I’m with Mills rather than a vague “green new deal”

Well, with a new Congress being inaugurated and Janet Mills taking the oath of office, one thing is coming into focus: Democrats are a study in contrasts. In Washington, a large contingent of newly elected representatives are calling for a “Green New Deal.” What actual, concrete policy does this slogan encompass? No one is really […]

Republicans face test of character with Mills’ nominations

They say that “the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching.” I’ll propose a corollary: the true test of a political party’s character is what it does in the minority. There was plenty to be said over the battle between the Republican U.S. Senate and President Barack […]

There is a lot to like about Gov. Paul LePage

My first impression of Paul LePage was that he talks way too much. It was the summer of 2010, and the then-mayor of Waterville had run away with the GOP nomination for governor. I had just moved home to Maine, and got roped into bar tending a fundraiser for him. Like every campaign event, the […]

Let’s take the first step this Christmas on corrections reform

It’s a first step. No, not Gov.-elect Janet Mills’ cabinet announcements. Or the budget template that Gov. Paul LePage will leave on the desk upon his departure. Rather, it is the so-called First Step Act, a bipartisan piece of legislation supported by everyone from Donald Trump to Bernie Sanders, George Soros to the Koch network. […]

My Christmas wish: Stop the revisionist history

“Toys are hereby declared illegal, immoral, unlawful, and, anyone found with a toy in his possession will be placed under arrest and thrown in the dungeon!” You might recognize that decree. It comes from Burgermeister Meisterburger in the Christmas special “Santa Claus Is Comin’ to Town.” He is literally the reason why kids cannot have […]

George H.W. Bush reminds us that America is great

Watching former Sen. Bob Dole be helped to his feet in order to render a salute to the casket of President George H.W. Bush was certainly one of the most powerful moments of the year. Not only for the honor of the gesture itself, but also because it is emblematic of our society as a […]

Job one for new lawmakers is to get more young people to Maine

Dear Members of the 129th Maine Legislature, On Wednesday, Dec. 5, you will raise your right hand and swear an oath to the Constitutions of the United States and Maine. Then, it’s official. You will hold the office to which you were elected. And the real work will begin. Maine is in an interesting place. […]

Can we make the next election better?

Are you ready for the next election? No, I’m not talking about 2020 and the chaos of a presidential year. To all of our chagrin, that will start far too soon. Rather, the next election is the “secret” race for Maine’s constitutional offices. We’re an outlier in the United States. Our attorney general, secretary of […]

Democrats won, but voters still hate taxes

For all the (not incorrect) talk about “blue waves” and “Republican rebukes” in the election results, there is one undertow which has been under-reported: Voters still hate taxes. In Maine, one of the biggest winners on Nov. 6 was not Angus King. Or Chellie Pingree. Or Janet Mills. It was the “No on 1” campaign, […]

How service in Afghanistan reminded me that voting is awesome

With the exception of the 2nd Congressional District, the election is now over in Maine. Plenty has been — and will be — written about the “meaning” of the results. But whatever meaning people derive from the results, we are about to witness one of the most miraculous aspects of American democracy: a peaceful transition […]