By Jessica Taylor
“Once I jumped to an early lead in the polls, I knew it was only a matter of time before individuals and organizations intent on re-creating the uncertainty that led to our current governor’s election three years ago would start their attacks,” Michaud writes in a column that appeared in the Bangor Daily News and the Portland Press Herald. “So I wasn’t surprised to learn about the whisper campaigns, insinuations and push-polls some of the people opposed to my candidacy have been using to raise questions about my personal life. They want people to question whether I am gay. Allow me to save them the trouble with a simple, honest answer: ‘Yes I am. But why should it matter?’”
The six-term Democratic congressman is the favorite to win his party’s nomination in the Pine Tree State, but he faces other hurdles in unseating Republican Gov. Paul LePage. The GOP incumbent only narrowly won a three-way contest in 2010, with independent Eliot Cutler taking 36% to LePage’s 38%. Now, Cutler is running again, hoping to appeal to the state’s sizeable unaffiliated bloc that helped Sen. Angus King win last year as an independent.
By Kasie Hunt, Political Reporter, NBC News
A bipartisan group of senators has reached a deal on a bill that would make it a federal crime to buy a gun for someone who isn’t legally allowed to own one.
Illegal gun “straw” purchases, made by a buyer on behalf of someone who cannot pass a background check, are often not prosecuted under current law, usually because conducting such a sale yields such a weak penalty.
The new compromise legislation would make the consequences for both straw buyers and sellers far more serious – to the tune of decades in jail.
“Instead of a slap on the wrist or treating this like a paperwork violation, these crimes under our bill would be punishable by up to 25 years in prison,” Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine said. FULL ARTICLE
Invoking the somber aftermath of the school massacre in Newtown, Conn., President Obama today appealed to congressional Republicans to embrace a standing “fair deal” on taxes and spending that would avert the fiscal cliff in 13 days.
“If there’s one thing we should have after this week, it should be a sense of perspective about what’s important,” Obama said at a midday news conference.
“I would like to think that members of that [Republican] caucus would say to themselves, ‘You know what? We disagree with the president on a whole bunch of things,'” he said. “‘But right now what the country needs is for us to compromise.'”
House Speaker John Boehner’s response: “Get serious.”
New Jersey openly gay Assemblyman Reed Gusciora has always been the last person to advocate bringing civil rights to a vote. The Democratic lawmakerspearheaded a marriage equality bill in the New Jersey legislature earlier this year that passed but which GOP Gov. Chris Christie vetoed while urging activists to have it voted on by the people of New Jersey. When Gusciora criticized that approach, and lambasted Christie for controversially suggesting the issue of civil rights should have been put up for a vote in the South in the 1960s, Christie famously called him a “numbnuts.”
But now, frustrated that the Democratic leadership in the state legislature has not
scheduled a veto override vote, as promised, and emboldened by polls that show a majority of New Jersey voters support marriage equality, Gusciora believes New Jersey voters should vote on the issue. And, confident after wins in Maine, Maryland and Washington state on marriage equality at the ballot, he has introduced a bill to put it on the ballot.
“I was actually one of the advocates who thought that should be [a tactic ] of last resort,” he said. “I am the last person to advocate that, but nonetheless we’re at a standstill. ”
If you live for 80 years, Chuck Bennett told me, you see things you never imagined. Crazy, fantastical stuff.
¶A man on the moon. “Amazing,” he said.
¶“That’s equally amazing to me,” he said. Ten minutes later, he circled back to say it again. “I would like to reiterate how amazing it is.”
¶Bennett was born in 1932 and grew up in Brooklyn without anything but slurs and clinical terms to describe his attraction to other men. In the late 1950s, he was forced out of the Navy for being gay.
¶He never found a long-term romantic partner, thwarted in part by a disapproving society with no obvious role models for him, and he bought his dream house on the ocean here 15 years ago with two close friends, because he didn’t want to grow old alone and didn’t expect to meet anyone special, not so late in the game. MORE