For years, lawmakers and political pundits in Maine were obsessed with one number; the state’s ranking by the Tax Foundation, showing Maine residents paying one of the highest percentages of their income in taxes of any state.
In 2008 the Foundation fixed the way it calculated tax rates and reran the numbers from the past decade. It turned out that Maine was actually fifteenth in the nation in taxes and only .3% off the national average. At no time had the state ever been higher than fifth.
Eliot Cutler has had a career that’s taken him from his home state of Maine to Washington D.C. to Beijing and back again. He’s now seeking to use that experience to claim the Blaine House and become the third independent governor in Maine’s history.
Two other independents, James B. Longley in 1974 and Angus King in 1994, have successfully navigated the path that Cutler is hoping to follow.
(In case you missed it: part 1)
The glory of victory, the agony of defeat, all ahead as the winners of the 2009 election prediction betting pool are announced.
First, however, is Question 3.
With .0019% of the vote still outstanding (according the Bangor Daily News), I'm finally ready to call the winners of the 2009 Maine Election Pool.
If I were going for complete accuracy, I might have waited until all the votes were in, or perhaps until they were certified by the Secretary of State, but a certain journalist with mob connections has been threatening me to get this done and I don't want to end up sleeping with the fishes.
The results of last week's election aren't contained solely in the success or failure of the big-ticket ballot items. The local elections and the discussion of who voted and why is just as important. Here are some general thoughts on the election of 2009:
My student Emily, a bright, hyperkinetic junior at Watershed School, was hopping mad on Wednesday. She'd spent countless hours of precious teenage time volunteering for the No On 1 campaign, only to see marriage equality in Maine smacked down by a resounding 30,000-vote margin the night before.
Today is election day, which means that tomorrow there will be new narratives to explain why Maine people voted the way they did.
If Question 1 is defeated, then the story may be that Maine is a state of rugged New England individualists who believe people should be able to make their own choices. If Question 1 passes, then perhaps Maine will be thought of as a rural, Catholic state with an elderly electorate.
"My first and greatest love affair," wrote E.B. White in July of 1940, as the Third Reich was energetically snuffing out the democracies of Europe, "was with this thing we call freedom, this lady of infinite allure, this dangerous and beautiful and sublime being who restores and supplies us all."
Every word counts, as I try to impress daily upon my students at Watershed. Viz:
It's that time of year again, the chance to prove you know the people and the politics of the state of Maine. It's the 2009 Maine Election Pool!
You may remember last year's pool, where readers attempted to predict the 2008 Maine presidential, senate, congressional, legislative and referenda votes and Dan B. came in first with an average calculated error of just over 3% in each race (doing far better than most polls).
No, someone named Wiki hasn't announced a run for governor of Maine (although maybe that did happen and I missed it — it's hard to keep track of all these candidates). The headline refers to my new and half-baked idea about how to cover Maine politics.