An interesting look at the financing and failure of a business venture owned jointly by House Republican Leader Josh Tardy and Maine Chamber of Commerce President Dana Connors. (By my former editor at Down East, Lorie Costigan, now running the Statehouse News Service)
Governor Baldacci has proposed a $306 million bond package to invest in Maine's infrastructure and economy. The proposal is meant to complement the federal recovery package recently signed into law by President Obama.
If the legislature were to pass the package as it's currently formulated, the bonds would go to voters in two chunks - $265.8 million this November and $40.4 million on the June 2010 primary ballot.
Update: Susan Cover has some initial reaction from Republican House leader Josh Tardy:
"We are open to gaining a full understanding of the governor's proposal and will review it carefully, keeping in mind that bonds represent just one component of the action we must take to protect the jobs of Maine people and foster a climate that will create new ones. Maine state government cannot simply borrow our way to prosperity. It must be just part of a strategy that includes working to improve the business climate and relieve Maine's high tax burden and energy costs."
Republicans participated in a massive opposition research drop on Sean Faircloth tonight, A.J. Higgins reports. No knock-out blow, but several examples of him allegedly exaggerating his record and one situation where he may have gotten too close to a legislative issue where his wife had a stake. The fact that he allowed his law license to lapse for several years while he was serving in the legislature and teaching college was also reiterated.
The story states that the Republicans may nominate one of his Democratic competitors against him if he wins the caucus' nomination. No word on if Brautigam or Mills would accept such a nomination (would they have to? - I don't know the full process) and no on-tape response from Faircloth to any of the charges.
The Maine GOP sent out a release today disowning former State Republican Party Chair and three-time Republican US Senate candidate Robert A.G. Monks.
Chairman Mark Ellis and House Minority Leader Josh Tardy rightly point out that Monks has given more money to Independents and Democrats than Republicans lately, but that's not the main focus of the release. The main claim they make is that Republicans want nothing to do with him because of his campaign tactics.
"If Bob Monks is the kind of player the Obama campaign wants to associate with, they can have him," said Maine Republican party Chair Mark Ellis. "Monks has a long career of attacking Republicans, even Maine’s beloved U.S. Senator Margaret Chase Smith. Monks’ kind of tactics and games are not something with which the Republican Party wishes to associate. Republicans haven’t considered Bob Monks a Republican in years." [...]
In 1972, Robert A.G. Monks ran in the primary for U.S. Senate against incumbent Republican Senator Margaret Chase Smith. In December of 1971, just before he officially announced his candidacy, Monks had 74 roses delivered to Sen. Smith on the Senate floor on her birthday – pointing out her age as an encouragement for her to retire. It was an inappropriate and tactless message from an immature and politically inexperienced Monks to send to a highly respected woman and U.S. Senator who had served Maine well for decades. Monks [sic] tactics did not go over well with Maine people.
Those tactics did go over well with Maine Republicans, however. They chose him as their nominee for US Senate in 1976 and leader of their party in 1977.
Even more than two decades later, in another Senate race in which the GOP now lambastes his questionable political tactics, Monks had rock-solid support from the Republican party (and this was after he had supported Independent Angus King in 1994). In fact, party leaders even starred in an ad for him. Here's the script:
Announcer: "Why do we need Bob Monks in the U.S. Senate?"
State Senate President Jeff Butland: "Let's face it, things in Washington are a mess."
House GOP Leader Walt Whitcomb: "Bob Monks has taken on the establishment and won in Washington."
Georgia Chomas of Auburn: "Bob Monks is a leader."
State Sen. Peter Mills of Skowhegan: "Bob Monks is incapable of becoming merely one of the crowd."
Clare Payne of Holden: "He's met a payroll, he's provided jobs."
Charles Webster, former Senate GOP leader: "I like the fact he's run a business."
Butland: "Bob Monks will go down there . . . he will say no to the special interests . . . get the deficit in line."
Harvey Berman of Cape Elizabeth: "I think he'd make a great senator."
Mills: "He's another Bill Cohen."
Announcer: "Bob Monks for U.S. Senate."
Mills: "He'll be a marvelous leader for Maine."
The accusation that he now often supports Democrats is right on the money, but the claim that the GOP has always abhorred his campaign tactics is laughable.
Hat tip: Politicker ME
The online newsletter of the Christian Civic League, who are themselves a great source of amusement, reports that a 24 year-old Republican activist named Jarody (he legally removed his last name), who had been chosen by the GOP city committee as the Republican nominee for state house district 57, is removing himself from the ballot.
Jarody was a frequent commenter on As Maine Goes and, like many on the conservative site, appears to be a few fries short of a happy meal. A quick search of his posting history shows some interesting interactions, including his belief that the state of Israel should be eliminated and his thoughts about being detained by police for carrying a loaded gun around a Hannaford parking lot a few weeks ago.
Sadly for those of us who look to local politics for our entertainment, the state GOP felt that he was a bit too colorful for the party, and House Leader Josh Tardy and Chairman Mark Ellis asked him to sit out the election or face disowning by the party.
My advice to Jarody: don't go quietly. The Christian Civic League has your back (they tout his pro-life, anti-gay marriage views), and I'm sure you can find some folks on As Maine Goes that would support your candidacy (and share your delusions). Please, stay in the race and make this election a bit more interesting.