Wednesday August 08, 2012 | 03:57 PM

 

 

Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate Cynthia Dill held a brief rally on the steps of Portland City Hall Wednesday to applaud the inclusion of same-sex marriage rights into the national Democratic party platform.

The press event followed a recent unanimous decision by the party's drafting committee to include marriage equality into the policy platform. The platform will be adopted during the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, N.C. 

Dill, who has been a frequent critic of independent Angus King during the senate campaign, said that the Democratic party's commitment to gay rights showed that party affiliation was important. She said Democrats "walk the talk" when it comes to equal rights. 

"Democrats take deliberate and thoughtful action when it comes to protecting Americans' civil liberties, not just platitudes," she said. 

Dill is considered a long shot to defeat independent and Republican Charlie Summers in November. However, if elected, she said she would side with Democrats and President Obama in repealing the Defensive of Marriage Act, or DOMA, a law that defines marriage as being between a man and a woman. 

King is backing the referendum effort to legalize same-sex marriage in Maine. Summers does not. 

King said Wednesday that he "probably" would support the repeal of DOMA. 

"I'm not in favor of Congress telling people who they should marry," King said. "I'm a conservative."

In a prepared statement, Maine Republican Party Chairman Charlie Webster said Dill's press conference showed her and the Democratic party's misplaced priorities. 

"At a time when people can't find work, Cynthia Dill, Barack Obama, and the Democratic Party have made homosexual marriage the most important part of their agenda," Webster said. "I want to know what they've done about jobs lately."

Webster also blasted Dale McCormick, a Dill supporter who recently resigned from the Maine State Housing Authority after a protracted and highly political battle with Republican state Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, the Maine Heritage Policy Center and board members appointed by Gov. Paul LePage who were hostile to her leadership.

Webster said McCormick was an "extreme liberal activist" and a bureaucrat who spent "thousands of taxpayer dollars on karate lessons, magicians, messages, lavish hotels and donations to liberal activist groups."

Ben Grant, chairman of the Maine Democratic Party, took issue with Webster's comments, saying Maine Republican should "look in the mirror" when talking about job growth. Maine, he said, has lost 1,300 jobs under Gov. Paul LePage and is one of seven states with a shrinking economy.

Grant said the Obama administration could tout 27 straight months of private sector job growth.

"Under Democratic leadership people will have the freedom to marry the people they love and experience economic opportunity," he said.

It may seem odd that the Maine GOP would attack Dill, who is polling a distant third in the U.S. Senate race. However, GOP operatives have acknowledged that she needs to perform better in order to siphon Democratic support from King. 

 

 

About the Author

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Steve Mistler covers politics and government for the Portland Press Herald. He spends a lot of time in the hallways of the State House.

Steve can be reached at 791-6345 or smistler@pressherald.com.
On Twitter: @stevemistler

Subscribe to the
Capitol Ticker RSS

Previous entries

April 2014

March 2014

February 2014

January 2014

December 2013

November 2013

More

October 2013

September 2013

August 2013

July 2013

June 2013

May 2013

April 2013

March 2013

February 2013

January 2013

December 2012

November 2012

October 2012

September 2012

August 2012

July 2012

June 2012

May 2012

April 2012

Further Discussion

Here at PressHerald.com we value our readers and are committed to growing our community by encouraging you to add to the discussion. To ensure conscientious dialogue we have implemented a strict no-bullying policy. To participate, you must follow our Terms of Use.

Questions about the article? Add them below and we’ll try to answer them or do a follow-up post as soon as we can. Technical problems? Email them to us with an exact description of the problem. Make sure to include:
  • type of computer or mobile device your are using
  • exact operating system and browser you are viewing the site on (TIP: You can easily determine your operating system here.)
Prefer to respond privately? Email us here.