn is designated as a Primary Resettlement Site, and as many who relocate to this area are Secondary Migrants (in that the have lived in another US city before coming here), neither the immigrants nor the communities in which they settle receive much (if any) governmental support to assist with the burdens of adjusting to life in a new culture and city. What are your plans, as a future Congressperson representing our area, to address the challenging disparities and inadequate support received by our communities with regard to new immigrants?”

8. Q6 (Social Services): “Given that Lewiston and Portland host about 1.000 immigrants who are waiting for permanency or seeking asylum, and given that the only source of support they have in General Assistance, what would you do to either shorten the 180 day wait to be issued a work permit, or otherwise help to get the Feds to help with some benefits for them? This is a very ineffective way to support people until they are allowed to work.”

9. Q7 (Education 1): “In 2015 many school districts in the United States will adapt their curriculum to adhere to a new set of academic standards. Although most states have decided to adopt these standards, these changes are not coming without controversy. The Common Core is an educational initiative that outlines benchmarks in English and math that should be met at the end of each grade level. The goal is to ensure that American high school graduates have received an education that prepares them for higher education or direct entry into the workforce. Do you agree with the Common Core?”

10. Q8 (Education 2): “The $1.2 Trillion college debt crisis is crippling students, driving further inequality, and jeopardizing their and the country’s futures. What can you do to alleviate this situation while also maintaining access to public higher education?”

11. Q9 (Economic): “Maine’s rural counties- all of which are in the 2nd Congressional District- are experiencing persistent high unemployment rates, loss of major industrial employers, an out-migration of young people, high rates of child poverty, low educational attainment, falling real estate values, and the resulting decline in median household income. Explain ideas that you have for reversing these serious demographic trends and improving the economy for rural Maine.”

12. Q10 (Jobs/ Labor 1): “Over the last several decades, a large number of companies in Maine and throughout the nation have moved their operations overseas, mostly to countries where wages are low because unions are weak or nonexistent, and safety and health standards and environmental regulations lax or absent. As a result, many Maine workers have lost good-paying jobs. As a member of the U.S. Congress, what measures would you propose or support to stem this drain?”

13. Q11 (Jobs/ Labor 2): “Hard-working Mainers like us pay taxes, but Wall Street doesn’t. The U.S. used to have a Financial Transaction Tax, like a sales tax for huge corporations. It ended in 1966. A small tax of less than 1/2 of 1% on Wall Street transactions can generate hundreds of billions of dollars every year in the U.S. alone. This could be used for things like healthcare, education and public infrastructure projects. Unions in Maine support this so-called “Robin Hood Tax”. If elected, would you vote for the Financial Transaction Tax, a small financial transaction tax so that Wall Street helps clean up the economic mess it helped create?”

14. Q12 (Infrastructure): “At present, Maine’s freight railroads are privately run and are in need of massive overhaul. Many lines are run at speeds restricted to 10 mph. The only scheduled passenger trains that serve the public are run bu Amtrak, a government-run agency. Those trains can cruise at 80 mph. What would you do to improve the situation?”

15. Q13 (International): “The Obama administration has escalated the use of drone warfare and continued the intellengence agencies’ intrusive surveillance tactics both on foreign leaders and on U.S. citizens, including members of Congress. What measures would you support to ensure the executive branch remain accountable to the American people on matters of national security?”

16. Q14 (Environmental 1): “The International Panel on Climate Change recently put out a report arguing that the global community must act very soon to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to avoid catastrophic change by the end of the century, but also noted that the cost of reducing the role of carbon in our economy has also declined dramatically in the last ten years. What actions would you support to accelerate the shift away from a carbon economy? In particular, would you support a revenue-neutral tax on carbon?”

17. Q15 (Environmental 2): “Discuss your position on land-based wind power in Maine, focusing on the conflict of visual/ noise pollution versus renewable power generation.”

18. Q16 (Environmental 3): “This is a question about energy and environment at the national level. Please comment on your vision of future energy development in the U.S. and specifically on the role of hydrofracturing and off-shore oil extraction.”

19. Troy Jackson conclusion: “I won’t back down to the tea party, because, believe me, Paul LePage doesn’t scare me — and trust me, he doesn’t; Ted Cruz and John Boehner won’t either. I think it’s ridiculous that legislators have government-funded health care and have the audacity to stand in the well of the House and the Senate and debate who else should have health care in this country.”

20. Emily Cain conclusion: “We can’t send someone to Washington who thinks bickering and name calling is the right approach. And my approach in Congress, as it has been in Augusta, will be to work together.”

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Political Newcomer Alden Smith Withdraws from 2nd Congressional District Democratic Primary Race

Posted on March 17, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

Via press release issued this morning of the Sangerville native’s decision:

Alden Smith withdraws from Congressional race
Augusta–

Alden Smith addresses Democrats in Lewiston, Sept 2013.

Alden Smith addresses Democrats in Lewiston, Sept 2013.

Alden Smith announced today that he is withdrawing from the Congressional race in Maine’s second district.

    Smith said, “I have been overwhelmed by the grassroots support that got me on the ballot 31 days before the deadline. However, I have not been able to achieve the same financial support. Therefore, I am withdrawing from the Democratic primary race for Maine’s Second Congressional District. The people of our district have the opportunity to select their Democratic candidate from two people, either of whom will serve them well.

    It has been an honor to talk about my vision and the challenges that face Mainers. In the days to come, I plan to stay actively engaged in the fight to build a better life for Mainers.”

Smith is settling in the Belfast area and will be returning to Fletcher School of International Law and Diplomacy to finish his thesis.

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Maine’s Republican Legislature Divided on LD 1066, Medicaid Expansion Bill

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

NOTE: Continuing to dust off past posts regarding Maine Senate Minority Leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), as news broke today that he is considering jumping into the GOP primary race for Mike Michaud’s open seat. Here is the clip linked below in the original write up.

*Related: “Maine Senate Floor Debate On Override Of LePage LD 1509 FY 14-15 Budget Veto (June 26 VIDEOS)”

(Originally posted 18 Jun 2013)

Last week saw a clear division among the 126th Legislature’s GOP caucus regarding whether or not to pass LD 1066, “An Act To Increase Access to Health Coverage and Qualify Maine for Federal Funding”, as Assistant Minority Leader Sen. Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) proposed a “sunset provision” amendment that passed that chamber by a 23-12 vote.

Rising to speak against the provision were Minority Leader Sen. Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo), Sen. Doug Thomas (R-Somerset) , Sen. James Hamper (R-Oxford) , Sen. Garrett Mason (R-Androscoggin) , Sen. David Burns (R-Washington) and Sen. Andre Cushing (R-Penobscot) .

Over in the House, Rep. Deb Sanderson (R-Chelsea) offered a second amendment to the bipartisan Senate approved bill, adding a $100 million dollar fiscal note that was indefinitely postponed by a 88-61 vote.

From her prepared testimony: (shortened dramatically, due to available working space on this post. ~AP)

    “I rise before you today and present an amendment to LD 1066. This amendment seeks to set a clear and distinct priority in our MaineCare program and ensure that its original mission of caring for those who cannot care for themselves is fulfilled….

    Today I speak for the people that we legislators, policy makers and budgeters have shoved into the shadows. Today I’d like to bring them out in the light for you to see. Yes, these are the 3100 people being forced to languish on a waitlist, not receiving essential services because we don’t have the fiscal discipline to make the choices that need to be made in order to fund the care they need… not want… need. Some have been on this list for years….

    This amendment tried to rectify the abuses committed by the legislature and asks that you vote to insist that they begin receiving services by July 1 of THIS year….

    Yes, it will be expensive. This amendment carries a fiscal note of almost $100 million dollars over the upcoming biennium….”

Her colleague Rep. Heather Sirocki (R-Scarborough) rose to speak in support of the amendment:

Then Minority Leader Rep Ken Fredette (R-Newport) spoke in strong opposition, not just to the amendment but to the Medicaid expansion bill as well.

(Later, Fredette would rise again to speak infamously out against the expansion- but, we’ve already covered THAT today!)

Asst Majority Leader Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan) then moved to indefinitely postpone the LD 1066 amendment.

When the House took the bill up again, as amended previously by Asst Minority Leader Senator Roger Katz (R-Kennebec), the vote results revealed some modest gains for the expansion, with 97 voting for enactment.

As expected, Governor LePage vetoed LD 1066 on Monday (now the second time he has vetoed Medicaid expansion), so now it awaits more votes in the Legislature.

Currently, House Majority Leader Seth Berry has moved for the bill to be tabled until later today (June 18) pending reconsideration.

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Maine Senate Floor Debate on Override of LePage LD 1509 FY 14-15 Budget Veto (June 26 VIDEOS)

Posted on December 2, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

3amigosNOTE: Now that Senate Minority leader Mike Thibodeau (R-Waldo) has indicated he is considering entering the #2CD #MEGOP primary fray against former Senate President Kevin (“Third time’s the charm, I tell ya!”) Raye and former Treasurer Bruce (“Which district do I live in, again?”) Poliquin, it’s time to go back through and dust off some posts.

Oh, yeah… Blaine (“I’m running, too!”) Richardson is in the mix there, too- somewhere.

Here’s a goodie- the day Mike Thibodeau vote to sustain LePage’s veto and shut down the entire state government. Ah, good times!


(Originally posted 30 Jun 2013)

Before the Maine Senate voted decisively by a 26-9 tally last Wednesday to override Governor Paul LePage’s Tuesday veto on LD 1509, “An Act Making Unified Appropriations and Allocations for the Expenditures of State Government, General Fund and Other Funds and Changing Certain Provisions of the Law Necessary to the Proper Operations of State Government for the Fiscal Years Ending June 30, 2014 and June 30, 2015”, twenty members of that body rose to deliver speeches.

gop vs gopNOTE: Although Maine Republican Senators Assistant Minority Leader Roger Katz (Kennebec), Pat Flood (Kennebec; member of Appropriations committee), Brian Langley (Hancock), Tom Saviello (Franklin), Roger Sherman (Aroostook) and Edward Youngblood (Penobscot) joined Independent Senator Dick Woodbury (Cumberland) and all 19 Democratic Senators in overriding the Governor’s veto hence preventing a disastrous statewide government shutdown, there were no public statements released by their press office.

The closest one can find would be this scathing letter from Assistant Minority Leader and former Augusta Mayor Roger Katz (Kennebec), which was picked up by the Washington Post.

Katz has taken some heat from his own party for the letter:

    Commenters on a well-known conservative website blasted Katz for attempting to compromise on Medicaid expansion. The senator was dubbed a RINO, a “Republican In Name Only.” One commenter suggested that Katz is predisposed to support liberal policies because he is Jewish and an attorney.

Ugly- and indicative of a party very deeply divided indeed.

Here in order of speakers are clips of the full debate. The statements added are from a Senate Democratic press release sent out after the vote. Additionally was this statement from Senate President Justin Alfond (Cumberland).

    “We did what the people of Maine expect us to do— we passed a responsible budget that will keep the state working,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “This is what we came here to do: work together to find common ground and help our state thrive.”

*Related: Maine Senate Debate On LD 1509, FY 14-15 Biannual Budget (June 13 VIDEOS)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Dawn Hill (York)

    “Today’s vote is no longer a vote on whether you like the budget; today’s vote is a vote to either shut down or not to shut down our state’s government,” said Senator Dawn Hill of York, the Senate Chair of the Appropriations Committee. “I’m proud that our Republican colleagues joined us and stuck together to keep our state going, and pass a responsible, balanced budget for the people of Maine.”

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Pat Flood (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Emily Cain (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Brian Kangley (Hancock)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator David Burns (Washington)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator John Cleveland (Androscoggin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Doug Thomas (Somerset)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Tom Saviello (Franklin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Anne Haskell (Cumberland)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Colleen Lachowicz (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Margaret Craven (Androscoggin)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Chris Johnson (Lincoln)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Stan Gerzofsky (Cumberland)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Andre Cushing (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator John Tuttle (York)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Geoff Gratwick (Penobscot)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Roger Katz (Kennebec)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Troy Jackson (Aroostook)

“I have voted on six biennial budgets in my time in the Legislature, and this is the budget vote I am most proud of,” said Assistant Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “It’s certainly not a perfect budget, but it is a responsible budget. This is what legislating should look like.

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Mike Thibodeau (Waldo)

LD 1509 Veto Override Floor Speech of Maine Senator Seth Goodall (Sagadahoc)

    “While no one got everything they wanted in this budget, everyone got something they needed. That is compromise, and that is what is needed in divided government in order to move Maine forward,” said Senate Majority Leader Seth Goodall of Richmond. “Today’s vote is a vote for a higher responsibility to put our state on solid footing. It’s also a vote for an opportunity to avoid property tax increases on every Maine homeowner. It’s a vote for an investment in our schools and our children–and it’s a vote to keep the lights on.”

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BREAKING: Troy Jackson Announces Maine 2nd Congressional District Run

Posted on July 1, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

Here is the press release sent out this morning.

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Maine State Senator Emily Cain (D- Penobscot) Announces 2 CD Bid Intentions

Posted on June 14, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

(Breaking story and will be updated. ~AP)

Links to Emily Cain’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Via press release, moments ago:

    CAIN LAUNCHES BID FOR CD2 SEAT

    emily cainORONO– State Senator Emily Ann Cain of Orono today announced her intent to run for U.S. Congress in Maine’s Second Congressional District following news that Congressman Mike Michaud is running for Governor.

    In her announcement Cain said that securing the economic future of the Second Congressional District is her reason for entering the race. Cain’s priority is to continue creating good-paying jobs across Maine.

    “During my nine years in the Legislature I have fought to protect and create jobs, make college more affordable, increase accountability in government, and support Maine workers and their families. I will take those same priorities with me when I go to Washington.”

    Cain has a track record of working across party lines to benefit Mainers.

    “I believe government exists to make sure everyone is treated fairly and has a chance to succeed,” Cain said. “I believe it is the responsibility of our elected leaders to work together to create opportunity and make sure the playing field is level for hard-working Maine people.”

    “Congress is broken. The way we fix it is by electing people who know how to get things done – even when partisan tensions run high,” Cain said. “I have the experience to make sure that happens.”

    Cain has filed paperwork with the Federal Elections Commission and is taking deliberate steps to establish a formal campaign organization. An official campaign launch will be planned for later this year.

*RELATED: Michaud “Looking At” 2014 Gubernatorial Run; Cain “Would Consider” Running For Open 2CD Seat

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