from December 2011
Previous month's news
- Our last meeting was December 13th, with a special holiday potluck and thank-you to our Democratic legislators. It was a capacity crowd, with good cheer and lively discussions. The meeting agenda is here.
Highlights of the meeting:
- Our local reps, Chuck Kruger, Roger Moody and Joan Welsh were in attendance. Ed Mazurek was still recuperating (very well) from his recent hospitalization.
- Our municipal caucuses may be moved up to February 26th. Pencil in this date, but keep the old one just in case: March 11th.
- Sen. David Trahan has finally confirmed his resignation to be effective December 31st. A District-20-wide caucus will be held, date and place to be announced, probably in January. KCDC members from Friendship and Washington may attend and nominate a Democratic candidate for the special election.
- The chair spoke about the upcoming LD 309, which Republicans call "right-to-work" legislation, more properly labeled "union busting."
- Rep Welsh anticipates a "very bitter" upcoming legislative session.
- The fundraising challenge: possible contra-dance and other ideas to be discussed at a post-Christmas meeting of those interested, at Mike's in Thomaston.
- Hannaford's "Clynk" program for returnable containers was presented by Carolyn Foster. The group approved a motion to set up a KCDC account and distribute collection bags so that folks can easily convert their containers to KCDC funds.
- Gerald Weinand reported that his Omnibus of Bills for the coming session can be found at Dirigo Blue, and that he will be hosting a radio call-in show on WRFR, Thursdays from 1:00 - 2:00 p.m. Rep Chuck Kruger will be his guest on 12/22.
- Sadly, former Democratic House member Rita B. Melendy is recovering from cancer surgery. Her brother, Roger Brochu, who lives at Stella Maris, says she would welcome notes of encouragement sent to: 38 Talon Drive, Auburn, ME 04210. Mike warmly recounted a funny story about Rita dumpster-diving at a State Democratic Convention to get returnables for the KCDC treasury; was this the Clynk precursor?
Discussion of the state party platform followed the meeting, focussing on "Health and Education" (Section B in the current document.) See more on our Platform page.
- "Tired of another story about the labor mural?" The Maine Heritage Policy Center proudly announced its new "capitol news bureau" in an email with those words, taking aim at the "Liberal Press." Named both MainePolicyNews.com and TheMaineWire.com, the new website of slick right-wingers Lance Dutson, Sam Adolphsen and company disarmingly says:
...We have two distinct goals for The Maine Wire:
The first is to provide a fair, engaging perspective on the public policy discussion in Maine. We'll do this through this website, through partnerships with weekly newspapers and radio stations, and through a series of other distribution channels that we'll be rolling out in the coming months. We're bringing the state political world to life by engaging the real thought leaders, providing a forum for debate, and showing the real-life impact of the decisions made on our behalf in Augusta.
The second goal is to serve as a motivating force for the rest of Maine's press to drop the pro-government bias and get back to the business of reporting the news. Conservatives in Maine are tired of being insulted, they are tired of having the editors and reporters from our daily papers cast personal aspersions on them simply because they have different perspectives on fiscal policy. The Maine Wire will effectively end the pro-government monopoly on media, and will finally give a fair shake to the majority of Mainers who support fiscal prudence and limited government...
Forewarned is fore-armed.
This is a powerful group, pushing a national right-wing agenda. They have lots of money and ties to the Koch Brothers and to the Cato Institute. These guys like to make up their own "facts" and assign mis-leading labels to their policy statements. More about it at the Washington Independent and at Wikipedia...
We need to publicly question every "report" they publish, and every dollar they spend lobbying.
Facts? Oh, just make them up. The Lewiston Sun Journal (12/16) reported that the guv wasn't entirely factual about his administration's discussions with Forbes Magazine, after the magazine ranked Maine last in its annual Best Places for Business rankings. The Sun reports, in part:
Gov. Paul LePage on Wednesday told a crowd of 100 people that a Forbes representative told his office the state must cut spending, reduce energy costs and address structural problems — which LePage interpreted as 'welfare' — or the state would continue to be 'in the cellar' of the magazine’s rankings of the best states for business.
The end of the article is perhaps the best, when spokesperson Adrienne Bennet tries to explain the guv's processing:
Forbes says it told the governor’s office no such thing...
"Our staff, you know, talked to them," Bennett said. "So, I think he started out saying, 'They said,' and then he kind of goes to his thoughts, then he goes back to 'They said.' It's just the way he speaks. The more one-on-one time you get with him, you understand these things."