Category Archives: Maine Politics

Honeymoon over, as LePage and GOP leaders split on taxes

Gov. Paul LePage speaks at the Maine Heritage Policy Center luncheon at the Cross Insurance Center in Bangor. Photo credit: Gabor Degre | BDN

Just like that, just under two months after his inauguration, Gov. LePage’s main policy endeavor of his second term, seems to be dead in the water. LePage revealed a complex tax plan that involved cutting the income tax, zeroing out the estate tax, cutting municipal revenue sharing (which would raise property taxes many places), raising […]

What does Pelosi’s “You have to pass the bill” comment have to do with Obamacare suit?

Rep. Nancy Pelosi

Obamacare is increasingly lowering the number of Americans without health insurance, but it faces a threat by a lawsuit before the Supreme Court today. This case (King v Burwell) would take away subsidies from millions who purchased their insurance through a federally run exchange. It’s based on the absurd argument that the Congress didn’t mean […]

LePage touts trickle-down for the homeless shelters, hospitals he would tax

BDN photo by Gabor Degre

What’s to become of the homeless shelters and other nonprofits that would be taxed under Gov. LePage’s plan? Towns and cities are promised those new revenues to make up for LePage slashing revenue sharing. In Bangor, 54 nonprofits would be taxed. Manna, a Bangor faith-based group that serves meals and provides groceries to the hungry […]

Vermont’s motto madness shows science education is not enough

Something happened the other day in Vermont that reminded me of the saying, “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.” After an eighth-grade student wrote to a state legislator to propose Vermont adopt a Latin motto and the proposal went forward, some less-than-knowledgeable residents got really angry. There was, as Senate Minority Leader Joe […]

Two top Maine conservatives say Obamacare is working. Have you signed up yet?

Rep. Bruce Poliquin

In the last week, the more conservative of the two Republicans in the 2014 primary for Maine’s second congressional district and the head of Maine’s conservative Maine Heritage Policy Center acknowledged that Obamacare is doing good for people. While both prefer other options and are quite critical of Obamacare, this is what they said about […]

What’s the politics of Poliquin’s vote against repealing Obamacare?

Rep. Bruce Poliquin

I was surprised and pleased that newly elected Republican Congressman Bruce Poliquin was one of three Republicans to vote against repealing the Affordable Care Act. Pleased, because while the ACA is imperfect, it is doing real good by lowering the number of people without health coverage while holding down premiums and costing less than initially […]

As economic and snowstorms hit us, how do we dig out?

This big storm put me in mind of what a friend, the photographer Jeff Kirlin, said the other day: “I love the sound of the Socialist snowplows scraping up my Socialist streets.” We pay taxes for government services that serve the public good — in this case, the ability to get places safely and not […]

How big a sham is the case seeking to gut Obamacare subsidies?

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Signups for health insurance through the ACA exchange are going swimingly, with Maine hitting the 2015 target more than a month before open enrollment ends. Now, with the Supreme Court to hear a case that could end subsidies to Maine people (since we have no state-based exchange), research shows how much of a sham is […]

With LePage’s budget, Maine must decide on the reality it wants

When Gov. Paul LePage unveiled his budget proposal last week, it was reminiscent (but partly in a good way) of something said about a decade ago by an aide to President George W. Bush. This aide, widely reputed to be Karl Rove, told journalist Ron Suskind that reporters were part of “the reality-based community” but […]

No, Gov. LePage is not popular

BDN photo by Gabor Degre

Perhaps it’s because Gov. LePage was just sworn in for his second term (and, by the way, congratulations), but there’s been an odd tendency for some newspaper articles to refer to the governor as popular. It’s odd because “popular,” while somewhat vague, implies that at least a majority support and/or like someone or something. It’s […]