Mark your calendars:


Democratic gubernatorial candidate U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud will be among the grand marshals of this year’s Pride Parade in downtown Portland.

The annual parade is a banner event for the state’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender communities. On Nov. 4, 2013 — exactly one year before Maine’s gubernatorial election — Michaud announced that he is gay in a column released to several Maine newspapers.

If elected, he will be the first openly gay candidate to become governor in the United States.

Pride Portland, a new group organizing this year’s festivities, said Michaud and the other grand marshals were nominated by community members and chosen by a steering committee.

The congressman was nominated for his “support of full equality for LGBT Americans while serving in Congress and for his courage to come out as a gay man while seeking the office of governor,” the group said in a release.

“I was honored to be selected by the Pride Selection Committee to be one of the leaders of this year’s parade,” Michaud said in a written statement to the BDN. “Pride is a great opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come as a state in making Maine a more inclusive place for all LGBT families to live and come visit.” - Bangor Daily News, 5/14/14

By the way, Michaud picked up another big endorsement:


The Maine State Troopers Association, which made no endorsement for governor in 2010, is endorsing Democrat Mike Michaud in the three-way race.

Union President Aaron Turcotte said Monday that Michaud was selected over incumbent Republican Gov. Paul LePage and independent Eliot Cutler because he possesses the core principles of troopers - "integrity, fairness, compassion and excellence."

The union has endorsed both Democrats and Republicans over the years, including Republican U.S. Sen. Susan Collins, former Democratic Gov. John Baldacci and Republican Peter Cianchette, who ran for governor in 2002. - AP, 5/12/14

Yep, Democrats in Maine are getting excited and united behind their candidates:


The Maine Democratic Party is hosting its 2014 statewide Convention at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor on May 30 and 31st. Democrats across Maine will rally behind this year's ticket of strong Democratic candidates: Mike Michaud for Governor, Shenna Bellows for U.S. Senate, Congresswoman Chellie Pingree and candidates for the 2nd Congressional district, Emily Cain and Troy Jackson.

"Mainers across the state are ready to get to work," said Ben Grant, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. "We are seeing an outpouring of support for Democratic candidates who will move Maine forward. Mike, Shenna, Chellie and our candidates in the 2nd Congressional district are proven leaders who will listen and enact real change. Maine can't afford any more failed leadership or false promises from Paul LePage or his GOP allies."

The theme of this year's Maine Democratic Convention, "Our Maine," highlights the Party's vision to restore the integrity of our state and celebrate the best of Maine: the teachers, blue-collar workers, first responders, seniors, and Veterans; the everyday heroes who stand up for the rights of others; the people who believe that a hard day's work equals a livable paycheck, that a college education should be affordable and that health care should be a human right.

"Our Party has a place for everyone," continued Grant. "We're the party that stands up for the rights of all Mainers - workers, women, the LGBT community, minorities and youth - we honor the best of Maine and our Convention is a celebration of that. We're excited to elect strong Democratic leaders like Mike Michaud who will help restore the integrity of our state and protect working class families." - Insurance News, 5/13/14

Which is very good because we will need to unite if we want to take out Governor No:


Gov. Paul LePage’s slogan must be “Just say no.” His prolific use of the veto demonstrates a significant lack of understanding of how our political system works. Unfortunately, you never get to “yes” when your response is always “no.”

Amazingly, he seems to relish his veto pen, along with the opportunities to blast both his allies and his opponents who voted for those bills. He often criticizes specific legislators in his veto messages and questions their motives. That’s not a path to success in any endeavor, but particularly in politics.

Politics is the art of compromise. Success nearly always requires cooperation and collaboration — as well as persistence.

As the lobbyist for 18 years for the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine, I learned to take small steps forward, grabbing what I could, resolved to come back and get the rest next time or the time after that. Many will tell you that I was relentless, and that’s the truth. You really have to be. And I learned that my opponents on one bill could — if treated right — be my supporters on another bill.

The governor doesn’t understand that you get what you can, declare victory, and move the ball up the field. Even when he gets two-thirds of what he wants, he still vetoes the bill. Using football as our analogy, Team LePage gets to his opponent’s 20-yard line, but because he didn’t score a touchdown, he doesn’t kick the field goal that is within range. Instead he returns to his own 20-yard line and starts over. And oh yeah, he blasts his opponents for not letting him score a touchdown.

He also doesn’t grasp the importance of building alliances. Legislators can be his friends one day and get blasted the next. Even during his first two years, when he had a Republican legislature, he constantly belittled legislators, rather than working with them toward his goals. It’s his way or the highway, and most legislators sprinted away from him down the road.

It’s essential, if you are to succeed in our political system, to listen to others — both your supporters and your opponents — and incorporate their ideas in your proposals, or at least in the final bills that emerge from legislative committees. I guess what I’m saying is that the process is not a dictatorship. It’s astonishing that Gov. LePage has not learned this after four years. - Kennebec Journal, 5/14/14

If you want to get involved and donate to Michaud's campaign, you can do so here:

Originally posted to pdc on Thu May 15, 2014 at 07:42 AM PDT.

Also republished by LGBT Rights are Human Rights, Kossacks for Marriage Equality, LGBT Kos Community, Milk Men And Women, In Support of Labor and Unions, and The Democratic Wing of the Democratic Party.

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