Rep. Mike Michaud is hoping for some sweet returns on Valentine’s Day.

The Maine Democrat is having a Valentine’s Day Breakfast on Feb. 14 at a swanky Washington restaurant, The Caucus Room. The Michaud campaign fundraiser requests contributions of $500 from individuals and $1,000 from political action committees. But for $2,500 one can be a “sponsor” and for $5,000 a “host.”

Michaud is being challenged in the 2nd Congressional District race by Maine Senate President Kevin Raye, R-Perry.

Like Michaud’s annual Lobster Bake fundraiser (already set for May 9 in D.C.), the Valentine’s Day event will feature a Maine-made product, chocolates by a Maine confectioner, said Greg Olson, Michaud’s campaign manager. The nonpartisan Sunlight Foundation’s Party Time website that tracks fundraising events lists both Michaud functions.

How sweet a return is Michaud aiming for on Valentine’s Day?

“At this time we are not releasing our monetary goals, but we have seen a significant increase in enthusiasm from our donors, so we expect this to be a great success,” Olson said.


Collins calls for more ships

When Sen. Susan Collins delivered a speech at the Surface Navy Association’s annual meeting in suburban Washington last week, the Maine Republican’s topic was the need to build more heavy combat ships — as in more Bath Iron Works-built destroyers.

But Collins sparked a burst of laughter from a pretty serious crowd of defense contractors and current and former Navy officers when asked during the question-and-answer session about prospects for congressional action this year.

Collins responded by asking audience members if they remembered that old song, “I have high hopes? Well, I don’t,” Collins said in deadpan fashion.

Joining military care initiative

A Maine school is among 130 medical colleges nationwide participating in an Obama administration initiative to better train doctors to meet the treatment needs of the military and veterans communities.


The University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine, which has campuses in Portland and Biddeford, will help “make sure our heroes and their families receive the care worthy of their sacrifice,” the White House said last week.

The effort is part of the Joining Forces initiative led by first lady Michelle Obama and Jill Biden, wife of the vice president.

Democrats seek MaineCare answers

Some Maine Democrats want answers from the Obama administration about the state’s chances of winning federal approval for cuts to MaineCare proposed by GOP Gov. Paul LePage.

LePage has said he is “absolutely confident” of winning federal waivers. But Democrats fear losing millions in federal funding if the cuts are made but the waivers not approved.

The top Democrats on the Maine Senate and House Appropriations and Financial Affairs committees, Sen. Dawn Hill of York and Rep. Margaret Rotundo of Lewiston, wrote last week to U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius seeking her view.


State Rep. John Martin, D-Eagle Lake, also an Appropriations Committee member, added his own letter, asking Sebelius: “The LePage administration has indicated that they believe we must enact legislation before your department would take action on any waiver request. Is this in fact your policy?”

Sebelius did not respond last week to a request for comment.

Throwing support to Romney

Sen. Susan Collins said it wasn’t a formal endorsement last week when she spoke highly of Republican presidential front-runner Mitt Romney. But the Maine Republican seems only to be waiting until after the South Carolina primary to give Romney the nod, reported the Maine Public Broadcasting Network after Collins’ comments in Portland.

Collins said Romney “has the experience and knowledge to deal with the economic challenges we are facing.”

GOP Sen. Olympia Snowe of Maine has not yet backed a presidential candidate, her office said last week.

Jonathan Riskind — 791-6280


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