August 28, 2012

Political Notebook: Going over the top – and under the water

From staff reports

Talk about playing to your strengths.

Maine state Senate candidate Chris Tyll, a former Navy SEAL, has planned a clever, and for most of us, exhausting, tour of the district he hopes to represent next year.

Tyll, a Republican running for Senate District 11 against independent Sen. Richard Woodbury, will join fellow Navy SEALS in biking, swimming and flying through the district.

In a news release, Tyll wrote that the exercise was designed to demonstrate the cooperative approach to leadership he'd bring to Augusta.

It may not be a bad publicity stunt, either.

Voters are encouraged to meet Tyll at "transition areas." However, they may be better off waiting until 6 p.m. when Tyll and his companions finish the day with a barbecue at the American Legion Post 164 in Falmouth.

The land-sea-air tour will unfold Sept. 8 as follows:

7 a.m. start at the Gray-New Gloucester High School parking lot.

10-mile bike ride to the North Yarmouth Village Green for the annual "Fun Day."

The team will remount their bikes for a 2-mile ride to Eagle Field in North Yarmouth to commence the "air" portion of the tour.

A helicopter -- that's right, a helicopter -- will take Team Tyll from North Yarmouth to Broad Cove. There the SEALs will jump from the helicopter into the water, then swim to Cumberland Town Landing.

They will bike another 8 miles to the Chebeague Transportation Co. dock at Cousins Island in Yarmouth.

From Cousins Island the team will swim 1.65 miles to Chebeague Island, run the 3-mile length of Chebeague, then transit from Chebeague to Long Island Town Hall.

The final leg of the tour is a 3.5-mile swim from Long Island to Falmouth Town Landing.

Senate District 11 includes Chebeague Island, Cumberland, Falmouth, Gray, Long Island, North Yarmouth and Yarmouth.


Catholics for Marriage Equality will join the Lincoln County Coalition for Marriage Equality for a demonstration of support for gay marriage on Sunday.

The gathering is set for noon on the bridge over the Damariscotta River between Newcastle and Damariscotta, according to a news release sent out Friday morning.

"Help hold our purple banners that proclaim the way life should be for all loving couples in Maine," the release said.

Of course, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland takes a very different stance on gay marriage, having played a significant role three years ago in repealing the state's gay marriage law.

This time around, the diocese has said it will work to rally the faithful on the issue, although major financial donations are unlikely.

Earlier last week, gay-marriage opponents Protect Marriage Maine met with clergy to get organized and energized with just 11 weeks to go before Election Day, Nov. 6.


Independent U.S. Senate candidate Angus King will discuss the national debt with former White House Chief of Staff Erskine Bowles, the King campaign announced last week.

King invited Bowles to a Sept. 9 forum at the University of Southern Maine.

Bowles is a former chief of staff for President Clinton, and he was the co-chair of the Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction commission, President Obama's bipartisan panel that last year released an outline of ways to reduce the national debt.

The Simpson-Bowles report was widely heralded for recommending spending reductions to programs cherished by Democrats and Republicans alike. However, few of the recommendations have been enacted due to predicted political implications.

The Maine Republican Party, in a release sent shortly after the announcement, mocked the discussion.

The GOP release said: "Taking the position against fiscal irresponsibility is Mr. Bowles, a moderate Democrat who helped craft a plan to reduce the federal deficit by $4 trillion by 2020 mostly through spending cuts."

(Continued on page 2)

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