Introducing Eliot Cutler at the Waterville Rotary Club

Today I had the privilege of introducing gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler at the Waterville Rotary Club. Here’s what I said (at least what was in my notes!):

I’m honored to be able to introduce Eliot Cutler today.

As I was preparing my introductory remarks, I realized I ran the risk of taking up all of Eliot’s time in the introduction! So I’m choosing to limit my remarks to why I’m supporting Eliot Cutler for Maine’s next governor.

In this club, we’ve heard from both of the party nominees. These parties are going in directions many of us consider simply too extreme. Republicans and Democrats seem to be going through a seismic shift between moderates and extremists. This is cyclical in the history of US politics and is probably healthy.

But we in Maine don’t have time for that struggle to be played out in the Blaine House.

The first two years of the next governor’s term will be very tough. The next two may well be quite good. We need a man or woman versatile enough to navigate both the cuts needed in the hard years and the judicious investments needed in the good times.

I believe Eliot Cutler is that man.

Eliot knows Maine. He knows government, and having spent my spring as the campaign manager for Peter Mills, I now appreciate how important it is to know how government works. More importantly for me, Eliot also knows how to run successful international businesses. He has a vision for not just how Maine fits in the new global market, but how Maine can be a player in the global economy.

Eliot has a plan. As the party candidates have continued speaking the primary platitudes they’ve used all spring, Eliot has shared the details of his plan. It is so detailed, Maine media are saying it is now the standard the other candidates need to meet when they share theirs. Eliot’s plan honestly shares the uncomfortable decisions that will need to be made, and the more comfortable opportunities.

Eliot is a man of action. His actions impress me the most. This summer, while the party nominees were still just talking, Eliot brought a delegation of Chinese business leaders to look at the distinctively Maine industries of lobster, blueberries, and aquaculture.

Our current governor goes overseas on trade delegations. Eliot brings those delegations to Maine.

That’s why it’s a great pleasure to be able to welcome Eliot Cutler to our Rotary Club.

During Eliot’s entire talk, the Republican Governor’s Association’s tracker, Ryan, filmed every word. Both parties are worried because Eliot’s campaign is so strong. And both are throwing negative smears his way. As an independent, he doesn’t have the parties to help finance his campaign.

Would join me in helping him? You can make a secure donation over at:
http://www.cutler2010.com/donate/

Thanks!

An Irish Toast

Today I get to do the invocation for our Rotary Club. Since I did an extemporaneous one two weeks ago, it was time for a more formal one. So I did what any good Gen Xer would do, I googled for other people’s invocations.

Happily, I stumbled across some Irish blessings and toasts. Irish blessings often brighten my day and with all the rain we’ve been getting, those of us in Maine need brighter days!

Here’s one that made me laugh out loud at my desk:

May those that love us, love us.
And those that don’t love us,
May God turn their hearts.
And if he doesn’t turn their hearts,
May he turn their ankles,
So we’ll know them by their limping.

You can find many more at: http://islandireland.com/Pages/folk/sets/toasts.html.

And, if I see you limping, I’ll know why. 🙂

Christmas Karaoke with the Waterville Rotary


Today I got to sing with some Rollickin’ Rotarians outside of Walmart as we rang bells for the Salvation Army. (When my wife saw the photos, she called us the “Rotary Dingalings”! 🙂 )

What a blast! People were very generous!

But one person wasn’t enjoying our singing:

And while Wally did help people get into their cars…we weren’t sure what else he was helping himself too…(Just kidding!)
 

If you missed the fun, and the opportunity to contribute, would you consider dropping some “change” into an online kettle for Waterville?

Playing with peoples’ heads

I just love playing with peoples’ heads. I love the surprise effect it has when people can’t pigeon-hole me.

Today was one of those days.

I had the pleasure of introducing the executive director for the Maine Civil Liberties Union. She was presenting at Rotary on the federal governments’ so-called RealID program.

Maine was the first state to “opt-out” of this undebated national identity card program. A program that dictators like those in Germany and Rwanda use to track people and weed out ethnic or political groups.

I’m so glad for groups like the ACLU and the MCLU. I don’t agree with all their issues. But I sleep much sounder knowing there are watch dog groups out there protecting my civil liberties. Liberties that are so callously tossed away by otherwhise rational people.

Today I got some of the same looks I get when I tell people I’m a pastor and that I brew beer.

Priceless.