Poliquin says he’ll vote to reauthorize Export-Import Bank despite earlier criticism

Good frosty morning, folks. It’s been a few days since I’ve been with you for the Daily Brief, but you’ve been in good hands with my colleague, Michael Shepherd.

Speaking of Mike, he’s probably spending a few extra minutes brushing his hair and tuning his voice this morning. That’s because of his television debut as a Bangor Daily News reporter tonight when he co-hosts a debate among the Portland mayoral candidates with the BDN’s media partners at WGME TV.

Tune in to Channel 13 or bangordailynews.com to watch live, as well as for post-debate analysis. — Christopher Cousins

House revives Export-Import Bank

The U.S. House of Representatives on Monday set a path toward reviving the Export-Import Bank.

Rep. Bruce Poliquin, a Republican representing Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, voted against the measure after having been an early critic of the Export-Import Bank, calling it a hotbed for fraud and “corporate welfare.” However, he said he will likely vote to reauthorize when the time comes.

The bank has been in peril since June when congressional Republicans, including Poliquin, moved to block the bank’s reauthorization, though Poliquin has said he’d reconsider his stance if new anti-corruption measures could be considered. The bank gives financing and insurance to American businesses shipping goods and products to and from foreign markets.

General Electric threatened to relocate 80 jobs in Bangor, and about 420 jobs in other U.S. locations, to destinations abroad if Congress does not reauthorize the bank. GE announced recently that it is relocating manufacturing jobs in Wisconsin, partially because of the Export Import Bank controversy.

Poliquin voted against Monday’s discharge petition but indicated he would vote in favor of the bank’s reauthorization when it comes up. Democratic Rep. Chellie Pingree of Maine’s 1st U.S. House District said in a written statement that delaying the re-authorization has already hurt business in Maine and across the United States.

“The delay in reauthorizing the bank is inexcusable and I’m glad we have taken a big step toward putting them back in business,” said Pingree. — Christopher Cousins

Green party prez candidate coming to Maine on Halloween campaign swing

Jill Stein, a candidate for the United States Green Party’s nomination for the 2016 presidential race, will visit Portland on Saturday.

Stein, who made news in 2012 when she had to be handcuffed to a chair in a police station so she wouldn’t attend televised presidential debates in Long Island, New York, will host a question-and-answer session beginning at 1 p.m. at the University of Southern Maine’s Talbot Hall.

Stein will focus her remarks on her “Power to the People” plan, which according to a press release involves abolishing student debt, establishing racial justice, creating a living wage for all workers, protecting the environment, creating a path to citizenship, ending wars of aggression, ending the war on drugs and ensuring health care as a human right.

You can see Saturday’s event live-streamed by clicking here. — Christopher Cousins

Reading list

Mouse wars

My beloved aunt and her husband have been in a slow transition from the bustle of city life to rural bliss since they bought a part-time home on a private, dead-end road in Maine. As the person who often goes over to help with projects and chores, I’ve had a front-row seat for the process, which at times has been quite a spectacle. You should have seen them figuring out their first lawn mower, but that’s another story.

They recently noticed signs that they have mice in their house. Namely: mouse turds. As is their style, they’ve hit this proverbial thumbtack with a sledge hammer. I swear I am not making this up: They’ve placed 11 mouse traps of three varieties within about 10 feet of each other in the kitchen. Some have peanut butter, which I suggested; others are baited with a product called Tomcat Mouse Attractant, which I did not suggest. There are four unopened packages of more mouse traps on standby.

With that density of traps I don’t think a bear could walk through that kitchen without being caught. Here’s today’s soundtrack.

My aunt pulled open a drawer recently to show her handywork — a snap-trap and one of those glue pads, side by side — and some mouse poops rolling around.

“We decided to leave the poops there so the mice would feel, you know, more welcome,” said my aunt, a gentle soul who has three Van Morrison albums in the 6-CD changer in her car. “We’ve already killed three.”

They’ve gone back home for a few days, leaving me to check the traps. There was another mouse with its spine crushed last night, leading to lots of texted questions from my aunt, who wanted all the details.

“It’s like Caddyshack for us,” she said. “We’re blood thirsty!”

She laughed when I called her a genocidal maniac.

I hope there are lakes filled with Tomcat Mouse Attractant in mouse heaven. — Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins

About Christopher Cousins

Christopher Cousins has worked as a journalist in Maine for more than 15 years and covered state government for numerous media organizations before joining the Bangor Daily News in 2009.