Speaking about the speaker: On Nov. 18, the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting and reporter Steve Mistler of the Lewiston Sun Journal combined on an excellent package of articles on the financial and professional problems of Republican Robert Nutting of Oakland, soon to be the new speaker of the Maine House of Representatives.
Augusta bound: When Republicans take over the Maine Legislature next month and the Blaine House in January, they’ll face more media scrutiny than the Democrats departing those offices had to endure. The MaineToday Media newspapers – the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel – have increased the number of reporters assigned to their State House bureau by one.
Earlier this year, I was having an off-the-record lunch with an influential figure in the state’s mainstream media. I asked this esteemed personage how it felt to be scooped on political stories on a daily basis by upstart Web sites such as Pine Tree Politics, Dirigo Blue, Collins Watch, As Maine Goes, and Maine Watchdog.
You’d think a guy called Tux would know how to dress for the occasion.
Portland Press Herald reporter Tux Turkel seems to have made some poor choices in selecting his wardrobe for covering a November 8 protest of a wind-power project being constructed in Lincoln.
Another round of down: The latest report from the Audit Bureau of Circulations is out (to view the numbers, click on this link and choose “Maine” under the state search icon). There’s little in the figures that could be considered good news for the state’s daily newspapers.
According to the Star-Telegram in Forth Worth, Texas, Richard Connor, the CEO of MaineToday Media (owner of the Portland Press Herald, Kennebec Journal and Morning Sentinel) and publisher of the Times Leader and other publications in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., has spread himself a little thinner.
If there’s a lesson to be learned from the 2010 election in Maine, it’s that nice guys may not finish last, but they certainly don’t finish first.
Of course, it could be argued that there weren’t all that many nice guys – or gals – involved in the just-concluded campaigns. But there were candidates who pretended to be, and for the most part, they lost.
We don’t mess with royalty: There was an important question that, as far as I can tell from the news coverage, didn’t get asked by any reporter at former Gov. Angus King’s October 30 press conference to endorse independent gubernatorial candidate Eliot Cutler.
Whispering campaign: For the past couple of weeks the rumor has been circulating in political circles: Former Democratic gubernatorial candidate Rosa Scarcelli and her husband, Tom Rhoads, were supposedly the anonymous creators of a Web site called “The Secret File on Eliot Cutler.”
Jeannine Guttman didn’t like to cover political polls. Guttman was the editor of the Portland Press Herald back when the Blethen family owned the paper, and her antipathy to reporting on polls was legendary.