Category Archives: commentary

Are states still popular?

Should we even bother having states? Apparently, that is a question which needs to be asked. Earlier this week, the Maine Senate endorsed the so-called “National Popular Vote.” It would, by law, compel Maine’s Electoral College representatives to cast their ballots for whoever wins a plurality — not a numeric majority — of individual ballots […]

Boycotts don’t resolve political disputes

Well, I agree with Maine Democratic Senate President Troy Jackson on at least one thing. Actually, that is not fair. In 2013, I worked closely with then-Assistant Senate Majority Leader Jackson to temporarily make the names of concealed weapon permit holders confidential. So there are two things we agree on. But I digress. This week […]

Measure growth, cut government, and grow the economy

It’s that time of year. No, not mud season (although it is that too). It is the time when the “Maine Economic Growth Council” — an organization established by law at the end of Gov. Jock McKernan’s tenure — releases its annual report known as the “Measures of Growth.” It takes a snapshot of certain […]

Collins shows her money. Will her opponents?

Show! Me! The! Money! While the line is popularly associated with the Tom Cruise film “Jerry Maguire,” it probably can also apply to Federal Election Commission filings. At the end of March, candidates raising money for the 2020 election are required to file disclosures showing people the money they raised. Sen. Susan Collins had a […]

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 […]