LEAGUE OF YOUNG VOTERS FOR CHELLIE PINGREE We bet this was a contentious decision, given the League’s connections with several other candidates; with the League’s get-out-the-vote efforts, it could be an important endorsement.
“EDDIEINME” FOR TOM LEDUE EddieinME (a/k/a Edward Lachowicz, a Kennebec County Democratic Committee vice-chair) is a frequent and prolific poster at TurnMaineBlue.com, Maine’s progressive community blog. “When Ledue first entered the race, I didn’t know anything about him,” Lachowicz recalls. “I figured he was just another fringe candidate. But then I met him at a training in South Portland — and he had ready answers to every question I asked him. He had true progressive cred — his views on the war, on our energy policy, on veterans affairs. The day I met Ledue, I pulled the Allen sticker off my car, and started to pay attention to what he was saying.”
6. Does gender matter?
“There’s always something a little different about a woman in a leadership role,” Chellie Pingree says of her status as the only female in the race for the 1st Congressional District seat. (And it’s not just that she can bake, though she demonstrated that, too, last month, when the Windham Democrats invited the candidates to a forum and asked them to bring a dessert. Pingree was the only one who made her own — an apple pie.) In an election cycle where “the women’s vote” is being scrutinized and analyzed more than ever, has Pingree’s gender affected her candidacy — or attracted supporters? At least one prominent endorser says no: “Chellie’s gender had nothing to do with the endorsement from the [Planned Parenthood] Action Fund,” Chris Quint, director of public affairs for that organization, said in an e-mail. “We based our endorsement on the fact that we feel Chellie is a leader on the issues that we care about and feel that she will go to Washington and be an advocate for women’s health and safety.” Pingree largely concurs that her gender hasn’t attracted undue attention in this race. If elected, Pingree would be the first female Democrat to represent Maine in Washington.
7. What to do in Iraq?
In a race that includes two Iraq War veterans, the debate over what to do in that country has been more than ephemeral rhetoric. Adam Cote and Charlie Summers both refer frequently (and with good reason) to their time in Iraq, albeit with different objectives.
Cote, unlike his Democratic opponents, opposes cutting off war funding. (On this issue, as well as a few others, Cote leans a bit to the right — which makes sense, given his previous Republican proclivities.) However, he lays out a detailed plan for troop withdrawal that includes diplomatic initiatives similar to those employed in Bosnia (where he also served during the 1990s). He says that if he’s elected to Congress, his military experience will give him the necessary clout to move quickly and shape sound policy. Summers, meanwhile, remains mostly positive about American progress in Iraq, and supports the troop surge there. (He also advocates a Peace Corps-like "peace surge" in the near future.) Scontras, too, defends the surge and wants to “discontinue talk of an immediate retreat.”