The National Organization for Marriage plans to spend $500,000 this weekend in an effort to reach 10 million people before Tuesday’s vote on gay marriage, the group announced Friday.

The robocalls will go out in Maine, Maryland, Washington, Wisconsin, Ohio and Pennsylvania.

The calls will be from James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family; U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.; and ex-Arkansas governor and Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee.

“These calls from leaders in public life will remind voters to go to the polls, to protect marriage, and to support public officials who will do the same,” Brian Brown, executive director of NOM, said in a news release.

National groups on both sides will continue to play an active role through Tuesday in Maine. On Thursday night, the president of the Human Rights Campaign, Chad Griffin, spoke at a pro-gay-marriage rally in Portland, as did the political director for Freedom to Marry.

BAIN-OWNED COMPANY PROTESTS MOVE TO CHINA

There have been several national reports about Sensata Technologies in Freeport, Ill., where workers have been protesting the Bain Capital-owned company’s plans to close the facility and move its 170 manufacturing jobs to China.

Democratic activists have politicized the closing in an attempt to link it to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. Soon-to-be-unemployed workers at Sensata argue that Romney, who owns a controlling stake in Bain, will financially benefit from the outsourcing of American jobs.

So what does Sensata have to do with Maine? Prior to 2007, the manufacturer of sensors and controls for automobiles and airplanes had a plant in Standish that employed 200 people. Sensata decided to close the plant in January 2007, moving its operations and jobs to the Dominican Republic. Bain had purchased Sensata, formerly known as Texas Instruments Sensors and Controls, nine months earlier.

Romney wasn’t calling the shots at Bain in 2007. He left the company in 2002 but continues to hold a financial stake in it.

According to reports in the Portland Press Herald, the U.S. Department of Labor gave the state $780,000 for worker retraining efforts after the company left.

Some have suggested that the plant closing also played into the 2007 presidential election. A story in the Portland Press Herald quoted local officials who suggested that Sensata’s departure may have been a reason that Barack Obama carried the typically Republican-leaning Standish district.

SIMPSON ENDORSES KING

Former Gov. Angus King has picked up the endorsement of the other half of the Simpson-Bowles deficit-reduction duo.

Former Republican Sen. Alan Simpson of Wyoming has endorsed King, the King campaign announced Wednesday.

Simpson, a former assistant Republican leader in the Senate, co-chaired the bipartisan deficit reduction task force that came to be known as the Simpson-Bowles Commission. The commission’s plan calls for a combination of spending cuts, tax reform and tax increases. It wasn’t adopted by Congress but is still shaping the debate about debt reduction in Washington.

The other co-chair, Erskine Bowles, is a Democrat and former chief of staff to President Clinton. Bowles endorsed King earlier in the campaign and came to Portland in September to appear at a King campaign event focusing on the debt and deficit.

King has called the commission’s plan a good framework for congressional action, but says he does not agree with all of its proposals.

Simpson, like Bowles, said King’s status as a moderate independent and his experience as an independent governor could help him serve as a bridge in Congress.

“Today, Congress’ sterile inability to make important compromises is truly threatening the state of our nation,” Simpson said in a statement released by the King campaign.

Staff Writer Steve Mistler can be reached at 791-6345 or: [email protected]

On Twitter: @stevemistler

Staff Writer John Richardson can be reached at 791-6324 or at: [email protected]

On Twitter: @jrichmaine

Staff Writer Susan Cover can be contacted at 621-5643 or at: [email protected]

On Twitter: @smcover

 

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