On June 8, the Governor’s race and the tax reform veto referendum will be headlining the ballot, but there are also more than thirty contested legislative primaries throughout the state.
The four primary races for seats in the Maine State Senate could have a great deal of influence on the final outcome in what is expected to be a close contest in November.
Three candidates (Democrats Donna Dion and John Richards and Green Lynne Williams) have fallen out of the race for the Blaine House since I last wrote an analysis of campaign finance reports, and three new candidates (Democrat Pat McGowan and Republicans Bill Beardsley and Steve Abbott) have joined.
This Friday there’s an election in Maine that could have huge repercussions throughout the state. It’s not a people’s veto over taxes or a hard-fought gubernatorial primary; it’s an off-season, single-issue municipal referendum in the town of Orrington, population 3,526.
Tomorrow that strange band of anti-government activists called the Tea Party will once again gather in public parks (you know, the ones paid for with taxes) throughout Maine to rail against perceived injustices.
They may not get as much attention as the topless march did last week, but chances are there’s going to be someone dressed like Paul Revere waving a sign comparing Obama to Stalin on your evening news.
Last week, Maine saw the first whisperings of the student voice.
A working group made up of faculty and administrators at the University of Maine put forward a proposal on March 24th to cut a wide array of programs and majors in order to save the university $12.3 million. So far, the idea has been met with disapproval and anger from students.
Frank Coffin, who died last year at the age of ninety, had a long career in Maine politics. He served two terms in Congress, ran for governor in 1960, served for more than forty years as a federal appeals judge and is the author of four books.
His first great accomplishment, however, may still be his most notable. In the middle of the last century he helped to recreate the Democratic Party in Maine, changed the political landscape of our state and began a period of Democratic political advantage that continues today.
C-Span now has their complete archives online, in an easily watchable format. Along with hours of boring House and Senate proceedings, there’s also an interesting slice of political life in Maine for the past two decades, everything from John McKernan’s inauguration as governor in 1991 to a health care panel discussion with Maine health policy director Trish Riley held last week.
Major party candidates for a variety of political offices in Maine have just passed an important deadline, the date to get their signatures filed in order to get on the ballot. For clean elections candidates there are other deadlines looming that they'll have to meet in order to qualify for public financing.
The Portland Charter Commission is bringing a variety of changes to municipal government and elections to the ballot in November. One of the most talked about has been the proposal to institute a system of instant-runoff voting for mayor and other municipal offices.
Tragedy has struck in midcoast Maine.
The Mystic Mainer, a noted local clairvoyant, was sitting out back the other day, idly watching raccoons imitating the antics of a 24/7 cable news team in his compost pile, when a brilliant light flooded his consciousness, leaving him temporarily sightless.
When found by his daughter, who is home from college on spring break, not that you'd know it from how often MM has actually seen her, he was muttering in an unknown tongue.
"Rope-a-dope," he seemed to be saying. "Rope-a-dope."