SCARBOROUGH – It’s not over yet: Get fired up.

That was the message some of Maine’s top Democrats sent Sunday night to a crowd of about 150 people at the annual Jefferson-Jackson dinner hosted by the Maine Democratic Party at The Landing at Pine Point.

Gov. John Baldacci, U.S. Reps. Mike Michaud and Chellie Pingree and gubernatorial hopeful Elizabeth “Libby” Mitchell headlined the event, seeking to rally the party faithful and meet the enthusiasm of Maine Republicans.

“We are in the fight of our lives, and I won’t tell you otherwise,” said Mitchell, who recent polling has shown in a virtual tie with her Republican opponent, Paul LePage. “This race, I call it guerrilla warfare. It will be won one on one on one. When you talk to people, they listen to you.”

Mitchell acknowledged that Maine voters she meets on the campaign trail are angry, but she said Democrats are offering answers, while Republicans offer only slogans.

“We will promote the green economy because it’s good for the environment, but it’s also about jobs,” she said. “We will control health care costs and we will offer wellness (programs) and the kinds of things that we know work. We don’t just talk about things, we do it.”

Maine people want jobs, but they don’t want minimum-wage jobs with employers who don’t pay benefits, Mitchell said.

“I am so tired of all the people beating up on welfare moms, when their companies use MaineCare to pay their insurance,” she said, taking a veiled swipe at LePage, the general manager at Marden’s. State records show that more than 100 of the 1,200 Marden’s employees are enrolled in MaineCare, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income and disabled residents.

Michaud, who represents Maine’s 2nd District, and Pingree, who represents Maine’s 1st District, both took the opportunity to highlight some of their legislative accomplishments over the past two years. They took credit for helping to pass a landmark health care reform law, the economic stimulus package and tax cuts for small businesses.

“While the far right will do their best to disguise the accomplishments of the past two years, it is up to those of us here to show what we’ve done,” said Michaud, who is seeking his fifth term in Congress.

Pingree also touted her support of a comprehensive energy bill. “We still serve with people who tell us that global warming is a hoax,” she said.

Pingree also slammed Republican support for extending the Bush tax cuts for the country’s highest wage earners, which would cost about $700 billion over the next 10 years, while they criticized Democrats for not doing enough to reduce the federal deficit.

“I’m not ready to turn the country over to those people,” said Pingree, who is seeking re-election for the first time. “That’s why I want to go back to Congress — so I can fight for everyone in Maine in getting them the things they need, including health care, supporting entrepreneurs and a woman’s right to choose.”


MaineToday Media State House Writer Rebekah Metzler can be contacted at 620-7016 or at:

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