Daily Catch

Daily Catch: Alfond’s odd thoughts on jobs, Dems’ fuzzy math, tax breaks for the rich, and more…

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Solidarity: It’s common knowledge that Maine Democrats march in lockstep with labor unions. But Senate President Justin Alfond (D-Portland) showed just how strong that commitment really is on Tuesday morning when he told Ric Tyler he’d rather Maine workers remain unemployed than take a job that doesn’t require them to pay fees to a union.

Math Is Hard: Putting their impeccable math skills on display for the world to see, staffers in the Senate President and House Speaker’s offices crafted an eyebrow raising press release regarding the Maine Chamber of Commerce’s decision not to endorse Medicaid expansion. The headline of Ericka Dodge and Jodi Quintero’s press release screamed: “Majority of State Chamber of Commerce Board Backs Medicaid Expansion Proposal(!)”

The problem? Of the 37 MSCC board members present for the vote, only 18 voted to support the bill — 9 voted against and 10 abstained. Only in Democrat Land is 18 a majority of 37. Dodge and Quintero’s math departs further from reality when you consider that the MSCC board actually has 65 members — only 37 showed up to vote. The press release should have read: “Only 27.7 percent of Maine Chamber of Commerce Wants Expanded Medicaid!”

As MaineToday Media reporter Michael Shepherd aptly tweeted: “For Medicaid expansion proponents, the [MSCC] vote signals, at best, great apathy in Maine’s business community.”

Michaud the Obscure: Al Diamon lambastes U.S. Rep. Michael Michaud for his do-nothing tenure in Washington, D.C.: “It’s not that Michaud, who’s represented Maine’s 2nd Congressional District for more than a decade, is completely worthless. In a chamber rife with extremist whackjobs, his amiable bumbling barely rises to a level worth criticizing. Or noticing.”

Solar Subsidies for the RichRep. Lance Harvell (R-Farmington) blasted supporters of L.D. 1252, a bill that would, in part, provide rebates to people who purchases solar panels, for pushing a policy that, he says, will take money from low-income ratepayers so wealthy Mainers can get solar power. Harvell said he got an email from a constituent who said he would never be able to put solar panels on his second home without rebates. He thought it was a joke — it wasn’t.

 “When you see solar panels on trailers, you’ll know everyone is able to take advantage of this program,” said Harvell. Rep. Larry Dunphy (R-North Anson), the top House Republican, offered changing the rule to prevent high-income individuals from receiving the rebate. Near the end of debate, House Majority Leader Seth Berry (D-Bowdoinham) signaled some willingness to put an income cap on the solar rebates, but his attempt at compromise fell on deaf ears.

Michaud’s Campaign Pamphlet Selectively Lifted From Brookings: Columnist John Frary says Michael Michaud, the Democratic candidate for governor, lifted the central ideas of his recently published campaign pamphlet from a 2006 publication from the left-leaning Brookings Institution. According to Frary, Michaud’s campaign used, without citation, many of the ideas Brookings put forth 8 years ago. Tellingly, the Michaud campaign did not copy-and-paste Brookings’ criticisms  of Maine’s bloated bureaucracy and high taxes.

Do you have an item for the Daily Catch? Send an email with a link to serobinson@themainewire.com

About Steve Robinson

Steve Robinson is the former editor of The Maine Wire and currently producer for the Howie Carr Show. Follow him on Twitter @Stevie_Rob or send him an email at Steve@HowieCarrShow.com.

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