Thursday, May 23, 2013
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
Rep. David Johnson, R-Eddington, a one-term lawmaker seeking reelection on Tuesday, issued a statement today urging voters to reject same-sex marriage at the ballot box.
In the press release from Protect Marriage Maine, Johnson is quoted as saying his gay brother recently died of cancer and that he still maintains contact with his brother's partner of 25 years.
"I miss my brother and stay in contact with his partner because I love them both and know many other gay couples and love them dearly as well," he said in the statement. "The fact remains that God intended marriage to be between one man and one woman, and we have no right to redefine marriage."
Johnson's public stand is interesting for a couple of reasons. Many local legislative candidates have shied away from expressing any opinion on Question 1, particularly those who are opposed to it. But Johnson defeated Democrat Ben Pratt two years ago after Pratt was targeted for his support of the 2009 gay-marriage law.
The National Organization for Marriage plans to spend $500,000 this weekend in an effort to reach 10 million people before Tuesday's vote on gay marriage, the group announced today.
The robocalls will go out in Maine, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania. They are targeting Maine, Maryland and Washington, because that's were voters will decide the fate of three ballot initiatives on gay marriage. They chose Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania because they are presidential swing states.
The calls will be from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio; and former Arkansas governor and presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.
"These calls from leaders in public life will remind voters to go to the polls, to protect marriage, and to support public officials who will do the same," Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a press release. "Along with advertising and other mobilization efforts we have undertaken, which are unprecedented in their scale, we are confident that Election Day 2012 will mark a triumph for marriage and family in the United States."
Jack Antonoff, the drummer from the pop band fun., met with members of the Maine media this afternoon before the band took the stage at The State theater in Portland for a concert to raise money for Mainers United for Marriage.
The three-man band, which has had two major hits ("We Are Young" and "Some Nights"), have been outspoken proponents for gay rights and gay marriage. All three are straight, but say they want to make a real difference to advance gay rights.
"It's important for us to be really clear on the national level, it's important for us to be in Maine today raising money," Antonoff said during an interview in one of the cramped dressing rooms at the theater. "It's the most important issue of our generation. It's the civil rights issue of our generation. It's painful to exist in a place where Innocent people are treated as second class citizens."
The Halloween night show is the first of a new US tour, which will move on to college campuses after tonight. The band is donating all the proceeds from the Portland show to Mainers United, which is expected to give the Yes on 1 campaign a $25,000 plus boost with just six days to go until the election.
Former Gov. Angus King has picked up the endorsement of the other half of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction duo.
Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming has endorsed King, the King campaign announced today. Simpson, a former assistant republican leader in the Senate, co-chaired the bipartisan deficit reduction task force that came to be known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The commission's plan calls for a combination of spending cuts, tax reform and tax increases. It wasn't adopted by Congress but is still shaping the debate about debt reduction in Washington.
The other co-chair, Erskine Bowles, is a Democrat and former chief of staff to Pres. Bill Clinton. Bowles endorsed King earlier in the campaign and came to Portland in September to appear at a King campaign event focusing on the debt and deficit. King has called the commission's plan a good framework for congressional action, but says he does not agree with all of its proposals.
Simpson, like Bowles, said King's status as a moderate independent and his experience as an independent governor could help him serve as a bridge in Congress.
Mainers United for Marriage is planning a Get Out the Vote Rally at 5:30 p.m. Thursday in Monument Square in Portland.
After the rally, Portland residents will march down to City Hall to cast their ballots before 8 p.m., which is the deadline for those who want to vote in-person absentee. The campaign says it's ready for the final push leading up to Nov. 6.
"Thousands of volunteers will be working throughout the weekend to get out the vote, and Portland residents can walk down the street and vote right then on Thursday night," said Matt McTighe, campaign manager, in a press release.