Baldacci Leads Charge to Save Bases
The effort is getting underway to save some of the estimated 12,000 jobs these closings would cost the state. Via the AP:
Preparing for "a major battle," Gov. John Baldacci said he will meet Thursday with members of Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations to sketch out a coordinated plan to fight the base closure proposals facing three communities [...]
Baldacci said he wants a coordinated campaign with the affected communities unified under the state's umbrella, working closely with the state's four-member congressional delegation to turn around the curtailment plan.
"You don't want divisions, you don't want factions," the governor said, adding that Maine's delegation of U.S. senators and congressmen will lead the effort.
"What I'm trying to do is get Maine organized. This is a major battle," Baldacci said.
From the KJ/MS:
Baldacci continued to insist Tuesday that "we owe it to our country" to fight for the Maine bases in the interest of national security. But he said the economic impact "is also going to be argued almost on the same level" of importance because the job losses that Maine faces are second only to those proposed in Alaska, on a per-capita basis.
The governor said he will travel to Washington, D.C., Thursday to meet with the Maine and New Hampshire congressional delegations to "finalize the plan" for saving the Maine bases.
He said he will use that trip to make courtesy calls on some members of the base-closing commission, which is chaired by Anthony Principi.
Baldacci said Principi has promised to tour the Maine bases with some members of the nine-member closure commission, but details of that visit have not yet been set [...]
"My total focus right now is to make sure that those bases stay open," Baldacci said, noting that roughly 15 percent of the Pentagon's recommendations in previous rounds of closures have been overturned. "We want to make sure we get our fair share of that 15 percent," he said.
Visit the new Maine Politics.