Tuesday, June 12, 2012 is primary
day, where voters will go to the polls to elect their party's
candidates to appear on the November ballot. The most
discussed contest at the top of the ballot is who will be elected
to represent the Republican and Democrat parties in the race to
fill the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Senator Snowe.
Republican voters will pick among six candidates: former
Senate President Rick Bennett, businessman Scott D'Amboise,
Senator Debra Plowman, Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, Attorney General
Bill Schneider and Secretary of State Charlie Summers.
Democrat voters will pick among four candidates: Senator
Cynthia Dill, former Secretary of State Matt Dunlap, Representative
Jon Hinck and businessman Ben Pollard. Given that both of
these races have a large field of candidates and the fact that low
voter turnout is expected based on the small number voters
requesting absentee ballots, it is very difficult to predict who
will win on Tuesday. Getting supporters to the polls is seen
as the key to victory next week.
There are also primary contests in
the Republican Party between candidates seeking to run for the U.S.
House. In the 1st Congressional District, merchant
mariner Patrick Calder and Senator Jon Courtney will both be on the
ballot Tuesday. In the 2nd Congressional District,
Senate President Kevin Raye and naval veteran Blaine Richardson
will face off next week.
Further down the ballot are a
number of primaries for state Senate and House seats. Most of
these races are local affairs that garner little attention outside
of the districts in play. This week, however, there was some
state-wide media attention directed to a few of these primary races
due to reports of independent PAC expenditures in primaries in the
Biddeford-Saco area. PAC spending at this point in the
process is uncommon an may signal that political spending will
reach new levels in Maine this election year.
Business-Friendly Communities Announced
This week, Governor LePage
announced nine "business-friendly" communities.
This is the first round of communities to be designated as
"business-friendly" by a new program established by the
LePage Administration. Nineteen towns were nominated but only
nine received the "business-friendly" designation:
Augusta, Bath, Biddeford, Brewer, Bucksport, Guilford, Lincoln,
Saco and Sanford.
Towns nominated for this
designation are evaluated for customer service, business
involvement and collaboration, public opinion and licensing and
permitting. A panel of seven people, including Pierce Atwood
attorney Chuck Garceffa, performs these evaluations. The
LePage Administration will continue this program in an effort to
spur business-friendly reforms at the local level.
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President Obama’s Export Control Reform initiative has taken a significant step forward with the final rule changes published by the U.S. State Department and U.S. Department of Commerce on April 16, 2013.
While multi-million dollar False Claims Act settlements paid by Government contractors get the lion’s share of the press, those with an attentive eye will have noticed a recent steady stream of more "contractor friendly" FCA decisions flying just under the national press’s radar.
The National Defense Authorization Act of 2013 requires the Comptroller General to report on the effect of reducing the allowable costs of contractor compensation to be equivalent to the compensation of the president or vice president of the United States.
The Proposed Rules introduced by the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Bureau of Industry and Security and the U.S. State Department’s Directorate of Defense Trade Controls, a part of the on-going Export Control Reform initiative, are consistent with the previous changes made as part of the initiative.