Rally of over 1400 supporters held 10/24/14 at Scarborough High School. Order of speakers:
1. State Senator Jim Boyle of Gorham
2. US Senate candidate Shenna Bellows
3. ME-02 2CD candidate State Senator Emily Cain
4. Congressman Chellie Pingree, 1CD
5. Former Obama admin/ SBA head Karen Mills of Brunswick
6. Gubernatorial candidate Congressman Mike Michaud
7. Former First Lady/ Secretary of State/ Potential 2016 Presidential candidate Hillary Rodham Clinton
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Shenna Bellows At Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
Emily Cain at Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
Rep. Chellie Pingree at Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
Mike Michaud is Introduced at Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
Mike Michaud Speaks at Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
President Bill Clinton Speaks at Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
Conclusion of Clinton-Michaud Portland Rally
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(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
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
1. Maine’s Future
2. East West Highway
3. ACA/ Healthcare
5. Tax cuts for wealthy
6. Lyme disease epidemic, insurance coverage bill
3. Oxford County 2CD Democratic Candidates’ Forum Pt 2
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
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
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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Via press release issued this morning of the Sangerville native’s decision:
Alden Smith withdraws from Congressional race
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.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Live tweets from within the Maine Government Oversight Committee’s probe into alleged document shredding by ME Center for Disease Control officials. (part 1)
Want to know about CDC questioning? @cwilliams55 will be tweeting from the GOC meeting.
Government Oversight Committee starting. Subpoenaed CDC employees are here flanked by lawyers. #mepolitics
Bill Nemitz: #Maine CDC officials’ request for secrecy mocks good #government http://www.pressherald.com/news/newscolumnists/billnemitz/Bill_Nemiz__Will_CDC_scandal_end_up_behind_closed_doors_.html … via @pressherald #mepolitics
Committee deciding whether to take testimony in executive session. If so all testimony would be confidential. #mepolitics
Gov. Oversight meeting debating whether to go into executive session to hear testimony from CDC officials. #mepolitics
Sen Craven: This problem arose out of a lack of transparency which is why she opposes going into executive session. #mepolitics
Beth Ashcroft outlines process and statutes around exec. session at GOC. #mepolitics
Sen. Burns says committee should be trusted to take testimony behind closed doors; don’t want to be used as forum for civil litigation…
Katz says open session goes core of why the committee exists. Ironic if committee responsible for sunshine goes into the dark. #mepolitics
Craven and Katz prefer open session; Burns opposed. #mepolitics
Katz says he has confidence they will get truthful answers. #mepolitics
I wonder if the media present will get to weigh in on the executive session debate? #mepolitics
Johnson speaks for open session. Davis sees as deposition, should be private. #mepolitics
Davis says testimony is like a deposition and it should be handled in private #mepolitics
Cotta brings up the issue of timing with ongoing litigation. #mepolitics
Cotta: either exec. session or wait until after lawsuit complete. #mepolitics
Cain says this is a “new space” for Government Oversight. and at a “precedent-setting moment.” #mepolitics
Accountability is at the heart of Cain’s personal opinion that the work be done in open session. #mepolitics
Sen. Cain in Gov. Oversight Cmt: Making the case for transparency, oversight and accountability in CDC hearing now #mepolitics
Cain: keep discussion in public. Kruger agrees with Cain. Makes motion to keep open session. #mepolitics
It is possible to go in on a case-by-case basis — but they will need a clear motion on why and must take that vote in public. #mepolitics
@thisdog Aren’t depositions turned over to attorneys on the other side?
Rep. Kruger calls for sunlight in oversight cmt despite LePage admin request to block public review of CDC doc shredding case #mepolitics
“We have a lot of attorneys in the room today.” No kidding. #mepolitics
Attorney for DHHS trying to address committee before vote on executive session; Cain, co-chair, wants the vote first #mepolitics
Cain says she doesn’t want a “free-for-all” from the audience. #mepolitics
Government Oversight Committee votes to conduct CDC document shredding probe in public. #mepolitics
Government Oversight Committee votes 7-3 not to go behind closed doors for testimony in document shredding case@WCSH6
GOC votes 7-3 to keep testimony in public #mepolitics
Vote: 7-3 to remain in public session. #mepolitics
Bipartisan oversight cmt votes 7-3 in favor of public session to discuss LePage’s CDC document shredding scandal #mepolitics
Question now: How many of CDC witnesses take 5th, to avoid self-incrimination. That’s what Paul Violette did in 2011 #mepolitics
If you’re allergic to lawyers the GOC meeting this morning is a hazardous environment to be in. #mepolitics
@thisdog There’s room behind us if you get tired of standing
BREAKING: The Maine Legislature’s Government Oversight Committee just denied a request by Gov. LePage’s managers… http://fb.me/6unxKDcM5
Cain: order of testimony – Wigand, Finch, Leahy-Lind, Sockabasin, Pinette, Zukas. #mepolitics
Nemitz on how LePage’s CDC officials’ request for secrecy mocks good govt http://www.pressherald.com/news/newscolumnists/billnemitz/Bill_Nemiz__Will_CDC_scandal_end_up_behind_closed_doors_.html … #mepolitics
Cain: no questioning of witnesses by other witnesses or their attorneys will be allowed.#mepolitics
Legislative panel mulls allowing secret testimony in shredding scandal http://on.wmtw.com/1dZgnES
All those testifying today can have their lawyer with them. Most will likely take the 5th. #mepolitics
Lawyer objecting to broadcasting or televising these proceedings. #mepolitics
Attorney asks that public hearing not be broadcast. #mepolitics
Deb Wigand, first up. Her Attorney requests to turn off live cameras, MPBN. Dep. AG says that won’t comply with FOAA #mepolitics
Attorney for the state says they will allow the broadcast to continue. #mepolitics
Weigand attorney trying to prevent us from recording testimony. AG’s office slams the door on that. Win #2 for the media. #mepolitics
LePage’s CDC lawyers continue to try to block public testimony with legal maneuvers; Oversight cmt says no #mepolitics
They are swearing in witnesses now. #mepolitics
I apologize for the rogue “e” it’s Wigand
Sen. Cain upholds transparency in CDC hearing #mepolitics
Katz starts questions. First on decision to use RFP. #mepolitics
Wigand with attorney. Direction division of population health. Katz asks her about use of RFPs for lead agency. #mepolitics
Wigand is answering first question, so this won’t be a complete stonewalling. #mepolitics
Wigand, dir. of public health, not a defendant in civil suit, BTW. Three of the 5 CDC people here are. #mepolitics
Wigand: Finch told her he was asked to destroy grant docs. He wasn’t comfortable w/it. She defends reason not 2 make it an issue #mepolitics
Wigand said she told Finch to do what he felt comfortable doing.#mepolitics
Maine legislators vote to keep testimony public today in CDC probe. http://tinyurl.com/qfw38v9
Wigand: funding cut for healthy Maine partnerships.#mepolitics
Katz line of questions why not even cut instead of reduction in HMPs. #mepolitics
Katz asks about scoring criteria for Healthy Maine partnership. Which ones will be designated leads. #mepolitics
Question now on the scoring criteria that was created to judge HMPs. Notes first round were not weighted? #mepolitics
Katz ?s aimed @ reason for funding change amid cuts to health program. Key issue b/c report found evidence of grant manipulation #mepolitics
Wigand: recalls no discussion about criteria, including weighting. #mepolitics
Wigand denies destroying or asking anyone to destroy documents #mepolitics
Wigand testifies that CDC workers were asked to destroy documents. #mepolitics
Wigand says she was not asked to shred documents but did hear that somebody was asked to destroy documents. #mepolitics
Wigand: “I have not been asked to destroy any documents.” Also denies asking anyone else to destroy documents. #mepolitics
Wigand says she talked to Finch, who said he was asked to destroy documents and wasn’t comfortable about that. #mepolitics
CDC worker testifies she was aware people in the agency were asked to destroy documents@WCSH6
Maine CDC worker didn’t think destroying document request was for concealment but to cut down on multiple versions of documents@WCSH6
Wigand said she told Finch to do what he felt comfortable doing.#mepolitics
Katz: did you become aware thT Bangor had been second place, then became in first place.#mepolitics
Wigand didn’t recall #mepolitics
Sharon Leahy-Lind with attorney Cynthia Dill pic.twitter.com/O03lBie9fG
Wigand stays on the record and candidly answers. #mepolitics
Wigand: Finch told her he was asked to destroy grant docs. He wasn’t comfortable w/it. She defends reason not 2 make it an issue #mepolitics
Wigand: I was involved in reviewing ideas around criteria, but not ratings.#mepolitics
Wigand: “I saw that as a version control issue.” Attempt at concealment “never occurred to me.” #mepolitics
Wigand on hearing her subordinate saying he was asked to destroy documents: didn’t think this was an effort at concealment. #mepolitics
Wigand says “shred” was a media term but doc destruction was more an issue of “version control” #mepolitics
Why was Finch uncomfortable destroying documents? If it was simply “version control”? #mepolitics
Wigand: defunding was a new thing. #mepolitics
Wigand: I was not involved in scoring HMPs. #mepolitics
Wigand: I don’t remember a discussion about destroying things or keeping things.#mepolitics
Wigand indicating there’s confusion about when to keep working documents. #mepolitics
Wigand says it’s still not clear to her who’s in charge of records retention at the CDC. Wow. #mepolitics
Cain goes back to why Finch was uncomfortable with destruction order. #mepolitics
Wigand: Christine Zukas, defendant in whistleblower suit, asked my subordinate to destroy grant docs #mepolitics
Wigand says it was Zukas who gave the order to destroy documents. #mepolitics
Wigand: “I know it was Christine Zukas” who asked Finch to destroy the documents.#mepolitics
Wigand steps down#mepolitics
Wigand done for now. She answered every question. She is not part of the civil suit. #mepolitics
Finch takes seat before GOC
Finch, senior program manager for community based programs#mepolitics
Finch now up before GOC on CDC doc shred case. #mepolitics
Up next: CDC Senior Program Manager for Community-based Programming Andrew Finch. #mepolitics
Finch: told Wigand he’d been told to purge files of all development criteria for HMPs.#mepolitics
Maine CDC worker says Christine Zukas told another employee to destroy documents @WCSH6
Maine CDC worker Andy Finch says Christine Zukas asked him to purge his files @wcsh6
Finch: was member of working group that created criteria for HMPs. #mepolitics
Maine CDC worker Andy Finch says Chistine Zukas told him to purge his files @WCSH6
Finch: development of criteria was a process, criteria were considered and discarded along the way.#mepolitics
Cain: consider how HMPs would fare under new criteria? Finch: Absolutely not. #mepolitics
Finch, not a defendant in civil suit, up now. Was part of scoring criteria drafting, also says he was asked to destroy docs #mepolitics
Finch: Sharon, Deb and myself came up with initial criteria for scoring 27 HMPs. #mepolitics
CDC worker Andy Finch says instruction to destroy documents was so that previous versions wouldn’t be confused with final documents
Finch: “I have no such sheet in my possession” that had Bangor in second place. #mepolitics
Finch: discussion that it would be ironic if Bangor was not a lead HMPS.#mepolitics
Finch: weighting was changed to scoring. #mepolitics
Finch: CDC group changed weighting of criteria for outcome of funding decisions to show clearer leaders. #mepolitics
Finch: group made decision to change weightings in criteria to achieve greater difference in scores, but not outcome.#mepolitics
Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe: The Government Oversight Committee is taking… http://dlvr.it/587TDY
Just how the scoring for HMPs was manipulated to reach results becomes more clear. #mepolitics
Finch: don’t know why scoring info. not released at time winners announced. #mepolitics
Finch: Zukas told him to destroy documents after she had met with CDC Director Pinnette. #mepolitics
Finch says he had never been asked to destroy, purge, shred etc documents in his 18 years as a state employee #mepolitics
Finch says in 18 years in state gov’t he had never before ordered to destroy documents. #mepolitics
Finch: Never in 18 years asked to destroy docs until 2012. Says Zukas requested it after meeting CDC dir. Pinette #mepolitics
Finch: “I have never been instructed to do that (destroy documents) in my 18 years as an employee”#mepolitics
Finch: “I burned (documents asked to be destroyed)to a disc and removed from my computer.” Gave to OPEGA.#mepolitics
Finch didn’t destroy docs. He burned them to a disc and later turned them over to watchdog agency #mepolitics
Bigger picture here is that it sounds like CDC folks don’t know what public information to keep, who is in charge of it, etc. #mepolitics
Finch says he’s had no training on public document retention. Did not know whon#foaa point was at CDC.#mepolitics
Rep Harvell said he wanted to embrace his “inner-Jack McCoy” here. Looking forward 2 it. He’s legendarily feared in House floor debates.
Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe: The Government Oversight Committee is taking… http://dlvr.it/587ntS
The way the CDC scored this “competition” seems eerily similar to the figure skating judges in Sochi
Maine lawmakers vote to keep testimony public in CDC probe . http://bit.ly/1npEaUL
Let’s remember that we’re talking about steering $4.7 million in taxpayer dollars. #mepolitics
Finch: “it appears that way.” In answer to Katz ? about Bangor moving into 1st after scores were weighted.#mepolitics
Katz compares grant scoring change to making football field goals 4 points after game is settled. Finch doesn’t disagree #mepolitics
Katz: How is what you did different from changing the rules in football after the game? Finch: It isn’t. #mepolitics
Finch: re: destruction request”I had been given this directive and I had not followed through with it.” #mepolitics
Finch: re: destruction request”I had been given this directive and I had not followed through with it.” #mepolitics
Finch: “the director was not involved in the (criteria)development group.” #mepolitics
GREAT football analogy by Katz compares CDC scoring 2 changing rules after a game is over awarding 4 points for FG changing the outcome
Finch: “I presented the different weighting scenarios to Christine Zukas.” #mepolitics
GOC breaks #mepolitics
A public hearing before the Criminal Justice and Public Safety legislative committee was held this morning for LD 1656, “An Act to Increase Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence”, sponsored by Senator Emily Cain (D-Penobscot). The bill builds upon an earlier law sponsored by then-House Democratic Leader Cain requiring law enforcement officers to receive training to use evidence-based domestic violence risk assessments. That earlier law did not specify how the information obtained from the assessments could be used and LD 1656 is meant to clarify how law enforcement, judicial, and community groups share information obtained from the risk assessments in order to plan the most effective response when domestic violence occurs.
A portion of her prepared testimony:
- Today I am here to present LD 1656, An Act to Increase Safety for Victims of Domestic Violence.
As members of this committee, you know better than most that there is no quick fix, no magic wand, and no miracle cure for domestic violence.
I sure wish there was. We all wish it.
Last year, Maine police reported more than 5,500 incidents of domestic violence. State Police total numbers of homicides for 2013 are now available, and the facts are – again – scary and sad. According to the State Police, the number of homicides in 2013 totaled 24, which included one homicide committed in 2012, body discovered in 2013 and a double homicide. Of those 24 homicides, 11 or 46% were the result of domestic violence. In addition, domestic violence homicides were related to 4 additional deaths when murderers killed themselves or were killed by law enforcement.
Since you and I have been engaged in this topic and this work to end domestic violence for many years, I bet you have the same reaction I do when you watch the news and hear about yet another incident of domestic violence. You take it personally, and wonder – what else could we have done? What else can we do? This has to stop.
LD 1656 is not about a new approach to keeping victims of domestic violence safe. It does not create new policy changes. Today’s bill is about making the laws we have passed work better and as intended.
The components in this bill are all improvements to existing laws that are basically working very well. These improvements are badly needed to increase safety for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, as well as to allow the policy, and the coordinated community response to domestic violence, to work the way the legislature intended when we passed laws in prior sessions. These are all changes to existing statute, and I have an additional amendment to the bill that has come to light in the past few weeks.
The bill builds on current law with the following elements:• A judicial ruling in the Thomas case this past fall, related to the Address Confidentiality Act, provided a new interpretation of several phrases within that act in a way that left an unintended safety loophole. This bill repairs that loophole by clarifying the protection provided to victims at high risk by keeping their home addresses confidential after they have relocated for safety.
• In 2012, we worked together on important changes to the bail code related to domestic violence. Some of the changes in bail procedures inadvertently left offenders who are now being detained in jail on the most serious domestic violence offenses and waiting for a judicial review of their bail, still able to call and terrorize their victims from the jail. This bill stops the opportunity for dangerous offenders to contact and terrorize their victims from jail before a no contact order can be put in place.
• This bill integrates previously approved statutes related to domestic violence advocacy and sexual assault privilege with new legislation created in the last legislative session: LD 1493, An Act To Revise the Laws Concerning Criminal History Record Information and Intelligence and Investigative Information Act. This aspect of the bill makes certain that information sharing between criminal justice partners and advocates can continue just as it has been done for years to ensure good risk assessment and safety planning for victims.
LD 1656 is the result of the hard work and conversations between many people, departments of state government, and organizations. The concerns about bail and advocate privilege have been discussed within the Attorney General’s office, Maine Department of Public Safety, Maine Commission on Domestic and Sexual Abuse, the Maine Domestic Violence Homicide Review Panel, The Maine Coalition of Domestic Violence, Maine Coalition Against Sexual Assault, The Wabanaki Women’s coalition and in the January CLAC meeting just last week. And the address confidentiality improvements came via the Secretary of State’s Office.
The work to end domestic violence in Maine is all-encompassing and requires all of these entities, and more, to turn that vision into a reality, and I am grateful for their help.
Senator Rebecca Millett was next to testify in support of the measure:
“LD 1656 builds upon the good work done to reduce domestic violence in Maine. It strengthens the protection of victims and empowers police officers, victims’ advocates, and prosecutors to create the best plan to keep victims and families safe.”
CJPS Committee Senate Chair, Senator Stan Gerzofsky (D-Brunswick) also rose to address his committee- a rare occurrence, but this bill which he cosponsored and issue as a whole is one that the senator feels very passionately and strongly about (clip to his full testimony here):
- “We keep working on bills, year and year, and trying to get it right. I think we’re doing it right, but I think there is room for improvement; there’s room to tie this stuff together better and to get more protection, and that’s what this bill is going to do.”
Others who spoke in support of the bill included Julia Colpitts of Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence, Attorney General Janet Mills, Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap, representatives from the Maine State Police and other advocates.
A work session for the bill will be held later in the session.Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
(As every other site seems to being doing a year in review round up, it seemed appropriate to take a look back at what stories hit your fancy. So here is the list- enjoy the trip in the WayBack Machine! ~AP)
- The commission’s unanimous vote was seen as a victory in the redistricting process. Decisions often have been left to the Maine Supreme Judicial Court, including in 2003, when lawmakers couldn’t settle on a Senate map.
“We have reached a map that I think is reasonable and fair to both sides,” said David Emery, a consultant for Republicans who has been involved in redistricting debates in Maine dating to 1973. “It’s impossible to make everyone happy in a negotiation of this kind, but both caucuses should be congratulated for their work.”
Greg Olson, a Democratic consultant, agreed.
“Overall, this is a true compromise,” Olson said Friday of the new House map. “This is a map both sides and the people in the state can be proud of. This represents the first time in many decades that we’ve come to an agreement on both chambers of the Legislature as well as the county commissions.”
Maine law requires legislative district and county commission maps be updated every 10 years based on population changes. The new maps are based on the 2010 census, which shows a shift in population from Northern to Southern Maine.
Expounding on the theme of the “ladder to success,” Jackson said that LePage had “pulled the ladder up behind you once you climbed it,” and that:
“We will do better. THAT is why we are Democrats!
Because, Brothers and Sisters, we are the party of Allagash’s proud loggers, just as we are the party of the entrepreneur in the renovated mills of Biddeford. We are the party of the creative economy on Congress Street in Portland, just as we are the party of the tireless mill workers in Rumford. We are the party of the lobstermen in Rockland and the Maine Guide in Jackman.
It is we who are, the party of the potato farmer in Caribou and the teacher in Waldoboro. It is we who are, the party of the HARD WORKING state employees here in Augusta and the abused Decoster workers a few miles north. We are the party of children, whether they’re in Jay or Machias, and we are the party of the elderly whether they’re in Greenville or Belfast.
Brothers and Sisters – we are going to go forth together and win in November. And when we do we will make damn sure that the ladder of success is there for every Mainer. We are on the right side of this fight, we are on the right side of history, we are the party of the people of Maine – we are the Democrats AND we have your back!”
Compare that with, at the Maine Republican Convention weeks’ prior, we heard this from Governor LePage:
“This November represents a real choice at the ballot box. Do you want to remain a sinking welfare state? Can we revive the American dream? Remember Eliot Cutler? He’s still running for governor. He mocked me. He said I was pandering. But we did what Eliot Cutler and the liberal media said wasn’t possible: We passed the largest tax cut in Maine’s history… I understand welfare because I lived it. I understand the difference between a want and a need. The Republican Party promised to bring welfare change. We must deliver on this promise. Maine’s welfare program is cannibalizing the rest of state government.
To all you able-bodied people out there: Get off the couch and get yourself a job.”
3. July: Governor LePage’s Mulligan
Yesterday after the House (114-34) and Senate (26-9) delivered crushing blows to Governor LePage’s veto of LD 1509, the FY 14-15 fiscal budget bill and in doing so avoided the first statewide government shutdown in over twenty years, the governor held a press conference in which he was a far, far more subdued man than just last week:
“I’m very disappointed on this budget. Until we start understanding what makes an economy drive and why the southeast and the southwest and the Atlantic states have such good economies, until we emulate some of their behaviors we are not going to be anywheres but 50th place in the country for doing business.”
“It’s a real sad day for the state of Maine. We took, I thought, with the 125th Legislature, that we took two steps forward for the state. Today, I think we took three steps back. I really feel bad for today.”
- While Governor LePage was speaking at an Americans for Prosperity rally in the Maine State House’s Hall of Flags threatening to veto the budget and shut down the Maine state government, Senator Troy Jackson was chairing the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry committee.
As such, Jackson was unable to hear the Governor’s highly offensive comments about him, as reported by multiple local media sources (WARNING: Not safe for work). Via WMTW’s Paul Marrill:
“Sen. Jackson claims to be for the people, but he’s the first one to give it to the people without providing Vaseline.” LePage added, “He is bad. He has no brains, and he has a black heart.”
Jackson, who serves in the Senate as Assistant Majority Leader, was joined after the conclusion of his 11 am meeting by Majority Leader Seth Goodall (D-Sagadahoc) for a 2pm press conference today.
“I don’t know if it’s where I’m from or the way I speak or something, but it comes up that maybe I’m not the smartest guy. I don’t know if I am or not. Maybe I am the country bumpkin, but that doesn’t bother me. What’s in my heart is good and I feel comfortable about that. I’ll go back in the woods any time I have to. That’s where I made my name in my district. … I feel comfortable that my district supports that. He just keeps going on with things that don’t seem to be accurate and [are] delusional. When he talks about working class people, I think that I represent working class people because that’s who I am. People I know very well are concerned very much about what the governor’s budget is going to do to them.”
- Some excerpts of Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos‘ share:
“As the only independent in the Maine House of Representatives who does not caucus with either party, I am pleased to announce that I am supporting U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud for governor. I plan on campaigning for Michaud during the 2014 election season.
Mike Michaud will make a terrific governor of our state. He has the two characteristics that are sorely lacking in the current administration in Augusta: humility and common sense. He’s a good listener, thoughtful and respectful. It will be such a breath of fresh air when Michaud is elected as our next governor.
Why am I throwing my support to Michaud rather than fellow independent Eliot Cutler? Cutler’s successes have come on the wrong side of the economy at the expense of common people. His relationship as a director of a bankrupt mortgage company, Thornburg Mortgage, whose former top executives are facing allegations of fraud, and his employment and association with the Dallas-based international consultancy Akin Gump, where outsourcing jobs to China is part of the mission, disqualifies Cutler as a person who can lead Maine out of this serious recession Maine people are experiencing.
Contrast this with Michaud, a paper mill worker who understands what it means to keep and develop good paying jobs in Maine.”
- ORONO– 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.”
The Senate chairwoman of the Legislature’s budget-writing committee spurned Gov. Paul LePage’s surprise attempt to speak Sunday during an emergency meeting called to address the governor’s recent claim that the Department of Health and Human Services won’t be able to pay MaineCare providers come May 28.
LePage asked to address the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee as it was preparing to recess. Sen. Dawn Hill, D-Cape Neddick, told the governor that she didn’t want to inject politics into a meeting during which lawmakers had agreed that the shortfall could be fixed by the end of the week.
- At long last, Governor LePage has finally chosen to directly address the ever growing number of local municipal and school district voter passed resolutions against his administration’s biannual budget with its zero revenue sharing scheme- by essentially throwing his hands in the air and telling the towns to figure out the problems among themselves.
What is going to be interesting to watch is how the GOP in the 126th Legislature react- as the governor insists on dragging them down with him.
- “The problem is there are only three large budget areas – education, welfare and revenue sharing,” wrote Governor LePage. “We cannot cut $200 million from debt service – the State must pay its bills. The Judicial Branch costs $100 million – courts are already behind, and I will not cut them further. Other core state functions – State Police, Corrections, our Natural Resource agencies – have been cut to the bone to feed continued growth in education and welfare spending, and they cannot be cut further without reducing public safety or our future economy. That leaves only the three large pots of money, and I chose revenue sharing.”
9. July: Veto Day Scorecard (UPDATED W/ FINAL RESULTS) : 2 Overridden, Rest Sustained
11:30 AM UPDATE: One of the first votes in the House was on LD 1572, “An Act To Correct Minor Technical Errors and Inconsistencies in the Unified Budget Bill”. It failed to pass that chamber by a 92-50 total vote (9 absent); among those who flipped their vote was House Minority Leader Ken Fredette (R-Newport).
It later passed the Senate (3 PM) by a 24-9-2 (Senators Craven and Millett are absent today) vote and will go back to the House this evening.
4:30 PM: So far, only 4 vetoes have been overridden: LDs 415, 1132, 1263 and 1390 (see below).
UPDATE: By the end of the evening and conclusion of the session, only LDs 415 and 1132 were overridden in both chambers, of the 31 vetoes taken up by legislators.
- As the country awaits SCOTUS’s decision regarding DOMA, ten happy couples decided to tie the knot before family, friends, Portland Mayor Michael Brennan and thousands of their closest supporters at this past weekend’s 27th Annual Southern Maine Pride Parade and Festival at Deering Oaks.
The theme of this year’s event, “Marry Me”, was in honor of the 2012 marriage equality law that went into effect last December and the first same sex couple married in Maine, Portland’s own Michael Snell and Steven Bridges, were honorary marshals of the parade proceeding the wedding ceremony. The grand marshal for this year’s parade was Bethel resident Richard Blanco, who was the inaugural poet at President Barack Obama’s ceremonial swearing-in last January.
Rob Hopkins of Pennsylvania, who had been in a relationship with his fiance for 18 years, said the couple decided to travel specifically to Maine to exchange vows: “We came to get married because Maine recognizes gay marriage. Maine is a beautiful state.”
- UPDATED: Late Friday came word that the Governor now intends to be the one to testify before Appropriations in the future- and no one else from his administration:
- Gov. Paul LePage has instructed state department commissioners to stop appearing before the Legislature’s budget-writing committee.
If someone from the administration is asked to speak before the committee, according to the governor’s office, it will be LePage himself.
The administration’s order is in direct response to a clash last Sunday when the committee’s Democratic chairwoman refused to let LePage address the members.
- “I wanted to tell the Appropriations Committee that I sent a balanced-budget proposal to the Legislature that did not require supplemental budgets or increased taxes,” said the Governor. “I also submitted a bill to pay the hospitals, which could have saved jobs and put Mainers to work. But Democratic Legislative leadership and the Dems on the Appropriations Committee are playing games.
“Instead of taking care of the 3,100 disabled and elderly Mainers on a waiting list for MaineCare services, Legislative leadership is trying to tie another expansion of welfare to paying the hospitals. They have rejected all of my proposals to crack down on welfare fraud, and they are pushing for a budget that will have to be paid for with tax increases. I told them months ago that the supplemental budget was not balanced, but they passed it anyway.
12. July: Theater at Monmouth: “Our Town” (REVIEW)
- “It goes so fast; we don’t have time to look at one another.” Hannah Daly, “Emily”
Thornton Wilder’s classic “Our Town” opened on July 19th and is set in a fictional town called “Grover’s Corner, New Hampshire” in the early 1900’s.
It is impossible not to see striking similarities between that location and so many other small New England towns- in fact, the cast photo used for the play’s online promotion was taken in the large Monmouth Center Cemetery which borders Cumston Hall, the Theater’s home. Within that cemetery lie the remains of many generations of families eerily similar to the Gibbs, Webbs, Herseys, Crowells and Newsomes of Grover’s Corners, right down to those who served and died in the Civil War, and no doubt some of their lives mirrored those of the characters in this play.
TAM’s exceptional cast and crew worked their magic with transforming the past back to life in the telling this simple tale; it was surreal during the intermission to step outside for those few minutes and into what appeared to be a future version of the tale currently being told inside.
Oh, those “Liberal Elitists in Augusta”– Governor LePage just today tried to warn us all about them! Now, look at the no-good, very bad thing they did!
House Minority Leader Ken Fredette had the following reaction:
- “This is symptomatic of some of the problems we’ve been seeing in committees,” said House Republican Leader Kenneth Fredette (R-Newport). “Add to that Democrats continuing to use the one big thing we all agree on, the hospital bill, as a bargaining chip and a lack of credible solutions coming from them on balancing the budget, and we’re bound to have a very rushed final two months of session,” Fredette said.
Assistant Minority Leader Alec Willette concurred:
Assistant House Republican Leader Alexander Willette (R-Mapelton) said the Democrat’s decision does not bode well for the creation of sound public policy.
“Anytime you stop advertising public hearings, you’re hindering the public’s ability to weigh in on important issues and, as a result, hindering our ability to craft good public policy,” he said.
Oh, that is terrible! Awful! How dare they?!?
Hey, wait a minute… what? Could it be that the Maine Wire/ GOP is trying to score cheap political points out of nothing at all?
Nah… couldn’t be. Not those bastions of honesty and truth!
Well, there it is- the 2013 wrap-up. Happy 2014, everyone!Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
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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