Opponents of tar sands—the massive bituminous oil deposits in Alberta, Canada with a greenhouse gas impact four times greater than that of standard crude—have inched one step closer to a major victory.
On Wednesday night, the City Council of South Portland, Maine voted 6-1 to pass an early version of an ordinance that would ban the loading of crude oil onto ships and related infrastructure within city limits. It’s a local land use issue with staggering global implications: The oil industry, activists worry, wants to reverse the flow of the Portland-Montreal Pipe Line,...
Cole Stangler | In These Times 20 Jul 2014 Hits:276 Maine
AUGUSTA, Maine — A town of 140 people in western Maine is considering an ordinance making gun ownership mandatory, the latest of a handful of communities nationwide to pass or consider such a rule even though the measures are widely considered unenforceable.
All three members of the Board of Selectmen in Byron favor it, and Head Selectman Anne Simmons-Edmunds said she expects residents to approve it at Monday's town meeting, a New England institution where townspeople vote up or down on municipal proposals.
"We're hoping that the town will get on board...
Glenn Adams | Huffington Post 10 Mar 2013 Hits:566 Maine
'These risks are unacceptable and irreversible,' says town of Waterford resident Paula Easton
The small town of Waterford, Maine over the weekend became the third town in the state to pass a resolution declaring opposition to a plan aimed at bringing Canadian tar sands oil through an existing oil pipeline running from Montreal to the New England coast.
“This project is about money,” said pipeline opponent and town resident Paula Easton ahead of the vote. The risks to the local environment—including the Crooked River watershed that...
Jon Queally | Common Dreams 04 Mar 2013 Hits:677 Maine
A small-town mayor is attracting attention after demanding that the Somali immigrants who live in his town “leave your culture at the door.”
Bob Macdonald, the mayor of Lewiston, Maine, is attracting national attention after appearing in a BBC documentary and demanding that the Somali immigrants who live in his town “leave your culture at the door.” Lewiston has become a haven for Somali immigrants who have fled their war-torn and poverty stricken nation. In the BBC documentary, which aired September 11, Macdonald said:
Aviva Shen | ThinkProgress 28 Sep 2012 Hits:882 Maine
A former governor with rock star popularity will run for Olympia Snowe’s seat as an independent
When Olympia Snowe made her surprise retirement announcement last week, Democrats across the country rejoiced. The three-term Republican had been the clear favorite to win reelection, but given Maine’s partisan bent, her Senate seat suddenly seemed theirs to lose. The national implications were significant: a Democratic pickup in Maine would force Republicans to gain a net total of five seats this fall in order to recapture the chamber (or...
06 Mar 2012 Hits:581 Maine
News outlets are busy canvassing Republican senators to see how they plan to vote Thursday on the Blunt amendment, which would allow employers to withhold insurance coverage for any health-care service that violates their “religious beliefs and moral convictions.” It would grant this exemption not only to religiously affiliated institutions but to all secular employers as well.
With less than 24 hours to go before the vote, only Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe had confirmed that she would vote against the measure. Her fellow Maine moderate, Sen....
Eleanor Clift, The Daily Beast 01 Mar 2012 Hits:821 Maine
AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage's proposal to ask the federal government to allow Maine to reduce eligibility for Medicaid is "illegal" and isn't the answer to Maine's budget crisis, U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, D-1st District, said this morning.
After a meeting with LePage in the Cabinet Room, Pingree said based on her extensive talks with federal human services officials, the waivers LePage is seeking won't be granted.
"The routes he's taking are illegal and ineligible under the law," she said. "We don't see a route that he's planning that...
Susan M. Cover | Portland Press Herald 31 Jan 2012 Hits:534 Maine
Republican Governor of Maine and Tea Party favorite, Paul LePage, angered many residents of the northeast state Thursday when he said that if the legislature did not pass his proposed cuts to the Department of Health and Human Services' budget, he would order a statewide closure of public schools on May 1 of this year.
The Portland Press Herald reports:
The governor on Thursday held a town hall meeting in Lewiston after a day touring the region as part of his 12th Capitol for a Day...
Common Dreams Staff 21 Jan 2012 Hits:721 Maine
Last month, Maine voters delivered a major rebuke to Gov. Paul LePage (R) and the Republican-held legislature when they approved a referendum restoring election day voting registration rights in the state. Earlier this year, state legislators passed abill repealing the state’s 38 year-old law allowing citizens to register at the polls on election day.
Tens of thousands of Mainers responded by petitioning for the matter come to a referendum. Issue 1 was one of the most-anticipated votes on election day this year, with pundits watching closely to see how ...
Scott Keyes | ThinkProgress 29 Dec 2011 Hits:603 Maine
As the supercommittee considers recommendations for cutting the federal deficit, is it paying attention to the people who pay the taxes?
On Nov. 8, Election Day, volunteers conducted "Penny Polls" at 11 polling locations in Maine, asking more than 2,000 people who had just voted: "How would you like your federal tax dollars to be spent?"
Voters' top priorities: Education (20 percent), health care (18 percent) and veterans' benefits (13 percent).
Towns and cities represented included Portland, Lewiston, Bowdoinham, Belgrade, Wilton, Skowhegan, Belfast, Monroe, Old Town, Orland and ...
Larry Dansinger and Lisa Savage | Morning Sentinel 21 Nov 2011 Hits:604 Maine
A fight to maintain consumer choice and farm independence has landed Maine farmer Jim Gerritsen on Utne Reader's list of "25 Visionaries Who Are Changing Your World," published in the November/December edition of the magazine on newsstands now.
Gerritsen, wife Megan, and their four children run the Wood Prairie Farm in Bridgewater, which produces and sells organic seed potatoes to kitchen gardeners and market farmers in all 50 states. Gerritsen is also president of the Organic Seed Growers and Trade Association, and it was that role that...
Avery Yale Kamila | Common Dreams 10 Nov 2011 Hits:666 Maine
Sixty percent of Mainers overwhelmingly endorsed Election Day Registration today. Voters in small towns and large in every county in the state cast a vote of confidence in the security and integrity of our election systems. Maine has enjoyed Election Day Registration for almost forty years since it was first passed in 1973 by a Republican-controlled legislature. Election Day Registration, or "Same Day Registration" as it is often called locally, allows hard-working people, some working two or...
Shenna Bellows | Maine ACLU 09 Nov 2011 Hits:541 Maine
“For more than a decade, a groundbreaking Clean Elections law has helped protect Maine politics from the influence of big money. But what’s happening now that big spenders have free rein to influence elections—and what does it mean for the rest of the country?”
Eleven years ago, a waitress named Deb Simpson was elected to Maine’s state legislature—one of 116 candidates to run that year under the state’s newly implemented Clean Elections Act, a first-in-the-nation attempt to replace private campaign contributions with public funding...
Brooke Jarvis | YES Magazine 28 Oct 2011 Hits:539 Maine
PORTLAND — Occupy Maine protesters say Sunday morning's attack with a chemical explosive has left them with a mixture of anxiety and resolve.
"We are more motivated to keep doing what we're doing," said Stephanie Wilburn, of Portland, who was sitting near where the chemical mixture in a Gatorade bottle was tossed at 4 a.m. Sunday. "They have heard us and we're making a difference."
Wilburn said she was startled and briefly lost hearing in her left ear when the device exploded beneath a table about 10...
David Hench | Portland Press Herald 24 Oct 2011 Hits:500 Maine
AUGUSTA, Maine — The ongoing series of Wall Street protests moved to Maine’s capital Thursday as about two dozen trade workers, state employees and residents held a rally calling for passage of a federal jobs bill and a new tax to pay for it.
“They got bailed out, we got sold out,” the protesters chanted from under their umbrellas as they left the State House in the rain for the federal building a couple of blocks away to deliver their demands to the offices of...
GLENN ADAMS, The Associated Press 13 Oct 2011 Hits:391 Maine
The federal Department of Labor has a message for Maine Governor Paul LePage, who has become infamous in recent weeks for tearing down a pro-labor mural from the walls of the state's Labor Department building: "you break dismantle it, you buy it."
The Huffington Post has the story:
In a letter first obtained by the Associated Press, Gay Gilbert, a senior U.S. Labor Department official, writes that the federal government appropriated the funds to Maine for the mural.
"We understand, however, that the mural is no...
Lauren Kelley | AlterNet 05 Apr 2011 Hits:416 Maine
PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to remove a mural about the state’s labor history from the Department of Labor in Augusta is now the subject of a federal lawsuit.
The suit, filed Friday in U.S. District Court, seeks to confirm the mural’s location, ensure that the mural is adequately preserved, and ultimately to restore the mural to its original location, contending the removal of the mural is a First Amendment issue.
“The removal of the mural is clearly in violation of the First ...
BDN Staff Writers | BDN 01 Apr 2011 Hits:444 Maine
AUGUSTA, Maine — The mural may be gone, but the controversy appears far from over. And critics of Gov. Paul LePage’s decision to remove the labor-themed painting from a state building appear determined to keep it that way.
On Friday, six individuals — including three Maine artists — filed a lawsuit in Portland seeking to have the mural restored to its previous home in the Department of Labor building in Augusta.
Some of those plaintiffs will likely be in Augusta on Monday when a “Return Our Mural” rally...
Kevin Miller, BDN Staff 31 Mar 2011 Hits:416 Maine
Hundreds of demonstrators gathered at the State House Saturday to stand in solidarity with the union workers in Wisconsin. The event, called "The Rally To Save The American Dream" focused on protecting union and worker rights in Maine. Speakers talked about Governor Paul LePage's budget and proposed cuts to state worker benefits. In his weekly radio address, Governor LePage defended his budget, saying that next year's pensions for state workers will not be reduced. He also criticized Representative Diane Russell for traveling...
Sarah Delage | WLBZ2.com 28 Feb 2011 Hits:405 Maine
PDA is looking for leadership in your state. Please contact us if you are interested in organzing at the state or chapter level.
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Want to bring progressive change to your state? Start a PDA chapter; send us an email and we'll get you started.
PDA is organized around several core issues. These issues include:
Each team hosts a monthly conference call. Calls feature legislators, staffers and other policy experts. On these calls we determine PDA legislation to support as well as actions and future events.