The Tipping Point Blog Archive 2011
It’s rare for a government official, especially a cabinet member, to resign with the kind of public display seen from Marine Resources Commissioner Norm Olsen.
As word first circulated yesterday that Olsen was leaving his post, only six months into his term, it wasn't clear why. The official statement from the LePage administration gave no reason for the departure, noting that LePage was “grateful to Commissioner Olsen for his work.”
Summer in Maine is usually not a very political season. The Legislature’s work is done, any fall campaigns on the horizon haven’t yet begun in earnest, the general public is paying more attention to festivals and barbeque than politics and policy, and lots of people involved in government and issue organizations take some much needed vacation.
At least two Democrats are exploring bids against Olympia Snowe in 2012, as Maine’s senior senator posts fundraising totals far ahead of her intra-party rivals, and chatter about which Republican will challenge Chellie Pingree in Maine’s First Congressional District has begun.
Two years ago, I wrote that if Portland created an elected mayor position, it would become a new center of political power in the state.
Now that the position is in place and the election is slated for November, sixteen candidates have taken the first step towards entering the race.
On Thursday, a coalition of groups held a press conference launching a People’s Veto of LD 1376, the bill that eliminates same-day voter registration in Maine and which they say will disenfranchise thousands of voters. (Full disclosure: I was there as a supporter and I should note that the organization I work for is deeply involved the veto effort. I’ve also written on the subject.)
A few months ago, you couldn't turn on the Twitter Machine without tripping over people using the popular microblogging service to impersonate Maine Governor Paul LePage. The anonymous critics mocked every step his administration took, with varying degrees of comedic success. Now, those Twitterers have fallen silent (as has the governor's own, real account), but that doesn't mean the statehouse satirizing is over.
LD 309, the bill that would have eliminated the "fair share" provision in contracts of public-sector workers in Maine, has been held over until the next session of the legislature.
When Governor Paul LePage first took office in Maine, he pledged to hold town hall meetings in each of Maine's sixteen counties.
Three polls have been released in the last two weeks in which Maine voters were asked to express their opinion of Paul LePage and his performance as governor. Many are pointing to the most recent, a Critical Insights survey showing LePage’s approval rating at 31%, as evidence that support for the governor has quickly plummeted.
The real answer to how the public views LePage and his time in office is much more complicated.
First, let’s look at the results.
Despite a close race for the District in 2010, Democratic Representative Cynthia Dill beat former Republican Representative Louie Maietta by a more than two-to-one margin on May 10 to win the Senate District 7 special election.
With 5,056 to Maietta's 2,405, Dill won in all three towns in the district, winning by the most in Maietta's home town of South Portland.