The news wasn’t all good Tuesday night, but one of the brightest spots was the re-election of our favorite Congresswoman, Chellie Pingree. Steve Bloom was at the victory party at the Porthole, shooting photos of her supporters:
The Cumberland County Democrats had a lively and positive presence at the Cumberland County Fair for 2010. Volunteers set up the booth and staffed it throughout the week of the fair. Michael Shaughnessy, who coordinated the volunteers, also contributed an eye-catching “hay ball” sculpture. (Photos by Stephen Bloom)
Anyone reading this morning’s Portland Press Herald this morning woke up to something far more frightening than any Stephen King novel or Friday the 13th movie: a poll showing Paul LePage 14 points ahead in the gubernatorial race. The thought of a LePage administration should be terrifying to us all. Among the positions he has taken are approving the teaching of creationism in the schools, supporting off-shore drilling off the coast of Maine (despite the fact that there’s no oil there…) and engaging in an aggressive dismantling of environmental regulations. He’s adopted a strategy of trying to talk to the press as little as possible, so that his more ridiculous comments, like saying that DEP is requiring bison counts (completely untrue) go unnoticed by anyone but NPR.
The root of LePage’s support lies in falling support for the Democratic party, rising support for the Republican party, the “enthusiasm gap” between Democrats and Republicans, the general public’s lack of awareness of just how radical LePage actually is and the desire of some media (particularly the Press Herald) to portray Libby Mitchell as some kind of flaming left-wing radical. The enthusiasm gap should be a particular concern for us all. No one would argue that the last two years have gone as we would have wanted, given the disastrous recession, economic crisis and budget deficits that President Obama inherited. There are things that we would all like to see different, things we wish he had done. But there are also achievements we can be proud of, including passage of health care and financial reform. Yes, they are not everything that we wanted. But enactment of these reforms is a first critical step in creating a society reflective of Democratic values.
However we wish things had gone nationwide and in Maine, sitting home in November isn’t the answer. If we don’t spread the word of the disaster that awaits with a LePage administration (or, for that matter, a Republican Congress…) and don’t work to get everyone we know to vote, we will only have ourselves to blame for the disaster that will follow. We all have a role to play in creating the future we want for our state and nation. We have a great candidate in Libby Mitchell and we need to do everything we can to spread the word…phone calls, letters to the editor, volunteering…we can’t just wait for her campaign to go on the air with commercials and assume that will be sufficient. We need to be educating everyone we know about the stakes in this election and the role that we all have in defining our future.
This poll should serve as a wake-up call to us all, one that motivates us to do what it takes to elect Libby. This Sunday evening, we will have staff of the Maine Democratic party (www.mainedems.org) present at our meeting to discuss how we can support efforts to elect Democrats at all levels in November. In the words of John Kennedy, “if now us, who? If not now, when?”
Reid Scher, Chair
The next meeting of the Cumberland County Democratic Committee will be held on September 12, from 6-8. We’re going to be meeting at an exciting location…A CCDC committee member from Cape Elizabeth, has opened a restaurant in Cape Elizabeth, the Local Buzz (www.capelocalbuzz.com). We will have a social hour from 6-7 (food and drink will be available for purchase…) and the meeting from 7-8. We’ll provide more information as the date draws near. Please join us!!!
Steve Bloom of the Cumberland County Democratic Committee has pulled together a list of candidates and contact information for the Nov. 2 election. Find your candidate and be sure to vote, either early via absentee ballot or on Election Day!
There will be a special caucus to nominate a candidate for the Democratic Party for the House seat for District 113. All registered Democrats in 113 (part of Falmouth and the North Deering neighborhood of Portland) are encouraged to attend.
The caucus will be at the United Universal Church on Allen Avenue in Portland on Sunday, July 25 at 7 p.m.
The CCDC has reserved the Pavilion at Hadlock Field, the Sea Dog stadium, for a pregame picnic. For the $24 price of admission you get a ticket to the game and unlimited food and non-alcoholic drinks for one hour before the game until one hour after the first pitch. Everyone had a blast last year, so join us in the fun!
We need to reserve seats in advance so please contact CCDC Chair, Reid Scher if you plan to attend at firstname.lastname@example.org or 329-5843 no later than July 12.
We would also like to invite you to join the Host Committee for the event, with a donation of $100, which will include your ticket to the game. If you would like to be a member of the host committee, either contact Reid or write to:
3 Fox Hall Road
Falmouth, ME 04105
Finally, we will have someone special throwing out the first pitch of the game…More information to follow.
We look forward to seeing you!!!
The primaries are over and we have our nominee, Libby Mitchell, a strong candidate for the general election. However, if she is to win, it will require all of our efforts. It’s easy to be lulled into a sense of security that the Republicans have nominated an extreme right wing candidate, Paul LePage, who apparently had the bulk of tea party support. While we can be comforted by the fact that his desire to teach creationism in the schools and denial of global warming are out of the mainstream, he clearly tapped into something alive in the electorate, concerns about taxes and spending. This was most clearly demonstrated by how Question 1 was framed and the strong vote to repeal the tax reform law. LePage will run on these issues in the fall, which will resonate with a significant group of voters. He also has the advantage that conservatives and tea partiers seem much more motivated to vote this year.
There’s also a possibly greater threat to Libby, the independent candidate Eliot Cutler. We saw Peter Mills begin the narrative last night that many will hope to carry into November, and that is that Libby is as extreme on the left as LePage is on the right, leaving only the independent choice in the middle. We need to be very clear and work hard to dispel the notion that there’s anything radical about Libby Mitchell. She represents the best of the Democratic Party, a smart, hard-working legislator and leader, who understands how to make government work for the people, as opposed to “getting government out of people’s lives,” which translates to getting out of the way of corporations and the rich. This will be a tough race, but eminently winnable if we all work hard in the fall.
Reid Scher, Chairperson
We just completed a great convention in Lewiston, representative of all the best of the Democratic Party. There were several highlights:
Unlike what we saw at the Republican convention, we adopted a platform that is representative of the best values of American society, what makes us proud to be Democrats. (…and no schoolrooms were defaced…) Our gubernatorial candidate won’t have to run away from an extremist platform, but will be able to proudly speak to its principles and proposals. The platform is now posted on this site.
We heard from our state-wide elected officials, Governor Baldacci and Representatives Pingree and Michaud, who represent the best of Maine. We also heard from Tim Kaine, the chair of the national Democratic Party and the immediate past governor of Virginia.
We heard from a great group of gubernatorial candidates: Pat McGowan, Libby Mitchell, Steve Rowe and Rosa Scarcelli. The outcome of the competitive primary (remember to vote…either early or on June 8!!!) assures us a great candidate in November.
We met a number of great candidates for the State Senate and House, who will work to strengthen the Democratic majority in the legislature. All of the candidates will be posted on our website after the primaries are complete.
We elected a great group of representatives to the Democratic State Committee, of whom we can all be proud: Artis Bernard, John Bernard, Heather Curtis, Ed Democracy, Pam Fenrich, Wayne Hollingsworth, Dottie Melanson, Steve Minkowsky, Michael Shaughnessy and Pat Washburn. This strong, diverse group assures that we will be well represented at the state committee.
We look forward to building on the momentum of the convention in the CCDC. I’ve referenced the website; we’ve had a great addition to the CCDC, Pat Washburn, our new webmaster. Pat is extremely talented and has done a fantastic job in the re-design. We’ll be working to post regularly and utilize the site as a communication tool for the county. We encourage you to forward information about your town committees and local events, so that we can share our good work.
We’ll be having our summer event at a Sea Dogs game this year. Everyone had a blast last year; we’ll be providing details shortly and look forward to your joining us. We’re looking to form a fundraising committee, to help us support our fantastic candidates this year and in future campaigns.
Finally, supporting one of our local committees, the South Portland Democratic Committee will be holding a unity dinner on Wednesday, June 16. All of the gubernatorial candidates will be present to set the tone for a great fall campaign. Please let me know if you’d like more details.
As ever, let me know if you have any questions at email@example.com or at 329.5843. We look forward to seeing you soon!!!
Reid Scher, Chairperson
Were you a delegate to the Maine Democratic Convention? Did you bring a camera with you? E-mail the webmaster, Pat Washburn, with your photos and video from the event, and we’ll make a gallery here on the Cumberland County site.