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Maine's Joe the Plumber

Joe Champagne, President of Plumbers and Pipefitters Local 716 speaks about next week's election. I'm pretty sure he actually has a license.

Via the Maine AFL-CIO blog.

Pingree on Labor Day

Chellie Pingree says she can't remember her opponent's name, but has a few things to say about his record in this clip from the Maine AFL-CIO blog.

AFL-CIO Mailer Hits Collins for Supporting Bush

The AFL-CIO will be sending out a mailer to members in Maine today tying Susan Collins to the policies of the Bush administration. It will arrive in mailboxes on Wednesday and recipients will also be receiving phone calls both before and after they receive the piece, according to Heidi Mitchell, the union's Political Communications Specialist for Maine.

Apparently this piece represents the beginning of a big push from the union, which will include more mailers as well as weekly canvasses and phone banks up to election day.

"Susan Collins’ record shows that she is not interested in standing up for Maine’s working families," said Ed Gorham, President of the Maine AFL-CIO. "Collins has proven she would rather give tax cuts for the rich than give working people a break. Voters have a right to know what Collins really stands for."

The AFL-CIO represents about 36,000 workers in Maine.

Full mailer: Front, Back

AFL-CIO Radio Ad Script

The AFL-CIO has provided some details about the radio ad. It's a 60-second spot running in Portland and Bangor. Here's the script:

You know, sometimes politicians seem to think working people must suffer from amnesia.

They tell us what they think we want to hear, and hope we won’t remember what they’ve actually done.

Take Susan Collins. Nowadays Senator Collins says she opposes tax breaks for giant oil companies. Maybe she’s hoping we’ll forget she voted for Bush’s $14 billion tax breaks that helped Big Oil rack up record-breaking profits.

Or maybe Senator Collins figures we’ve forgotten she voted to open up trade with China, a deal that’s cost over two million workers their jobs – nearly 12,000 of those jobs lost right here in Maine.

And when Senator Collins wrings her hands about health care, chances are she figures we don’t know she’s reeled in over $400,000 in contributions from insurance and health care interests.

So, instead of Susan Collins telling us what she thinks we want to hear, why not call and tell her what you think about her taking a fortune in hand outs from special interests when it’s working people who need a hand.

Paid for by the AFL-CIO, at www.aflcio.org, which is responsible for the content of this advertising. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate’s committee.

On The Air

I spent about 4 hours driving through eastern and central Maine today. The most common political ad seems to be the AFL-CIO response to the anti-EFCA ads. The commercial calls Susan Collins a typical politician and faults her for voting for the Energy Bill and for unrestricted trade with China.

I also caught this week's Maine Watch, which takes an in-depth look at the Tax Foundation's rankings and at state taxes in Maine in general.

Most interesting to me was a statement by Scott Moody of the Maine Heritage Policy Center. He repeatedly asserted that their organization didn't care which taxes were lowered and on who, just so long as taxes in the aggregate went down. Considering how much their organization focuses on the tax burden, I would have thought they'd have some sort of plan about which taxes were most detrimental and should be decreased first.