from January 2010
Town Caucuses are THIS SUNDAY, January 31st.
Conveners, locations, etc. are here.
Our next KCDC meeting is Tuesday, February 9th, at Stella Maris House, Rockland, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Join the pot-luck supper at 6:00; business meeting at 7:00. Among items to be discussed is a proposed policy for supporting candidates in a contested primary. The agenda is coming soon.
State-by-state health care reform? With Congress gridlocked, national health care looks to be dead in the water again. Canada's national health started with enactment in a single province; Massachusetts and Hawaii have done their own thing in the U. S. Should Congress keep hands off, and instead be a facilitator for states' efforts? Take a look at Vermont Single Payer, a website with a wealth of information, and a rational take on the issue. Hit this link and use the menu on the left for some interesting articles.
What about Maine? Here's a December 2002 feasibility study (870k pdf) that suggests it would work.
- Oh, Teddy! Republican Scott Brown wins the Massachusetts Senate seat held for 40+ years by Ted Kennedy, and becomes he 41st vote against national health care reform and climate change legislation. Was the election about national health? Maybe not. As the NYTimes (1/20) says,
...Massachusetts is one of the few states where the benefits promised by the national bill were expected to have little effect on how many of its residents got coverage, making it an unlikely place for a referendum on the health care bill.
- The Massachusetts senate race is reportedly neck-and-neck. Martha Coakley, the Democrat, needs to Get Out The Vote. You can help with phone banking from home. Follow this link http://www.marthacoakley.com/get_involved/Neighbor-to-Neighbor to her campaign. They supply the scripts and the phone number lists. There's a lot riding on this.
"...there was nothing accidental about the crisis. From the late 1970s on, the American financial system, freed by deregulation and a political climate in which greed was presumed to be good, spun ever further out of control. There were ever-greater rewards - bonuses beyond the dreams of avarice - for bankers who could generate big short-term profits. And the way to raise those profits was to pile up ever more debt, both by pushing loans on the public and by taking on ever-higher leverage within the financial industry.
Sooner or later, this runaway system was bound to crash. And if we don’t make fundamental changes, it will happen all over again..." Krugman's NYTimes (01/15) column has more...
States' role in federal health plans? Reconciling the House and Senate versions of the federal health care bill means coming to grips with the role of the individual states in overseeing insurers. Now, for example, Massachusetts regulates closely; Idaho hardly ever reviews claims denials. Read the NYTimes article (01/14) here.
Speaking of which, Tuesday, Jan 19the is the special election in Massachusetts to fill the late Ted Kennedy's U. S. Senate seat. The Party of NO! wants to make it a referendum on the national health care bill. If the Rs win, it's their 41st vote in the Senate. More with Gail Collins' opinion here (NYTimes 01/14)...
Our last KCDC meeting was 12 Jan 2010, with between 30 and 40 in attendance. The agenda is here. Highlights were:
- We welcomed two new at-large members: Diana Beach and Carmen Lavertu.
- We elected Bob Baker as Vice-Chair.
- The chair read a long policy statement prepared by the Executive Committee for "Support of Candidates in a Contested Primary." Heated discussion ensued, and the matter was tabled, to be taken up at our next meeting. With two candidates for county sheriff, and nine candidates vying for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, the issue is how or if we can provide any official KCDC support without bias prior to the primary.
- Rosa Scarcelli spoke briefly to introduce herself as a gubernatorial candidate. She emphasized her experience as a business person, focusing on job creation, improving education, health care, and local farms. More at http://www.RosaForMaine.com
Libby Mitchell introduced herself as a gubernatorial candidate. She emphasized her long experience in the Maine legislature, currently as president of the Maine Senate, her role in the legislature's recent success in passing a tax-reform bill, and her upcoming role in dealing with the state's budget crisis to insure
Shared Sacrifice. More at http://www.libbymitchellforgovernor.com/
- Adrian Humphreys made a short presentation to introduce the idea of replacing or supplementing local property taxes with a local-option income tax. An outline of the presentation is here.
- Erin Herbig Povec, field organizer for Change That Works, spoke on their efforts on health care, particularly about Anthem's outrageous 23% rate increase request.
- DNC debates Superdelegate role. This MPBN story covers that and includes remarks by Governor Baldacci wanting to move us from our current caucus system in Maine to primary voting.
- Dairy farms in New England are hurting as the price of milk has fallen in the face of rising production costs. MPBN reports that Hannaford is joining Keep Local Farms to raise funds supporting our local farmers, who supply not only fresh milk, but also protect a lot of the open space we enjoy.
- Our next KCDC meeting is Tuesday, January 12th, at Stella Maris House, Rockland, from 6:00 to 9:00 p.m. Join the pot-luck supper at 6:00; business meeting at 7:00 with tax discussion and two gubernatorial candidates as guests. The agenda is here. An outline of the tax discussion is here.
- Also that Tuesday evening... at 6:30, our representative and Speaker of the Maine House, Hannah Pingree, speaks at the Camden Library as part of the library's
Is Maine Going Anywhere? series. (Tim Sample joke? No suh, I 'spect Maine'll be staying right heah on the coast, for now anyways.)
- Town Caucuses are Sunday, January 31st. Caucus conveners must attend a training session at Hugh Magbie's home on January 9th, Saturday, at 2:00 p.m. Town Chairs and Caucus Conveners should give Hugh a call (273-3609) to confirm. Conveners, locations, etc. are here.
- See our updated Gubernatorial candidate list with links to the Democratic candidates' websites (01/13/10).