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NEWS!  from March 2012 (updated: 04.04.2012, 14:31)  Previous month's news

  • Meet, Greet & Eat on April 28th. Our Camden members have put together an event to thank our legislators and introduce our legislative candidates from Knox and Waldo counties. So save the date:
    • High Mountain Hall, 5 Mountain St., Camden.
    • Saturday, April 28th.
    • 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. (Social time 5:00, Supper served at 5:30).
    • Menu: Spaghetti, salad, coleslaw, bread, beverages and desserts.
    • $10 per person at the door.
    • FMI: Ann Bex (

  • Our March meeting was Tuesday, March 13, at Stella Maris House in Rockland. The agenda is here.

    We'll post a sense of the meeting soon.

  • POTUS in Portland on March 30th. The 3:00 p.m. fund-raiser reception with President Obama is at the Hutchinson Union Building gym at Southern Maine Community College.The pdf invitation is here or sign up on-line here.

    The event, which sold out in early March, has changed the venue to allow more folks to participate, and a limited number of $44 student tickets is now offered. More at the BDN...

    Ken Wexler is still coordinating transportation. Email him for info.

  • Same-sex marriage officially on November ballot. Avoiding debate, the Maine House sends the citizen-petitioned measure directly to the voters. More at the Press Herald (03/13).
  • Dust is settling from Senate race scramble. Olympia Snowe's February 28th decision to retire from the U. S. Senate shook up the race for her seat and cascaded through the U.S. House and Maine House races. After some temporary insanity:
    • Chellie Pingree remained in the race for the District 1 House seat. Republican Jon Courtney is her expected opponent.
    • Mike Michaud remained in the race for the District 2 House seat, with Republicans Kevin Raye and Blaine Richardson needing a primary shake-out.
    • In the race for Snowe's senate seat:
      • Independent Angus King has announced, but has until June to file his petition.
      • Democrats who will face off in the June primary (John Baldacci decided against a run):
        • Cynthia Dill, Maine Senate
        • Matt Dunlap, former Maine Secretary of State
        • Jon Hinck, Maine House
        • Benjamin Pollard
      • Republicans who met the March 15th filing deadline for a June primary:
        • Rick Bennett, a former Maine Senate president from Oxford
        • Scott D'Amboise
        • Debra Plowman, Maine Senate
        • Bruce Poliquin, Maine Treasurer
        • William Schneider, Maine Attorney General
        • Charlie Summers, Maine Secretary of State

    Kudos to all our Democratic challengers for the Senate. They threw their hats in the ring long before Snowe opted out and before the odds shifted away from another Republican clincher. Watch this space... and Dirgo Blue

  • Charlie Webster! The Republicans decided to keep him on as party chair despite his messing up their caucuses. This is one of those good news/bad news things. The bad news is that we will continue to hear his hogwash-filled bombast through the campaign season. The good news is that he turns off a lot of main stream Republicans, and makes the party look foolish. More at the BDN (03/10)... and a great photo of Charlie at the Press Herald (03/12)
  • "DHHS Credibility Deficit" Commissioner Mary Mayhew withheld information that a computer error contributed significantly to the Department of Health and Human Services budget shortfall, at the same time that the Governor was badgering the legislative committee working on the issue. The Portland Press Herald (03/08) opines:

    ...[the error] resulted in 19,000 ineligible people remaining on the MaineCare rolls. raises questions about the administration's competence to judge either the size or the cause of the DHHS problem. ...her department knew about the computer problem in January while she was still advocating dropping 19,000 childless adults known as noncategoricals from the MaineCare program, projecting that it would save the state $20 million a year. At that time, the governor was critical of lawmakers who were probing into the department's budget figures and questioning how the shortfall grew so large in such a short time, even though only a small percentage of the deficit could be attributed to new people coming into the system. Those questions now look very pertinent.

  • Qualifying Contributions for Maine Clean Elections funding may be made on-line at the Maine Ethics Commission's website. The rules are (exerpted from the website):

    In order to qualify for public funds under the Maine Clean Election Act, a candidate must demonstrate a threshold amount of community support by collecting a minimum number of checks or money orders of $5 or more made payable to the Maine Clean Election Fund. For legislative candidates, the contributions must be made by registered voters in the candidate's district...

    Candidates must collect a minimum of:

    60 qualifying contributions for House candidates.

    175 qualifying contributions for Senate candidates.

    The qualifying contributions must be collected during the period January 1 - April 20...

    When you go to the contributions page, you enter your address and name as it appears on your town's voter rolls. The site displays the candidates for whom you are allowed to contribute, by personal Visa or Mastercard (business credit cards are not allowed).

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