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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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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Weekly Address of President Obama: Sandy Hook Victim’s Mother Calls for Commonsense Gun Responsibility Reforms

Posted on April 13, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

    Weekly Address: Sandy Hook Victim’s Mother Calls for Commonsense Gun Responsibility Reforms

    The White House

    Remarks of Francine Wheeler
    The President’s Weekly Address

Hi. As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not the President. I’m just a citizen. And as a citizen, I’m here at the White House today because I want to make a difference and I hope you will join me.

My name is Francine Wheeler. My husband David is with me. We live in Sandy Hook, Connecticut.

David and I have two sons. Our older son Nate, soon to be 10 years old, is a fourth grader at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Our younger son, Ben, age six, was murdered in his first-grade classroom on December 14th, exactly 4 months ago this weekend.

David and I lost our beloved son, but Nate lost his best friend. On what turned out to be the last morning of his life, Ben told me, quite out of the blue, “ I still want to be an architect, Mama, but I also want to be a paleontologist, because that’s what Nate is going to be and I want to do everything Nate does.”

Ben’s love of fun and his excitement at the wonders of life were unmatched His boundless energy kept him running across the soccer field long after the game was over. He couldn’t wait to get to school every morning. He sang with perfect pitch and had just played at his third piano recital. Irrepressibly bright and spirited, Ben experienced life at full tilt.

Until that morning. 20 of our children, and 6 of our educators – gone. Out of the blue.

I’ve heard people say that the tidal wave of anguish our country felt on 12/14 has receded. But not for us. To us, it feels as if it happened just yesterday. And in the four months since we lost our loved ones, thousands of other Americans have died at the end of a gun. Thousands of other families across the United States are also drowning in our grief.

Please help us do something before our tragedy becomes your tragedy.

Sometimes, I close my eyes and all I can remember is that awful day waiting at the Sandy Hook Volunteer Firehouse for the boy who would never come home – the same firehouse that was home to Ben’s Tiger Scout Den 6. But other times, I feel Ben’s presence filling me with courage for what I have to do – for him and all the others taken from us so violently and too soon.

We have to convince the Senate to come together and pass commonsense gun responsibility reforms that will make our communities safer and prevent more tragedies like the one we never thought would happen to us.

When I packed for Washington on Monday, it looked like the Senate might not act at all. Then, after the President spoke in Hartford, and a dozen of us met with Senators to share our stories, more than two-thirds of the Senate voted to move forward.

But that’s only the start. They haven’t yet passed any bills that will help keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. And a lot of people are fighting to make sure they never do.

Now is the time to act. Please join us. You can talk to your Senator, too. Or visit WhiteHouse.gov to find out how you can join the President and get involved.

Help this be the moment when real change begins. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.

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Statement by President Obama on House Passage of Senate Fiscal Cliff Bill (Video; Transcript)

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

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

James S. Brady Press Briefing Room

11:20 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT: Happy New Year, everybody.

AUDIENCE: Happy New Year, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT: A central promise of my campaign for President was to change the tax code that was too skewed towards the wealthy at the expense of working middle-class Americans. Tonight we’ve done that. Thanks to the votes of Democrats and Republicans in Congress, I will sign a law that raises taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent of Americans while preventing a middle-class tax hike that could have sent the economy back into recession and obviously had a severe impact on families all across America.

I want to thank all the leaders of the House and Senate. In particular, I want to thank the work that was done by my extraordinary Vice President Joe Biden, as well as Leader Harry Reid, Speaker Boehner, Nancy Pelosi, and Mitch McConnell. Everybody worked very hard on this and I appreciate it. And, Joe, once again, I want to thank you for your great work.

Under this law, more than 98 percent of Americans and 97 percent of small businesses will not see their income taxes go up. Millions of families will continue to receive tax credits to help raise their kids and send them to college. Companies will continue to receive tax credits for the research that they do, the investments they make, and the clean energy jobs that they create. And 2 million Americans who are out of work but out there looking, pounding the pavement every day, are going to continue to receive unemployment benefits as long as they’re actively looking for a job.

But I think we all recognize this law is just one step in the broader effort to strengthen our economy and broaden opportunity for everybody. The fact is the deficit is still too high, and we’re still investing too little in the things that we need for the economy to grow as fast as it should.

And that’s why Speaker Boehner and I originally tried to negotiate a larger agreement that would put this country on a path to paying down its debt while also putting Americans back to work rebuilding our roads and bridges, and providing investments in areas like education and job training. Unfortunately, there just wasn’t enough support or time for that kind of large agreement in a lame duck session of Congress. And that failure comes with a cost, as the messy nature of the process over the past several weeks has made business more uncertain and consumers less confident.

But we are continuing to chip away at this problem, step by step. Last year I signed into law $1.7 trillion in deficit reduction. Tonight’s agreement further reduces the deficit by raising $620 billion in revenue from the wealthiest households in America. And there will be more deficit reduction as Congress decides what to do about the automatic spending cuts that we have now delayed for two months.

I want to make this point: As I’ve demonstrated throughout the past several weeks, I am very open to compromise. I agree with Democrats and Republicans that the aging population and the rising cost of health care makes Medicare the biggest contributor to our deficit. I believe we’ve got to find ways to reform that program without hurting seniors who count on it to survive. And I believe that there’s further unnecessary spending in government that we can eliminate.

But we can’t simply cut our way to prosperity. Cutting spending has to go hand-in-hand with further reforms to our tax code so that the wealthiest corporations and individuals can’t take advantage of loopholes and deductions that aren’t available to most Americans. And we can’t keep cutting things like basic research and new technology and still expect to succeed in a 21st century economy. So we’re going to have to continue to move forward in deficit reduction, but we have to do it in a balanced way, making sure that we are growing even as we get a handle on our spending.

Now, one last point I want to make — while I will negotiate over many things, I will not have another debate with this Congress over whether or not they should pay the bills that they’ve already racked up through the laws that they passed. Let me repeat: We can’t not pay bills that we’ve already incurred. If Congress refuses to give the United States government the ability to pay these bills on time, the consequences for the entire global economy would be catastrophic — far worse than the impact of a fiscal cliff.

People will remember, back in 2011, the last time this course of action was threatened, our entire recovery was put at risk. Consumer confidence plunged. Business investment plunged. Growth dropped. We can’t go down that path again.

And today’s agreement enshrines, I think, a principle into law that will remain in place as long as I am President: The deficit needs to be reduced in a way that’s balanced. Everyone pays their fair share. Everyone does their part. That’s how our economy works best. That’s how we grow.

The sum total of all the budget agreements we’ve reached so far proves that there is a path forward, that it is possible if we focus not on our politics but on what’s right for the country. And the one thing that I think, hopefully, in the New Year we’ll focus on is seeing if we can put a package like this together with a little bit less drama, a little less brinksmanship, not scare the heck out of folks quite as much.

We can come together as Democrats and Republicans to cut spending and raise revenue in a way that reduces our deficit, protects our middle class, provides ladders into the middle class for everybody who’s willing to work hard. We can find a way to afford the investments that we need to grow and compete. We can settle this debate, or at the very least, not allow it to be so all-consuming all the time that it stops us from meeting a host of other challenges that we face — creating jobs, boosting incomes, fixing our infrastructure, fixing our immigration system, protecting our planet from the harmful effects of climate change, boosting domestic energy production, protecting our kids from the horrors of gun violence.

It’s not just possible to do these things; it’s an obligation to ourselves and to future generations. And I look forward to working with every single member of Congress to meet this obligation in the New Year.

And I hope that everybody now gets at least a day off, I guess, or a few days off, so that people can refresh themselves, because we’re going to have a lot of work to do in 2013.

Thanks, everybody. Happy New Year.

END 11:28 P.M. EST

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Mainers Reach Out to Senators Collins and Snowe on Tax Fairness, Fiscal Cliff, Proposed Cuts to Safety Net Programs

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

obama snoweWhile President Obama and Congressional leaders negotiate possible solutions to averting the fiscal cliff scernario, Maine citizens are taking matters into their own hands by contacting Senator Susan Collins, out-bound Senator Olympia Snowe and Senator-elect Angus King. Neither Snowe nor Collins has yet signaled a willingness to end Bush tax cuts for individuals making over $250,000 a year, a step that would raise over a trillion a year. Those cuts are due to expire at the end of this year.

According to a new report released by the AFL-CIO, 299,875 Mainers could be negatively impacted if Congress attempts cuts to Social Security, including 55,525 people with disabilities and 24,150 children. Of the 358,004 Mainers who get their health care coverage from Medicaid, 130,862 children and 60,768 seniors could be affected if the lame duck Congress makes cuts to Medicaid benefits. If the Bush tax cuts are renewed, the richest 2% in Maine would receive an average of $27,230 in tax cuts, while workers would receive an average of $1,200. The 2012 House Republican budget plan would cut federal support to Maine’s Medicaid program by at least $6.2 billion over 10 years, further throwing the numbers reported last week to the state’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee into chaos.

(Sidenote: As of today, it is being reported that the budget may not have a $100 million shortfall, but rather be twice as large a deficit.)

Last week volunteers with the Maine People’s Alliance, as part of the organization’s “Fair Share” initiative efforts, visited the senators’ Augusta offices to urge them to support President Obama’s plan to end the Bush-era tax breaks for individuals who make over $250,000 a year. Staffers were presented with copies of more than 50 letters and editorials recently published in Maine newspapers. The letters “serve as a reminder that a strong majority of Mainers support ending tax breaks that disproportionately benefit the wealthy as a way to avert the budget showdown in Washington”, per MPA.

sukeRachel Sukeforth of Litchfield, one of those making the deliveries, saw this consensus first hand as she campaigned for the State House of Representatives over the past year. Last week, a recount showed she had come up only four votes short against a Republican incumbent in a conservative district (HD 80).

“I want Senators Snowe and Collins to know that I just don’t see why, when so many working Mainers like myself and my family are struggling to make ends meet, that our tax rates are being held hostage to protect the incomes of a tiny sliver of very wealthy people,” said Sukeforth.

IMG_0724A recent poll conducted by the Maine People’s Resource Center found that not only did Mainers support tax fairness, but 55.3% of voters believed that increasing taxes on the wealthy would help the economy. Only 29.2% percent thought it would hurt the economy.

“We want to make sure that Senators Snowe and Collins realize that their constituents are watching the budget negotiations in Washington very closely and have been speaking out on this issue for months,” said MPA organizer Jonathan Hillier. “A strong majority of Americans and Mainers have made it very clear that they would rather see tax rates for the wealthy return to Clinton-era levels than see deep cuts to important programs like Medicare and Social Security.”

The Maine People’s Alliance is also launching an online postcard campaign to continue the drumbeat of support for tax fairness.

collins obamaResponding to her constituents’ strong desire to speak to her, Senator Collins has authorized her staff to hold statewide local constituent service hours in all of Maine’s 16 counties tomorrow, in addition to her regularly maintained six state offices (in Caribou, Bangor, Augusta, Lewiston, Portland, and Biddeford). A staff member will be available to provide assistance with federal issues and agencies, such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the Internal Revenue Service. No appointment is necessary and all conversations are strictly confidential.

“It can be incredibly frustrating for people to try and navigate the often muddy waters of federal regulations, and each year thousands of Mainers turn to the talented staff in my state offices for help,” said Senator Collins. “Constituent service is incredibly important to me, and I’m proud of my state office staff, which acts as an important liaison between federal agencies and the people of our state. They understand the cares and concerns of the local areas in which they work because that is also where they live, and they have the expertise to investigate and resolve problems.”

The locations and hours:

    Androscoggin County
    Turner Town Office
    11 Turner Center Road, Turner
    10:00-11:30 AM

    Aroostook County
    Ashland Town Office
    17 Bridgham Street, Ashland
    9:30 – 10:30 AM

    Cumberland County (four locations)
    Falmouth Town Office
    271 Falmouth Road, Falmouth
    10:00-11:00 AM

    Cumberland Town Office
    290 Tuttle Road, Cumberland
    11:30 AM-12:30 PM

    South Portland City Hall
    25 Cottage Road, South Portland
    1:30 PM-3:00 PM

    Cape Elizabeth Town Hall
    320 Ocean House Road, Cape Elizabeth
    3:30 PM-4:30 PM

    Franklin County
    Wilton Town Office
    158 Weld Road, Wilton
    12:30-2:00pm

    Hancock County
    Lamoine Town Office
    686 Douglas Highway, Lamoine
    9:30-11:00 AM

    Kennebec County
    Winthrop Town Office
    17 Highland Avenue, Winthrop
    10:30-11:30 AM

    Knox County
    Camden Town Office
    29 Elm Street, Conference Room
    Camden
    1:00 – 3:00 PM

    Lincoln County
    Newcastle Town Office
    4 Pump Street, Newcastle
    3:30-4:30 PM

    Oxford County
    Norway Town Office
    19 Danforth Street, Norway
    3:00-4:30 PM

    Penobscot County
    Millinocket Town Office
    197 Penobscot Avenue, Millinocket
    10:00-11:30 AM

    Piscataquis County
    Greenville Town Office
    7 Minden Street, Greenville
    10:00-11:30 AM

    Sagadahoc County
    Topsham Town Office
    100 Main Street, 2nd Floor Conference Room
    Topsham
    1:30-2:30 PM

    Somerset County
    Norridgewock Town Office
    16 Perkins Street, Norridgewock
    8:30-9:30 AM

    Waldo County
    Belfast City Hall
    131 Church Street, Belfast
    1:30 – 3:00 PM

    Washington County

    Danforth Town Office
    18 Central Street, Danforth
    9:30 – 10:30 AM

    York County (2 Locations)
    Arundel Fire Department
    468 Limerick Road, Arundel
    12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

    Berwick Town Hall
    11 Square Street, Berwick
    12:00 PM – 1:30 PM

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Weekly Address of President Obama: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts to Grow the Economy

Posted on November 10, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , |

Hello, everybody.

On Tuesday, America went to the polls. And the message you sent was clear: you voted for action, not politics as usual. You elected us to focus on your jobs, not ours.

That’s why I’ve invited leaders of both parties to the White House next week, so we can start to build consensus around challenges we can only solve together. I also intend to bring in business, labor and civic leaders from outside Washington to get their ideas and input as well.

At a time when our economy is still recovering from the Great Recession, our top priority has to be jobs and growth. That’s the focus of the plan I talked about during the campaign. It’s a plan to reward businesses that create jobs here in America, and give people access to the education and training that those businesses are looking for. It’s a plan to rebuild our infrastructure and keep us on the cutting edge of innovation and clean energy. And it’s a plan to reduce our deficit in a balanced and responsible way.

This is even more important because at the end of this year, we face a series of deadlines that require us to make major decisions about how to pay down our deficit – decisions that will have a huge impact on the economy and the middle class, now and in the future.

Last year, I worked with Democrats and Republicans to cut a trillion dollars’ worth of spending, and I intend to work with both parties to do more. But as I said over and over again on the campaign trail, we can’t just cut our way to prosperity. If we’re serious about reducing the deficit, we have to combine spending cuts with revenue – and that means asking the wealthiest Americans to pay a little more in taxes. That’s how we did it when Bill Clinton was President. And that’s the only way we can afford to invest in education and job training and manufacturing – all the ingredients of a strong middle class and a strong economy.

Already, I’ve put forward a detailed plan that allows us to make these investments while reducing our deficit by $4 trillion over the next decade. Now, I’m open to compromise and new ideas. But I refuse to accept any approach that isn’t balanced. I will not ask students or seniors or middle-class families to pay down the entire deficit while people making over $250,000 aren’t asked to pay a dime more in taxes. This was a central question in the election. And on Tuesday, we found out that the majority of Americans agree with my approach – that includes Democrats, Independents, and Republicans.

Now we need a majority in Congress to listen – and they should start by making sure taxes don’t go up on the 98% of Americans making under $250,000 a year starting January 1. This is something we all agree on. Even as we negotiate a broader deficit reduction package, Congress should extend middle-class tax cuts right now. It’s a step that would give millions of families and 97% of small businesses the peace of mind that will lead to new jobs and faster growth. There’s no reason to wait.

We know there will be differences and disagreements in the months to come. That’s part of what makes our political system work. But on Tuesday, you said loud and clear that you won’t tolerate dysfunction, or politicians who see compromise as a dirty word. Not when so many of your families are still struggling.

Instead, you want cooperation. You want action. That’s what I plan to deliver in my second term, and I expect to find leaders from both parties willing to join me.

Thanks, and have a great weekend.

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