The Maine Blogjam
You may have noticed that my posting at MainePolitics.net has slowed and become a bit more erratic. I have a good excuse, though. I've been hiking the Appalachian Trail... in Argentina.
Luckily, a whole new crop of Maine political blogs have sprung up since I last surveyed the landscape and are more than willing to pick up the slack.
One of the newest is Augusta Insider. In their introductory post, the anonymous authors announced that they plan to be “your source for news, rumors, and commentary on Maine politics.”
A note sent using the site's contact form elicited this response by email:
“We're just a couple of staffers in the Augusta area who are taking an aside from our day jobs to do this bipartisan news/analysis blog. We feel that there was a real hole left when PolitickerME.com folded, and we're trying to fill that a little bit. By working together and combining our knowledge and contacts, we hope to produce yet another high-quality political blog for Maine.”
The website's domain is registered to Aaron Prill, a Bangor software developer and Executive Director of the Maine Young Republicans.
The blog has been providing a running tally of the number of twitter followers of each of the 2010 gubernatorial contenders, among other interesting content.
Leave it to Seaver is the blog of Nick Seaver, originally from Waldoboro, who now lives out of state.
“I guess I'd describe my blog as focusing on news, politics and gay rights/equality issues. In the last several months I've been closely following and writing frequently on the issue of marriage equality in Maine,” explained Seaver by email.
Seaver has chosen a good niche. As the rest of the country turns its eyes to Maine for our (hopefully) landmark gay marriage referendum this November, there will increasingly be a demand for online news and opinion.
Derek Viger is a public policy grad student and a father of two girls, so I'm not sure when he finds the time to post his thoughts on Maine politics and a variety of other local and national topics at The Maine View. Viger says he doesn't “come for the right or the left” with his writing and just expresses his personal views.
“I think that trait is inherently bred into Mainers and I hope that my blog inspires and informs those from Maine and otherwise,” said Viger.
Viger also may hold a record for one of the shortest stints as a political staffer in Maine history. Earlier this month he announced that he would serve as “internet director” for the campaign of independent (and incoherent) gubernatorial candidate Alex Hammer. Four days later, he was back to blogging, citing an “irresolvable conflict of interest.”
Speaking of bloggers joining campaigns, Scott Fish, the editor of the conservative forum As Maine Goes, has taken a position as Communications Director for Stand for Marriage Maine, the primary group seeking to reject Maine's new equal marriage law. Fish has previously worked on Olympia Snowe's campaign team and for statehouse Republicans. According to press accounts, Fish was let go from his job at the legislature due to inappropriate comments made by posters on his website. It will be interesting to see what steps, if any, Fish takes to separate his dual roles as campaign spokesperson and forum moderator.
A couple of Maine interest groups have also embraced digital syndication. The activists at the Maine Women's Lobby blogged heavily during the recent legislative session and the staff at the Maine Civil Liberties Union just unleashed themselves on the internet earlier this month.
While he doesn't always post about politics, Maine author and journalist Colin Woodard's blog is another must read, especially if you have any interest in marine environmental issues, print media, the Icelandic economy, or pirates.