Big money doesn’t always lead to big results

A few million bucks doesn’t buy what it used to. That seems to be the message from the Georgia special election. And it’s the same message from Augusta, where lawmakers are considering changes to last November’s referenda. South of the Mason-Dixon, newly-elected Re. Karen Handel spent a little over $3 million on her campaign. Her […]

Remember the Civil War; return civility to politics

“And now we are engaged in a great civil war.” Abraham Lincoln’s words from the Gettysburg Address echo through the ages. That war — and the death of hundreds of thousands of Americans it brought — tested whether any nation “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal … […]

What Mary Mayhew and Wonder Woman have in common

Grossing over $100 million in the U.S. last weekend, “Wonder Woman” made quite a splash.  And although I haven’t seen it, after reading the plot, it isn’t hard to understand why; a legendary superhero — who happens to be female — overcomes tall odds, fights with friends-turned-enemies, and (spoiler alert!) ultimately triumphs and remains on […]

Will the real will of the people please stand up?

“The will of the people!” That is one of the rallying cries shouted over the past few weeks, whether in Portland City Hall or under the capitol dome in Augusta. Somewhat sardonically, it was also the name of a socialist revolutionary terrorist organization in 19th century Russia, counting Vladimir Lenin’s older brother amongst its members. […]

Don’t be silly, let’s get things done in Augusta

Tuesday’s advisory opinion by Maine’s top justices that, effectively, ranked-choice voting was unconstitutional brought several reactions. Some people offered “told you so.” Others cheered the ruling on policy grounds. Some of the proposal’s proponents accepted the decision and declared a movement for a constitutional amendment. And, yes, we saw some provocative political statements trying to make […]

Miss USA got it right, health care is a privilege

Well, the Miss USA pageant has done it again. There hasn’t been this much controversy about a pick since Donald Trump owned the organization. Last Sunday evening — Mother’s Day! — saw Kara McCullough win the title of “Miss USA.” A black woman, she was born in Italy, where her father was stationed with the […]

Want a government program to work? Be prepared to pay for it.

This just in: if you don’t adequately fund a program, it is not going to work. And in other news, water remains wet and Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. Chevy Chase made that last line famous on the first season of “Saturday Night Live,” and with good reason. It lampoons the breathless media coverage […]

Can we repeal the law of unintended consequences?

You know what would make policymaking much easier? Repealing the law of unintended consequences. For example, the proponents of last year’s Question 2 — the bill which hiked Maine’s top tax rate to one of the highest in the country at over 10 percent — advertised it would raise an additional $157 million for education. […]