Interview with Maine Gubernatorial Candidate John Jenkins Will Touch on a Number of National Flash Point Issues

I have always welcomed the opportunity to talk with politicians regarding the issues that are faced in various regions around the globe.

From discussing the challenges of the Buy American policy with Canada’s Trade Minister, to the expansion of the assisted suicide laws in direct response to the Melchert-Dinkel Case in which the Serial Suicide killer is standing trial in Rice County, Minnesota for his virtual role in the deaths of a young Canadian woman and a 32 year-old man in the UK, we have strived to provide a unique lens through which these problems could be viewed.

Like local television stations, regional interests are often limited in their appeal in terms of listeners simply because there is so much going on in the collective world that those outside of the zone of immediate interest pay little if any attention to the goings on in another part of the world, country or for that matter neighboring state.

Here’s the thing, much of what is perceived to be “local interest” issues are in reality a reflection of the larger problems we all face such as health care reform, the legalization and control of marijuana or, legislative actions regarding immigration.  In short, there is ultimately an overlapping connectedness in which understanding how an issue is viewed in one part of the country might impact or perhaps even influence indirectly the way it is addressed in another.

In terms of my interview with Maine Gubernatorial candidate John Jenkins this evening at 8:00 PM EST on the Blog Talk Radio Network, we will be touching on many of these “flash point” issues.  Here are just a few examples of the ground I will be covering:

Maine Medical Marijuana Act” (LD 975, IB 2): On November 3, 2009 Maine voters approved Question 5, which enacted the citizen-initiated bill that became the Maine Medical Marijuana Act.  At the time, Maine was the fifth state to provide for dispensaries of medical grade marijuana for persons with debilitating and chronic medical conditions.  A June 2010 article indicated that while Governor John Baldacci has signed a medical cannabis bill, setting up a task force to investigate the creation of eight cannabis dispensaries as well as a registry of legal marijuana users, defining the rules was not an easy task.  What are your thoughts relative to this issue?

Budget Shortfall: According to a July 28th article in The Portland Press Herald, “State officials briefing legislators on the budget-writing committee said that the state is facing a budget shortfall of more than $1 billion — but how much more is unclear.”  The article went on to report that the State has “just come through the worst fiscal drop Maine has seen,” indicating that it was “worse than what it was in the early ’90s.”  Despite the $500 million” in additional funds the Department of Health and Human Services estimates it needs to maintain current services, he state pension plan has an unfunded liability of $4.4 billion.  These are daunting problems, what are your thoughts?

CMP Fine: Central Maine Power Co. will pay $4 million penalty for service quality problems last year, according to the Public Utilities Commission or PUC.  the penalty stems from a settlement agreement between CMP and the Office of the Public Advocate.  It involves an elevated number of customer complaints last year, in excess of performance benchmarks set by the PUC under CMP’s alternative rate plan.  Most of the penalty will go to ratepayers, with a portion earmarked for low-income customers.

Once again, be sure to tune in to my interview with Maine Gubernatorial candidate John Jenkins this evening at 8:00 PM EST on the Blog Talk Radio Network.


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