Local options sales taxes should remain lost

“Get lost.” It’s not a terribly friendly sentiment. That said, the idea has fractured the partisan divide in Augusta, which means Maine voters can pressure their officials without running afoul of silly political games. In this case, “lost” is an acronym for “Local Option Sales Taxes.” L.O.S.T. Last week, Portland’s Democratic Mayor Ethan Strimling joined […]

The Russians are winning

Attorney General William Barr’s letter summarizing Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s report confirmed one thing. It is time for America’s elected officials to start offering some leadership. Unfortunately, we do not appear to be getting it. To begin, we should go back to 2012. Famously, then-presidential candidate and now Utah Senator Mitt Romney was asked during […]

In sickness and in health in Augusta

Sometimes, politics is a sickness. Wait, strike that. Reverse it. Sickness is making politics, at least this week. Paid sick leave continues to make headlines. This Maine Legislature’s “LD 1” — the trophy proposal of Democratic majorities — deals with preexisting medical conditions and other parts of “Obamacare.” And, lest it be forgotten, the debate […]

Symbols matter. That’s why Maine should have a new flag.

Symbols are important. The American flag will fly at half-staff throughout Maine until Sunday, when Berwick firefighter Capt. Joel Barnes is laid to rest. Lowering the flag is one way — a symbol — by which we honor those who have lost their lives in service to others. There are plenty of other symbols we […]

Employee benefits aren’t as simple as passing a law

It was “paid sick leave” week in Maine. Monday saw a long, drawn-out public hearing in Augusta requiring employers to provide paid sick leave. Tuesday saw a committee of the Portland City Council move a similar proposal forward within the city limits. Both efforts have been led by interest groups. Portland’s has been championed by […]

Blame Congress for the wall

“The President’s order does not direct that a congressional policy be executed in a manner prescribed by Congress — it directs that a presidential policy be executed in a manner prescribed by the President.” That line is from a famous Supreme Court decision known as Youngstown Steel. It was part of an opinion against President […]

What politicians can learn from the Super Bowl

Why do we care about the Super Bowl? After all, it is a bunch of individuals earning, six, seven, or eight figures a year, playing a game on behalf of owners worth nine or ten figures. Even more, there is literal price fixing, an industry-wide agreement to limit overall wages for a certain type of […]