Anti-war independent congressional candidate Dexter Kamilewicz has received the endorsement of Ray McGovern in his bid to unseat U.S. Rep. Tom Allen, a Democrat, in Maine’s 1st Congressional District.

McGovern is a 27-year analyst with the CIA who founded Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity in January 2003. VIPS includes more than 35 former intelligence professionals who are publicly critical of President George Bush, his handling of the war in Iraq and of what McGovern considers the politicization of the CIA and other intelligence agencies.

McGovern is a frequent contributor to op-ed pages around the country, and he and other members of VIPS have made appearances on radio and TV and at live forums around the country.

Kamilewicz met McGovern when he visited Maine in May on a speaking tour. According to the Kamilewicz campaign, McGovern is expected to return before November for an election-related event.

Polling for good news

In latest gubernatorial poll conducted by the Rasmussen Report, Gov. John Baldacci maintains an ever-so-slight lead over Republican challenger Chandler Woodcock.

The poll gives Baldacci a 43-42 percent advantage over Woodcock.

Only 7 percent respondents say they plan to vote for a third-party candidate. Rasmussen, however, gives a nod to the independents, saying that in a tight race they could tip the balance one way or another.

Ballots available

Absentee ballots for the Nov. 7 general election are available online at Applications are also available in town and city offices.

To download a ballot application, click on the link to “Absentee Voting Information” on the right of the home page for the secretary of state under the “Featured Topics” headline. There’s general information about absentee voting available, an enumeration of voting rights and an application in MS Word format.

Party party

Oxford County Democrats held their annual barbecue and family fun day Sunday. Democratic luminaries Gov. John Baldacci, Attorney General Steven Rowe and U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud all attended.

Deadline approaching

Candidates have until Aug. 30 to respond to the National Political Awareness Test, which is conducted by Project Vote Smart.

The test, which surveys candidates on their policy positions, does not come with an endorsement or a contribution. Instead, the answers are entered into a national database that allows voters to inform themselves about their candidates and cast an informed ballot.

Remarkably, a number of candidates each election cycle refuse to answer questions about their issue positions. Better safe than sorry, the thinking goes?

The Web site for Project Vote Smart is

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