MPW’s Top 14 of 2014

Posted on December 31, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Well, it’s that time again- the annual review! MPW had 9000 page views in 2014, with almost 3000 in July alone and 2100 visitors that month. January was the quietest month with 480 visitors clicking 760 times. Easily the most popular video was this one dubbed “The Speech” of now former Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson (D-Allagash) at the Maine Democratic Convention, which has had almost 20k views:

“I’m running because of income inequality, poverty, unfairness, corporate greed and political cowardice. I’ve known these things my entire life. And I have watched them wreck communities and tear people’s lives and their families apart. And during those cold nights in that small shack along the river, I never would’ve thought that one day I’d have the opportunity to do something about it. And if I am lucky enough to pull this off, I damn sure intend to.”

And now “The List”:

1. JUNE: (UPDATED) Breaking: LePage Met “Multiple Times” with FBI Known Domestic Terrorist Group, Discussed Executing Democratic Leaders 

paul janetBefore even hitting “send” on this draft write-up, there have been new developments of note (“LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders”), as LePage has this evening called the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News- twice– and has either claimed:

  • That this all didn’t happen/ portions of it happened.
  • There was no five page memo/ well, maybe there was/ well, okay, there WAS a five page memo regarding the legality of arresting and executing members of Democratic leadership.
  • He was going to sue both the BDN and Mike Tipping for the story.

2. (MAY) Paul LePage and Gary Alexander: A Timeline

 A bit of quick bGary Alexander and associate Erik Randolph exit Maine HHS Committee hearing, 1/14/14.ackground on this post. While Mainers knew that Tea Party Maine Governor Paul LePage, who won election in 2010 with 38% of the vote, was virulently anti-ACA and fought hard against multiple attempts to expand Medicaid in our state (to date, five bills have been vetoed and then sustained by the GOP in the Legislature), many did not know to what extent the LePage Administration worked or what steps lead to where we found ourselves last week as news of the #LePlagiarism scandal first broke. Thus it became necessary to piece together all of the to the administration (LePage in 2011 first offered him the DHHS posit various known elements and create this timeline, illustrating who Gary Alexander is and how he became knownion that eventually went to Mary Mayhew), as well as the various actions taken by the Governor and his staff.

A year ago, most in Maine had no idea never heard of Gary Alexander. That is no longer the case, as now federal authorities are now looking into the matter.

3. AUGUST: (UPDATED) Maine Sovereign Citizens, er, “Constitutional Coalition” Send “Courtesy Notice” to ALL Maine Lobbyists

Oh my- looks like Paul LePage’s buddies have “GONE ROGUE”.

Check it out all you lobbying kiddos; you have ALL. BEEN SERVED.

First the blast email (thankfully their CAPLOCK ISSUE APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN SOMEWHAT FIXED) that Aroostook Watchmen radio host Jack McCarthy [or whomever posted, using the name “Jack McCarthy”] mailed out, late this afternoon- to every single registered Maine lobbyist.

Protip: Someone wanna tell Ole Jack [or whomever posted, using the name “Jack McCarthy”] what a “bcc” is? Thanks awfully!

100_0295

    Attention Kind Maine Lobbyists:

Be it known by these presents, the attached pdf file, titled “COURTESY NOTICE”, which details are self explanatory but specifically …

Government Charters Cancelled: (Refer: DECLARATION OF FACTS: UCC Doc # 2012127914 Nov 28 2012)

“…That any and all CHARTERS, inclusive of The United States Federal Government, UNITED STATES, “STATE of …”,

Inclusive of any and all abbreviations, idem sonans, or other legal, financial or managerial forms, any and all international equivalents, inclusive of any and all OFFICES, inclusive of any and all OFFICERS, PUBLIC SERVANTS, EXECUTIVE ORDERS, TREATIES, CONSTITUTIONS, MEMBERSHIP, ACTS, and any and all other contracts and agreements made thereunder and thereby, are now, void, worthless, or otherwise cancelled, unrebutted; …”

You have been served,

All Persons Foreign and Domestic

4. JULY: (UPDATED) “Arrest for Treason/ Execution” Docs Released, Proving LePage Lied to BDN, Re: Sovereign Citizens Talks

A review of last night’s two phone calls by Maine Republican Governor Paul LePage to the managing editor of the Bangor Daily News (“LePage denies he discussed ‘executing’ Maine Democratic leaders”).

The first call:

lepage sots angry self

“I was never in the room where ‘execute’ was used,” the governor said in a phone call to the BDN managing editor.

“It never happened,” he said later in the call. “We did not discuss execution, arrest or hanging.”

When told that the audio of the show was included on Tipping’s blog, LePage said he wanted to see the tapes.

“None of this stuff ever happened,” he said again. He said he talked with the group about the U.S. and Maine constitutions. Further, he said, he disagreed with much of what the men said.

“I listened and listened and listened,” LePage said. “Some points they were making were reasonable and some were off-the-wall.”

The second call by LePage:

In a second phone call to the BDN, LePage said he didn’t know about a Freedom of Access Act request that Tipping had filed to secure details of his meetings because “no one told me about it.”

He said he didn’t stop meeting with the Sovereign Citizens after the FOAA request was filed, as Tipping contends, but stopped meeting with them “because they were not listening.”

“They got mad and called me all kinds of names,” he said.

LePage said the group called again Monday to meet with him after Tipping’s blog post, but he said “no way.”

5. (AUGUST): Governor LePage, er, “Lewiston Mayor Bob MacDonald” on “Elusive Central American Children” Goes Off On Both Dems & The Rails

OccGovernor Paul LePage sits at Governor James G. Blaine's Congressional desk (10/12/13).asionally it is always nice to read some of the smaller and more locally focused publications around the state, such as the Auburn based Twin City Times, to see what folks are supposedly saying.

“Twin City Times” just happens to be edited and published by Maine Governor Paul LePage’s communications director Peter Steele. Make note of that fact, because it’s kinda important.

One can get a real feel for the sentiments locally of what is happening in Augusta by checking these papers out, especially if that region’s elected officials take to their keyboards and submit opinion pieces of note for their constituents’ consideration.

But when the governor’s own head press guy is editing, then publishing the articles himself, there is the nagging feeling that possibly Paul LePage said it himself.

This rings especially true in light of recent revelations that according to Mike Tipping’s “As Maine Went”, LePage in January 2010 created the pseudonym “ForThePeople” as to be able to post anonymously and write a series of posts to sway voters and help himself in that year’s Republican primary.

So there is a very VERY strong perception here that “Lewiston Mayor Bob Macdonald” is in reality a really badly hidden sockpuppet version of Maine Governor Paul LePage. While it makes sense, it is also a rather strange twist, considering in the past it was LePage who was reported to be the “puppet”.

6. JUNE: UPDATED: #MEGOV LePage Skips NE Governors’ Regional Opioid Abuse Summit; Dismisses as “Chit Chat”

Earlier this month, Governor LePage issued a statement on the then newly released 2013 drug-induced Governor Paul LePage takes a question from NBC national correspondent Kate Snow during "war on drugs" press conference.death statistics in Maine, which read in part:

“Our Administration is focusing on the fact that Maine is subject to ever-increasing numbers of out-of-state drug trafficking organizations establishing drug markets in the state. This disturbing trend tears at the very fabric of our communities and puts our children at risk.

As I have said in the past, we must be proactive in combating drug dealers and target our limited resources to better protect our communities.

I think we all agree we also need to find more effective and efficient ways to treat addicts and provide them options that lead to successful long-term outcomes. In fact, the State has increased substance abuse funding in recent years from $7 million to more than $9 million. However, until we are able to curb the amount of drugs coming into our state, we will likely see the number of drug-induced deaths continue to rise.”

So with that in mind, it was quite startling to learn that LePage intended to skip a private meeting of all New England governors held at Waltham MA’s Brandeis University today with the goal of regionally addressing opiate abuse, sharing information and developing strategies.

7. (FEBRUARY): BREAKING: Feds Find LePage, MDOL Officials Intervened in Unemployment Hearings (UPDATED X 9, W/ Timeline)

Reaction from Maine AFL-CIO President Don Berry:

“The federal government has confirmed what we knew to be true, that the Governor was wrong to interfere in the unemployment insurance process by asking hearing officers to rule more often in favor of employers. This is another message from Governor LePage to struggling Maine workers that he is not on their side. When you lose your job, times are very tough. Workers need to know they have a fair process to seek the support that they deserve. Instead of kicking them when they are down, we need a Governor who will support laid-off workers getting back on their feet.”

Legislative Democrats and their allies were quick to condemn the LePage administration, with Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash, a longtime LePage rival and Democratic candidate for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District seat, calling for his impeachment.

Sen. John Patrick, D-Rumford, who chairs the Legislature’s Labor Committee, said the Department of Labor’s findings came as little surprise.

“This is a good thing because everyone in Maine knows the governor uses the bully pulpit to express his feelings about his political views and politics,” said Patrick. “After this, I wonder how you can trust the governor to move forward fairly and in an unbiased way. The citizens of Maine expect that whether it’s a Democrat, a Republican or a Green, that we are fair to our businesses and employees.”

Jackson was less guarded in his response.

“I think he should be impeached,” said Jackson of LePage. “The governor thinks he should be the next [Wisconsin Gov.] Scott Walker, but he should be thinking about being the next [impeached and jailed Illinois Gov.] Rod Blagojevich.”

 

8. FEBRUARY: BREAKING: Governor LePage Reneges on $100M Jobs Bonds; Bounces $59M State of Maine Check

bounced check

In an email to State Treasurer Neria Douglass, Governor Paul LePage reneged and cancelled his authorization of nearly $100 million in bond monies for projects across Maine.

Douglass shared the message with the state’s budget writing committee on Thursday afternoon during a previously scheduled briefing on the state’s debt service or interest for the bonds.

“Governor LePage has broken a $59 million contract with businesses and workers across Maine. The line has been crossed when the governor’s emotional volatility starts hurting Maine’s economy and Maine’s workers,” said Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson of Allagash. “I am concerned for the businesses and projects that have started their work and now hear that the governor has changed his mind.”

According to Douglass, per the directive from Governor LePage, she has already issued $59 million in funding from the state’s cash pool to help fund key projects in the administration’s work plan. These projects were approved and signed off on by Governor LePage and his department officials on July 31, 2013.

“The Treasurer raised serious concerns about the message the Governor is sending to credit agencies and businesses. He’s broken his word,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe from Skowhegan. “Worse, he’s playing games with critical investments in construction projects like roads and bridges that will help Maine’s economy.”

9. MARCH: ME Sen. Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) on LD 1487: Expansion a “Malignant Cancer of Dependency”

Senator Rodney Whittemore (R-Somerset) on LD 1487, “An Act To Implement Managed Care in the MaineCare Program”, gave a rather provocative floor speech yesterday, in which he compared the proposed bill sponsored by fellow GOP Senators Assistant Majority leader Roger Katz (R-Kennebec) and Tom Saviello (R-Franklin) to a “road of hopelessness” and a “malignant cancer of dependency”.

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

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

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.

“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.”

11. FEBRUARY: UPDATED: Eliot Cutler Confuses “Independent” With “Passive Aggressive” In Attacks Against Non-Supporters

And then we have this one- an Independent (a REAL one, not the old “just like Maine!” tired old chestnut from 2010 or member of the Tea Party, but a real honest-to-gosh, old-fashioned Maine Independent like we USED to know) who-

Wait for it-

Issued an endorsement of Mike (Nov 6).

And then had the sheer audacity, as a currently serving member of the 126th Maine Legislature, to have the samepublished as an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News!

Some excerpts of Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos‘ share:

evangelos“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.”

Cutler 2010 campaign garbage, image courtesy of perrenial dumpster divers "As Maine Goes".

Well! As one can imagine, that last must have caused Cutler to practically fly to his desk, shove everything to the ground and fire off his own crushing rebuttal (“Eliot Cutler: Focus on real issues, not recycled 2010 garbage”), also published in the BDN.

12. JULY: (UPDATED) Paul LePage and Sovereign Citizens “Maine Constitutional Coalition”: A Timeline

13. FEBRUARY: UPDATED x2: Maine House Votes Down Controversial Religious Discrimination Bill LD 1428, 89-52

Rep. Andrew McLean (D-Gorham) addresses colleagues during LD 1428 debate.

12:45pm UPDATE: House just voted 89-52 to accept the Judicial Committee “ONTP” (Ought Not to Pass) recommendation moments ago, 89-52.

This was the final vote on LD 1428; it is now dead.

Roll call vote shows 5 GOP members broke with their party to join Democrats: Reps. Beaulieu of Auburn, Campbell of Orrington, Libby of Waterboro, MacDonald of Old Orchard Beach and Maker of Calais. 2 House Democrats voted for the bill: Rep. Stan Short (D-Pittsfield) and Steve Stanley (D-Medway).

Over 2 dozen rose to speak on the measure in a lengthy floor debate. Some quotes:

Rep. Matt Moonen (D-Portland):“Please vote to end the war on gay people in our state.”

Rep. Justin Chenette (D-Saco): “Religious freedom is important, but this bill makes me feel like a second-class citizen… Name me an issue in Maine — I still haven’t heard one. There isn’t an issue. This is a bill searching for a problem, rather than solving one. This wastes taxpayer money… It’s fiscally responsible to oppose it.”

UPDATE #2 (1:45pm): Maine House Democrats issued a press release with more quotes from legislators:

“This is not a bill about religious freedom; it will only create religious discrimination,”said Rep. Charles Priest of Brunswick, who chairs the Legislature’s Judiciary Committee. “Maine’s law and constitution has strong protections for religious freedom. This bill is not necessary.”

“This fight will continue across the country. Many states still do not have a human rights law that covers sexual orientation. But in Maine our voters have settled this, ” said Rep. Matt Moonen of Portland, during the floor debate.

14. ICYMI/UPDATED: Is LePage’s “Outrage” A Politicized Continuation of Ongoing General Assistance/ Immigrant Battle?

Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )

UPDATED: Eliot Cutler Confuses “Independent” With “Passive Aggressive” In Attacks Against Non-Supporters

Posted on February 7, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

mike endorsementsUpdating and reposting, as with the news of Mike Michaud now receiving his 22nd large endorsement, the ever shrinking camp of “Empty Handed Eliot” Cutler is once again complaining about being left out:

    “No candidate in this race has a stronger record on the environment than Eliot Cutler, and this endorsement doesn’t change that,” wrote spokeswoman Crystal Canney. “Eliot worked with Ed Muskie to create two of the most important environmental laws in the history of this country — the Clean Air Act and Clean Water Act. Maine’s waters and air are cleaner today because of his work.”

Seems the folks over at the Maine League of Conservation Voters disagree with Cutler-Canney.

From today’s MCV press release:

“Mike’s story is one of political courage and environmental leadership,” stated Caroline Pryor, board chairwoman of Maine Conservation Voters. “Mike said ‘enough is enough’ to the sludge being dumped into this great river by his own employer. He helped clean up the Penobscot, and in the Maine Legislature and in Congress he’s been a leader on dozens of environmental and economic policies. He’s a champion for clean air, land and water resources, for clean energy and keeping toxics out of the environment.”

“Mike Michaud has the vision, the leadership, and the skills we need to bring people together to build a clean energy future. That’s a future filled with good jobs and a healthier environment – a future we can feel good about handing over to our children and grandchildren,” said Bill Behrens, a Managing Partner at ReVision Energy in Liberty.

Ray Reitze, a Master Maine Guide from Caanan expressed strong support for Michaud’s efforts to clean up Maine’s waterways. Reitze stated, “Without clean water, nothing can survive in a healthy form. What we do to our rivers, lakes, and oceans we do to ourselves and our children. I’m confident Mike Michaud is an honest leader who will help us protect and restore our natural resources and the good health and good jobs they bring to our communities.”

Dan Amory, Board President of Maine Conservation Voters, introduced Michaud and said, “Not that long ago, Mike Michaud was a guy working at the mill in East Millinocket. He saw the pollution in the river caused by the mill and decided to do something about it. This was Mike’s first act of political courage but it was far from his last. Mike is a real leader, and his record demonstrates that he will be the most effective governor to protect Maine’s environment, the health of Maine people, and the jobs that depend on our natural resources.”

=====

(Originally posted 26 Nov 2013)

cutler sucksWeigh the evidence for yourself and decide if the image at right going around online is accurate or not.

First there is this “Questionnaires” page on his campaign website, in which Cutler attempts to make his case with Maine voters after failing to garner endorsements from three groups by sharing the actual submitted documents as Scribd documents: The Sierra Club (doc), MSEA/SEIU (doc) and Maine AFL/CIO (doc).

Side note: This comment by Cutler to MSEA-SEIU is especially priceless!

    “I am under no illusions that I will receive your endorsement, though I would welcome the opportunity to participate in any Maine MSEA-SEIU- sponsored debates or forums over the course of the next coming year.”

Side-side note: What does Eliot Cutler think the “M” in MSEA stands for, anyways- Minions? Mutton? Millionaires?

Nah- THAT endorsement he would expect to get!

Anyhoo…

Cutler prefaced the sharing of the document images with passively worded attacks against each. Apparently he never was taught “one collects more flies with honey than vinegar”:

angry eliot

“As a candidate for governor, I get questionnaires from all kinds of interest groups – from environmentalists to sportsmen to labor unions.

Often these questionnaires are tied to endorsements that carry with them money, mailings and manpower. But most of these groups are tied to one of the two political parties, and so the endorsement process — the candidate interviews and the decision-making — usually takes place behind closed doors. As a result, you never know who has promised what to whom.

I think that’s wrong. That’s why I am posting each of the questionnaires I complete here on my website. I won’t tell these groups anything different than what I’m telling you, the voters. After all, yourendorsement is the only one that really matters. I hope you will ask the other other candidates to share their questionnaire responses, too, and that you will encourage the groups that endorse candidates to host debates and forums with all the candidates, so that we can have an open and honest dialogue about the issues facing our state.”

Oh please. “Open and honest”- sounds eerily like a certain Governor’s “most transparent administration” issues (2011, 2012, 2013) … and it also appears that many, MANY of the questionnaires were either not completed by Cutler or simply not EACH being shared as promised.

Anyways, back to the list of endorsements for Mike Michaud- if nothing else, the laundry list can help Team Cutler go back through and find the all the rest of those pesky missing questionnaire document images!

A reminder: All three of the above groups that Cutler shared his questionnaire responses have now publicly come out in support of Mike Michaud for Governor:

mike worker endorse

  • Maine Sierra Club endorsement of Mike (Nov 25)
  • MSEA/SEIU and Maine AFL/CIO endorsements of Mike (Oct 28).
  • That same press release shares that United Steelworkers Union (USW) and United Auto Workers Union (UAW) also both endorsed Mike: a total of 35,000 Mainers represented in those 4 important Maine workers’ groups.

    Waiting for similar Cutler passive complaints in regards to USW, UAW and these additional organizations as well, in 3… 2… 1…

  • Maine Education Association (MEA) endorsement of Mike (Nov 25)
  • Members of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers (IAMAW) Local S-7 at Bath Iron Works endorsement of Mike (Nov 21)
  • Teamsters Local 340 in South Portland endorsement of Mike (Nov 15)
  • Maine Association of Police and the Professional Fire Fighters of Maine endorsement of Mike (Nov 8)

    And then we have this one- an Independent (a REAL one, not the old “just like Maine!” tired old chestnut from 2010 or member of the Tea Party, but a real honest-to-gosh, old-fashioned Maine Independent like we USED to know) who-

    Wait for it-

    Issued an endorsement of Mike (Nov 6).

    And then had the sheer audacity, as a currently serving member of the 126th Maine Legislature, to have the same published as an op-ed in the Bangor Daily News!

    Some excerpts of Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos‘ share:

      evangelos“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.”

    Cutler 2010 campaign garbage, image courtesy of perrenial dumpster divers "As Maine Goes".

    Cutler 2010 campaign garbage, image courtesy of perennial dumpster divers “As Maine Goes”, who snagged it from Jeff Inglis.

    Well! As one can imagine, that last must have caused Cutler to practically fly to his desk, shove everything to the ground and fire off his own crushing rebuttal (“Eliot Cutler: Focus on real issues, not recycled 2010 garbage”), also published in the BDN.

    Some snips, as he unloads not so much on Michaud but on Evangelos, with a not-even-slightly-veiled “Knock it off, bub, or expect to hear from my lawyers!!” threat:

      “In his Nov. 19 OpEd, Michaud supporter Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, digs up some of the same garbage that was thrown at me by Democrats in the 2010 race.

      Evangelos refers to me as “a director of a bankrupt mortgage company, Thornburg Mortgage, whose former top executives are facing allegations of fraud” and claims that the mission of my former law firm, Akin Gump, includes “outsourcing jobs to China.” The first statement is misleading. The second is false. (A member of the Maine Legislature’s Ethics Committee, Evangelos ought to be more careful.)”

      While class-action lawsuits challenging the conduct and decisions of Thornburg Mortgage officers and directors were filed, the claims made against me and the other independent directors were all found to be without merit and were dismissed by federal courts. No other actions or appeals are pending against the outside directors, nor were they or the company itself ever found to have engaged in fraudulent practices.

      Evangelos also recycles the old lie that I exported jobs to China, another oft-repeated claim from 2010 that has no basis in fact and is something this newspaper called “one of the ugly leftovers of the 2010 election.” In an attempt to support this, he refers to an Akin Gump webpage that never mentions China but talks about helping clients with “outsourcing” in the broadest terms.

      I did open and manage for several years Akins Gump’s first office in China. That experience has since helped me open new markets for Maine products in China. But not once have I ever worked for or represented a company that moved operations or exported jobs to China.



      Finally, Evangelos rips one more out of the 2010 playbook — class warfare
      — claiming that my successes have come “at the expense of common people.” Any success I have achieved has come through a lot of hard work, the values that I learned from my parents and grandparents, and from growing up in Bangor.

    So There! HMPH! And with such, Eliot Cutler has GOTTEN THE FINAL WORD.

    Well, not so much.

    Because while BDN does have a strict 60 day policy in which contributors can only submit articles, the good representative from Friendship provided, both on the Cutler rebuttal and on his own Facebook page, a full list of cited sources for his claims against Eliot Cutler.

    The BDN comment by Evangelos (posted Nov 25; links recoded to correct linkage errors) in full reads:

      Eliot Cutler’s response to my endorsement of Congressman Michaud for Governor proves that Harry Truman was right, “If you can’t take the heat, get out of the kitchen.” Clearly Cutler is too thin skinned for politics, resorting to a temper tantrum and personal attacks against my integrity, while deploying half truths and misleading information to defend himself.

      First, the issues I raised are not “recycled garbage” from 2010. Cutler’s statements regarding the class action lawsuits left out the most important details of all:

    • “A proposed $2 million settlement has been announced in a class action lawsuit involving shareholders who sued Thornburg Mortgage Inc. for fraud regarding its financial performance.”
    • Directors and executives agreed to a 2 million dollar settlement that paid defrauded investors for their losses due to the Company’s omissions and misrepresentations. Here’s a link.
    • “Investors in Thornburg Mortgage, once the second largest mortgage lender behind Countrywide, agreed on a settlement with former executives and directors of the company.

      A court hearing will be held in Albuquerque, N.M. on Aug. 27, 2012 to consider, among other things, whether the proposed settlement with the Santa Fe, N.M.-based jumbo lender be approved as fair and adequate.

      Thornburg Mortgage, which filed for bankruptcy in May 2009 and subsequently renamed TMST, could not be reached for comment.

      The settlement fund consists of $2 million in cash. If the settlement is approved, former common and preferred stock shareholders will receive about one penny per damaged share — shares bought when a stock price was artificially high
      due to material omissions or misrepresentations, according to the court filing.”

      “On December 3, 2012, the parties entered into a Stipulation of Settlement. On December 10, the Court issued an Order preliminarily approving the settlement. On February 25, 2013, the Court issued a Final Order and Judgment. On the same day, the Court also issued an Order awarding attorneys’ fees and expenses. Finally, the Court issued a Final Judgment closing this case.” (Source: “Thornburg Mortgage Inc. : Mortgage Pass-Through Certificates”)

    • Not only does Cutler fail to mention the existence of this settlement, he plays pretend with the facts like they are ancient history. The fact is Mr. Cutler, this is not news from 2010, the settlement was approved on February 25, 2013. And you raise the issue of ethics with me?
    • Second, Eliot Cutler was a member of the Board of Directors of Thornburg Mortgage when the company went bankrupt. Subsequent to the bankruptcy, The Securites and Exchange Commission filed accounting fraud charges on March 13, 2012.

      The following information can be found on the SEC’s website:

        “The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged the senior-most executives at formerly one of the nation’s largest mortgage companies with hiding the company’s deteriorating financial condition at the onset of the financial crisis. The plan backfired and the company lost 90 percent of its value in two weeks.

        The SEC alleges that Thornburg Mortgage Inc. chief executive officer Larry Goldstone, chief financial officer Clarence Simmons, and chief accounting officer Jane Starrett schemed to fraudulently overstate the company’s income by more than $400 million and falsely record a profit rather than an actual loss for the fourth quarter in its 2007 annual report.”

        “The truest test of corporate executives’ commitment to full and accurate shareholder disclosure comes not during times of soaring profits and double-digit growth, but when companies are under financial stress and shareholders have the greatest need for accurate information,” said Robert Khuzami, Director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement. “These Thornburg executives flunked that test by issuing a series of misleading statements andhalf-truths to conceal Thornburg’s rapidly deteriorating situation.”

      Again, Cutler’s claim that this is “garbage” from 2010 is simply untrue. The SEC filed the charges in 2012 and the investigation is ongoing. Furthermore, the most important duty of any Director, from a school board to a corporation is oversight of the organization and its executives.

      Given that the SEC has brought fraud charges against Thornburg’s three top executives, including the chief executive officer who reported directly to the Directors, it is clear that Thornburg’s Board of Directors failed in their mission. Or as Harry Truman said Mr. Cutler, “The buck stops here.”

    • Third, information regarding the mission of Akin Gump regarding outsourcing comes directly from their website.

      Make no mistake, outsourcing American jobs to low cost alternatives in Asia has served to depress wages in the United States, raise the unemployment rate, with the knock on effect of depressing income tax revenues at the State and Federal levels. I stand by my statement that this activity puts Mr. Cutler on the wrong side of economy at the expense of working people.

      And as for Cutler’s assertion that I raised the class warfare flag, he ought to examine his own words in rejecting even a modest increase in the minimum wage. The minimum wage in Maine has been $7.50 for 5 years while the cost of food, energy, health care, insurance and life’s necessities have at the same time risen dramatically. In truth, Mr. Cutler is the person engaging in class warfare, supporting a non-liveable wage for Maine people while he sits at his residence in Cape Elizabeth.

    • Fourth, I will stack my ethics up against Mr. Cutler’s any day of the week. I split my votes in Augusta based on my conscience and always do what I believe is right. I caucus with neither party. I have the respect of both parties in Augusta because of this. A good example of this is when I rose to defend Governor LePage and his right to receive his pension when a Democratic Legislator attempted to introduce legislation that would strip the Governor of his pension. I may not agree with Paul LePage, but I defended his right to be treated like all other Governor’s in our history. That’s what real ethics are all about, Mr. Cutler.

      Finally, while I endorsed Mike Michaud, I have absolutely no connection to the Michaud for Governor campaign. Your attack against Congressman Michaud is unjustified and a clear sign of desperation. Your attack against my ethics is equally desperate, but I guess when you can’t dispute the facts, attacking the messenger will have to suffice. As the boxer Joe Louis once said, you can run but you can’t hide.

      Representative Jeffrey Evangelos
      Friendship, Maine

    So, does the image fit?

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  • Mainers Urge Lawmakers to Expand Medicare (Pix, Video)

    Posted on January 9, 2014. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

    Yesterday the 126th Maine Legislature reconvened to begin the second half of the legislative session. At the same time, hundreds of people from around the state came to Augusta to hold a rally organized by Maine People’s Alliance coalition members, hear the life stories of almost two dozen fellow citizens, and urge lawmakers to support expansion of Medicare for 70,000 Mainers as part of the Health Care First initiative.

    Almost two dozen came to the mic to speak at the rally; here is a full clip from the event held in the State House’s Hall of Flags.

      “As a nurse, many of the patients I see every day wait until they are so sick that we can’t help them the way that we should and their health deteriorates even more,” said Jessie Mellott, a Registered Nurse from Bangor, introducing the speakers. “They lose limbs. They may never get back to their previous health due to lack of access to care. A lot of the time, these are easy things to fix if they were addressed in time. I urge the legislature to help me care for my patients and take the important step of expanding Medicaid services for 70,000 Maine people.”

      gina“I am a veteran of the U.S. Navy and lost my MaineCare coverage on December 31st,” said Thomas Ptacek of Portland. “My family has a history of multiple sclerosis and I worry that I, too, may have it someday. But my VA benefits are limited and will not cover the cost of preventative care or any treatment for the disease. I need MaineCare for that.”

      “When I found out I had seriously aggressive cancer I was able to access MaineCare and that was life-saving for me,” said Laura Tasheiko of Northport. “I was dropped and left without coverage as I continue my recovery from the ongoing and debilitating effects of cancer, surgery, and chemotherapy treatment. MaineCare is essential for the monitoring and care needed to avoid a medical crisis from medication complications, or even death, in the event of the cancer coming back.”

      “Without MaineCare, my injuries will just keep getting worse and worse. I’ll just keep going until I can’t go anymore and then they’ll throw you to the wolves, I guess,” said Richard Holt, a lobsterman and carpenter living in South Portland, “I need it to make sure I can stay healthy enough to keep working for at least another 4 years before I qualify for Medicare.”

    More quotes from Bangor Daily News:

    atwood

      One of those speakers was Gail MacLean, who boards horses at her stable in Gray. MacLean said she has been on Medicaid for three years, but lost her coverage on Dec. 31 as a result of the state not expanding the program, known as MaineCare in the state.

      “Now I’m tip-toeing around the farm, hoping I don’t hurt myself,” she said. “My fear is that if something happens, I’ll lose what I’ve worked so hard for.”

      Another man, Tom Bennie, a farmer and handyman from Whitefield, said MaineCare paid for his full hip replacement in 2010, and helped his wife recover from a heart attack shortly thereafter.

      “If it weren’t for MaineCare, I wouldn’t be able to stand here today,” he said. “My health is all I have. That’s the most important thing. MaineCare gave me a sense of security.”

      Rep. Jeffrey Evangelos, I-Friendship, is co-sponsor of Eves’ Medicaid expansion bill, which legislative Republicans and LePage have vowed to defeat again this year. He called on the governor to follow the example of other GOP executives, such as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer, who in their states accepted Medicaid expansion as allowed by President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

      He called the showing by MPA “impressive.”

      “I think it’s a real statement to the moderate Republicans to get on board,” he said. “If Gov. LePage vetoes this bill again, I expect them to support us in overriding.”

    Later after the end of the beginning day of session, Senate President Justin Alfond and Speaker of the House Mark Eves spoke to those assembled:

      “Today in the halls of the State House, we heard why expanding health care to tens of thousands of Mainers is a top priority. The stakes are high—people’s lives and well-being are on the line,” said Senate President Justin Alfond of Portland. “Expanding healthcare is the right thing to do morally and it’s the right economic decision. Making sure folks have access to healthcare without the fear of going bankrupt is something we all value and it’s something we will continue fighting for.”

      “We are so grateful to the people who came today to talk to lawmakers about the importance of this life-saving health care,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves of North Berwick, who is sponsoring a new measure to accept federal Medicaid dollars under the Affordable Care Act. “What we heard today is what we hear from our neighbors at home: people want and need life-saving health care. They don’t understand why politics and ideology are holding up common sense care.”

    A public hearing will be held by the HHS Committee (Cross Building Rm 209) on January 15 regarding Speaker Eves’ and Senate Majority Leader Troy Jackson’s Medicaid expansion proposals. More pictures from yesterday can be found here.

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