The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

World, nation, state

November 14, 2012

Maine's Angus King to caucus with Senate Democrats

WASHINGTON —  Independent Senator-elect Angus King of Maine said Wednesday he has decided to caucus with Democrats, which will add to the party's voting edge.

His decision ends months of speculation about which party he would align with.

The former Maine governor was elected last week to replace retiring Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, a prominent centrist who complained about Washington's partisan gridlock in stepping down. GOP and conservative super PACs spent millions of dollars to attack King during the campaign for Snowe's seat.

With King joining their caucus, Democrats will have a 55 to 45 edge in the Senate.

King said that caucusing with Democrats will still allow him to take independent positions on issues.

"I have decided to affiliate with the Democratic Caucus because doing so will allow me to take independent positions on issues as they arise and at the same time be an effective representative for the people of Maine," King said.

Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid of Nevada welcomed King to the caucus.

"I'm confident Senator King with be a bridge to working with Republicans," Reid said.

King said he considered not aligning with either party, but realized he could be shut out of committee assignments, where the bulk of legislative work gets done, and that would have hurt his effectiveness on issues vital to Maine.

He said aligning with Democrats does not mean he's "in automatic opposition" to the GOP.

King had requested a seat on the Senate Finance Committee, a plum assignment usually reserved for more senior lawmakers, in recent talks with Reid, but said Reid made it clear that was not likely to happen.

"My father used to say, 'If you don't ask, you don't get,'" said King. Snowe serves on the finance panel.

King has vowed to vote his conscience, saying independent voices like his are needed to try to break the partisan gridlock in Congress.

The 68-year-old King was Maine's governor for two terms between 1995 and 2003, establishing credentials as someone who could work with both parties. Before that he spent 18 years as a commentator on the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, reporting and analyzing state public policy issues.

He's a former Democrat who backs President Barack Obama, but who also supported George Bush in 2000. He backs Obama's health care overhaul. His views on issues like abortion rights and environmental causes track most closely with Democrats.

King has Capitol Hill experience, working as an aide to former Sen. William Hathaway, D-Maine, in the 1970s.

 

1
Text Only
World, nation, state
  • Planes with Ukraine bodies arrive in Netherlands

    Two more military aircraft carrying remains of victims from the Malaysian plane disaster arrived in the Netherlands on Thursday, while Australian and Dutch diplomats joined to promote a plan for a U.N. team to secure the crash site which has been controlled by pro-Russian rebels.

    July 24, 2014

  • UN school in Gaza caught in cross-fire; 15 killed

    A U.N. school in Gaza crowded with hundreds of Palestinians seeking refuge from fierce fighting came under fire Thursday, killing at least 15 civilians and leaving a sad tableau of blood-spattered pillows, blankets and children’s clothing scattered in the courtyard.

    July 24, 2014

  • Air Algerie jet with 116 on board crashes in Mali

    An Air Algerie jetliner carrying 116 people crashed Thursday in a rainstorm over restive Mali, and its wreckage was found near the border of neighboring Burkina Faso — the third major international aviation disaster in a week.

    July 24, 2014

  • Troubled childhoods may prompt men to volunteer for military service

    In the era of the all-volunteer U.S. military, men who served are more than twice as likely as those who never did to have been sexually abused as children and to have grown up around domestic violence and substance abuse, a new study has found.

    July 24, 2014

  • As poverty continues to rise, fewer Ohioans are receiving state aid

    The number of Ohioans receiving public assistance continues to drop even while poverty increases, raising questions about how the state helps the poor.

    July 24, 2014

  • ’Saltwater’ from fracking spill much different from ocean water

    In early July, a million gallons of salty drilling waste spilled from a pipeline onto a steep hillside in western North Dakota’s Fort Berthold Reservation. The waste — a byproduct of oil and gas production — has now reached a tributary of Lake Sakakawea, which provides drinking water to the reservation.

    July 24, 2014

  • 40 bodies from jet solemnly returned to Dutch soil

    Victims of the Malaysian jetliner shot down over Ukraine returned at last Wednesday to Dutch soil in 40 wooden coffins, solemnly and gently carried to 40 identical hearses, flags at half-staff flapping in the wind.

    July 23, 2014

  • U.S. pushes for truce as Gaza battle rages

    The United States announced signs of progress in cease-fire talks Wednesday, but prospects for a quick end to the fighting were dim as Palestinian families fled fierce battles in southern Gaza and the death toll rose to more than 700 Palestinians and 34 Israelis.

    July 23, 2014

  • GROUNDED U.S., other countries ban flights to and from Israel

    A Hamas rocket exploded Tuesday near Israel’s main airport, prompting a ban on all flights from the U.S. and many from Europe and Canada as aviation authorities responded to the shock of seeing a civilian jetliner shot down over Ukraine.

    July 23, 2014

  • REPORT: Retaliation by supervisors common at VA

    A pharmacy supervisor at the VA was placed on leave after complaining about errors and delays in delivering medications to patients at a hospital in Palo Alto, California. In Pennsylvania, a doctor was removed from clinical work after complaining that on-call doctors were refusing to go to a VA hospital in Wilkes-Barre.

    July 22, 2014

House Ads
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video