Micky Bedell | Robert F. Bukaty
By Michael Shepherd, BDN Employees •
October 30, 2018 9:56 am
Up to date: October 30, 2018 9:59 am
Good morning from Augusta. Maine’s 2nd Congressional District is the oldest a part of the nation’s oldest state by median age, placing Social Security and Medicare — the 2 most essential authorities packages for seniors — on the forefront of the frantic race there.
U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin has lengthy stated he would help no modifications to the packages for present enrollees or individuals quickly to be within the system whereas being open to hikes within the eligibility age, although he backed a 2015 Republican finances define that focused billions in Social Security financial savings and would flip Medicare right into a voucher system for brand spanking new enrollees by 2024.
His chief opponent, Assistant Maine Home Minority Chief Jared Golden, a Democrat, has vowed to battle rollbacks of the 2 packages and supported shifting towards a “Medicare for all” program.
However a brand new Republican advert wrongly says Golden’s previous help for a Maine referendum quantities to Social Security raid. Claims from Democrats that Poliquin would “gut” Social Security received a “mostly false” score from Politifact. Right here’s what you should know.
The brand new Republican advert makes a problematic declare on Medicare and falsely associates Social Security advantages with Query 1 on Maine’s poll. A brand new advert from the Nationwide Republican Congressional Committee makes two claims on Golden. The primary is that a “Medicare for all” scheme would finish this system “as we know it.”
Each of these claims have issues. President Donald Trump has additionally made the Medicare declare, despite the fact that Medicare for all can be an enlargement of the present program. However the various potential pitfalls of funding such a program, a well being coverage skilled informed Politifact that she couldn’t envision a state of affairs where advantages are eroded.
The advert additionally claims Golden helps “using your Social Security to fund other government programs,” citing his help of Query 1 on Maine’s November poll in a Might op-ed within the Portland Press Herald. That is plainly not true.
The query would fund a common house care program utilizing a tax on revenue and wages above the quantity topic to Social Security taxes. That tax scheme has political issues and is the most important purpose why Query 1 is opposed by all gubernatorial candidates, however the threshold is Query 1’s solely hyperlink to Social Security.
Has Poliquin voted to ‘gut’ Social Security? It’s not that straightforward. Poliquin has been open to plans that might increase retirement ages for Social Security and Medicare and supported the aforementioned price range define that might have made future modifications to each.
A number of the Medicare modifications in Republicans’ 2015 price range plan might have affected present enrollees, based on the liberal Middle on Price range and Coverage Priorities. Poliquin voted final yr for the failed Republican plan to repeal the Reasonably priced Care Act, which the Kaiser Household Basis stated might hurt the Medicaid belief fund.
However these aren’t the main target of Democratic assaults on Poliquin, which have pivoted considerably from the erosion of protections for individuals with pre-existing circumstances within the Reasonably priced Care Act alternative to Social Security, which Democrats and Golden have stated Poliquin would “gut.”
They’ve cited Poliquin’s help of the Republican tax overhaul — which might revive conservative discussions about trimming progress in Social Security and Medicaid — on this. Politifact referred to as messaging alongside these strains “mostly false” earlier this month, saying it went “too far” to make that leap from the tax invoice to retirement advantages.
King hit from each side in first TV debate
On digital camera, the tenor of Maine’s U.S. Senate marketing campaign didn’t change. The three candidates for U.S. Senate sparred over weapons, well being care, nationwide debt, and renewable power Monday night time of their first televised debate on WCSH-TV, eight days earlier than the election.
Incumbent U.S. Sen. Angus King, I-Maine, is closely favored to defend his seat towards Republican state Sen. Eric Brakey of Auburn and Democrat Zak Ringelstein of Yarmouth. Ringelstein and Brakey continued to gnaw at King from reverse ends of the political spectrum whereas King performed the center and sided at occasions with factors made by each.
He agreed with Ringelstein that the dialogue spurred by Query 1, which might impose a three.eight % surtax on revenue above the Social Security tax threshold to fund the nation’s first common house well being care system, was mandatory, however he finally sided with Brakey in concluding that it might be fiscally irresponsible.
Brakey spent as a lot time on King as his personal report. When requested by moderator Pat Callaghan about lessening the nationwide debt, Brakey turned to King “there’s not a single spending bill you’ve ever voted against, and that voting bill is racking up on my generation.”
Ringelstein, who’s been endorsed by the Democratic Socialists of America, continued his progressive marketing campaign narrative, which paints a dire image of the destiny of well being care, the local weather and power independence if King isn’t faraway from workplace, saying by 2040, the world might be “ravaged by drought, floods and starvation” and stated King “wasn’t leading” on the difficulty.
The candidates will debate twice once more on Tuesday. The three candidates will take part in two extra debates in the present day. One can be at 7 p.m. as we speak moderated by WGME and the Bangor Daily News from a Portland studio. We’ll stream the encounter stay on its web site. Maine Public will host the opposite one at three p.m. from Bowdoin School in Brunswick.
— The Democrat operating for district lawyer in Cumberland County give up the race. Amid allegations of previous sexual misconduct that spurred the Maine Democratic Social gathering to name for him to finish his marketing campaign, Jon Gale withdrew from the race Monday night. Gale stated that he’s leaving the race as a result of his household “decided we cannot bear this stress.” He expressed frustration that his personal celebration requested him to drop out eight days earlier than the election. Gale’s departure leaves Assistant District Lawyer Jonathan Sahrbeck, an unbiased, as the one candidate within the race after Republican Randall Bates dropped out.
— The sector in Maine’s gubernatorial election additionally contracted on Monday. Unbiased Alan Caron give up the race and endorsed Democrat Janet Mills. When he entered the marketing campaign, Caron stated he would drop out if he didn’t have an opportunity to win. With the newest public ballot displaying him at lower than three %, he conceded Monday that his largely self-funded marketing campaign had no probability of victory. His ballots will probably be counted as blanks in what’s now a three-person contest between Mills, Republican Shawn Moody and unbiased Terry Hayes.
— One week earlier than Election Day, voters nonetheless have questions. Provided that Maine will use ranked-choice voting in congressional elections for the primary time in U.S. historical past, it’s not shocking that Maine’s citizens needs to be ready. Click on right here for solutions to questions concerning the election course of submitted by BDN readers. Click on right here for our most up-to-date election 2018 content material. And click on right here to observe a video of an animated Secretary of State Matt Dunlap clarify how ranked-choice voting will work.
— The individuals who make Maine polling locations run easily are growing older, and it’s getting more durable to seek out replacements. Municipal clerks have lengthy struggled to adequately employees elections, however an ageing pool of prepared staff is making this problem extra acute. In 2016, about 88 % of the 6,271 ballot staff in Maine have been older than 40 and about 60 % have been older than 60, in line with knowledge compiled by the Secretary of State’s workplace. Maine’s numbers have been barely greater than nationwide figures compiled that very same yr by the U.S. Election Help Fee, which discovered 56 % of the nation’s 917,694 ballot clerks to be over the age of 61. Necessities that there be an equal variety of Republicans and Democrats serving as ballot staff at every location additional complicates the state of affairs. Struggling to adequately employees their polling locations, some municipal election clerks have advised a system just like jury obligation.
Frankenstein at 200
This yr marks the bicentennial of the publication of “Frankenstein,” Mary Shelley’s basic gothic horror novel that’s typically described as the primary work of science fiction.
Past offering the inspiration for generations of Halloween costumes, in addition to a task mannequin for the good Herman Munster, Shelley’s creation forces us to look at our humanity because it makes different writers really feel like laggards. In any case, she wrote it as a teen mother who had just lately misplaced a toddler.
Listed here are another fascinating Frankenstein details because the monster celebrates its 200th birthday:
— The novel was written as a part of a ghost story writing contest between its writer, her husband Percy Bysshe Shelley and Lord Byron. She gained.
— Shelley wrote the novel in a villa on Lake Geneva throughout what was referred to as the “year without a summer” as a result of volcanic ash brought on by the eruption of Mount Tambora in Indonesia shrouded Europe in grey.
— The novel shares a reputation with a citadel on the Rhine River, though the writer swore that she got here up with the identify earlier than visiting the fort.
— Frankenstein is the identify of the mad scientist, not the monster. Known as “creature,” “demon” and “it” within the textual content, the monster has no identify. Nevertheless, shut associates apparently name it Aaron Decide.
— Thomas Edison tailored the novel into a brief movie. It was the beginning of a Frankenstein monster cinema catalog that features greater than 50 movies. I can’t say I’ve seen all of them, however I’ve a transparent favourite. Right here’s your soundtrack from that fim. — Robert Lengthy
At the moment’s Daily Brief was written by Michael Shepherd, Alex Acquisto and Robert Lengthy. For those who’re studying this on the BDN’s web site or have been forwarded it, click on right here to obtain Maine’s main publication on state politics by way of e-mail on weekday mornings. Click on right here to subscribe to the BDN.