Obama already has a great legacy – he will lead the USA forward despite Congress

November 6th, 2014 · Filed under: Creative Economy, News from Washington

President Barack Obama pauses during his speech at Southern Maine's Community College   photo by Ramona du Houx

President Barack Obama pauses during his speech at Southern Maine’s Community College photo by Ramona du Houx

While the president’s party fared poorly in the sixth-year midterms it’s not unusual. Franklin D, Roosevelt’s party suffered even greater losses in his sixth year in office, and that was during WWII. In Dwight Eisenhower’s sixth-year midterm, his Republican party lost 48 House seats and 13 Senate seats, making President Barack Obama’s 2014 look mild by comparison. Republican Ronald Reagan’s party lost eight Senate seats – and their majority – in 1986.

None of them abandoned their policy agendas or decided to start endorsing elements of the opposition party’s agenda. Obama, is a press conference November 5, that he wants to try and work with the new Republican leadership and find common ground on some issues. The President also made it clear that he will keep to his policies and principles moving the country forward taking action with or without Congress.

Obama’s legacy is already very strong with groundbreaking healthcare reform, job creation, getting the US out of the great recession and bringing us back from two wars. Here are 14 facts about the state of America under the leadership of President Obama. Every statement is followed up with a link to a source where to verify the statistics.

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Democrats Hold Majority in Maine House

November 5th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

Democrats won 79 seats in the Maine House on Tuesday, according to preliminary election results. The victory gives Democrats control of the legislative body for the upcoming 127th Legislature.

The finally tally of 151 House members, includes 68 Republicans and four unenrolled members who are expected to caucus with Democrats.

“The election is over. Now is the time to govern,” said House Speaker Mark Eves of North Berwick. “We are ready to work with the Governor and our Republican colleagues and remain strongly committed to standing up for seniors and middle class families.”

The Democratic majority in the House was won by the hard work of candidates, who fanned out across the state and whose positive message of economic opportunity resonated with voters.

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Mediator to bring FairPoint Back to bargaining table Nov. 18

November 4th, 2014 · Filed under: Business & Innovation, Community Maine

Representatives of striking FairPoint workers will meet with officials from FairPoint Communications on Nov. 18 in Boston. The company has been struggling with service disruptions and failing to keep up with customer complaints since the strike began on Oct. 17.

A federal mediator arranged the Nov. 18 meeting, which is an effort to jump-start contract talks that FairPoint abruptly ended this summer.

“We’ve always been committed to reaching an agreement that ensures good jobs and quality service for northern New England,” said Peter McLaughlin, Chair of System Council T-9 of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers. “We’ll be in Boston ready to find common ground, and we urge the company to return to the table in the same spirit.”

FairPoint officials walked away from the bargaining table in August and imposed conditions that pay some new employees a wage that’s below the poverty level for a family of four. FairPoint, a North Carolina-based company largely owned by Wall Street hedge funds, also implemented a controversial measure that lets it outsource work to contractors outside New England and overseas.

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Vote even if power is still out in Maine

November 4th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

1394323_10152841705572463_5549917345410757276_nWith over 80,000 people still without electricity some may wonder about their ability to vote. According to Sec. of State Matt Dunlap- everyone will be able to vote today.

“The important thing to remember is that we use paper ballots” said Secretary of State Matt Dunlap in a news release. “As long as people can mark their ballots by 8 p.m. on Election Day, their vote will be counted. Our town clerks are working diligently to make sure that polling locations are up and functional tomorrow, and any adjustments that need to be made will be made public as broadly as we can.”

If your community has no electricity voters will be given paper ballots. Also, you can request an absentee ballot if you can’t get out of your driveway or for whatever reason. A neighbor can do this for you, or simply call your town office and a person will come to your house with a ballot.

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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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