July 12, 2006

  1. Action Alert - Barbara Boxer's PAC for Change
  2. The Parades, the Peas Candidate
  3. Dueling protests in Blue Hill
  4. Reading of the Names in Portland
  5. Don't Waste Your Vote on Republicans
  6. We need your help, now more than ever
  7. Calendar of upcoming events

1. Action Alert - Vote for Jean in Sen. Barbara Boxer's PAC for a Change contest

Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) has a Political Action Committee (PAC for Change) that is running a contest to "choose which promising Democratic challenger for the Senate that we're going to support next." A similar poll was done for House candidates.

Boxer's web page continues: "Like before, the winner of our online vote will be featured in a fundraising email to our PAC for Change community. So your vote, and the votes of your friends and family, are critically important."

This is a great way to get this campaign on the national radar screen. But we need your help, and soon!

Please cast your vote HERE. The online polls close at 11:59pm PDT on Friday, July 21st.

2. The Parades, the Peas Candidate

It's clear - Jean Hay Bright is the Peas Candidate. We've passed out our own organic fresh shell peas in five parades so far this summer, in Boothbay Harbor, Strong, Madawaska, Bangor, and Lisbon Falls, and they've been a real hit.

The half-bushel basket we use has signs on it that say "Jean Hay Bright says Give Peas a Chance."

Most of the adults get it. The kids don't care, they just like the peas.

(We passed out all the peas we had during the Fourth of July parade in Bangor, so I didn't have any left to take on the plane when Governor John Baldacci, Congressman Mike Michaud and I flew to Eastport to catch their wonderful Fourth of July parade later that day. Sorry about that, Eastport.)

It's getting late in the season, but we're hoping we'll still have some peas ready to pick for the Potato Blossom Festival Parade in Fort Fairfield Saturday at 1 p.m.

If you're planning on attending any of the parades we're in (Potato Blossom Festival Parade this Saturday, Pittsfield Egg Festival July 22, etc.), we'd love to have you join us and march with us and other area Democrats and candidates.
3. Dueling protests in Blue Hill

On Monday, July 3, I went to my old home town of Blue Hill in support of the 24-hour Bring the Troops Home Fast that was being conducted there and in towns across the nation. I joined old friends, members of Peninsula Peace and Justice and Veterans for Peace and others on the steps of the Blue Hill Town Hall.

Meanwhile, across the street, a contingent of pro-war protesters set up shop, serving hot dogs and drinks to their group.

The pro-war group had tried the previous week to get the Fast moved off the town hall property, contending that protests against the government were not appropriate on government property. Thankfully, the Blue Hill Selectmen cited the First Amendment rights of freedom of speech, the right of the people to peaceably assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances, all of which applied in this case.

The contrast between the two groups was stunning. The fasters were serious, somber, and resolute, focused on the war, and determined to do what they could to bring our good military men and women home from that war as soon as possible. The pro-war group was an angry bunch, mad at their neighbors on the town hall steps simply for not towing the pro-war line.

At one point I decided to talk to the pro-war group. It was an interesting discussion. Captain Tom Kelly (Ret.) of Blue Hill, wanted to ignore the reasoning (or lack thereof) that got us into the war. He just wanted the Fasters to know that their actions were demoralizing to the troops, all of whom, Kelly contended, were happy to be serving in Iraq. Others insisted Iraq was central to the attacks on 9/11, and seemed stunned when I informed them that George W. Bush himself had admitted, belatedly, that Saddam Hussein had not been involved. And so it went.

Anyway, I hear I was on Channel 7 News in Bangor. And an article appeared in the Weekly Packet, Blue Hill's hometown paper. Here are the links to Packet coverage, may go away Thursday, July 13 when a new edition comes out:


4. Reading of the Names in Portland

On July 7, David and I joined the Maine Anti-War Network's Reading of the Names in Tommy's Park, at the corner of Temple and Spring Street in Portland. As was the case at a similar event in Bangor a few months ago, the names and ages of American servicemen who have died in Iraq (now more than 2,500) were paired with the names and ages of innocent Iraqi civilians killed in that war. The names were read aloud, an American name, then an Iraqi name, one after another. When each name was read, a bell was rung and a cross was marked on a big piece of fabric, to give a visual representation of the numbers those names represent.

The somber event lasted several hours. We joined the participants mid-afternoon, and stood in line for our turn to read from the pages of names that had been compiled in a looseleaf notebook, listed chronologically by date of death.

By mere coincidence, if you believe in coincidences, the first name I read was that of Casey Sheehan, Cindy Sheehan's son, who died April 4, 2004. It was a powerful moment for me, in an afternoon of powerful moments.

We must stop this awful war.
5. Don't Waste Your Vote on Republicans

A letter to the editor in today's Times Argus newspaper in Vermont just popped into my email. Written by John Isaacs of Barre, VT., it explains very succinctly why independently-minded voters must not vote Republican this year, even if they like a particular Republican candidate.
"Even truly moderate members of the GOP, such as Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island and Olympia Snowe of Maine, have relatively little voice when it comes to the Republican agenda, because they would lose their own committee assignments and majority party privileges if they objected too loudly or refused to vote the party line....Like it or not, that is the way it works. A vote for 'the man (or woman) and not the party' is a wasted vote."
Of course, we contend that Olympia Snowe, with her votes these past few years during the Bush Administration, is no longer a moderate. This letter explains why you shouldn't vote for her even if you still think she's holding down the middle.
6. We need your help, now more than ever

Although I am the official Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, if you've been following this process at all, you know ours is not a traditional campaign. It has been, and will continue to be, a grassroots effort, pulled together by thousands of good people who want to rescue our country from the clutches of the powers that be in Washington DC.

I am confident we can win this seat PROVIDED we get the word out about Olympia Snowe's voting record, and get the word out about my positions, and the vision for America that you and I share.

Volunteer efforts go a long way, and have gotten us to this point. But basic stuff still takes money. Most of our donations have been in the $25 to $100 range, and they have kept us afloat. Thank you so much.

But we need more of them, and larger ones if that's possible, if we are to get where we want to be in November -- and where I would be the most effective for the next six years -- as your U.S. Senator from Maine.

Now is the time, this is the year, and I am the candidate in this particular race. Please support our efforts. We're relying on you folks to keep us going. Please click here to see how to contribute on-line or by mail.

And thanks.


P.S. We're still getting questions about whether ours is a Clean Election campaign. IT'S NOT, BECAUSE IT CAN'T BE. Maine's Clean Election Fund is not available to Federal candidates (U.S. House and Senate).
7. Calendar - Partial list of campaign events.
(If you know of an event Jean should attend, please email us).

July 14, 2006 (Friday) -
* Maine Potato Board Industry Dinner, Fort Fairfield Community Center, 5:30 p.m.
* Congressman Mike Michaud & House Democratic Campaign Committee Ice Cream Social,
   Presque Isle Motor Inn 116 Main Street Presque Isle, 8-9:30 p.m.

July 15, 2006 (Saturday) - Potato Blossom Festival, Fort Fairfield (Parade at 1 p.m.)

July 16, 2006 (Sunday) - Wells Harbor Festival

July 22, 2006 (Saturday) -
* Pittsfield Egg Festival Parade, Pittsfield. 8:30-10:30 a.m.
* WERU Full Circle Fair, Blue Hill Fairgrounds, noon to 1:30 p.m.
* Muskie Lobster Bake, home of Stephen and Sherry Masters, 241 Fiddler's Reach Road, Phippsburg

July 23, 2006 (Sunday) - WERU Full Circle Fair, Blue Hill Fairgrounds. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

July 29, 2006 (Saturday) -
* Casco Days, 1-3 p.m.
* Greater Portland Festival of Nations, Deering Oaks Park, Portland, 4-8:30 p.m.

July 30, 2006 (Sunday) - Bangor City Democratic Committee Family Day BBQ, Cascade Park in Bangor, noon to 4 p.m.