Down East 2013 ©
In January, I discussed the rise of not-for-profit political journalism in Maine . Add another outlet to that list. Maine Watchdog  is a new website featuring online political reporting from a reporter named Stephan Burklin, who has also been submitting his articles to other blogs like Pine Tree Politics  and Dirigo Blue . His work is backed by a national group called the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity.
This enterprise is a very different animal from the Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting , however. While the MCPIR appears to prize good journalism above all, Maine Watchdog seems to be more ideologically motivated.
The Franklin Center has as its goal “the education of the public about corruption, incompetence, fraud, or taxpayer abuse by elected officials at all levels of government.” Bill McMorris, formerly of the conservative National Review Online and the Young America’s Foundation (motto: “The Conservative Movement Starts Here”) is editor of its state watchdog sites.
The Maine affiliate site claims that the reporting it features is “entirely non-partisan and non-ideological” but Burklin also has his own ties to the conservative and libertarian movement. Educated at the evangelical Wheaton College in Illinois, Burklin lists three previous employers: a German think tank affiliated with that country’s center-right Christian Democratic Party and the Independence Institute in Colorado and Cascade Policy Institute in Oregon, two libertarian organizations.
Also, the writers at Augusta Insider, including the anonymous editor and Derek Viger have closed down their own site and joined Pine Tree Politics , which editor Matt Gagnon assures readers “will remain a center-right oriented site.”
Some other political blogs with new content that are worth a look and might not already be on your list: the Maine Civil Liberties Union blog , The Maine Women’s Lobby blog , the newly revamped blog  of the Maine Heritage Policy Center, and Maine Budget Matters , the blog of Maine Can Do Better.
Also, PR practitioner Dennis Bailey has a new post  up at his blog, Savvy Spin, on why the recent tax reform proposal was defeated at the polls. Definitely worth a read.