Category archives for: Polly Ticks

LePage and Kasich Are Totally Going to Build a Clubhouse With No Girls or Democrats Allowed, Black Magic, No Erasies

lepage and kasichAUGUSTA, Maine — Maine should join a national movement for a constitutional convention in support of a federal balanced budget amendment, said Gov. Paul LePage on Thursday. LePage was buoyed by a visit Thursday from fellow Republican Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, one of the loudest proponents of the convention, which would be called in accordance with Article V of the U.S. Constitution. Kasich is a former member of Congress and was chairman of the House Budget Committee from 1995 until 2001. There, he was one of the architects of the Balanced Budget Act of 1997. Kasich has long said that a balanced budget amendment was necessary to instill a permanent sense of fiscal prudence in Washington, where national debt has reached $18 trillion and counting. “Without the balanced budget requirement, presidents are going to come and presidents are going to go and the debt will keep growing,” Kasich told reporters during a joint news conference in LePage’s Cabinet room. “We need to change the culture of that town [Washington, D.C.].” (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

John Kerry Offers to Order the Most Expensive Thing On the Menu if Assad Will Agree to Meet With Him

john kerrySHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt — U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said he would be willing to talk with Syrian President Bashar Assad to stem that nation’s violence. In an interview with CBS News, Kerry said the U.S. is pushing for Assad to seriously discuss a transition strategy to quell the Arab country’s four-year civil war. “We have to negotiate in the end,” Kerry said. “And what we’re pushing for is to get him to come and do that, and it may require that there be increased pressure on him of various kinds in order to do that. We’ve made it very clear to people that we are looking at increased steps that can help bring about that pressure.” Kerry did not elaborate on what that additional pressure would be. There was no immediate reaction in Syrian state media to Kerry’s remarks. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Biddeford Government Brainstorming Session Produces Only Partly Cloudy Ideas

Committee meeting. Maine news from the Rumford MeteorBIDDEFORD – The ad hoc Downtown Policy Committee formed by Mayor Alan Casavant late last year had its first brainstorming session to discuss ways to improve downtown. At the Feb. 27 meeting in the mayor’s office, members discussed how to define the downtown area, parking and the creation of a downtown business district. The committee consists of Casavant and four city councilors – At-Large Councilor Marc Lessard, Ward 2 Councilor John McCurry, Bob Mills from Ward 5, and Michael Ready, Ward 7. “The first objective is to come up with a definition of downtown and then start talking about what might be needed,” Casavant said. At issue is a referendum question to allow parking meters downtown that was rejected by voters in November, effectively prohibiting their use unless approved by voters at another referendum. However, said Casavant, there are multiple definitions and boundaries within the city for what area the downtown encompasses. (read more at the Biddeford-Saco-OOB Courier)

In a Shocking Development, Bridge Maintainers Say Bridges Should Be Maintained

Bridge. Maine news from The Rumford MeteorMaine’s top transportation official will meet with lawmakers Tuesday to discuss a report that calls for the state to double its annual spending on bridge maintenance or face the much greater cost of replacing bridges in the future. Transportation Commissioner David Bernhardt will meet with the Legislature’s Transportation Committee to address a department study that recommends increasing annual spending on bridge maintenance from $70 million to $140 million. The Keeping Our Bridges Safe report was completed by a team of bridge experts in the private and public sectors under the direction of Joyce Taylor, chief engineer of the Maine Department of Transportation. The group says that basic preventive work, such as washing bridges, painting beams and replacing joints, prevents bridges from deteriorating prematurely. We can conclude that investing in preservation now is key to saving significant dollars in the future,” the report said. (read more at the Portland Press Herald)

Marco Rubio Tells Voters We Can All Move to Mexico and Put Up a Fence After All the Mexicans Are In California

Marco Rubio in New HampshireHOLLIS, N.H. — Back in New Hampshire for the first time since the midterm elections, it didn’t take long for Sen. Marco Rubio to get a question about immigration. Speaking to a group of people in a wooden barn in the southern part of the state, the Florida Republican — still debating whether to run for president or seek re-election to the Senate in 2016 — was asked about his past support for immigration legislation that includes a path to citizenship for the millions of immigrants living in the country illegally. Rubio’s aides said the crowd was “more than 100.” “When I first heard you, I liked you a lot — and then you lost me,” a questioner asked Rubio, to some applause from the crowd. “But I’m back, here to give you another chance. My question for you is, ‘Can you commit if elected president to send home every single person that’s violated our country’s laws and is here illegally?’” In reply, Rubio didn’t hesitate. “I don’t think anyone can commit that to you,” Rubio said. “You have 12 million human beings in America, most of whom we don’t even know who they are and some of them whom our country’s not going to tolerate rounding up and sending back. That’s not a realistic proposal.”(read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Governor LePage Uses State of the State Address to Propose Making Fourteen Blogposts Stitched Together the New State Constitution

governor lepageAUGUSTA, Maine — Gov. Paul LePage on Tuesday evening pitched a vision for “prosperity, not poverty” during his annual State of the State address. The adage is quickly becoming the overarching message of LePage’s second term. For the governor, the path to prosperity is paved with the hundreds of pages from his budget proposal, which contains a dramatic tax reform plan that would eliminate the estate tax and cut the state’s income tax by more than half a billion dollars annually by 2019. The governor spent the bulk of his roughly hourlong speech on the budget, which he said would “drive prosperity for years to come. It looks past the next election and focuses on the next generation.” But the governor’s end game isn’t a reduced income tax rate — it’s the elimination of the tax altogether. He announced Tuesday his desire for a constitutional amendment that would use future revenue growth to pay for reductions in the state income tax until it’s gone. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

State Rep Wants to Bring Back Rail Service to Bangor. No Word On Whether She Wants To Revive Oil Lamps, Hoop Skirts, Crank Telephones or Slavery

bangor maine raliwayBANGOR, Maine — A Maine lawmaker wants to bring passenger trains to Bangor for the first time in more than half a century, but an industry official cautions it could cost more than $100 million to make the idea a reality. A bill entered by Rep. Michelle Dunphy, D-Old Town, An Act to Provide Passenger Rail Service to Bangor, is among the more than 1,500 bills proposed by lawmakers to start this legislative session. Dunphy, who represents Old Town and Indian Island, said during a recent interview that she entered the bill because she’s a big fan of rail transportation. Her family uses Amtrak a few times each year to get from Portland to Boston for sporting events or Washington, D.C., for business. “It’s convenient. It’s easy. It’s affordable,” she said. The bill, LR 1829, has yet to be written because the idea is still in its conceptual stage and would require much research, planning and funding. But Dunphy is motivated. “I feel pretty strongly about this,” she said. “I think it’s really one of the keys to economic development for our part of the state.” Patricia Quinn, executive director of the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority, formed by the State Legislature in the mid-1990s to bring passenger trains back to Maine for the first time in three decades, said expanding service to Bangor would be neither easy nor cheap. (read more at the Bangor Daily News)

York Residents Glad Those Buildings Are Innovative “Affordable Housing,” Not Just an Apartment Building. Because That Would Be Tacky

york maine affordable housingYORK – With a median income of $81,000 and houses listed on Zillow.com for between $350,000 and more than $1 million, York can seem out of reach for many working families. But two developments in town are aimed at providing a more affordable solution for people. Work has already started on an affordable/workforce apartment and professional complex on Route 1, with the first phase of construction expected to be completed in late spring. Off of Turner Road in Cape Neddick, a 33-lot cluster subdivision is being built that will include five homes priced in the workforce housing range. These are the first such privately developed projects since the town’s workforce/affordable housing ordinance was passed in 2008. The York Housing Authority purchased the privately owned Carriage House Apartments in 2011 as a workforce housing complex, and built an 11-unit addition opened last year. “Maybe these are just anomalies, but I don’t think so,” said Town Manager Steve Burns, who credits the improving economy as the reason why these kinds of developments are becoming attractive. “We passed the ordinance during the depths of the recession. Things are changing. And I think these developments are going to help the public perception of housing in York.” (read more at Seacoast Online)

Hillary Clinton’s Latest Makeover Expected to Lock Up the “Bag Lady Shouting at the Bus Stop” Vote

hillary clintonCORONADO, Calif. – Not yet in the presidential race, Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mitt Romney already are previewing the likely focus of the 2016 campaign, a competition over who’s better able to boost paychecks for working Americans. And that ostensibly populist message about wages and jobs for the middle-class? It’s what their potential rivals for the Democratic and Republican nominations – Jeb Bush and Elizabeth Warren, among them – are talking about, too. It started Friday afternoon, when Clinton, who has been mostly quiet over the past few weeks as a GOP field of more than two dozen potential candidates jockeyed for attention, sent her first tweet in more than a month: “Attacking financial reform is risky and wrong. Better for Congress to focus on jobs and wages for middle-class families.” Late Friday night, it was Romney’s turn. The wealthy former private equity chief sounded almost nothing like the Romney of 2012, when he told voters “corporations are people, my friend,” and said to a group of rich donors that when it comes to the 47 percent of Americans who don’t pay income taxes, “my job is not to worry about those people.” Said Romney on Friday, “Under President Obama, the rich have gotten richer, income inequality has gotten worse and there are more people in poverty than ever before.” (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

Ride-Sharing Legislation Crafted To Remind Dorks That An iPhone App Isn’t A Universal Line Item Veto

uber ride sharing in maineAUGUSTA — Maine could become the next state to regulate ride-sharing companies such as Uber. Secretary of State Matthew Dunlap said Friday his office has submitted legislation that would require ride-share drivers to register with the state and to prove that they have a valid driver’s license and insurance. Similar legislation has surfaced in several other states as San Francisco-based Uber Technologies continues its breakneck global expansion. The Silicon Valley-funded company posted investments worth $41 billion in early December. It began operating in Portland in October. The Portland City Council is also considering a proposal to regulate Uber and other ride-sharing companies amid complaints from taxi companies that the services have an unfair advantage because they are not subject to licensing and insurance requirements. The proposed Portland rules, along with regulatory efforts in other states, have also touched off an ideological debate. (read more at the Kennebec Journal)

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