Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Thursday AM Update:  As predicted, the snows arrived overnight.  We could end up with 10 to 16 inches before it ends this evening.  The first picture is a little out of focus as Gator Golden began moving and the snow was about 4 inches deep on the steps so I just came back in quickly.  I'll try to do better later today.

I was surprised yesterday with the announcement that Maine Senator Olympia Snowe (R) is calling it quits after a long, distinguished career in the United States Senate.  She says she will not run for re-election this year.  (Her complete statement is below.)

I haven't always agreed with her voting decisions and have said so here, but she has been a super person representing this state.  She has always kept the welfare of the Maine people at the top of her consideration, even though sometimes some of us  Republicans have disagreed with her choices.  I have heard what she has said about her decision and I'd like to remind the Senator, it's a whole lot easier to affect change from within than from without.

Sen. Snowe will be sorely missed.

Now the Republicans have a task of finding someone to run on the R ticket. No one immediately came to my mind unless, perhaps, Gov. LePage would decide to jump in. Bruce Poliquin might be another. Then there's Charlie Summers and Kevin Raye. Until a few days ago, there were two Tea Party Republicans planning to challenge Sen. Snowe in the primaries. One of them has dropped out of that race and said he'd run as an Independent. I find myself in a position of not supporting either of these two men.

The Democrats will have no problem finding a candidate and without even thinking about it, current District One Representative Chellie Pingree comes to mind as does her daughter Hannah, the former leader of the Dems in the Maine Senate.  The current Dem Maine Senate leader Cynthia Dill is another.  An outsider might even be Second District Representative Mike Michaud.  I'd be surprised if there weren't many others.  However, with her husband Sussman's money behind her, I'd probably put my betting money on Pingree at this early stage.  One thing is for sure; there's one  big party at the Democratic headquarters.

I don't support any of the Dem potentials, either, but at least they're viable like the three or four R's I mentioned.

In any event, the Maine U.S. Senate race has just come to the forefront in national politics.

Now we're bracing for a storm of a different kind.  I think this is the first time this winter that our area in Southern Maine could get a monster of a snow storm.  The forecast says the storm could slam into us tonight and continue all day tomorrow.  When it comes to an end Thursday, some forecasts last night said we could get from 6 to 12 inches.  We just might end up with more snow from this one storm than we've had in all other storms combined this winter.  Important to note, I live in the Greater Portland area and this is the area about which I pass the forecast along.

After a day of cleanup Friday, Saturday is forecast to have a heavy, blowing rain.  Yes.  Rain.  I think the correct term might be "wind-swept rain."


Here is Sen. Snowe's statement released in a Press Release by the Maine Republican Party Tuesday afternoon:

Statement of Senator Olympia J. Snowe

AUGUSTA, MAINE - Feb. 28, 2012

WASHINGTON, D.C - Three-term Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) issued the following statement today with regard to her re-election campaign:

"After an extraordinary amount of reflection and consideration, I am announcing today that I will not be a candidate for re-election to the United States Senate.

"After 33 years in the Congress this was not an easy decision. My husband and I are in good health. We have laid an exceptionally strong foundation for the campaign, and I have no doubt I would have won re-election. It has been an indescribable honor and immeasurable privilege to serve the people of Maine, first in both houses of Maine's legislature and later in both houses of Congress. To this day, I remain deeply passionate about public service, and I cherish the opportunity I have been given for nearly four decades to help improve the lives of my fellow Mainers.

"As I have long said, what motivates me is producing results for those who have entrusted me to be their voice and their champion, and I am filled with that same sense of responsibility today as I was on my first day in the Maine House of Representatives. I do find it frustrating, however, that an atmosphere of polarization and 'my way or the highway' ideologies has become pervasive in campaigns and in our governing institutions.

"With my Spartan ancestry I am a fighter at heart; and I am well prepared for the electoral battle, so that is not the issue. However, what I have had to consider is how productive an additional term would be. Unfortunately, I do not realistically expect the partisanship of recent years in the Senate to change over the short term. So at this stage of my tenure in public service, I have concluded that I am not prepared to commit myself to an additional six years in the Senate, which is what a fourth term would entail.

"As I enter a new chapter, I see a vital need for the political center in order for our democracy to flourish and to find solutions that unite rather than divide us. It is time for change in the way we govern, and I believe there are unique opportunities to build support for that change from outside the United States Senate. I intend to help give voice to my fellow citizens who believe, as I do, that we must return to an era of civility in government driven by a common purpose to fulfill the promise that is unique to America.

"In the meantime, as I complete my third term, I look forward to continuing to fight for the people of Maine and the future of our nation. And I will be forever and unyieldingly grateful for the trust that the people of Maine have placed in me, and for the phenomenal friendship and assistance I have received over the years from my colleagues, my supporters, and my staff, both in Maine and in Washington." Senator Snowe will be scheduling a news conference in Portland, Maine, in order to further discuss her decision when she returns to her home state on Friday. 

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Snowe for Senate | P.O. Box 2012 | Portland, Maine 04104 | (207) 210-6777

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