Good morning from Augusta. However we’re going to focus a bit in the present day on Washington, D.C.
As Democrats assert the facility that comes with their new majority in the U.S. House, Maine’s two Democratic members of that chamber proceed to look for ways to make their mark. Six-term U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree of the more liberal 1st District has aligned with progressive firebrand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-term representative from New York. Meanwhile, first-term U.S. Rep. Jared Golden of Maine’s extra conservative 2nd District has staked out a more populist, less ideological place in his first month on the job.
Pingree, Maine’s most liberal delegate, spent all but her first two years in office enjoying protection after Republicans took control of the House in 2010. The brand new Democratic majority underneath House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-California, who led the chamber when Pingree first took workplace, has unfettered her to develop into extra aggressive in pushing a progressive agenda.
On Monday, she penned a letter with Ocasio-Cortez to the CEOs of Fb, Google and Microsoft, questioning their corporations’ sponsorship of a conference they stated promotes climate change denial.
“The example you have set promoting sustainability and evidence-based science is compromised by your implicit support of the session,” they wrote. Aggressively working to mitigate local weather change, the pair promised, can be a “top priority” this session — a position that’s not new for Pingree, a self-described “unrelenting” renewable power advocate.
In November, calling the plan “an important blueprint for us to fight the crisis on all fronts,” Pingree backed Ocasio-Cortez’s “Green New Deal,” which loftily goals to make the country carbon neutral by 2030. Though the deal, which requires radical steps to curb carbon emissions, isn’t possible to earn full-throated help from Democrats, Pingree’s endorsement is hardly controversial amongst her principally Democratic constituents. Allying herself with the young democratic socialist will probably solely serve to bolster her platform.
In the meantime Golden, who made waves defeating two-term Republican Bruce Poliquin in the nation’s first federal ranked-choice voting contest, continues to attempt to redefine what it means to be a Democrat representing a district Trump gained in 2016. The 37-year-old veteran proposed his second piece of legislation Tuesday, which might withhold pay in escrow from the president, vice chairman and members of Congress during future authorities shutdowns.
“Federal workers don’t get paid during a government shutdown. Neither should politicians,” Golden stated Tuesday from the House flooring.
The largely symbolic Solidarity in Wage Act of 2019, co-sponsored by Pingree, along with freshman Reps. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, and Max Rose, D-New York, is unlikely to move nevertheless it undoubtedly curries favor with labor unions and working-class constituents in Golden’s more conservative, rural 2nd District. House leaders haven’t yet indicated whether they’ll help the bill, Golden’s spokesman stated Wednesday morning.
Golden seems like he’ll attempt to comply with in a line of average Democrats, most lately John Baldacci and “Blue Dog” Mike Michaud, in representing the district. Though the political clout of labor unions has waned somewhat amid arduous hits to the paper business, a Democrat like Golden can’t tilt too far to the left without operating the danger of alienating a delicate base that hardly wrested a district that had been leaning proper from Poliquin last yr.
But how Golden’s efforts to attraction to constituents while establishing his place in the House play with Pelosi, whom Republicans portrayed as a progressive monster in 2nd District marketing campaign attack advertisements final yr, bears watching. Golden stated he would not vote for Pelosi as speaker during his main. When he followed via and have become one among 15 House Democrats who didn’t vote for her, scrutiny of their relationship intensified.
As a newcomer, Golden lacks seniority and the influence that comes with it. So he can’t afford to danger alienating Pelosi, who might easily push him off the back bench into obscurity in a means that would exacerbate what already looms as a challenging re-election bid in 2020. His committee assignments point out that the Democratic House management appreciates the truth that he flipped a Republican seat and gained’t want to jeopardize that achieve. However the political capital earned by that victory has limits.
Early in his marketing campaign, Golden aligned with U.S. Rep, Seth Moulton, D-Massachusetts, whose push to oust Pelosi flopped miserably. His determination not to vote for her as speaker fulfilled a campaign promise. But with key votes looming on funding authorities and border security, anticipate Golden to fall in line with the speaker.
If nothing else, the early alliances that Maine’s U.S. House members are making in the course of the first month of Pelosi’s second stint as speaker highlight how totally different it is for Democrats to characterize Maine’s overtly progressive 1st District and the delicately balanced, more conservative 2nd District.
Collins noncommittal on Trump 2020 endorsement
Maine’s Republican senator stated she is going to ‘see what happens’ between now and 2020 before endorsing in the race. U.S. Sen. Susan Collins was one of many highest-profile Republican officeholders who refused to endorse Donald Trump on his path to the presidency in 2016, but she advised PBS’ NewsHour on Tuesday she’d have to “see what happens between now and then” before deciding whether or not or not to back the president in 2020.
“I can’t imagine that I would endorse any of the Democrats who are running right now, but I’m going to focus on 2020 in 2020,” Collins stated.
In December, Collins stated she saw “nothing wrong” with a Republican main challenger to Trump. Collins is up for re-election in 2020 and will face her hardest challenge since assuming workplace after Democratic mobilization towards her after her vote for U.S. Supreme Courtroom Justice Brett Kavanaugh.
Mills’ first four Cabinet candidates sail via hearings
The new governor’s first four nominees for commissioner positions have been authorised unanimously by legislative panels on Tuesday. It was an auspicious start for Gov. Janet Mills’ first commissioner nominees — Bruce Van Word for transportation, Kirsten Figueroa for price range, Heather Johnson for financial improvement and Patrick Keliher for marine assets — to go up for confirmation hearings earlier than legislative committees. All four have been authorised unanimously by the four panels overseeing their departments and are subject to last approval by the Maine Senate.
Confirmation hearings proceed immediately, however we’re not expecting real controversy until Friday. 4 more commissioner nominees — Adjutant Common Douglas Farnham, Judy Camuso for inland fisheries and wildlife, Laura Fortman for labor and Jerry Reid for environmental protection — are up for hearings on Wednesday morning beginning at 10 a.m.
Reid, who was the pure assets division chief underneath Mills while she was lawyer common stands out as the just one who attracts organized opposition on Wednesday. Members of the Penobscot Nation advised Maine Public they’ll oppose his nomination in an extension of criticism that Mills faced in her main campaign for state legal fights with the tribe.
— The interim president of a Maine college is promising modifications after two ladies advised the Bangor Daily News it mishandled their studies of rape. It constituted the College of Maine at Farmington’s preliminary response to a BDN story revealed on Monday detailing the accounts of two students whose stories of rape have been dealt with mistakenly at occasions and located credible by a college committee before these findings have been overturned in strange trend, as soon as unilaterally by Kathryn Foster, UMF’s then-president. Interim President Eric Brown advised the college group in an e mail that he was “moved and saddened” by the article and stated UMF can be offering campus local weather surveys, looking for a vice chairman of scholar affairs to deal with Title IX points and hiring a new mental health counselor.
— Maine fishermen are still feeling the results of the final federal shutdown. Another one might be devastating. The 35-day federal shutdown ended Friday, however one one that groundfishes in Maine stated one other one could possibly be “catastrophic” for the business. The the lengthy shutdown has led to a backlog for federal fishery regulators who must approve permits for fishermen in federal waters in Might. Trump has stated another shutdown might occur subsequent month if Democrats don’t permit funding for a border wall. If permits are delayed, fishing time might be misplaced and financing for brand spanking new boat purchases might fall via.
— A rural Maine hospital that has lost a tenth of its affected person volume in 4 years has declared bankruptcy. No layoffs are planned at Penobscot Valley Hospital, a 25-bed critical-access facility in Lincoln that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy safety on Tuesday. It has misplaced 10 % of its complete affected person volume and 65 % of inpatient visits in 4 yr, blaming it on legacy debt from the “ripple effects” of a 2015 paper mill closure, a scarcity of Medicaid enlargement and cuts to Medicaid reimbursement charges. Income fell 18 % between 2011 and 2016 on the hospital, which stopped delivering infants in 2014. The hospital reportedly owes roughly $10 million to about 900 collectors, and that quantity might crest 1,000 because the chapter course of unfolds.
— For the second time in six months, the individual hired to handle one Maine town give up abruptly after being unable to work with selectmen. Interim Orrington City Supervisor Andrew Fish announced his resignation in a letter to residents, citing disagreements with two members of the Board of Selectmen. He didn’t determine the 2 selectmen in the letter. Fish’s predecessor, Paul White stepped down in July 2018 over conflicts with the board of selectmen’s chairman, Keith Bowden.
Heave ho over blow
This might be brief because I’ve to exit and shovel the driveway.
“Why shovel when we have all kinds of great snowblowing technology and contracted plowing services?” chances are you’ll ask.
An altruistic answer can be that shoveling is the right heart-healthy activity to hold the blood flowing in a geezer like me. As long as I bend with my knees and take breaks, I should quickly find a way to surpass the shoveling longevity document of David Nyhan, a far better political author. I consider him each time I head out into the drifts.
However well being shouldn’t be the actual cause why I shovel as an alternative of utilizing something extra mechanical to clear the snow. Nope, it’s because I can still hear in my head the dissatisfied voice of my scientist dad — who died the identical yr Nyhan did — saying to his English main son, “You’ll cut your hand off if you try to use anything more technical than a fork.”
Right here is your soundtrack. — Robert Long
At this time’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Long. When you’re reading this on the BDN’s website or have been forwarded it, click on here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on here to subscribe to the BDN.