‘Patriotic Millionaires’ group urges raising Maine’s minimum wage in new TV ad

Good morning, folks. Happy hump day. There’s cause for celebration coming from the south, as congressional leaders have supposedly struck a budget deal with President Barack Obama.

According to news reports, conservative Republicans continue to balk at provisions in the two-year budget, which would increase spending by about 1 percent a year while raising the nation’s borrowing limit to avoid a default on the nation’s debt. Some Republicans, including incoming Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, are complaining loudly that the deal was negotiated in private by congressional leaders.

Sound familiar?

Though this is as close as we’ve seen Congress coming to a budget deal in quite some time, there appears to be room for another failure, especially as this is falling together with Republican leadership in the House in such turmoil. Maine’s two House members have so far been mum about the deal, which is understandable since it’s been less than 12 overnight hours since it was printed.

Michael Byerly, a spokesman for U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican from Maine’s 2nd District, said this morning that the congressman is researching the details of the budget and hoping for feedback from his constituents.

I, for one, will be watching developments with interest. — Christopher Cousins

Poliquin attacked in television ad

The House Majority Political Action Committee has launched a new television advertisement that attacks Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin for his ties to Wall Street before and during his term in Congress.

If you’re interested in seeing the advertisement, you can see it by clicking here. — Christopher Cousins

‘Patriotic Millionaires’ weighing in on Maine’s minimum wage

A national group called The Patriotic Millionaires, which according to a press release consists of more than 200 Americans with incomes of at least $1 million per year and assets of at least $5 million, will release a new ad this week to encourage residents of Maine to raise the minimum wage.

I haven’t balanced my checkbook in a few days but I’m pretty sure I don’t qualify to join this group.

Next week, residents of Portland will vote on an initiative to raise the minimum wage there to $15 an hour by 2019. Additionally, the Maine People’s Alliance is collecting signatures for a statewide referendum to move Maine’s minimum wage to $12 an hour by 2020.

The Patriotic Millionaires’ television advertisement, which you can see by clicking here, will begin to show up on you television screen tomorrow. Among their arguments: “People should make enough in a 40-hour work week to support a spouse and two kids,” says Patriotic Millionaire Dal LaMagna, who is CEO of a company called IceStone. — Christopher Cousins 

LePage to keynote Canadian energy trade conference

Gov. Paul LePage, who is currently on a trade mission to China and Japan and will return over the weekend, has another international soapbox ready for him Nov. 12 and 13 in Boston.

According to a press release, LePage and Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec, will share the stage during the 23rd annual New England-Canada Business Council’s Energy Trade & Technology Conference in Boston. The conference theme is “New England-Canada Energy: The Economic Impact of Integrating Energy Infrastructure in a High-Cost Region.”

The conference looks to be touching on some of the energy themes LePage has been voicing for years: New England states buying Canadian hydropower and proposals for a new natural gas pipeline into New England. — Christopher Cousins

Reading list

Safe erections elections

If you’re so interested in politics that you can’t even spend time with your mate in the bedroom without making a political statement, well, get a life. But seriously, there is now a condom just for you!

A company called Condomania has you covered! (Here’s your soundtrack).

For less than a buck a rubber (plus shipping and, um, handling) you can score a dozen condoms with the following slogans on the wrappers:

  • “Don’t debate, wrap your candidate”
  • “Remember the election with your next erection”
  • “Thin as a politician’s promise”
  • “Either way, you’re screwed”
  • “Great for any position”

The company also sells a “Donald Trump protection kit” which includes earplugs and a condom with the Trumpster’s photo on the wrapper. It’s a good thing it’s usually dark… oh never mind. — Christopher Cousins


Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.