FairPoint Workers in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont On Strike

October 17th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, October 17th, nearly 2,000 employees of FairPoint Communications (FRP) in northern New England will go on strike. Early Friday morning they will establish picket lines at hundreds of work sites across Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

“The company’s actions have brought us to this place,” said Peter McLaughlin, Business Manager of IBEW Local 2327 in Maine. “We did not want to take this step. Our members want to work; they want to take care of their customers. However, our bargaining team worked as hard as we could to reach a fair agreement that would preserve good jobs and help the company prosper. We’ve offered significant concessions to this company that would save them hundreds of millions of dollars. But they absolutely refuse to compromise on any significant issue.”

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Cutler’s selfish approach greatly increases the odds of LePage’s’ re-election

October 15th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

BY GREG KESICH

Eliot Cutler does not think he’s the best candidate for governor: He thinks he’s the only candidate. Consider this statement he made in May:

“I don’t believe either Mike Michaud or Paul LePage has the skills, temperament or independence to lead Maine and rebuild our economy. I am running to make sure neither is elected and that I am, and I feel confident that on Election Day I will be poised to be Maine’s next governor.”

At the time, that was seen as the windup to a message to his supporters that he would “release” them on Election Day rather than be a spoiler if he thought he couldn’t win, but it should be clear by now that he said what he meant to say.

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Remember Poliquin’s misuse of his position as Treasurer?

October 13th, 2014 · Filed under: Capitol news

wcaap1-215x300This article should make folks question Bruce Polquin’s integrity. How would he hurt the state;s reputation in D.C.?

Maine State Treasurer Poliquin misuses position for personal gain
Lawmakers press for answers and demand accountability by Poliquin

By Ramona Du Houx – June 5th, 2012 ·

Today lawmakers renewed questions about State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin’s misuse of public resources for his own political gain. On Monday, Poliquin sent an email blast from the state’s computer system, in his role as State Treasurer, contradicting and undermining the findings of the Maine Office of Program Evaluation and Government Accountability (OPEGA) report.

“Mr. Poliquin continues to choose to deflect criticism by pressing forward with unfounded attacks on the Maine State Housing Authority,” said State Senator Phil Bartlett (D-Gorham). “Mr. Poliquin should be focused on his duties as Treasurer instead of teaming up with special interests to use taxpayer money for a political witch hunt. It is time for Mr. Poliquin to look in the mirror and take responsibility for his own actions.”

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The insights of Shenna Bellows from her 350 walk across Maine

October 10th, 2014 · Filed under: Civil Rights, Community Maine

Shenna Bellows walks into Waterville during her 350 mile walk across Maine to connect with people. Photo Ramona du Houx

Shenna Bellows walks into Waterville during her 350 mile walk across Maine to connect with people. Photo Ramona du Houx

Shenna Bellows represents the wave of the future, in young candidates, whom have concluded that the way to bring positive change to their communities for them is through public service. Many in her generation took part in “occupy” demonstrations around the country, and globe, voicing their dissatisfaction with how the corporate world and our government is working. But too many were without direction. Not Bellows, who wants to become an elected official and bring people together in coalitions to make change happen.

“I’m walking to lift up the voices of people in communities who have been left out and left behind by decisions in Washington that benefit the wealthiest corporations and individuals at the expense of our local communities,” said Bellows, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate for Maine.

 Bellows walks in Fairfield on her 350 mile trail with supporters for her Senate race. Photo by Ramona du Houx

Bellows walks in Fairfield on her 350 mile trail with supporters for her Senate race. Photo by Ramona du Houx

On July 20, Bellows took her first step on her 350-mile campaign trek. She made stops in more than 63 communities by the time she reached Kittery, on schedule Aug. 12.

“I think the Walk represents what grass-roots democracy should look like,” said Bellows. “Our elections should be about conversations in people’s living rooms and dooryards about issues that matter to our communities. Too often our elections have become about who has the most money wins.”

Bellows served as Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Maine for the last eight years, where she built coalitions with Republicans and Democrats to pass groundbreaking privacy and civil rights laws.

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Michaud Receives 100% on National LGBT equality Congressional scorecard

October 9th, 2014 · Filed under: Civil Rights

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U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud has received a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign’s (HRC) Congressional Scorecard for the 113th Congress. The HRC scorecard tracks both the public positions and votes of Members on a variety of issues related to LGBT equality. The HRC scorecard comes just several weeks after Michaud became one of the first House Members to sign a discharge petition for the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would bring federal workplace protections legislation for LGBT people directly to the House floor for a vote if it achieves 218 signatures.

“Our communities are at their best when everyone can feel respected and safe in their neighborhoods, schools and workplaces,” said Michaud. “I’m proud that we’ve led on issues of equality in Maine – from marriage to workplace protections – but there is still more we must do at the federal level to ensure everyone in our society has access to the same benefits and protections. That’s why I’m proud to support an array of bills that will move us in that direction – from legislation that protects young students from bullying in schools, to ensuring no one ever loses their job just because of who they are or who they love.”

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“Put the Middle Class First” bus campaign tour in Bangor, Maine

October 9th, 2014 · Filed under: Community Maine

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The “Put the Middle Class First” bus campaign tour held a press conference in front of the Paul Bunyan statue on Main Street in Bangor October 7th.

Speakers like Ohio’s former Governor Ted Strickland said Republicans are only looking out for themselves. One reason he cited was the fact that middle class wages are stagnant – staying the same as they were in the 1970′s as cost of living goes up. He said public servants like Mike Michaud for governor, and Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate will help change this by increasing the minimum wage. President Barack Obama has called on Congress to raise the minimum wage to $10.10.

“I wanted to come to this city because I know Mike Michaud. I served with him when I was in the House of Representatives. I sat beside him in the Veteran’s Affairs Committee… I know his values. I know his commitment to public service and I know he’ll be a great governor for the state of Maine,” said Strickland, who is now President of CAP Action Fund.

Bangor Council member Joe Baldacci was there.

“The bus tour is focusing on how the current policies in Augusta and in Congress are hurting middle class families. And that we need to invest in people, in our fellow citizens- higher minimum wage, more affordable college opportunities and protecting Medicare and Social Security,” said Councilor Baldacci.

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Gender equality now! join He for She

October 8th, 2014 · Filed under: Uncategorized

At the U.N. General Assembly:

“I decided I was a feminist and this seemed uncomplicated to me. But my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Apparently I am among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, anti-men and, unattractive.
Why is the word such an uncomfortable one? I am from Britain and think it is right that as a woman I am paid the same as my male counterparts. I think it is right that I should be able to make decisions about my own body. I think it is right that women be involved on my behalf in the policies and decision-making of my country. I think it is right that socially I am afforded the same respect as men. But sadly I can say that there is no one country in the world where all women can expect to receive these rights.”

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Maine’s Workforce Committee receives the President’s Award from MDF for Innovative Workforce Development Initiatives

October 7th, 2014 · Filed under: Business & Innovation

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Today the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future received the President’s Award from the Maine Development Foundation for their comprehensive and innovative approach to workforce development in Maine.

At the start of the 126th Legislature, Senate President Justin Alfond and House Speaker Mark Eves pledged to make economic growth and job creation a top priority of Democrats. With the creation of the Joint Select Committee on Maine’s Workforce and Economic Future, they delivered on this promise. Today’s recognition by the Maine Development Foundation demonstrates the continued success and full realization of this vision.

“It is an honor that MDF would validate the legislature’s priority on Maine’s workforce needs,” said Alfond. “The investment in Maine people and our workforce needs is a way for our state to sustain and attract businesses. The results are a testament to the collaboration the legislature built with the private sector, unions, nonprofits and higher education leaders.”

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President Clinton exposes Lepage’s ideology while extolling Michaud’s collition building skills

October 7th, 2014 · Filed under: Community Maine

 “I believe this guy will be an unbelievable governor,” said former President William Jefferson Clinton holding Michaud's plan for Maine's future. photo by Ramona du Houx

“I believe this guy will be an unbelievable governor,” said former President William Jefferson Clinton holding Michaud’s plan for Maine’s future. photo by Ramona du Houx

“I believe this guy will be an unbelievable governor,” said former President William Jefferson Clinton. The most popular president of modern times didn’t hold back exposing Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s Tea Party extreme policies that have hurt Maine, while he championed the candidacy of Democratic challenger Congressman Mike Michaud during a steamy summer rally at the Portland Exposition Center. More than 1,600 Michaud supporters sandwiched together listening to the call to action.

“Here’s what I know,” said Clinton. “Everywhere in America where people are following inclusive visions and cooperative decision-making they’re making good things happen. Everywhere in the world where people are following a model of inclusive decision-making and good cooperation, good things are happening. Everywhere in the world where people favor division over inclusion, good things are not happening- bad things are. Ideology makes you do dumb things.” Clinton was directly referring to Page’s opposition to Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act. LePage vetoed the measure the legislature approved.

President Clinton listens to mike Michaud's speech about how he will bring positive change to Maine. photo by Ramona du Houx

President Clinton listens to mike Michaud’s speech about how he will bring positive change to Maine. photo by Ramona du Houx

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Senator Tuttle-sponsored measure would provide honors for deceased veterans in Maine

October 7th, 2014 · Filed under: Uncategorized

Sen. Tuttle. photo by Ramona du Houx

Sen. Tuttle. photo by Ramona du Houx

Democratic Senator John Tuttle of Sanford has submitted a bill to fund burial services for all deceased veterans in Maine through the Maine Funeral Honors Program.

“The ceremonial paying of respects is the very least we can do as a country to demonstrate our enormous gratitude to the men and women who have valiantly fought and died for our country,” said Senator Tuttle. “It is unconscionable that we would not provide this tribute to veterans and their families, who have sacrificed everything for our freedom and safety.

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