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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 email@example.com
At Thursday night's debate on same-sex marriage, an incident involving a Maryland diversity officer who was suspended after she signed a petition to put gay marriage on the ballot was offered by opponents as further proof that the law will have a chilling effect on free speech.
Carroll Conley of the Christian Civic League used Angela McCaskill of Gallaudet University in Maryland as an example of the erosion of individual liberties.
"She was suspended for saying citizens should have a vote," he said.
Mary Bonauto, an attorney for Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders, quickly responded.
Former Republican gubernatorial candidate Steve Abbott was one of a second wave of Republicans to announce their support for same-sex marriage today.
At press conferences in Portland and Bangor, Abbott, who finished fourth in a seven-way primary in 2010, said in a statement that as a Republican, he believes in personal responsibility.
"Allowing same-sex couples to receive a marriage license will make our communities stronger and will make thousands of families more secure," he said. "Marriage promotes values such as stability, commitment and responsibility that we can all support."
Others making the new list were Ken Mehlman, chairman of the Republican National Committee, and former state Rep. Ken Lindell, R-Frankfort. Lindell described himself as a "libertarian Republican."
The Maine Education Association, the state's principal teacher's union, issued a report this morning critical of full-time virtual charter schools, which they say should not be allowed to open in Maine.
The 12-page report, "Virtual Failure: The Growth of Online Charter Schools", examines the track record of the two out-of-state companies seeking to manage such schools in Maine -- K12 Inc. and Connections Learning -- and concludes that their schools fail students while diverting resources from existing public schools.
"As educators we cannot let virtual charter schools open in Maine," MEA president Lois Kilby-Chesley is quoted as saying. "There is too much reearch that proves these schools fail our students while turning pupils into profits for out-of-state companies."
The Maine Sunday Telegram's investigation of the role the two companies have been playing in Maine isn't mentioned in the report, which focuses on their track records in other states, and relies heavily on investigations by the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and the National Education Policy Center at the University of Colorado.
Former Gov. John Baldacci donned a Catholics for Marriage Equality apron in Bangor tonight to host the first of two spaghetti suppers to show his support for gay marriage.
Wearing a turtle neck, slacks, tennis shoes and the apron, the governor ladled spaghetti onto plates at the Bangor High School cafeteria. The Democrat signed gay marriage into law in 2009, only to see it repealed by voters 53-47 percent.
"I evolved on the issue," he said, sounding a bit like President Obama. "I had always thought that civil unions were the state's responsibility and marriages were in the church."
But he asked his legal adviser at the time, Pat Ende, to research the issue and changed his mind when Ende told him there were hundreds of places in Maine law that provided benefits and responsibilities only to married couples.
Republican U.S. Senate candidate Charlie Summers has announced he'll get the backing of the National Rifle Association at a Thursday event in Holden.
In a Tuesday email, Summers spokesman Drew Brandewie said NRA President David Keene will be on hand at a 12 p.m. "campaign rally" at Maine Military Supply in Holden "with key second amendment rights advocates, sportsmen, and NRA members from across Maine."
"As I’ve traveled the state I’ve gotten support from sportsmen and gun owners from Kittery to Fort Kent, and I’m thankful for the backing of the NRA (which) represents so many hardworking Mainers," Summers said in a statement.
Summers was also endorsed by the NRA in his ultimately unsuccessful 2008 race to represent Maine's 1st Congressional District.