Congressman Mike Michaud: His passion to help people and his economic policies

July 25th, 2014 · Filed under: Community Maine, Creative Economy, Economy, Exclusive Interviews, Issue 41

Mike Michaud helped secure funds for UMaine's first in the Americas floating wind turbine project, VoltunUS. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Mike Michaud helped secure funds for UMaine’s first in the Americas floating wind turbine project, VoltunUS. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Back in 2005 the Federal Government’s Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Commission announced that there would be closures of military bases across the country. Maine was targeted at three major facilities: Kittery-Portsmouth Naval Shipyard, Brunswick Naval Air Station (BNAS) and Defense Finance and Accounting Services Center (DFAS) in Limestone.

The State’s Congressional Delegation swung into action along with Gov. John Baldacci, and the communities effected. Press conferences and meetings were held at each threatened facility, sometimes one a day at each location, and Congressman Mike Michaud was at the majority of them, from promoting the attributes of workers in Limestone to rallying shipyard employees in Portsmouth. He fought for the workers and their communities in Portsmouth and BNAS in Maine and D.C., even though those bases were not in his congressional district.

After ten years of reporting on the Congressman’s activities, I’ve learned that there is nothing more important to him that making sure the people of Maine are treated fairly and have good paying jobs with healthcare benefits.

Congressman Mike Michaud gives a shipyard union leader a congratulatory hug for helping to Save the Shipyard from BRAC closure in 2003. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Congressman Mike Michaud gives a shipyard union leader a congratulatory hug for helping to Save the Shipyard from BRAC closure in 2003. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Recently we talked about his economic development plans for Maine.

Q: What is your highest priority?

A:

My biggest priority is building a Maine economy that works for everyone, not just the wealthiest among us. That starts with job creation, but it also means an intense focus on education, starting with early childhood, and continuing through college; it means a higher minimum wage and expanded access to health care for nearly 70,000 Mainers, and 3,000 veterans; and it means empowering business to grow and expand.

Under Gov. LePage and his failed policies, Maine has lagged behind the rest of New England in private-sector job growth. His “open for business” policy is nothing but rhetoric. He’s actually driven hundreds of millions of dollars of private-sector investment out of the state.

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Obama ‘fires up’ Democratic supporters with hope for Michaud at Portland, Maine, rally

October 30th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

Pres. Barack Obama in Maine, Oct 30 for Mike Michaud for Governor. Photo by Morgan Rogers

Pres. Barack Obama in Portland, Maine with Mike Michaud – candidate for governor inspires the crowd with hope and energy. Photo By Morgan Rogers

“You have a chance to choose a governor who puts you first,” said President Barack Obama as he fired up a crowd of about 3,000 people on October 30, 2014 during a campaign rally for Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud in Portland, Maine.

“We’ve created more jobs here in the United States over the last six years than Japan, Europe, and all of the advanced nations combined. We’ve made real progress. But what’s also true is, is that the gains of a growing economy haven’t been fully felt by everybody. You know all too well that Maine lags behind the rest of New England when it comes to job growth. Over the next week, you’ve got a chance to change that. You have a chance to choose a governor who doesn’t put political ideology first. “

The President energized the crowd reminding them of the power of hope that grew the Nation.

“And despite unyielding opposition over these last six years, there are workers with jobs who didn’t have them before. There are families with health insurance who didn’t have them before. There are students going to college who couldn’t afford to attend it before. There are troops who have come home from Iraq and Afghanistan and are now with their families,” said the President.

“Cynicism didn’t make that happen. Cynicism didn’t put a man on the moon. Cynicism has never ended a war, or cured disease, or built a business, or taught a young mind. Cynicism is a choice that you make. And it’s being fed to you all the time — don’t accept it. Hope is a better choice…. Hope is what built America. Show that you still have hope, and go out there and vote on Nov. 4.”

 Pres. Barack Obama in Portland, Maine  gave a classic speech to rally support for Mike Michaud for governor. His wife, Hillary and Bill Clinton also came to promote Michaud. Photo By Ramona du Houx


Pres. Barack Obama in Portland, Maine gave a classic speech to rally support for Mike Michaud for governor. His wife, Hillary and Bill Clinton also came to promote Michaud. Photo By Ramona du Houx

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ANA Maine supports CDC Guidance, not Mandatory Quarantine for Health Care Professionals like the one imposed on Hickox

October 30th, 2014 · Filed under: Health Care

The American Nurses Association (ANA) Maine supports CDC Guidance, not Mandatory Quarantine for Health Care Professionals like the one imposed on Hickox after she returned from treating ebola patients in West Africa.

“The American Nurses Association (ANA) opposes the mandatory quarantine of health care professionals who return to the United States from West African nations where Ebola is widespread. ANA supports registered nurse Kaci Hickox, who recently returned to the United States after treating Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, in her challenge of a 21-day quarantine imposed by state officials in Maine, her home state,” said ANA President Pamela Cipriano, PhD, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN.

Hickox arrived at Newark airport on Oct. 24 and was immediately quarantined in a hospital tent by New Jersey state officials, who eventually allowed her to travel to Maine via private transport on Oct. 27. After testing negative twice for Ebola, nurse Hickox, who continues to be symptom free, poses no public threat yet is restricted to her home.

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Sen Angus King announces he is switching to support for Michaud for Governor

October 29th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

Today, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-ME) released the following statement in response to today’s announcement by Eliot Cutler “releasing” his supporters to vote their consciences.

“Eliot Cutler is a fine man who would make a good governor of our state. He is a friend who I believe would be a true consensus builder, ready to put solutions ahead of politics. My feelings about Eliot on these matters have not changed since I endorsed his candidacy four years ago and again this past August. But, like Eliot, I too am a realist. After many months considering the issues and getting to know the candidates, it is clear that the voters of Maine are not prepared to elect Eliot in 2014.

“The good news is that we still have a chance to elect a governor who will represent the majority of Maine people: my friend and colleague, Mike Michaud. And today, I’d like to offer him my support.

“I have worked with Mike Michaud for twenty years and know that he has what it takes to be Maine’s next Governor. He has lived the American dream — going from the mill floor in Millinocket to the halls of Congress — and he knows in his heart that everyone, willing to work for it, deserves a chance to get ahead. Mike believes in protecting our environment and finding new ways to grow Maine’s economy and, as I have seen first-hand, is absolutely tenacious in defending Maine’s interests.

“This was not an easy decision, but I think the circumstances require that those of us who have supported Eliot look realistically at the options before us at this critical moment in Maine history.

“In the end, I believe that what drives us to the polls should be hope – not fear; what calls us to participate in the political dialogue should be optimism – not cynicism; and what informs our decision to vote for the Governor of Maine should be the belief in a system of government where every vote counts.”

“I’m grateful and humbled by Sen. King’s endorsement and his support,” Michaud said. “Sen. King and I have worked together for many years, and we’ve always tried to put the best interests of our state first. With only six days left before Election Day, momentum is building and if we all stand together I believe that we can bring the change we need to Augusta. This is a close race, and we need every voter to show up on Tuesday.”

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The Constellation Gallery, home of the Maine Artist Collective, puts out a “Call for Art”

October 29th, 2014 · Filed under: Arts & Entertainment

Summer Stroll, is an example of an 8x10 print for sale at the gallery

Summer Stroll, is an example of an 8×10 print for sale at the gallery

The Constellation Gallery, home of the Maine Artist Collective (MAC), has put out a “Call for Art” throughout the great state of Maine for the upcoming Miniatures Show from November 21st to January 27th.

Artists will have the opportunity to show downtown Portland from November until January, during two art walks with receptions — one on December 5th and the other on January 2nd.

The “Miniatures Show” comes during the holiday season making affordable art the perfect gift to enhance any home.

“Mini art pieces make great gifts for the holidays and the Constellation Gallery will feature artist with works 11×14 or smaller,” said David Marshall, MAC’s President and Portland City Councilor. “We’re exciting about reviewing all they new artwork that will be submitted.”

Maine based artist can submit their creations, in any media, as long as the work measures 11 x 14 inches or smaller, including any frame used.

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High-profile Cutler supporters announce their shift to support Michaud

October 29th, 2014 · Filed under: Community Maine

 “I am pleased to be here with former Eliot Cutler supporters who, like me, think that he has many good ideas and know-how,” said Bobby Monks, a Cape Elizabeth businessman, in the photo.  “But Mike Michaud is strong on women’s rights, strong on the environment, and brings a creative vision for business and economic development for the state of Maine.  If we join together, we can defeat Paul LePage.”


“I am pleased to be here with former Eliot Cutler supporters who, like me, think that he has many good ideas and know-how,” said Bobby Monks, a Cape Elizabeth businessman, in the photo. “But Mike Michaud is strong on women’s rights, strong on the environment, and brings a creative vision for business and economic development for the state of Maine. If we join together, we can defeat Paul LePage.”

With one week remaining before Election Day and the polls showing Paul LePage and Mike Michaud neck-and-neck in the race to be Maine’s next governor, a half-dozen high-profile supporters of Eliot Cutler gathered at Ocean Gateway in Portland and announced their intention to unite behind Michaud in order to defeat LePage.

“Going back to 2010 I have been a fervent Cutler supporter,” said Jim Shaffer, a retired educator and former CEO of the Guy Gannet Company from Cape Elizabeth. “I certainly think he has the best ideas for moving the state forward and strong skills for executing those ideas. I know many of you share this view. But this week I’ve come to a sad conclusion that Eliot isn’t going to win, and if I vote for him, I might be doing damage because Maine can ill afford four more years of Paul LePage. I’m now sporting a Michaud sticker on my car. I’ll vote for him, and I hope you will join me.”

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On Maine’s ballot: $50 million in bonds for economic growth, and bear baiting citizen’s question

October 28th, 2014 · Filed under: Business & Innovation, Capitol news

Bonds will help create jobs. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Bonds will help create jobs. Photo by Ramona du Houx

The Legislature passed a $50 million bond plan last spring to boost job creation by small businesses and invest in key sectors of the state’s economy and clean water infrastructure. Some of the investments will help grow Maine’s stagnant economy as Governor LePage has held back bond investments.

The plan is made up of six separate measures. Each received two-thirds approval in both chambers of the Legislature, which made it impossible for LePage to veto the measure.

“Democrats and Republicans came together to make critical investments in our economy,” said Speaker of the House Mark Eves. “This is a positive step towards boosting jobs by building on the best of Maine.”

The largest of the six proposals would invest $12 million to recapitalize the Regional Economic Development Loan Program and the Commercial Loan Insurance Programs — proven financing programs that help promising small business on the cusp of job creation access capital.

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Poll shows Michaud locked in dead heat with LePage for Maine’s governorship

October 28th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

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A new poll from Pan Atlantic SMS shows that U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud and Gov. Paul LePage are locked in a tight race to become Maine’s next governor. Third-place candidate Eliot Cutler remains far behind the frontrunners and appears to be losing support. The poll of 400 people, conducted Oct. 15-21, found Michaud and Gov. LePage tied at 40 percent of the vote and Cutler dropping to 13 percent.

“I voted for Nader- voting my conscience, and I voted for Cutler last time around. But LePage has been too damaging for Maine’s economy and reputation. People need healthcare and a minimum wage increase. Cutler said he’d wait for the federal government to raise the minimum wage. He’s not who I thought he is. I’m voting for Michaud. I’m not taking any chances,” said Terry Wright of Portland.

The last poll released by Pan Atlantic, which was taken in Sept. 23-29, showed 39 percent for Gov. LePage, 34 percent for Michaud and 20 percent for Cutler. The poll shows Michaud gaining momentum and support as Cutler’s support fades.
Comparing the two polls from the same pollster, Michaud is showing strong gains, while Cutler’s base is falling. Some people fear LePage might win because of Cutler, who is wieldy considered to be a spoiler in the race.

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Hillery Clinton energizes Michaud supporters and asks them to, “veto” LePage

October 25th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, and former U.S. Senator from New York,  in Maine for Congressman Mike Michaud. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, and former U.S. Senator from New York, in Maine for Congressman Mike Michaud. Photo by Ramona du Houx

“It’s time to give your governor a veto,” said Clinton after highlighting the fact that Gov. LePage vetoed accepting federal healthcare coverage for Maine- not once- but five times.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, and former U.S. Senator from New York, rallied roughly 1,400 people on behalf of U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud at Scarborough High School on October 24, 2014.

“I wanted to come lend my support to his campaign because I believe he would be the kind of governor the people of Maine deserve,” said Clinton.

She talked about Michaud’s record of passionate persistent work on the behalf of the people of Maine. She reminded people that Michaud had the courage to run for office and pass laws in the Maine State House that stopped his employer, the Great Northern Mill, from dumping pollutants into his community’s river. Michaud got into politics because he was passionate about stopping the mill’s toxic practice. He continued to work for the mill while being a Representative in Augusta.

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, and former U.S. Senator from New York,  in Maine for Congressman Mike Michaud. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Hillary Rodham Clinton, former Secretary of State, and former U.S. Senator from New York, in Maine for Congressman Mike Michaud. Photo by Ramona du Houx

“It matters what have you already done,” said Clinton highlighting her work with Michaud on trade issues and how he played a key role in passing the recent VA reform bill. She also mentioned Mike’s work bringing needed funds to rural areas of the state with the Northern Boarder Commission for economic development he created in Congress.

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Maine Governor’s race neck and neck

October 24th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

Public Policy Polling’s newest Maine survey finds that after three televised debates, the race for governor is still a very tight contest between incumbent Paul LePage and Democrat Mike Michaud. LePage and Michaud each have 40 percent, with Eliot Cutler trailing at 17 percent.

The biggest factor in this race remaining so close is that Cutler, consistently in a distant third place, is continuing to siphon off enough of the anti-LePage vote to keep the contest in toss-up range.

Trailing by 23 points with only 11 days to go until the election, there is virtually no way Cutler can overtake LePage and Michaud. But by splitting the anti-LePage vote, the support Cutler is pulling from Michaud could be just enough to re-elect LePage in this razor-thin contest.


Other key findings from the survey include:

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Out-of-State Tea Party donors give $50,000 to Cutler PAC in Maine

October 24th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

The Campaign for Maine, the political action committee supporting Eliot Cutler, received $50,000 in contributions from major, out-of-state Republican donors in its most recent campaign finance report. The donors, James and Marilyn Hebenstreit of Kansas, also contributed the maximum amount to Eliot Cutler’s campaign in September.

The report, filed on Oct. 23 and covering the period of Oct. 1-21, shows that nearly 60 percent of Cutler PAC’s new fundraising come from these two donors. The Hebenstreits are long-time donors to Tea Party Republicans across the country, contributing more than $536,000 to the GOP’s most conservative politicians and special interest groups. This includes $50,000 to the Republican Governors Association (RGA) with their most recent donation of $25,000 in June, $96,000 to the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) and $65,000 to the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC).

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