Federal policy is frozen but winter doesn’t last forever

Washington, D.C. is in a policy winter, a deep freeze with little significant legislation likely. Even after the longest federal shutdown in U.S. history is over, it’s unlikely that major legislation will be enacted over the next two years. Right now the states are where the policy action is, particularly in the six states where […]

Mills begins governorship with humor and inclusion

Janet Mills’ inauguration as Maine governor was striking for its humor without a hint of meanness, feelings of warmth and inclusion, and poetic musings on our shared community. When two fifth-graders sang, “This Girl is on Fire,” the crowd rose to its feet and Mills laughed, sang along, play-acted to some lyrics and, at the […]

As he tries to overturn election, Poliquin insults Mainers

In attempting to remain in Congress, Rep. Bruce Poliquin filed a lawsuit that openly asserts that some Mainers didn’t know what they were were doing in the voting booth. It’s an approach that’s patronizing and insulting. According to the testimony of Poliquin’s expert witness, Prof. James Gimpel, voters who ranked independents Tiffany Bond or Will […]

The shameful undermining of the peaceful transfer of power

Sometimes when elections are over, there’s admiring talk about how our country transfers power peacefully. But while we’ve had no violent coups, this year that shining system has been profoundly undermined. You see, for the peaceful transfer of power to be meaningful, the underlying expectation is that institutions don’t change in any fundamental way before […]

Five big problems with the testimony of Poliquin’s ranked choice expert witness

In the continuing saga of Bruce Poliquin’s efforts to overturn the results of the November election in Maine’s Second Congressional District, a new player emerged. In the second court proceeding on ranked choice before Trump appointed federal judge Lance Walker, testimony by Poliquin’s expert witness, Prof. James Gimpel, took up most of the time. But […]

Americans mobilized and voted. Now they need to do more.

Election Day 2018 marked a turn away from fear and an embrace of hope. Prompting the highest voter turnout for a midterm election in over a century, multitudes went out to talk to their fellow citizens, knocking on doors in the warmth of summer and the chill of fall. After horrible incidents these last two […]

Poliquin didn’t just lose his seat to Golden. The federal judge also demolished his constitutional claims.

Even after Jared Golden was declared the winner of Maine’s Second Congressional District race, incumbent Bruce Poliquin proclaimed he would continue to fight the voting process in court. Poliquin’s attorney asked for arguments to be heard soon so a decision can be reached on whether ranked choice voting is constitutional by mid-December 2018. A look […]

Five ways Democrats should use their window of opportunity

In the face of aggressive voter suppression and gerrymandering in many states, voters delivered a rebuke to President Donald Trump and his party, rejecting their policies, use of xenophobic messaging and corruption. With small donations adding up to large amounts of campaign funds and floods of volunteers talking to their fellow voters, Democrats had their […]

Health of rural hospitals is on the ballot

When you really need a hospital, you’re grateful its specialized equipment and medical professionals are there. Everyone in my family has had to go to a Bangor hospital — after a mishap on a sledding hill, a fainting spell at a track meet, intense abdominal pain, or a near-fatal pulmonary embolism. For people in rural […]

The health bills Poliquin backed didn’t just cut coverage. They also slashed taxes for the rich.

There’s been a lot of publicity about the health bills Poliquin voted for in 2017. Key aspects of the bills include the cuts in coverage for middle-class and low-income working people and the much higher rates for older people and people with pre-existing conditions, making it impossible for some to get care and coverage. In one […]