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NEWS OF: 1/20/2007

Governor’s Constitutional Amendment Would Freeze Your Asset

The Governor’s constitutional amendment regarding property taxes would freeze the valuation of primary residences until that home is sold. Once the place is sold, the town could try to recapture five years of back taxes that would have been collected had the property value not been frozen.

The proposal is modeled after an existing provision in Maine’s Constitution that gives valuation breaks for woodlands, farmlands, wildlife management lands, open space and working waterfront land.

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Popularity: 37%

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NEWS OF: 1/8/2007

Baldacci: Regional School Boards

VIEW ALL: Gov. Baldacci

Regional school boards are just one of many interesting proposals by Governor Baldacci in the new budget. By reducing the number of school administrative units and central offices in Maine from 152 to 26, Maine could save a quarter billion dollars in the first three years of implementation starting in July 2008.

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Popularity: 77%

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NEWS OF: 12/18/2006

2007 Legislative Session a Stocking Stuffer of Bills

The 2007 legislative session includes a record 2,400 items on the to do list including bills to overhaul property taxes and state taxes, expand health care coverage, crack down on repeat drunk drivers, track stalkers via wireless technology, and increase pay for jurors. Our vote for most popular? A constitutional amendment to freeze property taxes for primary residences, with an allowance for inflation, until the time of sale.

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Popularity: 68%

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NEWS OF: 11/28/2006

Baldacci: Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes!

VIEW ALL: Gov. Baldacci

Governor Baldacci says changes are on the way… reorganization…plus plans to reduce property taxes; cut state, municipal and school spending; and invest in education and the economy. On top of that? He won’t be running for office again.

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Popularity: 52%

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NEWS OF: 11/3/2006

Political Advertising Reality Check

The TABOR ad says, “Because of high property taxes, some people can’t afford to live here…”

And thanks to political advertising? The rest of us can’t stand to live here. Oh, and if TABOR is passed? Most of us won’t want to live here. Either way, along the coastline? Unless you’re from away, no one can afford to buy here.

Global warming will reduce your property values and taxes long before TABOR will.

Chandler Woodcock’s commercial asks how “a man who’s spent a lifetime in the outdoors doesn’t value Maine’s environment?” Well, it may have something to do with your lousy voting record on environmental issues as pointed out by the Maine League of Conservation Voters. We know Dick Cheney can fire a gun, but that doesn’t make him a hunter.

Barbara Merrill says “the way to get the best of both parties is to hire an independent.” Which is why we’ve had so many independent presidents…

Pat LaMarche asks us to “vote your hopes, not your fears.” I love the sentiment, Pat, and if we didn’t have Klingons running the White House I’d take you up on that.

Governor Baldacci has an ad floating around somewhere that says something like, “I’ll do the best I can.” Well, it ain’t sexy, but notice the man doing the job is the one not promising the moon. What does that tell you about the job?

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Popularity: 54%

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NEWS OF: 10/9/2006

Dean & Baldacci Go Old School in Munjoy Hill

Howard Dean and Gov. Baldacci spoke with around 150 people at a breakfast fundraiser at the Italian Heritage Center before visiting door-to-door in the heavily Democratic neighborhoods of Munjoy Hill today.

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Popularity: 2%

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NEWS OF: 10/4/2006

TABOR - Gubernatorial Leanings

Various opinions regarding TABOR, the Taxpayer Bill of Rights:

1. Chandler Woodcock strongly supports TABOR.
2. Pat LaMarche opposes it because it would put a financial strain on municipalities.
3. Barbara Merrill has criticized TABOR, but said that if it passes and if she’s elected, “We’re going to live with it and we’re not going to pass the costs onto local government.”
4. Governor Baldacci opposes TABOR.

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Popularity: 3%

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NEWS OF: 9/20/2006

Here I Sit, Brokenhearted…

A few parents have been offended by verses such as, Ladies and gentlemen, Take my advice, Pull down your pants And slide on the ice appearing in “Schoolyard Rhymes,” a compilation of 50 verses included in goodie bags given to 18,000 kindergarten kids across Maine.

The book, edited by award-winning author Judy Sierra of Castro Valley, Ca., and illustrated by Melissa Sweet of Rockport, was chosen by a five-member committee of literacy specialists, librarians and educators including Karen Baldacci, a former kindergarten teacher.

But just in case you don’t find it funny, the project was done without the State’s money. :-)

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Popularity: 2%

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NEWS OF: 9/4/2006

Baldacci Announces Health Coverage Tax Credits for Laid Off Workers

Governor John Baldacci today announced that the federal government has certified DirigoChoice as an insurance product for purposes of federal Health Coverage Tax Credits (HCTC). The HCTC program is open to qualified employees who were laid off from their manufacturing jobs due to foreign trade and are eligible to receive trade readjustment assistance.

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Popularity: 2%

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Baldacci Ridin’ the Rails

Gov. Baldacci is ordering a plan for expanded passenger rail service to interior and coastal communities as a touristy thing. It’s a great idea, of course, but here’s an even better one — how about rail service for commuters? Portland-to-Augusta would be a logical place to start. Or Kittery to Augusta

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Popularity: 1%

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NEWS OF: 8/28/2006

Maine Makes the Grade for a Cleaner Environment

Governor Baldacci and Maine’s State government were recognized today by Environment Maine and the Natural Resources Council of Maine for efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Maine received a “B” grade for implementing policies called for in the regional Climate Change Action Plan, signed in 2001 by the New England Governors and five eastern Canadian Premiers.

Maine’s 2006 grade is the highest of any New England state, and the second highest of any state or province. Maine has improved since last year’s report, and was the only New England state to have shown an improved grade.

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Popularity: 1%

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NEWS OF: 8/23/2006

Barbara Merrill: Candidate Over Troubled Waters

Barbara Merrill, independent candidate for Governor, has begun an early round of TV ads - the first focusing on the cleanup of the Androscoggin River. Is the ad misleading? You decide

And once again, it would be a great idea to have ads “fact checked” in advance of being run and certified - sort of a Goodhousekeeping Seal of Approval. Those ads that are false, misleading or contain incomplete data would not receive certification, and would ultimately be ignored.

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Popularity: 9%

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NEWS OF: 8/9/2006

Baldacci’s Fuel-Wise Driver Campaign

Governor Baldacci unveiled the Fuel-Wise driver statewide campaign this week to help reduce driving costs, and carbon emissions associated with global warming and unhealthy air.

“Gas prices are now predicted to hit the levels we saw last fall following Hurricane Katrina,” said Governor Baldacci’s Energy Director, Beth Nagusky. “We know that these high prices create hardship for the people of Maine. Simple vehicle maintenance and driving tips can reduce gas bills significantly.”

The campaign features radio public service announcements by Olympic gold medalist Joan Benoit Samuelson and Maine humorist Gary Crocker. The 30- and 60-second spots offer tips to drivers that will cut their fuel costs, including: keeping cars tuned up (3% to 20% savings); carpooling (50% savings ); driving the speed limit (7% to 23% savings); and, avoiding sudden stops and starts and other smart driving measures that can double a vehicle’s gas mileage.

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Popularity: 24%

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NEWS OF: 8/2/2006

Baldacci to Maine: Conserve Energy or It’s Lights Out

Governor Baldacci is asking Maine people to conserve energy this afternoon and evening as a precaution to ensure adequate power supplies and system reliability.

The high temperatures and humidity throughout the Northeast are setting an all-time record high electricity loads on the New England Power Grid. The Independent System Operator of the New England power grid says that the region’s electric demand is now at 28,000 megawatts. Last year’s record was 26,885 MW, set on July 27, 2005. Because of high power demand in New England and in neighboring regions to our west and south, electric supplies are very tight.

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Popularity: 19%

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