Mike Michaud Putting Serious Miles on Those Cool NB Shoes In First Days of 2014 #MEGOV Campaign

Posted on August 20, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , |

A month ago, Maine People’s Alliance communications director and Tipping Point BDN blogger Mike Tipping had an funny and interesting post entitled “Mike Michaud Looking at Things”, a very clever “curated collection” per Tipping with dozens of shared photos of the Congressman on the job these past five sessions.

But what made the post even better was the follow-up a few days later: “Mike Michaud Looking at Mike Michaud Looking at Things!”

Hilarious stuff and so nice to see an elected official with a great sense of humor…

Fast forward to today, a few hours ago in fact. I finally posted at 2pm today my latest MPW piece“Mike Michaud Makes Gubernatorial Bid Official, Hits The Ground Running” about Mike’s official 2014 gubernatorial campaign announcement last Thursday in Lewiston.

mike SHOEZWithin the write up was a quick run-down of some of Mike’s appearances since his August 15 initial announcement:

  • Aug 15- Lewiston
  • Aug 16- Millinocket, Scarborough
  • Aug 17- Portland, Bath, Walpole, Owls Head, Hancock
  • Aug 18- Freeport
  • Aug 19- Portland

The story conclusion read:

    “Where will Mike Michaud appear next? Who knows- but from what is being witnessed so far, one can expect this will be an energetic, high profile and statewide campaign.”

With that supposedly rhetorical question set as a throw-away conclusion line, I hit “Send” and packed up the laptop to go do a data entering volunteer shift at Maine Democratic Party headquarters in Augusta.

And well… I now know exactly how Tipping felt on July 15, as I had only just gotten partway into the first stack of completed cards less than an hour later, when a very familiar face entered the office!

MDP Communications Director Lizzy Reinholt, State Senator Colleen Lachowicz and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud today in Augusta

MDP Communications Director Lizzy Reinholt, State Senator Colleen Lachowicz and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rep. Mike Michaud this afternoon in Augusta

It was nice to greet and chat with Mike, on his way to Portland this evening and then back up to Bangor for an event tomorrow afternoon.

Goodness knows how many stops he plans on making between those two cities- at this point, nothing would surprise me. But at this rate, he’s gonna wear out those cool New Balance shoes of his!

I dunno when the guy find time to sleep- but oh boy, I do like the energy we are seeing from Mike Michaud in this first week on the campaign trail! And like the stark differences between him and his competitors very much indeed.

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Maine House Floor Debates, Passes LD 1113 Buffett Rule Bill; Senate Votes to Indef Postpone (VIDEOS)

Posted on June 25, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Among the many bills taken up during the last whirlwind that was last week’s legislative session was House Majority Leader Seth Berry’s sponsored LD 1333, “An Act To Provide Tax Fairness to Maine’s Middle Class and Working Families”, aka the Buffett rule bill.

LD 1113 Sponsor House Majority Leader Seth Beth (D-Bowdoinham) Speaks To His Bill

From his prepared testimony:

    “LD 1113 would apply the logic of the “Buffett Rule” on Maine’s state and local tax code. As you know, the Buffett Rule is a concept named for the wealthy investor Warren Buffet, who famously said his secretary should not be required to pay higher taxes than he pays.

    According to Maine Revenue Services, Maine’s secretaries- and truck drivers, and child care workers- are now paying higher taxes than their bosses. It is time for this to stop. It is time to reduce taxes on those who pay the most, and equalize them for those paying too little.

    At present, a mother of two, working full-time at minimum wage, pays, nearly twice as much per dollar of income as a person making $1 million a year. This is due to the regressive nature of property and sales taxes, as well as the “stacking” of income tax credits, exemptions and deductions by a select few.

    LD 1113 would correct this inequality. Through its credit mechanism, it would actually cut taxes for hundreds of thousands of middle and working class families. More immediately, the bill as amended would fully restore revenue sharing.

(NOTE: LD 1113 would have worked in addition to restoring the municipality revenue sharing portion not covered by LD 1509, the biannual budget vetoed by Governor LePage yesterday. ~AP).

IMG_4857

    Does equalization add complexity? Absolutely not. In fact, by simplifying the Circuit Breaker and incorporating it into the tax return, LD 1113 can actually reduce paperwork for hundreds of thousands of families, and add only 3 or 4 lines for the few making over $350,000.

    Are the wealthy already taxed enough? In some cases, yes. In fact, the average Maine household in the 95th to 98th percentile pays more than average already. That is why LD 1113 proposes an individualized equalization test, only for those in the top 1 percent.

    The questions LD 1113 poses to you are politic, economic and moral.

    Politically, a Maine Buffett Rule is supported by 4 in 5 voters. A national Buffett Rule is supported by Maine’s entire tripartisan Congressional delegation, including Senator Susan Collins. Can we stand with Maine people and with our entire U.S. delegation- or can’t we?

    Economically, research shows that fair taxes assist growth. When the struggling full-time worker has a little more money in her pocket, businesses like mine have more customers. Work is rewarded and productivity increases. Do we want a thriving economy and middle class- or don’t we?

    Morally, Maine people have always believed that we should each do our fair share, as we are able. Yet at present, our overall code is very unfair. Will we be the Legislature that asked each Mainer to do their fair share- or won’t we?

    With your leadership on this issue, I believe we can, we do, and we will.

    Thank you.

IMG_4851The House then voted to pass the bill, 88-51. But when it was the Senate’s turn, that body unanimously decided to table LD 1113 with a indefinite postponement vote that passed under the hammer. The House Democrats were quick to send out a press release, which read in part:

    The Senate early Thursday morning failed to pass a Buffett Rule for Maine that would have restored revenue sharing for communities and provided tax breaks for the middle class.

    “The Senate failed Maine’s middle class and local property taxpayers today. They had a chance to embrace tax fairness and prevent a property tax hike with this measure,” said House Majority Leader Seth Berry of Bowdoinham, the bill’s lead sponsor. “These are issues many of us campaigned on. How can they face their constituents after breaking these promises?”

    “We have yet another situation here where the House has done good bipartisan work only to see it undermined by the Senate,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Jeff McCabe of Skowhegan, a cosponsor of the bill.

    Starting in the two-year period beginning July 1, the measure would add approximately $75 million to the revenue-sharing system between the state and municipalities, thanks to an amendment from Rep. Michael Carey, D-Lewiston.

    The governor’s budget would have eliminated revenue sharing, but the bipartisan budget passed by the Legislature would restore two-thirds of it. The amendment from Carey, a member of the budget-writing committee, fully restores revenue sharing to its current levels.

    “On the Appropriations Committee, we worked hard to blunt the tax shift to local property taxpayers in the governor’s budget. We were able to get two-thirds of the way to full restoration but not any further until this amendment was added to the measure,” Carey said. “Property taxes are the most regressive of our taxes and hit our middle class particularly hard.”

Here are the remainder of the videos from the House floor debate, in order of speakers.

Rep. Gary Knight (R-Livermore Falls) speaks against LD 1113 (Pt 1)

Rep. Dennis Keschl (R-Belgrade) Speaks Against LD 1113 (Pt 1)

Rep. Joe Brooks (U-Winterport) Speaks for LD 1113

Rep Adam Goode (D-Bangor) Speaks in Support of LD 1113

Rep. Ryan Tipping-Spitz (D-Orono) Speaks in Support of LD 1113

Rep Mike Carey (D-Lewiston) Speaks in Support of LD 1113

Rep Gary Knight poses question on LD 1113

Rep Jeff McCabe (D-Skowhegan), Nate Libby (D-Lewiston) Speak in Favor of LD 1113

Question of Rep Jeff Timberlake (R-Turner), Answer by Rep Berry on LD 1113

Rep Peter Stuckey (D-Portland) speaks in favor of LD 1113

Rep Roger Jackson (R-Oxford) Opposing LD 1113

Rep Mike Carey (D-Lewiston) answers question on LD 1113

Rep Justin Chenette (D-Saco) Speaks in Strong Support of LD 1113

Rep Keschl (R-Belgrade) Rises Again in Opposition to LD 1113

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UPDATED: As Now 80 Maine Towns, Schools (5/29/13) Pass Resolutions Opposing LePage Budget, Gov Urges Towns “Work Together”

Posted on May 28, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

UPDATED 5/29/13: Total now stands at 80 communities and schools.

lepage head 2At 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.

Via press release:

      Governor Urges Town Officials to Work Together to Find Solutions to State Budget Woes

    AUGUSTA – Hoping to encourage municipal officials to offer solutions about the upcoming biennial budget proposal, Governor Paul R. LePage today released a letter to city and town officials. The Governor acknowledges in the letter the opposition many mayors, city managers and selectmen have against his budget plan, and he admits it is not a budget he enjoyed putting forward.

    “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.”

    In the letter, the Governor attached total general fund appropriations for Fiscal Year 2014-15, which shows the bulk of the budget – 44.8 percent – allocated to education. The Department of Health and Human Services uses 35.2 percent, and the remainder of State government accounts for 20 percent of general fund spending.

    Regardless of whether Governor LePage’s proposed cuts are ultimately implemented, Republicans believe local government must participate in making government at all levels more efficient.

    head scratcherAs Mayor of Waterville for eight years, the Governor was able to balance budgets while reducing property taxes. Working together with a Democratic City Council, he was able to decrease spending and lower taxes. A temporary loss in revenue sharing does not mean that property taxes will automatically go up. That is a local choice. It is not impossible for local government to save money, consolidate services and identify priorities.’

    “Most letters I receive say we made the wrong choice and that we should restore the $200 million subsidy to municipalities, but they do not suggest other cuts that should be made at the state level,” said Governor LePage. “It is easy to find fault and hard to find solutions. I welcome any suggestions town officials have to cut elsewhere in the state budget, but it is time for everyone to set complaints aside and offer solutions.”

    Governor LePage also extended an offer to assist town and city officials if they need flexibility from the State to reduce their own budgets. “If there are proposals to reduce administration and overhead by sharing services between towns, we will support them,” he said.

Just a reminder of what the former Waterville mayor now Governor LePage said about proposed revenue share cuts to his city in 2009:

The clip’s descriptive:

    During a 2009 city council meeting, a foul-mouthed Mayor Paul LePage attacked then-Gov. Baldacci for “sticking it to the property taxpayers” when a recession-induced revenue collapse forced across-the-board budget cuts. Gov. LePage is now proposing an even greater tax shift that favors rich Mainers at the expense of Maine’s middle class.

Updated list of municipalities and schools as of 5/17/13:

map

(This list will be updated as more municipalities submit their passed resolutions to the Legislature. ~AP)

*RELATED: Video: Did 2009 Waterville Mayor Paul LePage Rip 2013 Governor LePage For Revenue Sharing Cuts To Towns, Education Funding Failures?

UPDATED: 62 (And Counting) Maine Municipalities, Schools Pass Resolutions Opposing LePage Biennual Budget (LR 1046)

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

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

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

Audio link here.

finger plpHello, this is Governor Paul LePage.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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UPDATED: 62 (and Counting) Maine Municipalities, Schools Pass Resolutions Opposing LePage Biennual Budget (LR 1046)

Posted on April 9, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , |

In light of the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee March 25 public hearing in Brewer regarding the municipal aid portion of LR 1046, here is a list of the 29 40 48 55 58 62 various towns, cities and as of April 2, multiple school committees and county superintendents associations around the state that have now passed resolutions opposing Governor LePage’s biannual budget.

Among those who spoke at the AFA public hearing in Brewer:

  • Bangor finance director Debbie Cyr: “We understand the situation the state is faced with now is a culmination of past fiscal policy. But this proposal merely shifts the burden and ultimately the responsibility for state decisions to the municipalities.”
  • Bangor City Councilor Joe Baldacci: “It would require substantial layoffs across all departments.”
  • Brewer Mayor Kevin O’Connell (VIDEO): … is skeptical when (he) hears that legislators will not let the budget the governor is offering go forward as proposed. “We’re not buying it,” his statement says. “You need to stand by your promises. Don’t let revenue sharing go the way of school funding — a promise made but not kept.”

    Brewer would lose approximately $1.28 million, he said. (NOTE: More below on Brewer’s predicament. ~AP)

  • Brownville Town Manager Matthew Pineo: “Estimates the changes would raise the community’s property tax by $2.96 per $1,000 valuation.”
  • Madison’s part-time assessor (unnamed in article): “Municipal revenue sharing, which offsets municipal property taxes, has been around for three decades and taking it away is a big change.”
  • Town Councilor Mike Madore (VIDEO)
  • Easton Town Manager Jim Gardner: “We fought TABOR [Taxpayer Bill of Rights] and now we’re fighting our own governor.”
  • Town Manager Eugene Conlogue
  • Town Manager Dave Pearson

Some more video from the public hearing (h/t Maine Dems):

1. Brewer Firefighter Jason Gross: LePage’s budget will “destroy us”

2. Pam Pierson of Orland

A BDN article of note (4/1/13), as it illustrates the difficulties facing those mandated to submit time sensitive school budgets and highlights an especially vulnerable region’s immediate impact, due to Governor LePage’s zero revenue sharing proposal: Brewer school layoff notices to be sent May 1, but may be rescinded, officials say.

witches

    “I think a lot of people will be upset on May 1st,” school committee chairwoman Janet McIntosh said, stressing that she is worried about teacher reactions.

    How many jobs are actually cut, if any, will be determined in the coming months as state legislators and the governor try to iron out a budget, she and Superintendent Daniel Lee said.

    While state legislators work on the budget, the school department is under statutory obligation to notify teachers and staff who may not have a job next year, Lee said.

    “Next week, you have a meeting to try and settle on where we’re at,” he said to the school board, explaining the two-step process to notify employees. “At that time, I’ll give you positions to eliminate. Between April 1 and the May meeting, we’ll determine who these people are.”

    Lee said that he expects the budget process in Augusta to go down to the last possible minute, which means that if things improve financially, “you can withdraw the letters.”

    One out of every nine positions, mostly teachers, may be eliminated if all the cuts and changes proposed in Augusta under Gov. Paul LePage’s biennial budget are put into place, Lee and school department business manager Gretchen Gardner said last month when they outlined the budget figures for fiscal year 2013-14 to the school board. At that time the shortfall was estimated at $1.4 million. That amount has increased to $1.55 million.

Brewer High School, home of the Brewer Witches, serves at least a dozen area communities including Brewer, Holden, Eddington, Clifton, Dedham, Orrington, Amherst, Aurora, Osborn, Osborn Plt, Bradley and Glenburn.

Now for the ever-growing list of communities:

map

(This list will be updated as more municipalities submit their passed resolutions to the Legislature. ~AP)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The locations and hours:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Washington County

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

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

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

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Maine People’s Alliance: Stand Up for a Fair Share

Posted on October 1, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , |

MPA executive director Jesse Graham sent out the following video clip late last week, announcing the official kick-off of the organization’s “Fair Share” campaign. Some of the accompanying email blast:

    “If everyone, including the wealthiest, pays their fair share in taxes and everyone gets a fair shot at opportunity, we can all have a stronger, better state.

    Jobs, health care, education and the economy are all connected, and by tackling them together we can make life better for everyone.

    We need to elect the right legislators here in Maine that will stop Governor LePage’s extreme agenda and put us on the path to a Fair Share economy and then we need to continue our campaign to hold them accountable and achieve our vision for the state.”

Here is the clip and information from their website about the initiative.

    “It’s time to promote a better, more fair vision for our communities and our state and to work to see it actually achieved. It’s time for a Fair Share Economy. Watch our kick-off video and learn more about what a Fair Share Economy would mean for Maine!”

Via Maine People’s Alliance:

    1. In 2009, the top 1% in Maine earned almost as much as the bottom 50% combined.

    2. The top 10% earned nearly as much as everyone else combined.

    3. Low income Mainers paid an overall state and local effective tax rate 70% higher than what the richest 1% pay.

    4. The LePage tax cuts will give the top 1% nearly $3,000 in tax breaks. In contrast, most Mainers will get less than $100 back.

    5. Wal-Mart gets over $1 million a year in tax breaks. Maine gives away more in tax breaks each year than we spend in actual programs.


Our Plan to Pass Through the State Legislature or Referendum:

    1. Universal education from pre-K through college. Education is a human right. From the time a child is 3 years old until they enroll in the University of Maine or Community College system, their education should be free.

    2. $1 billion to eliminate unemployment. Meaningful work is a human right. The Job Creation Fund will create jobs in key sectors of the economy, such as infrastructure, health care, clean energy, and education. We’ll also raise the minimum wage to $10/hr to get closer to a living wage.

    3. Publicly Financed Health Care. Health care is a human right. In a “single payer” system with no health insurance companies, everyone gets the care they need by contributing what they can afford through taxes.

    4. We’ll pay for it by making our tax system fair. Lower taxes for the bottom 70%. The top 10% will pay 5% more than low-income Mainers pay now.

For more information visit www.mainepeoplesalliance.org/fairshare

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