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Chellie Pingree

Senate Maneuvers Intensify

Representatives Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud both say they're likely to seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Olympia Snowe. Former Governor John Baldacci has also taken out papers to run. If no one turns away, it could become one of the biggest and most important Democratic primaries in Maine history.

According to the Huffington Post, Pingree and Michaud huddled on the House floor yesterday to discuss the race, with neither backing down from their plans.

Pingree also went on MSNBC last night, sounding very much like a candidate:

Read more »

A North Haven Wedding

From Pingree's office:

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and Donald Sussman were married in a small private ceremony at the couple’s home in North Haven, Maine Saturday morning. Rev. Dave Macy, the island minister, performed the wedding ceremony with Pingree’s and Sussman’s children looking on.

The couple announced the marriage to friends who had gathered for a barn party on North Haven Saturday night to celebrate Sussman’s 65th birthday.

Pingree met Sussman in 2007 on Vinalhaven Island, Maine and were engaged in 2008.

Politically-Motivated Voter Suppression

In my column in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel this morning, I try to figure out why Republicans are so gung-ho to roll back voting rights. The arguments advanced so far are either embarassingly factually flawed or, like GOP Chair Charlie Webster's conspiracy theories, just outrght ludicrous. There is certainly no ideological or philosophical underpinning for the move.

The answer seems to be simple, naked politics.

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree spoke about the bill on MSNBC last night, and put the issue in a national context:

It seems to me it's art of a bigger agenda to keep people from voting, to take away our rights as citizens and to undermine the very fundamentals of democracy.

Video after the jump. Read more »

Maine Delegation Split Over Wall Street Regulation

This week in the Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel I write about two letters. One was signed by 44 Republican Senators, including Snowe and Collins, in which they threaten to hold hostage any attempt to appoint a head of the the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau unless the agency itself is weakened. The other is signed by a number on House Democrats, including Congresswoman Pingree, urging President Obama to respond to the threat by appointing populist consumer champion and financial regulation expert Elizabeth Warren through a recess appointment.

You can read the Senate letter here and the House letter here.

While I wasn't able to reach Congressman Mike Michaud before deadline, his office later sent word that while he hasn't signed the letter, he doesn't support weakening the CFPB.

"He believes the Senate should act expeditiously to confirm someone for the position so that the law Congress passed, and the American people overwhelmingly supported, can be fully implemented," said Michaud spokesman Ed Gilman by email.

Political Adeptness

Al Diamon on Chellie Pingree:

"The fact that she wasn't smart enough to avoid the appearance of not only conflict of interest but more importantly of being a flaming hypocrite is a real strong indication that she's not as politically adept as we all thought she was."

Pingree on Afghanistan

Rep. Pingree on Hardball, discussing Afghanistan in the aftermath of the release of war documents by WikiLeaks:

Both Pingree and Rep. Michaud voted against supplemental funding for the war yesterday.

Pingree Founds Democratic New Media Group

Rep. Chellie Pingree and Rep. Mike Honda of California today announced the formation of the Democratic Caucus New Media Working Group.

"In ensuring that Democrats are being innovative with their websites and with tools like Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, we hope to reach out to Americans who might not otherwise be heard," they stated in a joint blog post.

Pingree Highlights Latest Anthem Abuse

Reuters story here.

Pingree, Michaud Will Vote For Health Care Reform

Both of Maine's Representatives, Chellie Pingree and Mike Michaud have announced their support for the House health care reform bill due to be voted on tonight.

Pingree has always been a champion of real reform. Here are her remarks today from the House floor:

Michaud waited a bit longer to announce his final intentions, but issued a statement today supporting the legislation:

We must come together and get the best possible bill passed so that the Mainers I represent not only have more affordable coverage – but coverage that meets their needs. Later tonight, I will say yes to expanding health care coverage to the thousands of small businesses and people in Maine who do not have it and, to those who do, making it more affordable and better. Today, I will say yes to ending the practice of denying coverage due to preexisting conditions and other abusive insurance industry abuses.

Being able to get quality health care should never be a question for any American. The bill we passed today is a good step forward. It will help make sure that no American goes broke because they get sick or is ever denied coverage. This is an historic day, but more work lies ahead. I look forward to continuing to work toward meaningful reform that is good for Maine.

Pingree on Fox News: Maine Wants a Public Option

Not sure how I missed this one last week. Congresswoman Pingree defending a public option in the belly of the beast: