Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Open Season targets all of Maine's political wildlife, from Portland city government to the donkeys, elephants and independents stalking the Statehouse and U.S. Capitol.
John Richardson joined the Press Herald in 1990 after working as a reporter in New Jersey. He has covered a variety of beats, including marine issues, the environment and health care. He is now covering politics and focusing on Maine's U.S. Senate race.
John can be reached at 791-6324 or email@example.com
On Twitter: @jrichmaine
Colin Woodard has covered politics and elections for more than two decades, from Bosnia and Bucharest to Washington, D.C., Augusta, and Portland City Hall. He has written for a wide range of national and international publications and is the author of four books, including "American Nations," a history of North America's regional cultures. He joined the Portland Press Herald at the end of April and covers political finance and lobbying, among other things.
Colin can be reached at 791-6317 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Cover has covered Maine politics for 10 years and worked in Kansas, Ohio and Rhode Island as a reporter. This year, she is focusing on covering the same-sex marriage debate for MaineToday Media.
Susan can be reached at 621-5643 or email@example.com
Michael Shepherd joined MaineToday Media in May 2012 after graduating from the University of Maine in Orono, where he edited The Maine Campus, the student newspaper there. Until November he'll be writing the Truth Test, a recurring feature analyzing political statements and advertising.
Michael can be reached at 621-5632 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike Heath and Paul Madore, two men who've been fighting against gay rights for decades, are holding a State House press conference Monday where they promise to "turn up the heat" just a week before Mainers vote on gay marriage.
"It's been years since we've had the opportunity to inform Maine voters about the real dangers and the pure insanity of same-sex sodomy based marriage," Heath is quoted in a press release.
Heath, who resigned as executive director of the Christian Civic League just before the 2009 vote on gay marriage, was shunned by gay marriage opponents last time around because they wanted to take a less aggressive approach. Neither he nor Madore, a Lewiston-area Catholic, have been publicly active this time around, at least not before Monday's rally and press conference.
In their press announcement, they say they want to spell out will happen in Maine if "this insane bill passes."
Got a little debate withdrawal now that the all the presidential debates are over?
Never fear. You can get your fix of zingers and talking points this week with three debates – two on TV and one on radio – between Maine's U.S. Senate candidates.
WCSH-6 will broadcast its live debate Monday at 7 p.m.
WMTW-8 will broadcast its live debate Tuesday at 7 p.m.
The Christian Civic League is encouraging followers to participate in a 48-hour fast leading up to Election Day.
In its weekly newsletter, the league outlines three fasting options: water fasting (no food, just water); Daniel fast (no pleasant foods, just vegetables and water) and Liquids only (water, juice). The fast would run from 8 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 4 to 8 p.m. Tues., Nov. 6.
Election Day at 8 p.m. is when the polls close and the nail biting really begins for all the campaigns. Although the call for a fast doesn't specifically mention Question 1, the gay marriage ballot initiative, the Civic League has been deeply involved in running and funding the campaign to urge a "no" vote.
The newsletter also asks for donations so the campaign can run a Billy Graham newspaper ad in the Portland Press Herald and the Bangor Daily News. It notes that the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association took out an ad in the Wall Street Journal recently in which Graham urges people to vote for "the candidates who support the biblical definition of marriage between one man and one woman."
Treworgy Family Orchards in Levant, outside of Bangor, caused quite a stir among customers and Facebook friends recently by putting a "No on 1" sign near their driveway.
The orchard Facebook page shows hundreds of comments about the issue, which range from "I will NEVER come to your farm again" to "You have a new customer in my family." Question 1 asks voters if they want to allow the state to issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples.
The Bangor Daily News is reporting today that Treworgy has taken the sign down. Also, Protect Marriage Maine, the major opposition group, used the incident as an opportunity to say these types of things will happen more frequently if gay marriage becomes legal in Maine.
"If marriage is redefined, it is redefined for everyone, leaving no room under the law or in civil discourse for those who disagree with this new genderless definition of marriage for religious, cultural or other reasons," said Bob Emrich in a prepared statement.
A new 5-minute or so video produced by the National Organization for Marriage has popped up on the Protect Marriage Maine website.
A female narrator walks viewers through arguments for and against same-sex marriage, coming to the conclusion that it's best for society to promote traditional marriage, not gay marriage. The video, which is kind of a School House Rock tutorial, is in addition to new ads that were released today by gay marriage opponents.
Question 1 supporters have already fought back by releasing briefing memos to reporters to refute claims made in the ads. One features Vermont innkeepers and another a Canadian sportswriter who says he was fired for sending a Tweet in support of traditional marriage. Both ads can be found here.
In 2009, NOM provided gay-marriage opponents with nearly $2 million in funding for the successful campaign to overturn same-sex marriage 53-47 percent. They are major contributors this time too, having given $252,000 so far with more expected before the Nov. 6 election.