Galen Quint, a Maine retiree, is the most important person when it comes to the future of the Maine Public Employees Retirement System. I'm sure you're asking "who is Galen Quint?" and "why should I care about him?" The answer is simple – Galen is part of the American dream that affords workers, after a life of hard work and playing by the rules, the opportunity to retire with dignity and security. Galen's future retirement security, along with the over 70,000 other retired teachers, fire-fighters and state workers and tens of thousands more current employees in Maine is at risk.
In the interest of full disclosure, Galen is also the loving father of yours truly. And no, Galen did not pay me to write this about him and quite frankly would probably rather me not write about him. However, his story is one that needs to be told over and over again. Galen, who was a 36-year employee of the Maine Department of Transportation, worked hard every day. He was proud to be part of a department that ensured Maine's roads are safe for his neighbors. He went to work every day and did his part. He did not cause the unfunded pension problem that we face today. In fact, he paid his share to help fix the problem, but more on that later. Read more »
Libby Mitchell's closing argument:
And new ads from Les Otten and Bruce Poliquin (via Augusta Insider) featuring, respectively, Hitler and lens flares:
From an MPBN release:
Three days after withdrawing from Maine Public Broadcasting's May 27th GOP gubernatorial debate, Republican candidate Bruce Poliquin says he will now participate.
Poliquin withdrew citing personal reasons, but a campaign spokesman contacted MPBN on Wedesday indicating that his schedule had been cleared, and that Poliquin would like to take part in the program.
The debate will be broadcast live on Thursday May 27th, from 8-9 PM, and will be hosted by Jennifer Rooks. The program will be simulcast on MPBN radio, television, and online at www.mpbn.net. It will be re-broadcast the following night at 8:30, Sunday, May 30 at 4pm, and Sunday June 6 at 9am. The debate -- along with all MPBN's Your Vote 2010 programs -- will be archived online at www.mpbn.net.
Bruce Poliquin will not be part of the MPBN Republican primary debate this Thursday due to "personal reasons," according to a post on MPBN political reporter A.J. Higgins' Capitol Connection Facebook page.
When asked, Poliquin campaign manager Brian Phillips declined to say what the candidate would be doing instead
"Campaigns generally don't discuss scheduling decisions," said Phillips by email "That said, it was a tough decision to miss this opportunity. We're confident that our campaign schedule is making good use of Bruce's time and reaching out effectively to voters."
The Poliquin campaign's weekly schedule, distributed by the Maine GOP, shows no public events on either Thursday, May 27th or Friday, May 28th.
The cancellation comes a few days after Higgins referred to Poliquin as a "skunk at the picnic" in an online column due to his estrangement from the other Republican candidates.
A day after the Poliquin campaign launched their ad attacking Les Otten's management of the American Skiing Company, Otten is on the air with a response.
It may not have the same punch as the powerful (albeit grammatically incorrect) "Les Otten, Less Jobs" slogan, but I think it hits just the right note.
Plus, it's a chance for Otten to play the victim and talk to the camera once again about all the jobs he claims to have created.
Most likely, the campaign anticipated an attack on this issue and had the ad canned and ready.
For more on Otten, check out Al Diamon's new interview with the candidate (sort of).
Quote of the day:
"In the strongest possible terms, I deplore the online advertisement singling out Les Otten. There is no place for this kind of attack ad in our race.
"I have personally spoken with the Les Otten campaign to express my strong disapproval. I hope the other candidates join me in publicly condemning the ad as a childish and unnecessary attack."
That's from back in January, when Poliquin was condemning a negative online ad with content very similar to the one he's now running against Otten.
Bruce Poliquin, who who soon be receiving bouquets of flowers from most of the other Republican candidates, has launched the first negative ad of the 2010 race - a full frontal assault on Otten's record as job creator.
I'm surprised any GOP candidate would go negative, even against a front-runner with as much baggage as Otten. Poliquin now leaves himself open to charges of negative campaigning (always a popular accusation in Maine politics). In a 7-way race, there are plenty of other candidates who stand to gain from this kind of conflict.
A sign seen at the Maine GOP convention today, sent in by Brian Phillips with the Poliquin campaign:
The Poliquin campaign has released a statement attacking Otten for his "incredibly poor judgment."
It used to be that conservatives would treat the Tax Foundation's rankings as gospel. But now that they have Maine as 15th in taxes instead of in the top five, it seems that right-wing politicians just ignore them and make up their own numbers.