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Steven Butterfield

Butterfield in Turkey

Rep. Steve Butterfield, a Bangor Democrat, was interviewed in Sunday's Hürriyet Daily News & Economic Review, Turkey's English-language daily newspaper. In the article, Butterfield downplays the importance of a recent congressional resolution recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

"This resolution was introduced and passed in an effort to secure the votes of those Armenian Americans who make up a significant portion of their voters. If I was elected to Congress from northern Maine, I would probably not even know about this resolution, because there are very few Armenian Americans who live here. Representatives from parts of California, however, represent significant numbers of Armenian Americans, and that's why they put this resolution in."

In case you're wondering, here's an article from November's Bollard discussing Armenian history and culture in Maine.

I Hate Small Business

Quote of the day:

"I hate small business, I absolutely hate them, I hate all business, I want to see them completely fail and drive them into the ground."

-Rep. Steven Butterfield, sarcastically defending his support for paid sick days legislation.

Local Preference Bill Gets Hearing

Rep. Butterfield's local preference bill, which I wrote about here, had its first hearing last week. Butterfield plans to consider ideas to amend the proposal before a final work session on March 11.

Republicans Split on Local Preference Bill

Martin Sheehan, Communications Director for the Maine Heritage Policy Center, responds by email to my post on Rep. Butterfield's local preference bill:

"I like this column, but disagree with the legislation because the government should not be in the business of picking winners and losers, or in subsidizing Maine companies by putting a "tariff" on out-of-state firms."

He reiterates his group's opinion that the state should spend more money with Maine companies, but stops short of advocating for creating a legal preference.

One Republican that has declared his support for the bill, however, is Cary Weston, the chair of the Bangor City Republican Committee (and who I wrote about in this column). Weston had this to say about the proposed legislation:

Being a small business owner in Maine, I think this is a fantastic bill to support our own. This bill deserves a lot of respect and consideration and I'm hoping both sides of the aisle participate in the discussion and move this forward.

That's high praise coming from someone tasked with working to defeat Butterfield in the next election.

Weston's vocal support has prompted a spirited discussion among the posters at AMG, a right-leaning message board.

Down East: Buy Local

I take a look at LD 327 over at Down East today. The bill would give a preference to local businesses when they bid for state contracts. (the links in that post seem a bit wonky, but you get the picture)

Lance Harvell was indeed sworn in as a legislator wearing a Pittsburgh Steelers tie. The Bulldog has a great photo: