AUGUSTA -- The Maine Republican Party on Thursday sent a letter to President Barack Obama via the White House's online contact form. The letter, signed by Executive Director Jason Savage, recommends exclusive Maine golf courses for the President's leisure while visiting Maine to stump for gubernatorial candidate Michael Michaud.
The letter can be viewed here: https://www.scribd.com/doc/245003030/Maine-GOP-Recommends-Golf-Courses-to-Obama
As of August of this year, President Obama has played nearly 200 rounds of golf during his presidency.
"We assume President Obama will stop for a round of golf while in Maine, so we wanted to recommend a few exclusive country clubs in the Portland area," said Savage. "We hope he will consider allowing Congressman Michaud to tag along, as a thank-you for voting with the Obama-Pelosi agenda 94 percent of the time in the last Congress."
Earlier this month, President Obama infamously stated that even though he is not on the ballot on Tuesday, "these policies are on the ballot" in the form of Democratic members of Congress like Rep. Michaud who voted for the President's agenda.
"There's no doubt about it; Congressman Michaud is an Obama Democrat," added Savage.
Members of the press,
We hear a lot about negative advertising (most of it negative) on TV from pundits, news stories, and voters.
But the question of who is running a more negative campaign on the airwaves has been largely unexplored. Fortunately, you have me to do some preliminary research for you.
By my count (see below), Republicans in the gubernatorial race have put out 9 positive, 1 contrast, and 2 negative TV ads. From what I can tell, Gov. LePage's campaign has not produced a single negative or even contrast ad.
(I'm counting a contrast ad as one that spends at least 1/3 of its time on a negative message.)
Congressman Michaud and his allies, on the other hand, have produced 4 positive, 4 contrast, and 6 negative TV ads. One of the negative ads and two of the contrast ads came from Michaud himself.
GOP: 9 Positive; 3 Negative/Contrast
Dems: 4 Positive; 10 Negative/Contrast
The Pan Atlantic poll conducted Sept. 23-29 found that 55 percent of Mainers approve of Gov. LePage's policies (see page 24). That makes it very easy to be positive about Gov. Lepage's record. Congressman Michaud, on the other hand, has been evasive and unspecific about his policy proposals.
Maine GOP Comment: "While career politician Michael Michaud's support of taxing Social Security and giving welfare to illegal immigrants are certainly worthy of criticism, Gov. LePage has more of a record after four years in office than Rep. Michaud does after 34. From paying off Maine's hospital debt to reforming welfare, Gov. LePage has a record Mainers can be proud of. Democrats are relying more heavily on attacks because Michael Michaud simply doesn't have a record of leadership worth touting, a fact made abundantly clear throughout the recent debates." -Communications Director David Sorensen
No Turning Back
Honor Our Veterans
Benefits & Bonuses
Open for Business
Working for Maine
Maine Conservation Voters Action Fund
Planned Parenthood Maine Action Fund
Made in Maine
Sit Down Together
P.S. ICYMI - Check out the RGA's latest positive TV ad, "Open for Business," featuring an Independent businesswoman from Scarborough praising the Governor's regulatory reform efforts.
The Dems like to compare the raw number of jobs or GDP growth in Maine to other states' since the recession. Here's what nonpartisan Maine Department of Labor chief economist Glenn Mills has to say about that:
See also John Haskell, editor of Pinetreeconomics at the Bangor Daily News, who is "by no means a supporter of LePage nor the Maine GOP," disagreeing with us on "minimum wage, welfare, and bonds," ripping into the Dems' argument (screenshot available on request):
So what does the state DOL's chief economist say is a better measure of economic growth? It's his preferred method for comparing Maine to other states.
Investing.com had a headline on point last week as well, calling the employment-to-population ratio "The One Job Metric You Need to Watch."
And if you don't like the employment-to-population ratio, there's always the unemployment rate, which has dropped from 8.0% to 5.5% in LePage's first term, well below the national average.
See below statement Tweeted by Bush spokesman John McGrath this evening...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 22, 2014
STATEMENT BY PRESIDENT AND MRS. GEORGE H. W. BUSH ENDORSING MAINE GOVERNOR PAUL LEPAGE FOR RE-ELECTION
We love Maine, and care deeply about our family and friends and the hard-working people who live there. We are writing you today because Governor Paul LePage is our kind of get-it-done leader, who we firmly believe is committed to solving the toughest problems facing Mainers.
As we have seen with our own eyes, Paul has a big heart. We especially admire the tenacity with which Paul implemented his plan to pay off the state’s debt to its hospitals, which included both the Dorothy Walker Bush Pavilion at Southern Maine Medical Center as well as the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital at Maine Medical Center.
Paul LePage has done so much for Maine in just four short years, but he's not finished. That is why we strongly support his bid for four more well-deserved years, and we ask you to join us in supporting "our" governor, Paul LePage, for re-election as well.
Members of the press,
The Democrats are at it again with an unbelievably misleading TV ad.
In its new ad, "Good," the DGA- and union-funded Maine Forward PAC takes a statement from LePage wildly out of context.
TRANSCRIPT: "LePage even said, 'if kids want a good education, they should go to private school, and if you can't afford it, tough luck.'"
Maine Forward's statement is so far out of context, even the liberal Bangor Daily News editorial board called out Democrats for the same attack back in 2012.
From the BDN editorial (emphasis added):We’re not criticizing the job of the MEA — to protect the interests of teachers — but it is important for Maine residents to have all the information. That also includes putting LePage’s comments in context. The quote that got the most attention from the Wells event — and that spurred the MEA to say LePage was “caught in a bald-faced lie discrediting public schools” — involved the governor saying “tough luck” to Maine students. That sounds bad on the surface, but what was he really referring to?
He said charter school legislation has been a good step so far, but overall, “If you want a good education, go to an academy. If you want a good education, go to a private school. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school. Until the state of Maine decides, and the governor’s staff and the Legislature sit around the table and say, ‘What’s best for our students,’ we are not going to fix our schools.”
LePage spoke harshly. Clearly, using a rough tone and comparing public and private schools isn’t an effective strategy to motivate teachers, administrators and school board members to improve academic achievement (and it stirs up the opposition). But the governor’s comments were tied to a larger message about the need for reform and for different parties to work together on changes. Part of reform for LePage involves online and distance learning. It also involves school choice — making it easier for students to choose what school they attend — an idea strongly opposed by the MEA.
LePage’s uncut comments are an easy target for those who oppose his proposals. We just encourage you to get the whole story. Understanding the full picture includes putting his quotes in context, recognizing the agenda behind the accusations and knowing that both LePage and the MEA take part in their share of political games.
By keeping the statement out of context, the Democratic PAC is trying to make it sound like Gov. LePage doesn't care about public schools or students. When put in context, it becomes obvious that the governor was decrying the status quo and holding it up as an example of why we need to work together to reform Maine's schools.
The Facts on Gov. LePage's Education Record
QUOTE from Rick Bennett, Maine Republican Party Chairman:
"Congressman Michaud should immediately denounce this deceptive ad that takes the Governor's comments so wildly out of context. There will be lots of criticisms about each candidate's record coming from each side, but to recycle a line of attack that even a left-leaning newspaper said was out of context smacks of desperation. Gov. LePage is where he is today because of his education, and that's why he is so passionate about reforming our schools and making sure every Maine child has the opportunities he had."
AUGUSTA -- An anti-Paul LePage attack ad being run by the Democratic Governors' Association's "Maine Forward" PAC features a close-up shot of a man's face with the words "40,000 Mainers unemployed." Some viewers may be left with the impression that he is among the unemployed.
However, the man in the ad is named Roger Gay and has been employed for years at General Dynamics in Saco, Maine. Furthermore, Gay's employer has praised the LePage Administration's economic development efforts. From an article in Mainebiz:
"To better address those needs, a new strategy for work-force development is being crafted by Gov. Paul LePage that many manufacturers, as well as other highly technical industries, believe will begin to address the skills gap. . . . 'It's nice to know there are these initiatives going on that are going to address the need to develop the work force,' [Chuck Bates, staff development manager at the General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products facility] says."
"It says a lot that Michaud's out of state, Big Labor benefactors were not only unable to find any unemployed Mainers willing to play this part in an attack ad against Gov. LePage, but the person they did find is employed by a company that praised the governor's reforms," said Maine Republican Party spokesman David Sorensen. "Gov. LePage's pro-growth policies have helped create more than 22,000 private sector jobs and place Maine in the top three states for employment ratio growth since the recession."
Roger Gay ran for the Maine House of Representatives in 2010 as a Green Party Independent candidate. In his profile on the Green Party's website, Gay wrote that unlike major party candidates (like Michael Michaud), he is "not beholden to an entrenched party apparatus."
"The Democrats certainly made an interesting choice when casting their negative attack ad against Gov. LePage," added Sorensen. "Republicans are happy that Mr. Gay and his employer have benefited from the governor's economic reforms and we agree with him that Congressman Michaud is beholden to an entrenched party apparatus."
By Rep. Deborah Sanderson
For the first time in 12 years, the people of Maine’s Second Congressional District will soon be asked to choose a new representative in the U.S. House. The contrast between the candidates couldn’t be clearer, but what the decision will really boil down to is, which candidate is the best fit for the values and priorities of northern and western Maine?
One look at the record of Emily Cain tells us she’s just too liberal. In the early days, Congressman Michaud was considered a “blue dog” moderate Democrat, and though he eventually started campaigning with a gun control PAC and came out in favor of taxpayer-funded abortions, he was already too embedded in his seat by the time he flipped on those issues.
Emily Cain is that liberal—and perhaps even more so—right now. She is so extreme, she voted to let convicts vote from prison. Maine and Vermont are currently the only two states that think that’s a good idea.
She introduced a bill to make all children from kindergarten through ninth grade weigh in at schools and for the data to be sent to a central database at the Department of Education for further scrutiny. Why? As a mother, I neither need nor appreciate big government doing my parenting for me.
Emily Cain’s tax and spend credentials can match even the most liberal politician, making her feel right at home working for Nancy Pelosi. Cain wants to repeal the income tax cuts for the middle class passed roughly a decade ago. She wants to increase the Social Security payroll tax, force everyone into a VA-style government-run health care system, and slap a new tax on energy, which has been estimated to cost the average household an extra $1,700 per year in electricity bills.
Mainers simply can’t afford Emily Cain’s big government liberalism, especially with winter coming.
Cain’s tax-hiking aspirations for Congress should come as no surprise given her record in the Maine Legislature. She likes to tout her bipartisan approach on the campaign trail, but at the State House, where I serve with her, she helped ram through the controversial tax hike plan that created 102 new taxes on everything from haircuts to car repairs, and was repealed by angry voters the next year.
Emily Cain’s lack of bipartisanship cost Mainers time and money to repeal her partisan tax hike package. It’s no wonder she was ranked the fourth most partisan Democrat in the Maine Senate by the Sunlight Foundation.
Cain is trying to take credit for the largest tax cut in Maine’s history, passed by majority Republican lawmakers and signed by Gov. LePage in 2011. She says she “negotiated the biggest tax cut” but in reality, she negotiated against it, not for it. In fact, she infamously said, “my caucus hates these tax cuts.”
Cain can’t take credit for Republican tax cuts any more than Republicans can take credit for Cain’s sales tax hike last year.
There are many extreme, liberal votes in Emily Cain’s record, but one of her more troubling legacies was her role in killing common sense welfare reform. This year, she voted against requiring non-disabled adults to apply for at least three jobs before receiving benefits. She voted against closing loopholes in the welfare system that allowed job ready recipients to dodge the current work search requirement. And she voted to allow Maine welfare dollars to continue to be spent in all 50 states, even at places like Disney World and Las Vegas casinos.
Finally, as a woman, I find it incredibly demeaning that Cain would imply that abortion rights are the only women’s issue on the ballot.
The women I speak to have many concerns. They are concerned about having a job to support their family. They are concerned about their children getting an education that will give them the tools needed to be successful in the future. They are concerned there may not be opportunities for their children after graduation and they’ll have to relocate out of state like so many before. They are concerned about aging parents and the availability of quality care in rural areas of Maine.
Emily Cain is just too extreme for northern Maine. Bruce Poliquin has a record of fiscal and government reform that’s exactly what Washington needs right now.
Poliquin represents the change and the strong leadership Maine and Washington so desperately need. Northern Maine needs a serious leader with a proven track record of creating jobs, paying down debt, and reforming broken government agencies.
AUGUSTA -- Maine Republican Party Chairman Richard Bennett issued the following statement regarding the first Maine gubernatorial debate of 2014, hosted by the Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce Wednesday morning.
"Governor LePage was the clear winner in today's debate, with the media openly acknowledging his ability to win over the crowd with self-deprecating humor and passionate advocacy for his policy reforms. Republicans couldn't be more proud of the Governor's performance and we look forward to four more important debates where Mainers will get a chance to learn more about Maine's turnaround under Gov. LePage. Congressman Michaud proved today that debates won't change the evasiveness and vaguery that has marked his campaign so far, and Mr. Cutler only offered a more articulate liberal vision for Maine."
For a play-by-play of today's debate, read the Maine GOP's Storify compilation of reactions on Twitter from reporters and pundits from both parties. Highlights: