Originally published in The Weekly Packet, June 12, 2014
Michaud’s choice to run was ‘hard to decide’
Gubernatorial candidate makes Blue Hill campaign stop
Congressman and gubernatorial candidate Mike Michaud outlines how he would “focus on Maine’s strengths,” in an appearance in front of the Blue Hill Town Hall on June 6.
by Anne Berleant
United States Congressman Mike Michaud declared his candidacy for governor out of “love for Maine,” he said, during an appearance in Blue Hill on June 6. “It was hard to decide. I love my job.”
Michaud outlined the main points of his platform to a crowd of about 30 people gathered outside town hall.
These include increasing small businesses, especially family farms, reducing reliance on fuel for energy, expanding access to MaineCare for citizens denied insurance by the Affordable Care Act.
Granting health insurance to the 70,000 Mainers who don’t qualify under the ACA is a “fiscally responsible” move that will save $600 million over 10 years, based on “enhanced reimbursables” available under the ACA, Michaud said. He noted that 3,000 Maine veterans are among those who fall within the gap between qualifying for MaineCare and for insurance under the ACA. This spring, Governor Paul LePage vetoed legislation to expand MaineCare.
Michaud pointed to farming as one way of expanding small businesses in Maine.
“Small business is the backbone of Maine’s economy,” he said, and Maine has the highest number of young farmers, per capita, in the country.
“There’s no reason why Maine could not be the food basket for New England,” he said, through increasing farming and processing facilities throughout the state.
“Green” energy, whether from wind, solar and offshore tidal power, can reduce Maine’s dependence on heating oil by 50 percent over the next 15 years. Maine is a leader in wind and tidal energy, Michaud said, and was the “first state in the country to be hooked up to the [tidal energy] grid.”
“Part of my vision is to focus on Maine’s strengths.”
The Blue Hill Democratic Party hosted Michaud’s appearance. Chairman Jim Fisher, who brought the Brooklin Community Band with him to perform before Michaud spoke, welcomed the crowd to “an old-fashioned town festival,” noting that the band itself was not affiliated with any political party.