This week saw the first major TV advertising for statewide campaigns in the 2012 General Election in Maine. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has begun airing an ad attacking the record of former Governor and U.S. Senate candidate Angus King and tonight Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders will begin airing an ad in support of the referendum to allow marriage licenses for same-sex couples in Maine.
The ad against King, which is part of a more-than $200,000 ad buy, has received attention so far for both its tone and the messenger behind it.
Dan Billings, chief counsel to Governor Paul LePage and his representative on the Maine Republican Party State Committee, published a note on Facebook on Saturday accusing GOP Chair Charlie Webster of attempting a “naked power grab” in order to maintain his control over party infrastructure.
There are a number of ways in which Governor Paul LePage's claim that, under Obamacare, the IRS is a "new Gestapo" is different from and worse than his previous outlandish statements.
First of all, this wasn't some off-the-cuff remark to a reporter, or an off-script moment in a speech. This was an official part of the Governor's address to the state, vetted by his office, widely distributed in print and audio formats and played on radio stations across Maine.
I often enjoy blogger and columnist Matt Gagnon's writing. When he's deep in campaign gossip, his work takes on a breathless, insidery tone and he's able to spin whole fabrics out of even the thinnest thread of a rumor. He's also put some good pressure on specific candidates.
There was only one poll of the U.S. Senate primary races, (from the Maine People's Resource Center, which I had a hand in), so we don't have much of a detailed picture of how voter preferences changed over time in the two races.
Because the survey was taken at the end of March and beginning of April, however, right after the candidates were confirmed and the campaigns began, a comparison with the actual results on Election Day can give us some idea of what effect the candidates' campaigns had on the results.
Today primaries for both parties and for a variety of state and local offices promise to be both interesting in and of themselves and could also set some of the narrative for the next few months as we approach the General Election. Here are some things to watch for as these races come to a head.
Turnout: It is expected to be low statewide. Particularly high turnout in certain areas and for certain candidates could tell us something about where the current political energy exists.
Maine Treasurer Bruce Poliquin is brazen in the pursuit of his political goals.
Sometimes, this works out for him, such as when he pursued the legislature-appointed position of State Treasurer in a more public way than is usual for the position. He secured the endorsement of incoming Governor Paul LePage, organized his former gubernatorial campaign supporters to call their legislators in support of his appointment and won a narrow victory over former House Minority Leader David Bowles.
Earlier this month, the Maine Center for Economic Policy began warning that passing LD 849, the new TABOR bill, which turns future temporary state surpluses into permanent additional tax breaks primarily benefiting the wealthy, would damage Maine’s reputation among the ratings agencies that determine how much it costs the state to borrow and pay its debts.
Controversy continues from the Maine GOP Convention which occurred last weekend, including questions about whether the results – a massive delegate victory for Ron Paul – will be challenged by the Romney campaign.
Last night, the Bangor Daily News posted a rather stunning story, one that seems certain to be shared across the country today on both political blogs and sites showcasing "news of the weird." The piece, which has been joined by articles in the MaineToday papers this morning, reveals that Belfast State Representative Erin Herbig f