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NEWS!  from October 2011 (updated: 11.03.2011, 15:10)  Previous month's news

  • Click the Act Blue button below to contribute to
    Midcoast Maine to Keep Election Day Registration (Yes on 1) (more below).

  • Kathie Johnson service Sunday, Oct 30, at 3:00 p.m. at the Rockport Opera House. Kathie, who passed away last winter, is fondly remembered for her cheerful presence and tireless work with all of us at KCDC. Sunday's celebration feature the music that was so much of her life. Details at the BDN (10/27).
  • HEADS UP! Our next meeting is Tuesday, November 15th. This is one week later than usual, to avoid the conflict with Election Day, the previous Tuesday.
  • charlie stickersDon't Trust Charlie! The Maine Peoples Alliance has created a website supporting students' right to vote "YES ON 1". Go to to get your sticker(s) and a laugh.
  • Maine Municipal Association endorses YES ON 1.
    The Bangor Daily has the story (10/11).
  • The Maine Ethics Commission is charged with administering the Maine Clean Elections Act (MCEA). MCEA was dealt a severe blow in June, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the matching funds provision of a similar Arizona law. Ed Youngblood, writing in the BDN (10/15-16) says:

    ...Last month the commission made a set of recommendations to the Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee which will now work on legislation to mend the law. The goal is to have the full Legislature make necessary changes early next year.

    What the commission found is that the law does not need a complete overhaul. Most aspects of the program do not require any change at all. Candidates will still qualify for public funding by collecting qualifying contributions of $5 from in-district voters in order to demonstrate grassroots support. Equal distributions will still be made to candidates in similar races.

    What will have to change is how, or whether, additional funds are distributed to particular candidates...

    He goes on to recommend adopting the "Re-qualifying Option" where:
    ...candidates could undertake additional qualifying rounds, collecting more qualifying contributions in order to receive additional funding...

    The Ethics Commission Recommendations are contained in this 75 page report (19 MB pdf). The Veteran's and Legal Affairs Committee has scheduled a hearing for Tuesday, Oct 18th.

  • Checking in with the Party of No... Hard to say why those who say "NO" the loudest or are truly weird float to the top of their list of presidential candidates. The flavor of the week seems to be Herman Cain, former CEO of Godfather's Pizza, who has proposed his 9-9-9 tax system and an electrified fence at the Mexican border.

    How about his close ties to the Koch brothers? The Washington Post (10/16) has the dirt.

  • Our last meeting was Tuesday, October 11th, at Stella Maris House in Rockland. The agenda is here.

    Meeting highlights:

    • Healthcare: Insurance rates are much higher in rural counties; increases are slightly lower in urban areas after the passage of LD1333 in the last session (MPBN story here).
    • Blame Snowe & Collins for the failure of the Obama jobs bill in the Senate this week.
    • Fall fundraiser in Camden is on sometime in November. Bruce needs help.
    • Rep. Chuck Kruger reported:
      • Cheers to Rep. Joan Welsh for working on redistricting. She sends thanks to everyone for support at the hearings.
      • Ed Mazurek gave Dems response to LePage radio address.
      • Remember Oct 20th Legislators' Forum in Rockland.
    • Yes On 1 needs:
      • money
      • help assembling signs
      • people to do door-to-door literature drops
      • See our Yes on 1 page.
    • Steve Melchiskey met with a representative from Knox County Republicans about their LIHEAP fundraising proposal. Our executive committee has asked them for a written proposal. We passed a motion asking our executive committee to develop a policy for dealing with issues of this kind that are outside our normal scope of activity.
    • A replica of the "labor mural" is on tour.
    • A documentary film about Maine's 2009 people's veto of marriage equality law will play at the end of the month in Portland and Waterville (DirigoBlue has more... on this and other topics.)
    • Our Platform Committee reps reported:
      • having had a MDP platform committee meeting on Oct 2
      • forming an "Action Plan"
      • creating four issues-oriented sub-committees
    • The party platform will be on the agenda for our next four meetings. Comments are invited and should be emailed to our reps in advance. See more on our Platform page.

  • Education Forum, Monday, Oct 3rd, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m., at The Strand Theatre, Rockland. Titled, Education -- An Economic Imperative for the Midcoast, it features Governor LePage and Laurie Lachance, president of the Maine Development Foundation as speakers, and two roundtable panel discussions. More at the Free Press (09/29)...

    This OpEd in the BDN (09/28) cautions us, and Governor LePage, to make the distinction between training and education. The former fits a student into the current job market; the latter provides the life skills that enable adapting to a changing world.

  • Democratic Legislators' Public Forum, Thursday, October 20th, 6:30 p.m., at the Rockland City Hall council chambers. Rep. Ed Mazurek, Rep. Joan Welsh, and Rep. Chuck Kruger will discuss the next Legislative session that begins in January. They will address people's concerns and ideas about the upcoming session.
  • Yes on 1 . Our major focus this month will be getting out the vote for the November election, and in particular, ensuring broad, non-partisan support for Referendum Question 1, to restore Election Day voter registration:
    Do you want to reject the section of Chapter 399 of the Public Laws of 2011 that requires new voters to register to vote at least two business days prior to an election?

    A local PAC has been formed to support this effort in Knox County, Midcoast Maine to Keep Election Day Registration (Yes on 1). They will be calling to identify voters supporting Election Day registration, making pins (buttons) and signs, and, to the extent funding is available, preparing mailings. This group needs your support.

    You may donate on line at You may also send a check made out to Yes on 1 and send it to:

    Stu Thro
    PO Box 215
    Owls Head ME 04854.

    We have a talking points page.

    The NYTimes (10/03) has a pertinent front-page article, New State Rules Raising Hurdles at Voting Booth, discussing the potential impact of voter suppression in more than a dozen states.


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