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Politics

Maine 2nd District Contenders Spar over 9/11 First Responder Bill

BANGOR, Maine - Democratic 2nd Congressional District candidate Emily Cain said today that Republican Rep. Bruce Poliquin let firefighters down when he refused to co-sponsor a healthcare bill for 9/11 first responders.

Poliquin says that he voted for the legislation last December.  But during a Bangor press event, John Martell, president of the Professional Firefighters of Maine and a Cain supporter, said that doesn't matter.

"When the time came after the bill was passed, in the omnibus bill at the end that included a host of other bills to keep government running, that's when he voted for it," Martell said. "And he's taking credit for it then - when we needed him, he wasn't there," Martell said.

Martell says that when the bill was first introduced, it needed Poliquin's support. Poliquin says that he voted for the omnibus bill that contained the legislation specifically because it included healthcare funding for 9/11 first responders.

Poliquin says Cain was misleading voters by mischaracterizing his record and insisted he is a staunch supporter of all firefighters and other first responders.